When Microsoft bought Great Plains Software in 2001 most existing GP Partners that were not Microsoft Partners already became part of the Microsoft Partner Program. It took many years to actually integrate all the systems and databases and my personal experience has shown that this integration is not quite complete yet. In the meantime, partners have been getting used to the partner points system and ramping up on tests and skills, many with the goal of becoming a Gold Certified Partner.
Now it looks like Microsoft is getting ready to make some changes to the partner program to help customers make more informative choices when they are looking for partners. As a customer, I think it’s great. As a partner, I am not looking forward to having to wade through another set of competency requirements to figure out what we need and when we need it. But ultimately things must change and progress is good.