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Earn the Gold Small Business competency

When you achieve the Microsoft Gold Small Business competency, you demonstrate greater value to your customers by showcasing best-in-class capabilities that have undergone a rigorous and auditable approval process. Here you’ll find the steps and requirements that can put you on your way to earning valuable competency benefits.

Note: Stay up to date on upcoming changes to competency requirements and benefits. Review the changes, so you can ensure you will be in compliance by your next renewal date.

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Competency requirements are designed to closely align with customer needs. The following information is a comprehensive listing of the requirements your company must fulfill to attain the Gold Small Business competency. If you need assistance, contact your Regional Service Center.

1. Pass the qualifying exams

Your organization must employ or contract with at least two and up to four Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs), who have, in aggregate, passed four of the following exams.1 At least one of the MCPs must pass Exam 74-324: Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses.

  • Exam 70-169: TS: Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Configuring (to be retired in October 2013)
  • Exam 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
  • Exam 70-642: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring (to be retired in October 2013)
  • Exam 70-680: Windows 7, Configuring
  • Exam 70-687: Configuring Windows 8
  • Exam 70-688: Managing and Maintaining Windows 8
  • Exam 70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows 8
  • Exam 74-324: Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses

If you would like to qualify by using more than two MCPs to fulfill the exam requirement, contact your Regional Service Center.

 

For countries where Microsoft Office 365 is not yet available:

Your organization must employ or contract with at least two and up to four MCPs, who have, in aggregate, passed four of the exams from the following list:

  • Exam 70-169: TS: Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Configuring (to be retired in October 2013)
  • Exam 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
  • Exam 70-642: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring (to be retired in October 2013)
  • Exam 70-680: Windows 7, Configuring
  • Exam 70-687: Configuring Windows 8
  • Exam 70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows 8

After the MCPs have passed the required exams, you must contact your local Regional Service Center to continue the enrollment process. If you would like to qualify by using more than two MCPs to fulfill the exam requirement, you must inform the Regional Service Center, when you contact it.

Note: Exam 70-321 Deploying Office 365 and Exam 70-323 Administering Office 365 will count as valid competency exams for MCPs who have previously passed them. 

Resources and next steps:

  • Click the exam links in the preceding lists to learn what skills are measured.
  • Find training to help you prepare.
  • Register for an exam at Prometric
  • Chat with an exam expert in real time and get answers to your questions.

2. Meet the revenue commitment

Microsoft Partner Network members with a gold competency must meet a minimum revenue commitment based on geography and competency.

Resources and next steps:

3. Pass the licensing overview assessment

The licensing overview assessment is the same for every competency that requires it.

Your company must employ or contract with one person who has passed the assessment (which then counts toward all gold competencies).

Resources and next steps:

4. Sign the Microsoft Online Services Partner Agreement

Your company must employ or contract with one person who has enrolled as a Microsoft Online Services partner and signed the Microsoft Online Services Partner Agreement (MOSPA).

If you are the administrator for your company, review and sign the Online Services Partner Agreement.

5. Pass the business-focused small business assessment

Your company must employ or contract with two people who have passed the business-focused Small Business assessment. See the Small Business Assessment Readiness Guide for details on how to prepare.

Resources and next steps:

6. Provide customer evidence

Customer references demonstrate your success at building and deploying solutions relevant to the Small Business competency. Approved references can be used toward earning or renewing a competency for up to two years.

Your company must submit five unique2 customer references3 that feature the implementation, deployment, customization, or maintenance of any of the following products:

  • Office 365
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Small Business Server 2011

Each customer reference must feature a project that you have completed within the past 12 months and that can be verified with your customer.

Resources and next steps:

7. Gather customer feedback

Your company must use the Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Index survey to measure performance and help drive customer satisfaction.

Resources and next steps:

8. Pay the gold competency fee

To complete your enrollment in the Gold Small Business competency, you must pay the gold competency fee.4

1Partner organizations can attain multiple gold competencies, and individual employees and contractors may take and pass multiple gold competency exams. However, if your organization employs or contracts with someone who holds multiple certifications, that person’s credentials will count toward only one gold competency.
 
2You may use customer references from your silver competency toward the corresponding gold competency. However, you cannot use the same reference to fulfill the requirements for more than one gold competency.
 
3After you have five references, your account administrator can assign them to your competency by clicking the Requirements and Assets menu and then clicking Create Customer References.
 
4The gold competency fee varies by geography. You must pay the gold competency fee one time, per year—no matter how many competencies your organization has attained. If you attain a gold competency after first attaining a silver competency, then you pay only the difference between the two membership fees, unless you are within the 90-day renewal period, in which case the full gold competency membership fee is due. 

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