Athlete raising a gold medal. Read our blog to discover how to become a Microsoft Gold Partner

Becoming a Microsoft Gold Partner is about more than bragging rights. It proves you have the technical skill and expertise to deliver best-in-class solutions that meet your customers’ needs in an evolving technology landscape.

Earning Gold status is easier said than done. So, in this article, we outline the steps you must take and the requirements you must meet to join the elite of Microsoft’s Partner Program. We also explain why it pays to go for Gold.

How to become a Microsoft Gold Partner

Step 1. Select your Partner offer

The Microsoft Partner Network features a range of Partner offers that allow you to build on the basic benefits that come with a network membership.

Microsoft's Action Pack, for example, is a great starting point for those who are new to the network. While MSPs that want to develop their expertise in a specific product may prefer one of the tech giant's Advanced Specialisations.

But if you want to earn Gold Partner status, you must select the Competencies option.

The Microsoft Partner Network

“When you join a Microsoft Partner Program, you become part of a global community that connects you to the relationships, insights, tools, resources, and programs you need to amaze your customers and drive business growth.”

Microsoft

 

Step 2. Earn your Gold Competencies

To achieve Gold Partner status, you must earn several Gold Competencies. There are 18 in total, split into four categories – each representing a specific area of business and technology:

  • Applications & infrastructure
  • Business applications
  • Data & AI
  • Modern workplace & security

Competencies “demonstrate your proven expertise in delivering quality solutions in one or more specialised areas of business”. But to prove your proficiency in any of the 18 competencies, you must successfully complete an exam, pass a skill validation, and meet a host of other competency requirements.

These differ depending on the option you select.

Discover how to transition to a CSP indirect reseller with our guide.

Step 3. Submit five customer references

Microsoft will only approve your Gold Partner status if you can submit five customer references. These references verify your best-in-class capabilities to deliver Microsoft solutions in real-world conditions.

Securing a great customer reference is like getting a case study or review. Just make sure the feedback you receive is specific, timely, and relevant to your chosen competencies.

Step 4. Pay the annual subscription fee

Finally, to register your business as a Gold Partner, you must pay an annual fee.

The annual fee for a Gold Competency is £3,100 ($4,730 in the US). Bear in mind that Microsoft may apply additional taxes and fees on top of this. You have a 90-day window to renew your membership each year if you want to retain your status.

Note:

To avoid confusion, Microsoft prevents you from purchasing an annual subscription if you haven’t met the competency requirements stipulated by your selected option.

Competency requirements

In addition to the exam and skill validation, each Gold Competency has specific training and revenue requirements.

Requirements vary depending on the competency and option you select. But there are several common Microsoft Gold Partner competency requirements that apply across the board:

  • Microsoft Certified Trainers: You must have at least four fully qualified Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs) in your team.
  • Licensing Review Assessment: At least one of your MCTs must pass the Licensing Review Assessment.
  • Sales and Marketing Assessment: At least two of your MCTs must pass the Sales and Marketing Assessment.
  • Partner Points: As a company, you must earn a minimum of 120 partner points.

Head over to the Microsoft website for more information about competency requirements.

Why it pays to go for Gold

You can't become a Gold-Certified Partner without a lot of hard work and dedication, but it's worth the effort.

Enhance your go-to-market offering

Microsoft Gold Partners can enhance their solutions with powerful go-to-market offerings, including Microsoft-based IT products and services. This helps you attract new customers and expand your business.

Strengthen your position in the market

When choosing an MSP for their business, discerning customers may only select those that are Gold-certified. Earning your competencies demonstrates you're a trusted advisor and an expert in specific areas of technology.

Improve your knowledge and skills

Technology is constantly evolving, and it can be difficult to keep up with the latest developments. As a Gold Partner, you can take advantage of exclusive training workshops, community events, and resources to improve your knowledge and skills.

Access the latest news and ongoing support

Microsoft Gold Partner status entitles you to ongoing technical support. You’ll also receive the latest news and product updates, directly from Microsoft.

Provide additional value to your customers

Every Microsoft Gold-Certified Partner can claim up to 100 additional licenses for their chosen Microsoft products, so you can deliver extra value to your customers.

Unlock new opportunities in the Microsoft Partner Network

Whether you’re an established direct partner or an indirect reseller, establishing your business as a Microsoft solutions expert opens the door to a world of new opportunities – for you and your customers.

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