Partner Pyramid and Point [Microsoft Small Business Specialist Primer book excerpt]

Yohoho – it’s a fantastic Tuesday morning up here in Seattle and I am now on my second cup of coffeeeeeeeee. Welcome to my virtual book reading. I am the publisher of Microsoft Small Business Specialist Primer and I like to “read” a passage a day up here in the blogsphere. Today is the Microsoft Partner Program’s look (pyramid) and the points associated with it.

Read on!



Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation

Microsoft Small Business Specialist SBSC, MBA, MCSE, MCT, MCP, CNE, CLSE, CNP

PS – did u know I host an annual conference in Seattle each october for SBSers and SMB consultants? This year we help launch SBS 2008 and Essential Business Server (EBS) between October 4-6!

Partner Pyramid

Figure 2-1 presents a graphic view of the Microsoft Partner Program (nothing like a simple graphic drawn on a napkin to convey a concept!).

Figure 2-1

Microsoft’s Partner Program can be viewed as a pyramid.

Starting at the bottom of the Microsoft Partner pyramid, you might be interested to know that the organizational and financial commitment increases as you climb upwards. For example, a Registered Partner simply registers at a Microsoft Partner site. I spell out the requirements to become a Small Business Specialist in great detail in the next section. A Certified Partner needs to have two Microsoft Certified Professionals on staff, earn 50 Partner Points and pay an annual fee to join the Microsoft Partner Program. A Gold Certified Partner pays the same fee but has to achieve additional milestones, such as more Partner Points and competency requirements.

There are other requirements to become a Certified Partner and Gold Certified Partner that I won’t explore here (the above discussion is a sampling to provide context). Visit for complete Microsoft Partner Program details. Kindly note that Microsoft Partner Program requirements often change and I do not attempt with this book to present the most current information. Just like the “cyber professor” likes to remark: check the Web for the latest updates.

Chapter 2Small Business Specialist Community

Partner Points

Partner Points are part of the Partner Program and a scorecard Microsoft uses to reward its most committed top performers. The official definition is touted on the Partner Point web site:

Partner Points are designed to create a level playing field for solutions partners of all sizes. As a solutions partner you can qualify as a Certified Partner or Gold Certified Partner in the Microsoft Partner Program based on the number of Partner Points earned. This qualification method recognizes your success in the marketplace, gives you a great deal of flexibility, and helps open up the highest program levels to partners of all sizes and types. ( partnerpoints)

As you will read later, when you become a Small Business Specialist, you are awarded up to 25 Partner Points!


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