What Are Microsoft Advanced Specializations blog

Making the decision to do business with one Microsoft partner vs. another is a difficult and time-consuming one. The client’s team has to trust the Partner’s team fully, making sure that the partner is always working on the client’s best interest, in every facet of the business. We decided to write a blog explaining Microsoft’s latest proof of technical prowess so readers can understand what Advanced Specializations are and what it takes to achieve them.

 

Microsoft’s Partner Ecosystem includes tens of thousands of US-based services partners with thousands more worldwide. Rising to the top of this large pool of competitors is a significant challenge each Partner faces as they work to grow their business and remain successful. A top factor in Catapult’s success formula has always been the Competency certifications that Microsoft allows their Partners to earn. Competencies validate our capabilities to both the Microsoft field as well as our customers. Catapult currently holds 15 Gold and 2 Silver Microsoft Competencies.

 

Last year Microsoft introduced a new level of certification, the Advanced Specialization. Advanced Specializations build on the related Competencies Catapult holds and allows us to further differentiate our capabilities to customers through Microsoft’s validation of our deep knowledge, extensive experience, and proven success at delivering tailored customer solutions for areas of high customer demand and relevance.

 

Having Advanced Specializations not only assures potential customers that Microsoft believes we meet the highest standards for service delivery and support, it also increases our visibility to customers through prioritized ranking in searches on Microsoft sites and internal lists and opens opportunities for Microsoft programs, funding, incentives, and awards.

 

To earn an Advanced Specialization, we must meet demanding requirements, such as undergoing detailed and lengthy third-party audits, obtaining customer references, proving attainment of relevant skill sets, and meeting specific performance measurements. Achieving a Specialization requires a significant investment of time and resources from Catapult’s practice area and marketing teams. The entire process, from planning to attainment, can take between three and six months.

 

Microsoft offers a variety of Advanced Specializations in the areas of Azure, Security, Modern Work, and Business Applications. The Specializations within these solution areas (and their requirements) touch Catapult’s Application Development, Infrastructure, Data & AI, Productivity, Security, Business Applications, Sales, Delivery, and Marketing teams. Earning an Advanced Specialization is truly a team effort!

 

There are currently 25 Advanced Specializations available to Microsoft Partners with more planned for Microsoft’s fiscal year 2022. Catapult has invested in a concerted effort to earn applicable Specializations and this past month we finally broke into the double-digits with our 10th Advanced Specialization. This makes Catapult the Microsoft Partner with the most Specializations of any US-only service partner!

 

And even with a good number under our belt, we are currently pursuing an additional 8 Specializations so stay tuned for future updates.

 

Catapult’s 10 Advanced Specializations are:

· Analytics on Microsoft Azure

· Threat Protection

· Information Protection and Governance

· Identity & Access Management

· Windows and SQL Server Migration to Azure

· Teamwork Deployment

· Adoption & Change Management

· Calling for Microsoft Teams

· Modernization of Web Apps (.Net) to Azure

· Meetings and Meeting Rooms for Microsoft Teams

“I am proud to say that we have now achieved 10 Microsoft Advanced Specializations. These Specializations and our 17 competencies demonstrate Catapult has the highest level of expertise and experience in the Microsoft cloud,” said Terri Burmeister, Catapult CEO. “This achievement is proof of our world-class delivery team’s level of knowledge, talent, and commitment to our customers and to Microsoft.”