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Elimination of certification/exam requirements

040813_1000_NAV2013Cert1.jpg

Another announcement. One that caused me to scratch my head for a while .. . The official statement:

Effective August 13, 2014, Microsoft is announcing the elimination of certification/exam requirements for Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Microsoft Dynamics RMS and Microsoft Dynamics C5. This includes pre-sales and sales assessments as well as implementation methodology and technical certifications and covers both SPA and MPN.

So .. you don’t need to be able to decently implement NAV anymore?

Let’s be honest .. these certifications didn’t really tell us anything regarding “he’s capable or not”, did they? I know people that were fully certified, but very unqualified .. and others that didn’t have any certification, but are over-qualified to do NAV.

So no, these exams – for me – didn’t prove anything.

But I wouldn’t dare to say they were useless. The exams, the courses, did allow me – as a development responsible – to let people at least spend conscious time to learn the new “stuff” in the new release .. and test it. At least, they are certified to be aware of the new things ;-).

Also for new, unexperienced eployees, exams and courses were very useful to get them going. I guess the courses will stay, and the training centers will keep delivering them .. but in my eyes, the exams were a good motivator to let them at least pay enough attention during the courses.. ;-).

Why is this being done?

Well, this is my own interpretation .. I encourage you to read all about it here, and make up your own opinion:

  • To encourage partners to spend more time in cloud-knowledge, Office365, Azure, … these kind of things. So to encourage partners to invest their “readiness”-time (and money) also in those areas.
  • Redirect money that was used to create exams and assessments to the creation of more training and readiness content. I can only agree with that. I search more in readiness content (partnersource, forums, how-to material, blogs, ..) then I do in courses… .

To conclude I’d like to refer to all information you need to know about Microsoft Dynamics partner program requirements:

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.waldo.be/2014/09/04/elimination-of-certificationexam-requirements/

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  1. Dave Machanick

    I am spending my spare time learning C#, so I am glad they dropped this requirement which favored the people with semi-photographic memory.
    If the tests actually had you perform real world tasks, they would have been worthwhile.

  2. Capone

    I feel that this is a petty. My experience is that many employees never take the time to read the readiness material or do certification since they have to much “debit work” . Many consultans get bonuses on how much they debit and that doesn’t increase the willingness to catch up on the latest material.

    Often you don’t catch up on the material until you have customer that explicit want the new stuff. If you don’t know about it you can’t sell it.

    I know that certificates can be a show on paper that really doesn’t prove anything but for some of us we actually look on the certificates as opportunity to get to know new functions and features. I’m certain that a lot of partners will take the easy way out now and skip certificate educations because they don’t have any economic incentives to do it in the short run.

    This will be a problem in the end for microsoft since partners are missing valuable info on how to push customers to the cloud and use new features because many just haven’t taken their time and no one forces them.

  3. Luc van Vugt

    Was just hired for an update training with respect to certification. 🙁

    Fully agree with Waldo’s observation and Capone’s comment. The arguments mentioned are meaningless. What budget? Is that really substantial (compared to existing budgets)? Indeed passing the exam isn’t a guarantee/mark for success, but on the average it is a threshold with value, be it what Waldo and Capone describe.

    This just seems to me a kind of cleanup by MS not having to be involved with this kind of ‘hassle’.

  4. raokman

    “This includes pre-sales and sales assessments as well as implementation methodology and technical certifications and covers both SPA and MPN.”

    Having been majorly burned by salespeople who didn’t comprehend basic accounting needs and implementation ‘consultants’ who didn’t realize the problems, even though clearly pointed out and identified in the discovery phase, I can only say “so what”? For all the exams that had been required, it didn’t stop the sale of this product into a totally inappropriate environment, or trigger some kind of “really?” from any of the partners involved until it came time to actually make it work, or ‘attempt’ to make it work, turning into finger-pointing and whining about how it’s not supposed to be able to do that and who said it could anyway?

    Maybe this is just Microsoft’s way of winding down support of the package as it looks for a better product to get behind? Why spend the money by Microsoft on a dying product?

    1. waldo

      Don’t know where you get your experience from .. but I’m sorry to hear it wasn’t so positive.. . Now, I guess you can understand that one event, with one partner, .. or even 10 .. doesn’t say anything about Microsoft nor the product.. . The product is not dying .. far from it.

      Let’s just agree there is a problem with “salespeople” in general :-). And I don’t mean in software per se .. 😉

  5. Raokman

    I have experience using many different software packages. NAV reminds me strongly of the old McCormack Dodge mainframe system from the 80’s. I’d almost say that NAV is based on it. And it hasn’t aged well.

    I question whether there is truly a “product” in NAV. It strikes me as more of a trellis to build essentially custom packages on. The problem being, as we also have learned, is that customization pretty much cuts a big ditch across the upgrade path, so you pay and pay for the right to upgrade while in practical reality, that ability is gone.

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