Earn the Gold Data Platform competency
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Earn the Gold Data Platform competency

When you achieve the Microsoft Gold Data Platform 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.

More and more companies across the IT industry are recognizing the strategic value that cloud solutions can provide to their businesses. Microsoft has reinvented its certification program to support this shift and to ensure that your skills are aligned with the latest technology innovations. With this in mind, the Microsoft Partner Network will be evaluating new certifications or exams to determine which ones should be included as requirements for certain silver or gold competencies.

Stay up to date on upcoming changes to competency requirements and benefits, so you can ensure that you will be in compliance by your next renewal date. To find out if the competencies you’re interested in attaining will include any of the new certifications—or any other updates—check the partner portal or the competency roadmap guide.

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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 Data Platform competency. If you need assistance, contact your Regional Service Center.

1. Pass the qualifying exams or application tests

Your organization must demonstrate the appropriate credentials by meeting one of the following requirement options.


Option 1: certification requirement

Your company must employ or contract with four unique Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) who have met the following certification requirements.1

​Two of the MCPs must each hold one of the following certifications:

The following certifications will fulfill this requirement now, but will be retired in May 2013:

The other two MCPs must each hold one of the following certifications or have passed the following exam:

Resources and next steps:


Option 2: application test requirements

Your organization must have one product or application that has passed one of the following application-test options:


Qualifying applications include developed and marketed, packaged software solutions based on Microsoft technologies. Custom-written applications not meant for resale do not qualify.

Resources and next steps:

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). If someone in your company is knowledgeable about Microsoft licensing, we suggest you have that person take the assessment.

Resources and next steps:

4. Pass the sales and marketing assessment

The sales and marketing assessment is tailored specifically to the Data Platform competency.

Your company must employ or contract with two people in a sales or marketing role who have passed this assessment. The people who pass the sales and marketing assessment are also qualified for the Sales Specialist accreditation.

Resources and next steps:

5. Provide customer evidence

Customer references demonstrate your success at building and deploying solutions relevant to the Data Platform competency. Approved references are valid for up to two years.

Your company must submit five unique2 customer references.3 Be sure that each reference:

  • Showcases database migration tools and services, management tools, and services that use SQL Server technology.
  • Details a project that your organization has completed within the past 12 months and that can be verified with your customer.

Resources and next steps:

6. 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:

7. Pay the gold competency fee

To complete your enrollment in the Gold Data Platform 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.

​Next steps