Choosing a Microsoft Gold Partner Matters

Choosing a Microsoft Gold Partner Matters

In our daily lives, we often seek out experts who have the knowledge, skills, and experience to get the job done correctly.  Whether it is the stylist who knows the right way to cut your hair, your uncle Bob who is a walking encyclopedia, or the lawyer who helped you draw up important legal documents – their wisdom in a particular area is important to you and you feel comfortable with their recommendations and depend on their results.

The same concept applies when choosing a technology provider for your business.  Invest your time and money with a company whose primary function is to implement and support technologies to meet your needs.  Require a proven track record – and set the bar even higher by partnering with a Microsoft Gold Partner.

So, why is Microsoft Gold Partner status such a big deal?

It’s tough to achieve. Only 1% of Microsoft partners world-wide are considered Gold Partner status. This level of partnership is difficult to achieve and requires a huge commitment to retain.

Gold and Silver Partner status used to be broad categories; not anymore. Now there are 19 different areas of expertise a partner can pursue.  These are called competencies – and can only be earned by demonstrating expertise in a specific area (eg. Application Development, Cloud Productivity, Enterprise Resource Planning, etc.).

 There are requirements. In order to achieve a competency in Gold or Silver, a Partner must meet specific criteria. Silver competencies have less requirements than Gold, but they all require a high-level of expertise and execution.

Here are a few of the things a company must do to become and retain Microsoft Gold Partner status:

  1. Be the expert: partners must take rigorous assessments and/or certification exams in highly technical areas.

A Gold Partner has an army of skilled team members that keep their skills finely honed on the latest and greatest Microsoft technologies. At Arctic IT, we’ve passed over 100 exams, assessments, and certifications that apply towards Microsoft’s competencies. This gives you a deep pool of talent to depend on for your technology needs.

  1. Show me the money: partners must sell certain amounts of “seats” or meet revenue requirements to achieve certain competencies.

In order to meet the revenue requirements, Arctic IT is required to grow our customer base by providing current, relevant solutions to the market.  Maintaining solutions that were implemented a decade ago won’t meet the requirements from Microsoft, and it shouldn’t make customers happy either.  This demonstrates market relevant by actively implementing and expanding on the latest Microsoft technologies.

  1. Pay up: Partners must pay an annual membership fee at either the silver or gold level in order to belong to the elite group of partners.

If this was the only criteria, it would just be a “buy your way in” club – but it’s not the only criteria.  By investing financial resources, Arctic IT is demonstrating our mutual commitment to Microsoft as a partner.  This elevates our status with Microsoft, so you benefit from the best support and resources available.

 

Let’s recap how this relates to choosing a business applications provider

Microsoft Partner status gives an idea of the size and scale of a company. Boutique IT shops don’t have the means or expertise needed to achieve Microsoft Gold Partner status. Choosing a Gold Partner ensures you are teaming with an experienced provider that has a deep pool of talent and maintains market relevance as technology advances. You can also leverage the Gold status partnership benefits with the best support and resources available anywhere.

For more information on Microsoft Competencies, and how each of these can help you with your digital transformation, check out what Microsoft has to say.

Arctic IT is proud to be a Microsoft Gold Partner, and we look forward to teaming with you in these areas: Application Development, Cloud Productivity, Collaboration and Content, Datacenter, Windows and Devices, Cloud Platform, DevOps, Enterprise Resource Planning, and Messaging.

 

By Meara Boling, VP Internal Operations at Arctic IT.