What’s New for Microsoft Partners & How to Market Effectively in Fiscal Year 2024

What’s New for Microsoft Partners & How to Market Effectively in Fiscal Year 2024

Estimated Read Time: 7 minutes 

Intended Audience: Microsoft Partners

Revised August 2023

The Microsoft Partner Network pivoted to the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program in October 2022, shifting its focus towards cloud-based solutions across six solution areas – Business Applications, Data & AI (Azure), Digital App & Innovation (Azure), Infrastructure (Azure), Modern Work, and Security. The program comprises of a portfolio of tools, resources, and offerings to help partners meet evolving customer opportunities, innovate for any cloud scenario on an extensible platform, and deliver successful solutions to industries and markets worldwide. As the Marketing Partner for Microsoft Partners, we have taken it upon ourselves to provide you with timely guidance on how to make the most of the new Partner program, keep up with updates, and strategically plan for this Fiscal Year 2023-24 (FY’24).
Microsoft Partner 6 Solution Designations
Microsoft Partner Solution Designations

Updates to the Microsoft Partner Solution Designation Requirements

Attaining the Solution Partner Designations has been an uphill climb for many Microsoft Partners. However, Microsoft is keen on iterating the path forward to better support its Partner network to succeed in their areas of expertise. From October 2022 until now, Microsoft has updated the thresholds for earning the above-listed Solution Designations. Overall, certifications identified for retirement continue to count toward your Partner Capability Score (PCS) for one year after retirement or until your individual certification expires, whichever is sooner, to give you time to adjust. In addition, there are specific changes across five of the six solutions designations that Partners must be mindful of to maintain their status. Discover these critical updates below by solution path: Solutions Partner for Security
  • You’ll now see two prerequisite certifications that must be met before you start earning points for Solutions Partner Designation for Security. Your prerequisites may now be earned by the same or different individuals.
  • For the Security solution path, starting in December 2023, the prerequisites will need to be earned by two individuals each, and Security Operations Analyst Associate (SC-200) will no longer count as a scoring certification, only as a prerequisite.
  • The Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate (MS-500) certificate for the Solution Partner Designation for Security will remain a prerequisite but will retire June 30, 2023. It will continue to count toward your prerequisites through June 30, 2024, or until your individual certification expires, whichever is sooner.
  • Microsoft Certified: Cybersecurity Architect Expert (SC-100) is now an eligible scoring certification for your Solution Partner Designation for Security; you can earn points for this certification once the prerequisites have been met.
Solutions Partner for Business Applications
  • The following certifications will retire June 30, 2023:
    • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Commerce Functional Consultant Associate
    • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing Functional Consultant Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Power Platform App Maker Associate is not retiring but will be removed from eligibility for intermediate certifications on November 1, 2023. If you have individuals holding this certification, they will not earn points toward your score as of November 1.
Solutions Partner for Digital & App Innovation (Azure) designation
  • The Microsoft Certified: Azure IoT Developer Specialty certification will retire July 31, 2023.
Solutions Partner for Infrastructure (Azure)
  • The Microsoft Certified: Azure Stack Hub Operator Associate certification will retire July 31, 2023.
Solutions Partner for Modern Work
  • Microsoft Viva is now an eligible workload for Modern Work under net customer adds, deployments, and usage growth.
  • The M365 Certified: Collaboration Communications Systems Engineer Associate certification is now an eligible certification for the intermediate certification subcategory.
  • The M365 Certified: Teams Application Developer Associate certification is still available for Partners only.
  • On July 1, 2023, the names of two certifications will change:
    • M365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate certification is changing to M365 Certified: Endpoint Administrator Associate.
    • M365 Certified: Enterprise Admin Expert certification is changing to M365 Certified: Administrator Expert.
Microsoft Partner Fiscal Year
How Microsoft Partners Can Get Ahead of the Curve for Fiscal Year 2023-24

What Has Changed Within the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program

The Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program consolidates all aspects of the Partner lifecycle, including onboarding, skilling, go-to-market, incentives, and co-selling. Partners can enjoy the benefits of the previous program, along with new offerings and benefits specific to AI. The best part – there’s no action required from Partners to transition to the new program.

Microsoft Solutions Co-Sell Program

Announced at Microsoft Inspire 2023, Microsoft is integrating co-sell as a core benefit within the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program and its marketplace. For partners who develop solutions, the pathway to Microsoft’s seller incentives is streamlined through the marketplace by introducing multiparty offer capabilities, fostering a stronger connection between partners who create solutions and those who integrate and sell professional services for deploying these solutions. In addition, Microsoft’s field sellers will be incentivized to deploy and transact customer engagements through your marketplace offers. You can learn more about the co-sell integration at this Microsoft Inspire session.

