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In-Depth

Who Are Microsoft's 'Most Competent' Partners?

Which Microsoft partners are the "biggest of the best" in terms of competencies? RCP scoured thousands of pages of the Microsoft Pinpoint directory to find the 50 Microsoft partners worldwide with the most Microsoft competencies.

One of the problems Microsoft created the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) to solve was the partner who could claim to be a jack-of-all-trades but was a master of none.

The issue was often best personified in the example of a one-man shop at the Gold Certified Partner level with multiple Microsoft Partner Program competencies. It was actually a good situation for small shops with broad knowledge of the Microsoft stack that was generally deep enough for SMB customers with relatively shallow IT requirements. But for Microsoft -- and for those customers with more sophisticated requirements -- it left a partner program with no way to identify top partners with truly deep subject matter expertise.

Microsoft's solution was the MPN, with its subject-matter-specific competencies. The stringent gold competency typically requires four unique Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) to pass a technical exam; two employees to pass a sales and marketing assessment; and one employee to pass a licensing assessment, which applies to all competencies. The less stringent silver competency requires two MCPs to pass a technical exam, one employee to pass a sales and marketing test, and one employee to pass a licensing assessment. Unlike for gold, MCPs for silver can qualify as MCPs toward other silver competencies.

The tradeoff was that in jettisoning the organization-wide designations of Gold Certified Partner and Certified Partner, partners no longer have a straightforward way of declaring overall Microsoft expertise.

What the MPN competency system creates, however, is the ability for very large partners with truly broad and deep expertise across the Microsoft solution stack to rack up impressive numbers of competencies that firmly establish them as the biggest of the best.

Microsoft doesn't promote partners this way, but the company's online database of partner companies and solutions, Microsoft Pinpoint, holds some answers. RCP was able to identify the partners with the most competencies by paging through the Microsoft Pinpoint directory, country by country, in search of those with the most competencies.

METHODOLOGY

Silver and gold competency information, as well as status in the Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC) and Cloud Essentials program, comes from each company's entry in the Microsoft Pinpoint directory. Data was collected in May and June of 2012.

To rank the companies, RCP generated a score for each partner company consisting of:
  1. Two points for each gold competency
  2. One point for each silver competency
  3. One point for SBSC membership
  4. One point for Cloud Essentials participation

What follows is RCP's list of the 50 "most competent" partners worldwide in the MPN. For a partner to reach the top of this list required an engineering department with nearly 100 MCPs and more than $2 million in gold competency revenue commitments.

We say "most competent" with tongue partly in cheek. A quick glance through the Microsoft Partner Awards each year makes it obvious that some partners with as few as one competency have a depth of expertise in that area that makes their work exceptional. Nonetheless, the partners on this list bring something equally extraordinary. For customers, it's the ability to look beyond a specific RFP to underlying companywide issues and identify integrated solutions that leverage the "better together" aspects of the Microsoft stack. For Microsoft, it's the ability to handle large, multiproduct implementations across geographies. For third-party vendors, it's the ability to move the needle on multinational sales of new Microsoft-related hardware, software or services.

