Choose the Right IT Expert, Application or Service for Your Business
MPN and Microsoft Partner Competencies Can Help
Now it’s easier than ever to identify trusted Microsoft partners—those IT experts who can deliver innovative, proven solutions built on Microsoft technologies to support your business and give you a competitive advantage.
When you search Microsoft Pinpoint for software applications, professional services or technology consultants, look for Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) certification and competency "badges" on company profiles and application and services listings.
Earned by Microsoft partner companies through the Microsoft Partner Network rigorous partner certification programme, these badges are your assurance that a Microsoft partner has met specific criteria that ensure the quality and reliability of the applications or services they offer.
Competencies and Certification Levels: What They Mean to Your Search
On Pinpoint you can filter your company searches by area of software or hardware expertise, known as Microsoft competencies. Just identify your business challenge, and then match it to the most appropriate Microsoft competency. Microsoft recognises 25 different partner competencies, each of which maps to a specific business customer IT need. For each competency, partners may attain two designations of expertise - Silver or Gold.
- Partners with a Silver competency have demonstrated high-level expertise and a specialised, proven skill set in a given technology or service area. Microsoft recognises these partners for their exceptional commitment to strengthening customer relationships by offering effective, innovative business solutions.
- Partners with a Gold competency have demonstrated the highest, most specialised ability and commitment in a specific business solution area. Microsoft recognises them for offering best-in-class solutions to customers and for undergoing a rigorous, auditable approval process.
The Microsoft Partner Network also awards certification badges to partners with exceptional capabilities and experience in three unique specialisation areas:
- Microsoft Small Business Specialists have proven experience creating solutions for small businesses.
- Microsoft Cloud Accelerate Partners have vast experience developing and delivering web-based solutions to customers.
- CfMD: Business Solutions Certified for Microsoft Dynamics Partners are tested and proven to meet Microsoft’s highest standards for Microsoft Dynamics solutions.
No matter what your specific business technology need, Microsoft Pinpoint makes it simple to search for a Microsoft partner best suited to help you.
Microsoft Partner Network Competencies
- Application Development
- Partners with this competency have proven expertise in developing innovative applications using Microsoft platform technologies, including Windows Server and Windows 8 operating systems, the Windows Azure platform, Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 development system, and emerging cloud-based and web business models. (Formerly the Independent Software Vendor (ISV)/Software, Software Development and Web Development competencies.)
- Application Integration
- These partners specialise in integrated solutions that connect critical business information, enabling your organisation to be more nimble. They’re experts in building solutions around Microsoft BizTalk Server, Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services and Microsoft .NET.
- Application Lifecycle Management
- These partners are experts at deploying and providing training and consultation for Microsoft Visual Studio development system software, including Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate.
- Partners with this competency are skilled sales and licensing professionals. They specialise in helping Microsoft reseller partners configure even the most complicated licensing solutions for their customers.
- Business Intelligence
- These partners are pros at delivering solutions that address your specific reporting and analysis requirements at all levels of business, and across multiple devices.
- Collaboration and Content
- These experts offer solutions that connect teams, improve access to information and increase productivity. Their solutions are based on Microsoft SharePoint, SQL Server, Visual Studio and other technologies. (Formerly the Content Management, Portals and Collaboration, and Search competencies.)
- The Communications competency recognises a partner’s expertise in implementation design, deployment and support of Microsoft Lync. The Silver Communications competency shows capabilities around IM/Presence and Conferencing, and the Gold Communications competency demonstrates further expertise in enterprise voice and video, PBX integration and Lync Online. This competency was formerly an aspect of the Unified Communications competency.
- Customer Relationship Management
- Partners with this specialism are proficient in building and deploying business management solutions built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and related applications, including the Microsoft Office suites, Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft SharePoint Server.
- Data Platform
- These partners can help you effectively manage and protect critical systems and information with their database solutions based on Microsoft SQL Server data management software.
- Devices and Deployment
- Leaders in selling, deploying and supporting the Windows operating system (including Windows 8), Microsoft Office, Windows Internet Explorer and Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), these experts also specialize in keeping your IT environment secure and well managed while supporting users with broad device access. (Formerly called the Desktop competency.)
