- IN DEPTH: Full wrap of Microsoft World Partner Conference 2010 - news, interviews, slideshows
Microsoft has announced a new partner competency badge to reflect its cloud push.
Called Cloud Accelerate, the badge will be given to partners able to demonstrate a real commitment to the cloud, and in return, it will grant those partners marketplace priority. Those partners who don't qualify will still be required to sign on to the Cloud Essentials sales incentive program.
Partners will be granted 250 free licenses for various Microsoft cloud solutions for use in house, and will also be given access to a wide range of support services from the vendor, from deployment to presales and breakfix support – with a great deal more support going to successful Cloud Acceleate partners.
In a keynote at the 2010 Microsoft Worldwide Partner conference, the vendor's new corporate vice-president for Microsoft Partners, John Roskill, said the vendor had a three-pronged approach to engaging with partners to attack cloud opportunities.
“We're going to help you plan before you jump in, we're going to help you build the brand, and we're going to give you the tools you need to support your customers,” he said.
Microsoft is also offering an online profitability modeller that gives partners considering cloud-based services a three year profit forecast, sales predictions, as well as profit margin estimates.
The badge will be available from November, but partners will be able to apply for it now.