Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) - Kicks Off By October 2010

What is Microsoft Partner Network (MPN).

It used to be called Microsoft Partner Program (MSPP).

Now it has a new name and some new cool stuffs.

In MSPP, there will be 4 types of membership.
  1. Registered Member (free)
  2. Subscriptions
  3. Small business specialist
  4. Partner
Now under MPN, there will be just 3 types:
  1. Community (free)
  2. Subscriptions
  3. Competency
They want to make it simple as compared to previous MSPP where it requires a lot of steps to get even into ISV under subscriptions level. Now, all you have to do is to complete four steps:
  1. Sign in (using Windows Live ID)
  2. Join MPN
  3. Complete your profile
  4. Place an order for subscriptions
Under 'Competency' level, there are two types 1.) Silver and 2.) Gold. Basically, for you to get into the competency level, you have to go through at least one time of subscriptions level which consists of two types of Microsoft Action Pack (MACK); 1.) MACK Solutions Provider 2.) MACK Design and development. To subscribe for MACK, you need to have a company web site (for verification) to show that you are really in the business of IT, otherwise, it is illegal. In order to get into 'Competency' level, you have to go through certain assessments.

Differences between MACK Solutions Provider and MACK Development and Design ?

MACK Solutions Provider:
  • Cost: USD 279
  • Technet availability
MACK Development and Design:
  • Cost: USD 379
  • MSDN availability
  • 10 hours of advisory services.
Since it is the vision of MPN to cater for the concept of community for developers, thus all subscriptions and competency levels will be entitled for free access to online technical community portal known as 'Partner Online Technical Community' where you will gain the advantage of ask-technical-questions and get-sure-reply-from-Microsoft.

This is pretty cool, it means that if you are wondering how to 'reduce CPU utilization' of your application, you can post your questions there and someone from Microsoft or from the MPN community will attend to your shortly. According to Ms.Pauline Lee (Regional Program Manager), they will guarantee that any questions will be attended to professionally.

MPN will official start by October 2010. The cost for silver competency is USD 1605 while for gold competency is USD 3135.

And finally, the once famous term ISV (Independent Software Vendor) program is retired. The ISV program was used to be bigger term for Microsoft Action Pack (MACK). ISV has now become a type of competency, which to me means software house.

Just one more thing. Microsoft Pinpoint is a feature under MPN which will help partners (either silver or gold competency) to get sales lead. Potential customers which browse through Microsoft related website for solutions will be routed to respective partners based on competency area. For instance, if you are competency in terms of business analytics, then potential sales lead for such will be routed to you. This can be helpful for local companies to gain international exposure.