Rank Company Country Gold Silver SBSC Cloud
1 Avanade U.S.A. 23 1 0 1
2 Intergrupo S.A. Colombia 16 9 0 1
3 Allen Brazil 15 9 1 1
4 Fujisoft Inc. Japan 15 8 1 1
5 COMPAREX Germany 12 11 0 1
6 HP U.S.A. 13 7 1 0
7 Catapult Systems Inc. U.S.A. 12 8 1 1
8 Softline Group Russia 13 6 0 1
9 RealDolmen Belgium 12 9 0 0
10 Sogeti * France 14 2 1 1
11 Tieto Corp. Finland 14 2 1 0
12 Proge-Software Italy 12 5 1 0
13 Dimension Data S. Africa 10 9 0 1
14 Navantis Canada 10 8 1 1
15 Dell Inc. U.S.A. 10 8 1 1
16 Neos-SDI France 13 2 0 1
17 Diyar United Co. Kuwait 11 6 1 0
18 Capgemini Group France 10 8 1 0
19 Wipro Ltd. India 8 11 1 1
20 Inventec Group Taiwan 4 20 1 0
21 Otsuka Japan 12 2 1 1
22 InfoShot Services and Solutions Brazil 8 11 1 0
23 AutoCont CZ Czech Rep. 8 10 1 1
24 Getronics Global Services B.V. Netherlands 10 7 0 0
25 Logica U.K. 10 6 1 0
26 EMC U.S.A. 9 8 1 0
27 Senetic Poland 7 12 1 0
28 Cognizant Technology Solutions U.S.A. 11 4 0 0
29 Gateway TechnoLabs India 10 5 1 0
30 Wortell Netherlands 9 6 1 1
31 Insight U.S.A. 7 10 1 1
32 Atos France 9 7 0 0
33 OKsystem S.R.O. Czech Republic 7 10 1 0
34 Perficient U.S.A. 8 7 0 1
35 Cronos NV Belgium 8 6 1 1
36 2Sky NV Belgium 8 6 1 1
37 ACP IT Solutions Austria 7 10 0 0
38 Kabel Information Systems Ltd. Spain 7 8 1 1
39 DEPO Computers Russia 10 3 0 0
40 The Reply Network Italy 9 5 0 0
41 HCL Infosystems Ltd. India 9 4 0 1
42 Crayon A/S Denmark 9 4 0 1
43 New Signature U.S.A. 7 8 0 1
44 EVRY Norway 7 8 1 0
45 Lanlink Informática Brazil 8 5 0 1
46 Kairos Utama Indonesia Indonesia 8 5 1 0
47 Bechtle AG Germany 8 4 1 1
48 Novabase Portugal 7 7 0 1
49 Telerik U.S.A. 6 10 0 0
50 Mannai Corp. Qatar 6 10 0 0
*Sogeti is a member of the Capgemini group.

Related:

About the Authors

Gladys Rama is the site editor for RCPmag.com.

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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comments powered by Disqus

Reader Comments

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 Walter Chomak USA

When at MSFT, CSAT ruled our lives...anything short of perfect, yikes. So do partners get scored the same way? If so, that is what is important. Anyone with enough capital can pad the ranks. We are far too small to ever make the list not to mention we only have 1 competency by choice.

Tue, Jul 24, 2012

Telerik at 49. Should be in top 10. That shows how fuzzy list is. And Mannai...uhh

Tue, Jul 24, 2012

List of 50 poor companies

Thu, Jul 19, 2012

People who do not get noticed on this list are the ones who would comment about the authenticity of the list. It is a shame to see such comments. Instead, they should work towards achieving the feat

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 Sam Newyork

For any company to achieve these many Gold, Silver and other certification itself is an indication towards their consistency in delivering solutions successfully to their clients.

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 Samir India

One More Achievement for Gateway Technolabs Pvt. We are Microsoft's 'Most Competent' Partners ranked 29 across the world..

Fri, Jul 6, 2012 darrenwbaker Redmond

To achieve a "Competency" you need proof of Certified Consultants AND you need customer references. For Silver, you need a minimum of 2 certified consultants and 3 customer references. For GOLD, you need 4 "highly certified" consultants (ITICS, not just MCP) and 5 customer references. It isnt easy to obtain like "Gold" used to be. These partners have demonstrated their competency in the subjects, and backed by the customers they serve.

Thu, Jul 5, 2012

This isn't even accurate; PinPoint is not a definititve source and doesn't properly reflect all the partner's competencies. Per your model, our company would have 30 points and be ranked #1 yet we aren't even on your list.

Mon, Jul 2, 2012 Jake Horn Denver, CO

Competence has very little do do with this methodology. Competence should be based on the percent of projects that customers are satisfied with. I'll stack up our satisfaction scores against anyone.

Mon, Jul 2, 2012 Nosy Observer

So, apparently, these authors' contention is that only the large can be competent, an individual practitioner tired of groups squabbling must even so amass a team around him/herself and dive once again into the world of competing employees and solving internecine rivalries in order to become--in these authors' views--"competent."

Mon, Jul 2, 2012 Beth Armendariz San Francisco, CA

This article is very skewed. Just because a partner has more competencies than any other partner does not alone make them the best in the industry. There are a few Gold Competency Partners who choose to specialize in a single discipline.

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