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Microsoft Extends Price Break on Small Business Silver Competency

Microsoft will keep prices lower for partners to enroll in the Small Business silver competency indefinitely, Microsoft's top channel executive says.

Since rolling out the Small Business competency earlier this year, Microsoft has kept the enrollment fee of the Small Business silver competency lower than for its other silver competencies in the Microsoft Partner Network. In the United States, most silver competencies cost $1,850. The Small Business silver competency was initially priced at $999 through Dec. 31, 2012.

"The special promotion price will be extended through June 30, 2013. On July 1, 2013, the silver membership cost will be at a global average price of $1,490USD," said Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, in an e-mail interview with RCPmag.com this week.

For U.S. partners, that means that even after the promotion ends, the price will still be $360 lower than most other silver competencies would cost. In this case, the U.S. subsidiary price and the global average price are the same.

Microsoft is also holding the line on the Small Business gold competency when the price of all other gold competencies goes up later this month. While most gold competency fees will jump from $3,800 a year to $5,260 a year starting Nov. 19 (U.S. prices), the Small Business gold competency will remain at $3,800.

Many partners serving small business have lobbied Microsoft for years to create a Small Business competency. The competency structure, however, comes with much higher fees than the older Small Business Specialist Community, which partners often joined for only a little more than the few hundred dollars required to subscribe to Microsoft's Action Pack.

"Most Microsoft partners who specialize in providing solutions and services to small businesses are small businesses themselves. The Microsoft Small Business competency addresses the unique needs of these partners, with more tailored benefits and requirements, and a cost-effective enrollment fee for attaining the gold [or silver] competency," Roskill said in the e-mail.

For more of our Q&A with Jon Roskill about the changes to the gold competency fees and the general value proposition of the MPN, keep an eye out for our December issue.

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Posted by Scott Bekker on November 12, 2012 at 11:58 AM


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