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Microsoft Releases New Badges for Teams Partners

Microsoft on Wednesday launched two new advanced specializations that allow partners to highlight their capabilities around remote work with Microsoft Teams and related teamwork platforms.

A specialization focused on using the Office 365 platform for distributed collaborative work is called Teamwork Deployment. The other specialization, Calling for Microsoft Teams, is for partners who can deploy and support voice calling capabilities within Teams.

Both advanced specializations are for partners who already have a gold competency in Cloud Productivity.

The move reinforces Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's comment last week that COVID-19 had driven "two years' worth of digital transformation in two months" through a massive, global push to remote work. Microsoft last week also revealed that Teams usage had soared to 75 million daily active users, a jump of 70 percent in a little over a month.

In announcing the new designations for partners, Dan Truax, general manager for Microsoft One Commercial Partner, positioned the specializations and move to remote-enabled work as a long-term shift rather than a short-term opportunity to meet a unique set of historical circumstances.

"For some, it may feel like the nudge they needed to fast-track existing plans; for others, a necessary but difficult transition into uncharted territory. But one thing is clear: the cost of failing to adapt to this new way of working and the technologies required to power it will be far greater than the investment of time and resources of implementation. As referenced in so much of the news coverage on this topic, the change has happened and there's no going back," Truax said in a blog post.

Both advanced specializations are available immediately.

Teamwork Deployment covers various Office 365 technologies dubbed the Teamwork services. They include Teams, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Yammer. Requirements across those Teamwork services for a 12-month period include a minimum threshold for growth in Active Entitlements, an average of 20 percent active usage and a minimum number of new customer tenants. Partners must also provide three customer references and have four individuals pass Teamwork-related exams.

Calling for Microsoft Teams is designed for partners implementing calling solutions for customers. It has a growth threshold for active entitlement of Teams, requires four individuals to pass certain technical exams and calls for three customer references.

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 06, 2020