- Digital Marketing
- These partners are experts in developing rich Internet solutions on Microsoft SharePoint 2010 for Internet Sites, Microsoft FAST Search Server technology and the Microsoft Silverlight browser plug-in. Using a unified platform for intranet, extranet and Internet sites, they offer solutions that are highly functional, scalable, flexible and secure.
- Enterprise Resource Planning
- Partners with this competency develop Microsoft Dynamics business management solutions. They have the skills, expertise and resources to deploy financial and supply chain management solutions to address your critical business priorities.
- These experts can help you to offset the cost of maintaining critical business applications by hosting IT services and applications for you. They maintain their own data centres or act as a reseller or agency of services hosted by Microsoft.
- Identity and Access
- Partners with this competency are experts in building solutions that help you access and protect corporate information across data centers and the cloud, enabling secure access from any location and any device. (Formerly known as Identity and Security.)
- Partners with this speciality have proven themselves leaders in providing software and technology training programs to Microsoft customers. They have access to Official Microsoft Learning Products and services, and they offer courses in a variety of formats—from instructor-led classroom training to online tutorials.
- Management and Virtualisation
- Formerly two separate competencies, this single competency distinguishes partners who design, sell or deploy management or virtualisation solutions. These certified experts leverage Microsoft’s unique integration of hypervisor and management technologies to help customers secure a reliable and cost-effective technology platform, improve datacentre operations, deliver reliable services and lower costs.
- The Messaging competency recognises a partner’s expertise in implementation design, deployment and support of Microsoft Exchange Server. In addition, the Gold Messaging competency highlights specialisation in archiving, security and voicemail, as well as helping customers with their journey to the cloud to Exchange Online. This competency was formerly an aspect of the Unified Communications competency.
- Midmarket Solution Provider
- These partners are experts in providing solutions based on the most current technology to help midmarket businesses meet their unique challenges. They have a deep understanding of midmarket business processes, infrastructure needs and future growth costs.
- Mobile solutions are critical in today’s decentralised workforce. Partners with this competency are experts in providing innovative mobile solutions that seamlessly integrate with your current IT infrastructures and enable your business to operate more efficiently.
- These partners are industry leaders in designing, manufacturing, assembling or reselling quality hardware solutions optimised for the Microsoft platform.
- Project and Portfolio Management
- A flexible, efficient, easy-to-use project management tool can increase business productivity while trimming overhead costs. Partners with this speciality are experts in developing and implementing robust enterprise project management (EPM) solutions based on Microsoft Project software.
- Server Platform
- Partners with this competency are experts in designing, building, deploying and supporting the Windows Server operating system, Windows Server–based applications and the Microsoft server infrastructure. They can help you meet a variety of IT goals, from reducing infrastructure costs to improving your disaster recovery system.
- Small Business
- These experts are qualified to recommend and deliver on-site and cloud-based solutions geared to small businesses and built on Microsoft Windows, Windows Server, Windows Small Business Server and Office 365.
- Software Asset Management
- A comprehensive software asset management strategy can help you to significantly reduce the total cost of software ownership and improve operational efficiency. Partners with this area of expertise offer software asset and licence management services to organisations of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises.
- Volume Licensing
- Acquiring and managing software licences can be complex and daunting. To simplify the process, these partners offer Microsoft Volume Licensing solutions and services. Not only can they help with your licensing decisions, they can help you get the most return on your IT investments.
Additional Microsoft Partner Network Certifications
- Microsoft Small Business Specialists
- Partners with this badge have proven expertise in building, customising, deploying and supporting IT solutions for small businesses. They have an intimate understanding of small business processes, infrastructure needs and future growth expenses.
- Microsoft Cloud Accelerate Partners
- Partners with this badge are experts in the design, deployment and customisation of web-based products and services. They've proven themselves masters at providing advanced cloud-computing solutions to help customers reduce IT overhead.
- CfMD: Business Solutions Certified for Microsoft Dynamics
Partners with the Certified for Microsoft Dynamics badge are tested and proven to meet Microsoft’s highest standards for partner solutions, including:
- Software Application Test — To confirm the application’s compatibility with Microsoft Dynamics
- Customer Evidences — To ensure that this solution has already been repeatedly deployed before
- Microsoft Partner Network status — To provide assurance that the solution provider’s company has the skills, expertise and resources to deploy solutions
- Support capabilities — To clearly understand how the application will be supported in the future
- Software escrow — To protect your technology in case the solution provider goes out of business