A Microsoft Certified Partner is an independent company that uses Microsoft technologies to provide services and products. By partnering with Microsoft, a company can operate more efficiently, providing better support to customers and receiving higher priority and greater access to Microsoft.
There are several different levels of Microsoft Certified Partnerships. These include: Community, Action Pack, Silver and Gold. Membership benefits vary depending on level.
Microsoft Certified Silver Partners, like Computer Works Inc, have internal-use rights for up to 25 licenses per product along with 20 monthly advisory hours with Microsoft. Before becoming a Microsoft Certified Partner, a company must meet a number of important requirements.
In order for a company to become a Microsoft Certified Partner, the company must meet the following four eligibility requirements:
- Be a good match. In order to fill out the initial application to become a Microsoft Certified Partner, a company must be a good match for Microsoft. An eligible company typically sells, services, supports or builds solutions using Microsoft technologies for third party customers.
- Complete a Partner profile. If a company fits the description of a possible Microsoft Certified Partner, it will then need to create a partner profile. The partner profile characterizes the focus of the business, the services offered, the customers associated with the business, and the technologies used on regular basis.
- Obtain customer references. Evidence of customer satisfaction is required. A company applying to become a Microsoft Certified Partner is expected to provide least three confirmed references from customers that verify the overall quality of the business.
- Provide evidence of technical capabilities. A company will need to provide evidence that it has the technical capabilities to operate Microsoft technologies successfully. To do so, a company must employ, or employ by contract, at least two Microsoft certified professionals. The employees may have certification in some type of Microsoft technology. In addition to providing this evidence of competency, the company must also have Microsoft certified employees and be able to pass a technical assessment exam administered by Microsoft.
Once a company has met the eligibility requirements to become a Microsoft Certified Partner, it is required to pay an annual membership fee. The required fees based on the type of business and the level of certified partner.
Working with a company that is a Microsoft Certified Partner is very beneficial. Businesses that receive this certification are recognized by Microsoft, which is a very reputable company. Companies that are Microsoft Certified Partners are not only more likely to be up-to-date with the latest technologies, but they are also likely to stay up to date, since they receive ongoing information from Microsoft about anticipated developments, changes, trends and challenges.