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An Update on an Update on MPN Silver and Gold

Microsoft keeps on adding to its roster of partners carrying the gold competencies and silver competencies the company created with the Microsoft Partner Network.

At the Worldwide Partner Conference last week, Jon Roskill put the numbers at more than 10,000 gold competency partners and more than 25,000 silver competency partners.

Those figures represent about a 25 percent jump for each competency level from when RCP talked to Roskill at the one-year anniversary of the MPN on Oct. 31, 2011. At that time, he said there were about 8,000 unique partners with gold competencies and 18,500 unique partners with at least one silver competency.

Roskill, the corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, said last week that over the 18-month process of transitioning from the Microsoft Partner Program to the MPN, "We've built out the MPN competencies."

UPDATE: In a value keynote that I missed last week but caught online today, Julie Bennani, general manager of the Microsoft Partner Network, provided more context around the size of the MPN.

Since the official launch of the MPN in November 2010, Bennani said, "Partners have qualified more than 11,300 gold practices worldwide and 35,100 silver practices worldwide." Doing some back-of-the-envelope math combining Bennani's numbers with Roskill's shows that partners who have gotten at least one silver competency have roughly 1.4 on average and partners with at least one gold competency have 1.1 on average. Bennani also said that 35,000 partners have subscribed to Cloud Essentials so far.

Microsoft frequently talks about having anywhere from 600,000 to 645,000 partners worldwide, but as the shepherd of the MPN, Bennani has a deeper view of the number of partners that are actually signed up at Microsoft's different program levels. "Our commercial partner ecosystem, who are engaged in the Microsoft Partner Network actively, is over 430,000 unique organizations," Bennani told her WPC session audience last week.

When the MPN launched a year-and-a-half ago, there was a fair amount of pushback among partners. There was a lot of noise about partners dropping out. However, that figure for enrolled partners is roughly in line with the number of partners that enrolled in the MPN's predecessor, the Microsoft Partner Program, over the last seven or eight years. By the official MPN count, at least, partners are staying with Microsoft.

Get more news and analysis from WPC 2012 here.

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 17, 2012