Microsoft Certified Partner
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Microsoft Certified Partners (MCP) are those independent companies that provides Microsoft-related products or services.
Microsoft Certified Partners are independent companies who can help customers with a range of IT projects and specific IT solutions. Whilst not as accredited to provide support to the same level as a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for Support Services, many MCPs offer support as part of their portfolio of offerings.
Microsoft Certified Partners provide Microsoft services on behalf of Microsoft worldwide spanning many fields including OEM, education, software providers and technical support. Microsoft partners have 24-hour access to Microsoft Support, which enables them to give better customer support. Every MCP has been in business for at least 5 years, has passed several tests, and has proven skills in their particular field. Microsoft rewards these partners with discounts in tools that are applicable to their activities. For example, in the educational field this might take the form of licenses to Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.
In return for participation in the program, partners gain support services and tools from Microsoft, often at a significant discount to their face value. However, over the lifetime of the contract some risk is transferred from Microsoft to the MCP in return for the benefits of the association with Microsoft and the ability to sell the support services.
Microsoft Gold Certified Partner
Microsoft Gold Certified Partners are Microsoft's most highly accredited independent technical support providers and offer a comprehensive range of support for Microsoft and multi-vendor products. This support includes data management, software development, application development and others. Companies can get certified as a partner through a rigorous process that ensures proper use of licensing and equipment. Becoming a partner also requires the use of Microsoft technology as the primary platform for the company. Companies using competing products will have a difficult time becoming a partner. Also being listed as a MCP does not indicate that a company is good or bad in providing products or services to people with Microsoft products.
Microsoft Certified Training Partner
A Microsoft Certified Training Partner is an independent information technology training company (i.e. not owned by Microsoft that is officially approved by Microsoft to provide technical training and expertise for Microsoft products a part of the MCP Program.
The content of the IT training courses provided by Microsoft Certified Training Partner companies are certified by Microsoft as regards the accuracy of the instruction given. To receive the certification, a Microsoft Certified Training Partner must demonstrate a broad range of expertise in Microsoft Products. Microsoft Certified Instructors are required to have real-world expertise in Microsoft products as well as hold current Microsoft IT Certifications.
Microsoft Certified Training Partner Levels
Microsoft Certified Training Partner is the basic level of the Microsoft Certified Training Partner Program. These companies have paid a fee to become a Microsoft Certified Training Partner. These companies must pay to use Microsoft tools and support.
Microsoft Gold Certified Partner is the highest level of the Microsoft Certified Partner Program. These companies have free access to the tools and support they require from Microsoft.
- "Microsoft Certified Partner". Microsoft. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- "Microsoft Partner Network - Microsoft Business UK". Support.microsoft.com. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
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