A Microsoft Certified Partner, also known as an MCP, is an independent business that provides customers with Microsoft-related products and / or services. They offer a range of Microsoft services on the behalf of Microsoft on a worldwide scale.
The services and products span many different fields, including original equipment manufacturer software, technical support, specialist software and education. Why would anyone want to become a Microsoft Certified Partner? Well, there are benefits. First of all, MCPs receive information about Microsoft products earlier than other users. They also receive a higher level of technical support and less expensive access to Microsoft software licenses. How does Microsoft benefit from this program? Microsoft has a group of very dedicated providers who are smart, and run modern businesses and are always ready to serve Microsoft’s clients’ needs. Microsoft’s Certified Partner certification program is meant for businesses that are successful in applying Microsoft’s technologies and platforms.
Microsoft offers two different types of MCPs. They are the Microsoft Certified Partner and the Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. The Microsoft Gold Certified Partner must pass a much more difficult test to be awarded the “gold” certification. Once they gain that coveted certification they, in turn, have many more services available to them than those that don’t have the gold certification. Every Microsoft Certified Partner must have been trading for at least 5 years, plus they must have passed several tests in accordance with Microsoft’s stringent guidelines, they will also have proven skills in the company’s particular field of work. These partners are rewarded by Microsoft with discounts on tools for their particular field. All of the staff of Microsoft Gold Certified Partners must be able to plan, design, implement and manage all sorts of special computer solutions and environments that are based on Microsoft technology. The Gold Certification program includes all sorts of services: business intelligence, collaborative solutions, hosting, application services, learning solutions and security solutions. To continue as Microsoft Certified Partners, members of the program are obligated to pay a membership fee annually. In return for this fee they gain access to software licenses, early access to Microsoft beta software and all sorts of technical and development information that they can then use in their own businesses and with their own clients. They also get access to up to ten copies of Office XP Developer Edition, twenty copies of Windows XP Professional Operating System and between ten and twenty Client Access License Seats for server access. Microsoft Certified Partners must upgrade their certifications whenever Microsoft releases new platforms or software. This keeps these partners’ certifications up-to-date and ensures that they are familiar with all Microsoft platforms and software. They also have 24 hour access to Microsoft’s support services. This enables MCPs to offer the best in customer relations and support to their clients every day.