IAMCP directors gathered at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, WA.

Front Row (L to R): AJ Ansari (Houston, President), Joseph Khalaf (DFW, President), Eddie Bader (SoCal, Americas President), Cheryl Salazar (Seattle, Events Chair), Tom Ireland (New Jersey, President), Susan Sanders (Chicago, DEI & Skilling Chair), Judy Nichols (Virtual US/Canada, President), John Nicolau (Chicago, Treasurer, Delegate & LCD Chair)

Back Row (L to R): John Zarei (Canada, President & Canada Chair), Frank Buttaro (Philadelphia, President), Kevin Clemons (San Diego, President), Stephen Tanner (SoCal, President/P2P Chair), Craig Zimmerman (Carolinas, President), Mario Moreno (Mexico, President), Eduardo Cerda (LATAM Virtual, President), Steve DiMarco (Microsoft, Senior Business Program Manager/IAMCP), David Huseonica (Atlanta, President)

In September, I attended the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) Americas Board of Directors retreat at Microsoft’s corporate headquarters in Redmond, WA. A primary topic of conversation amongst the IAMCP Americas BOD team and with Microsoft executives was the significant changes to the Microsoft Partner Program announced earlier this year.

On Monday, October 3rd, the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) was renamed the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP).

In short, Microsoft is streamlining the existing eighteen (18) Partner Competencies into six (6) Solution Partner designations that align with the Microsoft Cloud and their go-to-market strategy. The new, single-tier designation model will be known as the Solutions Partner designation and will combine the Silver and Gold competencies from the (now legacy) MPN partner program.

Since Nightstar Partners’ inception fifteen years ago, our core strength as a Microsoft Partner has been our people. Our team holds the following Microsoft certifications: 3091 (Azure Security Engineer Associate); AZ-500 (Microsoft Azure Security Technologies); 3082 (Azure DevOps Engineer Expert); MS-500 (MS 365 Security Administration); 3140 (MS Azure Developer Associate); 480 (Programming in HTML5 w/JavaScript and CSS3).

In 2020, Nightstar Partners became a Microsoft Gold Partner and certified our developers and engineers in numerous competencies surrounding Microsoft Azure Cloud, DevOps, and other application solution disciplines.

To attain the new solutions partner designation, we will need to demonstrate our capabilities in:

  • Performance (net customer adds)
  • Skilling (intermediate and advanced certifications)
  • Customer success (usage growth and solutions deployments)

Microsoft has consistently recognized our skilling capabilities through longtime certified professional associations, which we will continue to invest and build upon. We are now working towards having Microsoft formally recognize our work with our clients and other Microsoft partners through partner (customer) associations, a new requirement for MCPP.

As a professional IT services firm, we provide ‘smart hands’ and agile support teams for SMB clients and Microsoft partners. We leverage Microsoft’s modern application development stack and methodologies, enabling us to innovate rapidly using cloud-native architectures with loosely coupled microservices, managed databases, AI, DevOps support, and built-in monitoring. We have provided and will continue to support custom application development and design, network operations center (NOC), and DevOps services to ISVs, MSPs, and not-for-profits and SMBs.

We have been a longtime and successful Microsoft Partner by adapting to changes in the market (as well as in Microsoft) and remain committed to a long-term strategic relationship with the company.

A selfie of IAMCP directors gathered at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, WA.

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