October 24, 2019 update. Microsoft has gone back on their cancellation of the Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions competency – so this will still be available going forward! For reference – see this document. (on QBS Partner Portal – gated).
The Microsoft Incentive guide for indirect CSP resellers for FY20 was made available at the beginning of July. An important moment for you as partner, because sooner or later you will have to deal with the CSP program. The new Incentive guide has triggered us to look again at the changes that Microsoft is making to the associated competencies. After all, an active competency is one of the requirements to be able to participate in the Incentives program (in addition to the official registration and a valid MPN ID). – After reading all the documentation, it is clear to me that Microsoft is tightening up the certification requirements for competencies. When asked why they increased the examination requirements with regard to the old competencies, they answered: “We regularly evaluate our program requirements and raise the bar to meet the expectations and needs of the customer. The updated competency requirements will distinguish our best partners who offer Dynamics 365 solutions for customers.”
Summary of the competency changes for FY20
The following changes are most relevant to you as a QBS partner:
- Cloud CRM (Customer Relationship Management) can no longer be requested or extended from 30 September 2019.
- Cloud Business Applications requirements were updated in July 2019.
- Enterprise Resource Planning will be updated in October 2019.
Impact of the changes to these four competencies
(this first perspective is no longer relevant – but keeping for reference) Let`s go through the above changes. Before July 2019, the possibility was created to obtain the Silver status: Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions based on only 4 new Office 365 customers. With this competency, starting Microsoft partners could relatively easily enrol into the incentives program. Although the competency details are still online, it has officially been retired since last month. Since July 2019 it is therefore no longer possible to apply for this competency. If you are currently participating in the incentives program based on this competency, you will ensure that you have at least one other active Silver competency before the anniversary date!
Note: the competency anniversary date may be closer than you think. For example, if you obtained your competency on 1 September 2018, it will expire on 1 September 2019.
Even if you as a partner currently have a Cloud CRM competency, it is important to keep an eye on the anniversary date. The competency can be applied for until 30 September 2019 and will be extended until 30 September 2020 at the latest. Our advice is to make the switch to the Cloud Business applications (CE option) competency. But please pay attention: whereby before July 2019 cloud + on-premise revenue was considered, only cloud revenue is currently considered. The revenue threshold for the Silver competency is still $ 100,000 per year.
(from here on recommendations are still valid)
For the Cloud Business applications (CE option) competency, stricter requirements also apply with regards to certification. For example, to achieve and maintain Cloud CRM competency, it was sufficient if two consultants held the following certificates:
- one employee: Online deployment (MB2: 715) + a functional certificate: Sales, Customer Service or Field Service (MB2-717 to 719)
- second employee: the Customization & Configuration certificate (MBS2-716).
To achieve the Cloud Business application CE competency, stricter requirements apply in the field of certificates. For example, a minimum of 12 certificates must now be obtained:
- five employees: the Customer Engagement Core certificate (MBS-200) + a functional certificate: Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Field Service (MBS2-210 to MBS2-230) or Talent (MB6-898)
- two of the five employees must also be in possession of the Customization & Configuration certificate (MBS2-716)
Nothing is currently changing for partners with an ERP competency. However, Microsoft has announced changes for October 2019:
- Unified Operations SaaS will be disconnected from the ERP competency and continue under Cloud Business Solutions (uo option). Unified Operations on-premise remains (for the time being) part of the ERP competency.
- Business Central SaaS remains (for the time being) part of the ERP competency, just like Business Central on-premise (and other on-premise ERP products). We will continue to closely monitor what exactly is going to change in October 2019 and inform you as soon as possible.
QBS group helps partners prepare for these changes
As a QBS group partner, you are one of the best-informed Microsoft partners. In order to prepare your organization as quickly and effectively as possible for the coming changes, we organize various (online) training sessions to help you meet the stricter requirements on time. For example, the following training courses are planned for Dynamics 365 CE partners in September and October:
Investment for QBS partners: 2 training vouchers per person per training. All others: EUR 900 per module.