The New Microsoft Partner Network program brings new Business Opportunities to the partner community. Since ISHIR has many Microsoft Partners as clients, we felt we should share this information we learnt at the WPC held in New Orleans in July.

At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) held in New Orleans during the second week of July, Microsoft announced a new version of the longstanding program. Now officially called the Microsoft Partner Network, the new program eliminates the previous 3-tiered Gold, Certified and Registered levels designations.

The new levels, designated as Advanced, Standard, Subscriber, and Communities and QuickStarts will attempt to more accurately align Partners with both Microsoft and customers according to their strengths, skills, capabilities and desired level of engagement with Microsoft. The new program begins with Partner program renewals in October 2009, but Partners will have until October 2010 to migrate into one of the new designations.

The new program encompasses some current programs, which did not fit into the current designations and competencies, and consolidates some specializations into competencies. For some partners these new levels demand additional requirements in order to retain their current level of engagement with Microsoft. For others, it creates an opportunity to reinvent their businesses. In our opinion, this poses a unique chance to engage in a forward-looking business model better suited to the market opportunities of the future and the new economy.

As Bill Gates once said at a small breakfast meeting, “Obsolete your current business by reinventing your strengths and customer facing benefits proactively, before some competitor does it for you and to you”.

In the meanwhile, consider your current relationship with Microsoft and with current and future customers. Ask yourself what you would like to be different , spend some time thinking about how you might get there, and engage in conversations with trusted advisors to help validate or challenge your thinking.

For more information go to Microsoft Partner Network Programs.

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