What It Means To Be A Microsoft Partner


You can find a lot of information online regarding a Microsoft partnership. Truth to be told, so much information that it almost becomes too much. We condensed all of this information for you into a blog that provides you with a summary that covers all the necessary points. Be sure to use it to your advantage.


Microsoft Partnership

Microsoft Partner Network, also known as MPN, is designed by Microsoft to make resources available to a wide variety of tech companies so that they can build a business around Microsoft technologies.

Since the time of inception in 2001, Microsoft has invested heavily in MPN. As of now there are 64,000 partners, vendors, and solution providers that either build or sell solutions based on Microsoft technologies and platforms.


Microsoft Partnership Network levels

The Microsoft Partner Network program consists of three levels which are the Network Level, Action Pack Level, and Competency Level.

Network Level

This is the easiest to achieve but offers fewer advantages. Some of the advantages of this level include:

  1. Product training – online courses, virtual labs, study material to increase your sales, technical and marketing skills.
  2. A standard listing in Microsoft Pinpoint Marketplace.
  3. Incentives for cloud-related sales.
  4. Access to product promotions and other offers.
  5. No annual fee.

Action Pack Level

This is also known as the Microsoft Action Pack Subscription and comes with multiple benefits such as:

  1. 10 internal-use licenses for each Microsoft application.
  2. Unlimited access to the Partner Learning Center.
  3. Microsoft Student-to-Business program, which helps you connect your entry-level employees trained in Microsoft technologies.
  4. Optimized listing in the Microsoft Pinpoint Online Marketplace.
  5. Access to Microsoft LicenseWise for Volume License self-service web applications, which recommends Microsoft products best tailored for your Volume Licensing customers.
  6. Partner Marketing Center and Demo Showcase campaign tools which provide customer-ready marketing support.
  7. Microsoft currently charges a $475 annual feel for this level.

Silver Competency Level

To attain a Silver level of Microsoft Partnership Network, a partner must pass the required exams and skill validation, meet the performance criteria, and pay an annual fee of $1,670 per year. Microsoft offers a list of benefits for a Silver level of MPN:

  1. 25 internal-use licenses for each Microsoft software application.
  2. A Silver-competency Certified Partner Logo, which displays your company's industry experience in providing services, software, and support for Microsoft technology. The logo can be used in your company's marketing and promotional material, including on your website.
  3. 20 Partner advisory hours which provide phone and online support from Microsoft personnel, extending technical, business, and competitive sales help.
  4. Eligibility for business planning support from a Microsoft Partner Account Manager.
  5. Eligibility for discounts on Windows phone plans and devices.
  6. A prioritized listing with Silver-competency designation on Microsoft Pinpoint.
  7. Licensing, solutions, and cloud incentives.
  8. Technical presales help for deals worth more than $3,000.
  9. Unlimited online tech support, unlimited phone support for critical problems, and phone support for five noncritical problems.

Gold Competency Level

This is the highest level of MPN. To attain this level, partners must pass the required exams and skill validation, meet performance requirements, and pay the annual fee of $4,730. This level of MPN provides maximum benefits such as:

  1. 100 internal-use licenses for each Microsoft application.
  2. A ‘premier’ listing with Gold competency designation in Microsoft Pinpoint.
  3. 50 Partner advisory hours.
  4. The Gold certified partner logo.
  5. A Microsoft Gold Certified Partner announcement kit press release, which is drafted to announce your Gold status.


How to join a Microsoft Partner Network

Joining a Microsoft Partner Network is simple. If you fall into one or more of the categories listed below, then you’re welcome to join a Microsoft Partner Network:

  1. Independent Software Vendor (ISV) – Build commercial software, applications, and add-ins that run on Microsoft products.
  2. Managed Service Provider (MSP) – Deliver value added, outsourced IT services.
  3. Reseller or distributor – Resell or distribute Microsoft products or enable a partner channel.
  4. System Integrator (SI) or Consultant – Integrate solutions, create custom solutions, or consult on Microsoft products.
  5. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) – Manufacture devices, parts, and equipment.
  6. Consumer developer – Develop consumer applications like Xbox Games and Windows Apps.

You must have your company email address and company info to join the MPN.


Competency areas

Your company should show a certain level of competency in order to attain a Silver or Gold level of MPN. Silver and gold competency levels have different requirements for each of the areas. If you’re a reseller then you may be required to reach a sales target, if you’re a software development company then you may be required to attain a certain number of certified professionals in each competency area.

Rare Crew is a Gold Microsoft partner in Application Development, Application Integration, Cloud Platform and Datacenter. Rare Crew has agreed to collaborate and establish a close working relationship with Microsoft. Having a Gold Partnership means Rare Crew has earned the highest standards of Microsoft's widely recognized partnership program.

Rare Crew’s recognition by Microsoft also means that we meet and exceed the technical expertise and standards set by Microsoft through rigorous, industry-proven, and industry-recognized measures.


Why engage with a Microsoft Gold Partner like Rare Crew?

Whether you have a requirement for Application Development or want to consult about the feasibility of technology, there are numerous reasons why you should choose a Microsoft Gold Certified partner for your business’ needs.

Always up to date with the latest technologies

Microsoft tech solutions are always evolving, which is why it’s important to choose a partner like Rare Crew that stays up to date with technology.

Maintain the highest standards

Microsoft sets rigorous standards for its Gold Certified partners. For example, a Microsoft Gold Certified partner should have at least 15 individuals who have passed various core value exams and at least 5 of them are required to pass a number of specialty exams.

Always connected to Microsoft

Given the level of expertise offered by Microsoft Gold Partners, you can expect that they’ll be able to handle the most technical issues without having to contact Microsoft for support. But when a difficult situation arises and there’s a need to reach out to Microsoft for assistance, Gold Partners are in an excellent position to get the help they need fast. With access to advanced support partners in Microsoft Business Solutions, fast response times, and the ability to escalate cases when needed, Gold Partners have a direct link with Microsoft that’s valuable for your business.

Proof of concepts

Microsoft Gold Partners such as Rare Crew have access to a number of product licenses that other partners don’t have. This enables them to develop various demos and proof of concepts for clients. This valuable resource saves clients the cost of purchasing licenses and fully investing in implementation before trying out the solution.


As a Gold Microsoft Partner, Rare Crew specializes in making it easier to do business, technical know-how, simplifying processes, and reducing risks. With agility, expertise, and industry solutions, Rare Crew embraces projects which many tech companies may avoid due to the complexity.



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