Microsoft Certified Partner
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A Microsoft Certified Partner is an independent company 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 Microsoft Certified Partners 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 also have 24-hour access to Microsoft Support, which enables them to give better customer relations and support to a customer. Every Microsoft Certified Partner 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.
- "Microsoft Certified Partner". Microsoft. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- "Microsoft Partner Network - Microsoft Business UK". Support.microsoft.com. Retrieved 2013-06-15.