Anyone interested in becoming a Microsoft Partner should find this posting of some use. It’s a great tag individual company owners can add to their small-to-mid-sized organization that market solutions based on Microsoft platforms. Well, what or who exactly is a Microsoft Partner and how to become one? Well, a Microsoft Partner is an independent company that offers Microsoft-related products or services. They have 24-hour access to Microsoft support that helps them in providing better support to a customer.
Become a Microsoft Partner
For qualifying as a Microsoft Partner, companies must have a record of selling more than 75 percent of its IT solutions and services to unaffiliated third parties. Beyond this, they should be in business for at least 5 years, should have passed several tests, and have their skills proved in their particular field. Only then, they earn the reputation of Microsoft Partner and in turn, be rewarded with discounts in tools that are applicable to their activities. So, you see it’s not an easy job, you have to continuously strive to compete with others.
Any organization can become a Microsoft Partner. The list of businesses that qualify for Microsoft partner can be found below.
- IT consulting services provider
- Independent hardware vendor (IHV)
- Independent software vendor (ISV)
- Large account reseller (LAR)
- Original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
- Software hoster
- Software support provider
- System builder
- Systems integrator
- Software training provider
- Value-added IT provider (VAP)
- Value-added reseller (VAR)
- Web designer
- Web marketing agency
Once a Microsoft Partner, a company can get all the necessary training and online technical support from Microsoft. The company can enroll for Microsoft Partner Network membership. Microsoft Partner Network is a network that helps companies qualified as Microsoft partner build, sell, service, and support solutions for their customers, based on Microsoft technologies. Any company which is a member of the network gets a fair chance of strengthening staff expertise. Besides making organization strong, such a firm also stand a chance of making itself known to thousands of potential customers through listings in Microsoft online marketplaces.
For getting Microsoft Partner Membership you are required to complete a 3-step process. Once you get through, you have access to all the desired resources and tools to help you generate new business and set your company apart from the competition.
- Windows Live ID. Please note, Microsoft Partner Network users primarily use Windows Live ID. So, it is recommended you choose Windows Live ID as your sign in preference unless, you are a Microsoft Employee, have a Microsoft Partners\<user> account, or work for a company that has a direct federation with Microsoft.
- Tell Microsoft about you and your company
- Agree to Microsoft terms and conditions.
Microsoft Gold Partner
Being a Microsoft Certified Partner is impressive in itself – you get to enjoy a wealth of benefits. Still, if you feel unsatisfied you can try for Microsoft Gold Certified Partner membership to take your business to the next level. Let me remind you, not just anybody can attain this Gold status as it represents the highest level of competence and expertise with Microsoft technologies, and have the closest working relationship with Microsoft.
To earn the title of ‘Microsoft Gold Partner’ organizations have to complete a rigorous set of tests to prove their level of technology expertise. Furthermore, they need to re-enroll in the program every year. Enrollment includes paying a fee and earning enough partner points throughout the year to qualify.
Once the specific requirements are met and the company is declared as being a Microsoft gold certified partner, there are numerous advantages that come along. These companies receive a toolkit which enables its IT specialist to benefit from Microsoft original computer programs such as Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition with MSDN Premium Subscription, TechNet subscriptions, Sales and Marketing Toolkits, etc.