Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Microsoft eliminates exams and certifications for Dynamics GP, NAV, SL, and RMS

By Steve Endow

Two weeks ago I was coordinating with a Dynamics GP partner to update my Dynamics GP certifications in conjunction with them renewing their MPN certification requirements.

But when one of the consultants tried to schedule an exam on the Prometric web site, the web site would not let her complete the registration process, saying that only vouchers could be used to pay for the Dynamics GP exam.

At the same time, we found some discrepancies on the Microsoft web site regarding the Dynamics GP certification requirements and MPN certification requirements, so the partner inquired with Microsoft.  We were told that some changes were being made to the certification requirements, and that the updates would be communicated shortly.

Today we received an official announcement that Microsoft is eliminating the exams and certifications for most, but not all, of the Dynamics products.
We are announcing the elimination of certification/exam requirements for Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Microsoft Dynamics RMS and Microsoft Dynamics C5 effective August 13th. This includes pre-sales and sales assessments as well as implementation methodology and technical certifications covering both SPA and MPN.
Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM are not impacted by this announcement.  Assessment and certification requirements remain for these product lines. 
A brief version of the announcement is posted on this Partnersource page:

https://mbs.microsoft.com/partnersource/northamerica/readiness-training/readiness-training-news/MSDexamreqchanges


I have mixed feelings about this change.  A few years ago, Microsoft made such a big push for requiring Dynamics GP certification, and requiring all partners to have several certified consultants on staff.  That produced dramatic changes in the partner channel that affected a lot of people.  Eventually things settled down and the exams and certifications became routine.

This announcement appears to be a 180 degree shift from that prior strategy, and completely abandons exams and certifications.  While this may open the market back up to smaller partners, I now wonder if consulting quality may decrease as a result.  But this assumes that the exams and certifications mattered and actually improved consulting quality--I don't know how we could measure or assess that.

So, welcome to a new phase in the Microsoft Dynamics strategy.

What do you think?  Is this a good thing?  A bad thing?  Neither?

Steve Endow is a Microsoft MVP for Dynamics GP and a Dynamics GP Certified IT Professional in Los Angeles.  He is the owner of Precipio Services, which provides Dynamics GP integrations, customizations, and automation solutions.

You can also find him on Google+ and Twitter





6 comments:

Frank Hamelly said...

Steve, I think this reflects the products that MSFT wants to really focus on in the future - AX and CRM.

Frank

Steve Endow said...

Hi Frank,

I spoke with a colleague who said the same thing--the long term vision is AX, or some equivalent "Project Green" solution to consolidate the ERP product lines.

Steve

Vaidhyanathan Mohan said...

This doesn't augur well, in my opinion. If they cannot preserve a product like GP, they better sell it off to someone and we would take it from there. This is quite serious.

Magnus Ramfelt said...

I think this MS wants a unified SMB ERP solution (read project green) and one solution for large enterprises (AX). The idea must be to expand from the 120 000 or so companies that use GP, SL and NAV to at least ten fold that user base. Will MS sell the product if they don't succeed in exponential growth? Yes maybe, but only if SMBs abandon Office and Office365, ie rather unlikely.

Prakash said...

If MSFT is focusing on AX and CRM why they are investing to release newer versions of GP? Why they are releasing road map on every Convergence? Without a long term focus, how we can sell GP to new customers?

Are they giving an alert to partners to stop focus on GP and other products and start selling AX and CRM? This is not good....

MikeFM said...

I'm really miffed. I JUST finished putting my staff through 30 days of certification H**L to complete these requirements. I can't believe that Microsoft knew this and didn't advise me accordingly. My guess is that Microsoft was about to hemorrhage partners and decided to change the requirement before real damage was done. It seems like a case of extremes. What would be reasonable is that 1 person be certified in the GP exams (i.e. Financials and Installation) and forget the other stuff. That would allow anyone who wanted to commit to knowing the product to qualify while eliminating tech guys who don't know the product at all from passing themselves off as experts. While one should know SQL, the Administration exam was far too fixated on failover clusters which most small companies don't have. Another bit of news is that Microsoft has laid off a number of Dexterity folks and I was just denied an update to a customization that Microsoft had peformed for a client because they no longer have the staff. Read into both as you will.