ISV Success Initiative & Integration

Microsoft launched the ISV success initiative in July 2023, providing ISVs with technical and sales benefits including a free cloud sandbox, software licenses, and access to developer tools. High-performing ISVs can avail expanded benefits, and all build and publish benefits are free in the first year, with discounted packages available afterward. The Microsoft 365 Benefits Program and ISV Connect have been incorporated into ISV Success, further strengthening the value proposition of MCPP.

Investments in Azure Migrate and Modernize + Azure Innovate

In July 2023 Microsoft rebranded the Azure Migration and Modernization Program (AMMP) to Azure Migrate and Modernize, reflecting its commitment to the evolving cloud adoption needs of customers. With increased investments in Azure Migrate and Modernize and the launch of Azure Innovate, a dedicated offering to help customers onboard analytics and AI, Microsoft is catering to every aspect of a customer’s end-to-end cloud journey on Azure. All Azure-specialized Partners have access to these offerings right now in the Partner Center.

Cooperative Marketing Funds Availability for FY’24

Microsoft calculates eligible incentive earnings using a percentage split (such as 60% rebate, 40% co-op). Partners receive the rebate portion at the existing payout cadence for individual programs, and Microsoft accrues the co-op portion of incentive earnings. The timeline for co-op funds is divided into two six-month periods, H1 (first half of the fiscal year, July 1 – December 31) and H2 (second half of the fiscal year, January 1 – June 30), with each period having its earning, usage, and claiming periods. If your co-op earnings are below the threshold in the co-op earning period, they are converted to a rebate at the end of the semester. In Fiscal Year 2024, Partners can expect to see a 250% higher investment in Co-op funding for both Depth and Breadth Partners, compared to FY23. With many new requirements and capabilities rolling out after Microsoft Inspire, Partners can expect to see shifts in core priorities for your designation. For more information and specific recommendations, visit the Co-op Fund Resources.

Staying Ahead of the Curve in Fiscal Year 2023-24

With frequent changes to the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program, Microsoft Partners have the ability to establish themselves in the saturated market by being more proactive and out in front of the target market. Here are ways you can plan for a more successful Fiscal Year 2023-24: Microsoft Partners have the ability to establish themselves in the saturated market by being more proactive and out in front of the target market. Here are ways you can plan for a more successful Fiscal Year 2023-24:

Crafty Selection of Relevant Microsoft Partner Events

The virtual event fatigue is real, and organizations are increasingly craving personable interactions that take place face to face. With technology conferences back in person, it is now more important than ever to get out there and show up for your prospects. You can ensure that Fiscal Year 2023-24 is truly fruitful for your Microsoft Partner business as you show up for your target market.


As Microsoft Partners, you need to carefully select the events where your target market will engage with you. Some of the big names like Microsoft Inspire and Microsoft Ignite (November 15-16, 2023) are important for learning effective new strategies to propel business forward.


On top of that, you must explore regional industry events that are of interest to your clients and prospects. By being out in front, you not only build brand awareness but also earn the trust of attendees as you interact with them in person.


In-person events can be a great lead generation source if done right. To get the best ROI on events, Microsoft Partners must deploy marketing and sales strategies like lead ranking, assigning business development representatives for event attendee follow ups, building a drip campaign to educate and inform consistently and investing time in nurturing them to the end of the funnel.

Microsoft Partner events and conferences
Microsoft Partner Conference

Claiming Authority as a Microsoft Partner

As a Microsoft Partner, you are a thought leader in your field of expertise, but you must convey the same to your audience on a regular basis. Being a Microsoft Partner is more than earning qualifications, you must prove your mettle with your work time and again. An effective channel to build your thought leadership without burning a hole through your marketing budget is creating impactful content. Putting together content that is unique to your organization, clients, and services that only you can claim is a great way to stand out from the competition. Such content can be built in various formats – customer success story, research-based whitepaper, eBook compiled with a panel of experts, etc. Content marketing and promotion is an understated tool for Microsoft Partners. By building a narrative around your mission, vision, and proven success you can truly spotlight the relevance of your business in the oversaturated market.

Find Your Marketing Partner for Microsoft Partners

Accelerate your Fiscal Year 2023-24 marketing efforts with a marketing partner for all your Microsoft Partner Marketing needs. Maven Collective Marketing specializes in helping Microsoft Partners elevate their presence in the technology landscape. Our team of experts will help you take your B2B marketing strategy to the next level. Whether you are a Microsoft Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP), Microsoft Managed Service Provider (MSP), Microsoft Value Added Reseller (VAR), Microsoft Independent Software Vendor (ISV), Microsoft Systems Integrator (SI), or a Microsoft Reseller, we’ve got you covered producing measurable results with Microsoft Partners, like you, for more than a decade. Talk to a Maven today!

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Microsoft Partner Incentives (MPI) and Investments Changes for FY’ 2023

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