In a move which is shaking the foundations of the CRM industry select Microsoft Dynamics partners no longer need to go through as much training as other providers. Gold and silver partners no longer have to engage in some of the additional training which was required previously. Many are speculating as to why the company did this but they have their own rationale we cannot be sure about. At any rate this will certainly lead to some serious shake-ups all around.
So which programs are being cut that may have an impact on your business? The technical, pre-sales and sales certifications are being removed. Many understand why the pre-sales and sales certifications are being removed as many businesspeople already had training in these areas. Companies also had their own ways of training people in those areas as well.
Nonprofit accounting software and other aspects of management are easy to train for when you have competent teachers. Since a large amount of their business relies on having businesspeople demand their software due to this training it is a good investment on Microsoft’s part as well. On that note it is unclear whether these requirements being lifted is a good or bad thing. Only watching the industry for the next few years will be able to tell us that. For now we should examine the event itself.
It does not appear that the various training programs which the company offers will be cut back due to this. There will still be many seminars and other training courses on this. The impact it will have is a reduction in the number of places offering the training courses which are no longer needed. When demand falls supply also falls and this will not change at all. This would of course also lower demand for other tools as well.
So how does everyone feel about this? Partners are in an uproar over this, either feeling very good about the relaxed requirements or are quite bothered by them. In both cases it has ignited a storm of discussion among all those interested in the industry from top to bottom. Many find it puzzling because previously the requirements had become more and stricter over time. Therefore this change came way out of the blue.
As for their public reasons for this they claim that many of their partners asked for customized training just for them. Since the programs required for training were very specific they asked for other options. Therefore their stance is that they aren’t trying to encourage lax training but are trying to free up flexibility for individual partners. Whether all partners will hold up to their normal standards remains to be seen.
Along with these relaxed requirements comes a new, stricter requirement as well. Cloud competencies will be tested for the first time and partners will need to show that they can use cloud features at a high level. This makes sense because the cloud architecture has been pushed every step of the way. While no new tests have been announced it seems quite possible that there could be others in the future as well.