Microsoft is reaching out to partners to provide support as it rolls out revised competencies that come into effect at the end of the month encouraging resellers to adopt more of a cloud position.
The decision by the vendor to tinker with its competencies is against a backdrop of growing demand from customers for cloud and hybrid services from the channel and comes on the back of a recent worldwide partner conference where the vendorput great emphasis on getting resellers to move to a hosted world.
"The cloud market opportunity will reach $108 billion by 2017, and the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) wants to help you take advantage of that future. In order to achieve this we're refreshing our programme to incorporate a greater hybrid and cloud focus," the vendor stated in a blog.
"These MPN programme changes are designed to help [partners] maximise the cloud and hybrid services opportunity by selling the most connected and comprehensive set of solutions," it added.
Under the changes most of the application development tests for Windows Server 2012 are being retired and will be replaced by new competency qualifications that have to come into force by the end of September next year.
There are also new options being added to exams and certifications under the the application integration silver and gold competencies and a raft of additional benefits have been added to the communications, customer relationship management, data platform and devices and deployment, ERP, hosting and intelligence competencies.
Other changes include the merging of server platform and management and virtualisation into a single data centre competency and a renaming of the small business competency to be called small & midmarket cloud solutions.
Most of the changes kick in towards the end of this month but existing competency qualifications will be honoured for a year giving partners the time to embrace the moves introduced now by Microsoft.