Microsoft said that it is following a request from its partners to provide cloud deployment support that is focused on driving a faster adoption of Office 365.
The program provides access to Microsoft's cloud deployment tools, break-fix support, deployment planning support, as well as technical training on the next version of Office 365, as well as access to premium marketplace listings.
In the ramp-up phase of the program until February 28, 2013, Microsoft said it is requiring Cloud Deployment partners to be enrolled in Cloud Accelerate and be a member of the Microsoft Messaging competency at the country level.
Thereafter, the Cloud Deployment partner program will also require an organization to provide proof that it has conducted three successful cloud deployments for a minimum of 250 seats each, and at least two individuals within the organization will have to pass Microsoft's Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 and Advanced Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013exams.
"The Cloud Deployment program benefits build upon the foundational tools and resources that partners are entitled to in Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate including free Office 365, Windows Intune and CRM Online licenses for use to run your business, online services/advisor incentives, delegated administration tools, and training," wrote Microsoft's Josh Waldo in a blog post. "Support is consistently a top pain point when we hear from partners and as a response to that, we have worked hard with our support organization to offer Cloud Deployment partners a differentiated support experience which includes planning support, deployment and break fix support, proof of concept guidance and funding, and cloud deployment planning tools exclusively available to our Cloud Deployment Partners."
Wolfgang GruenerWolfgang Gruener is a contributor to Tom's IT Pro. He is currently principal analyst at Ndicio Research, a market analysis firm that focuses on cloud computing and disruptive technologies, and maintains the conceivablytech.com blog. An 18-year veteran in IT journalism and market research, he previously published TG Daily and was managing editor of Tom's Hardware news, which he grew from a link collection in the early 2000s into one of the most comprehensive and trusted technology news sources.
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