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The chop for Microsoft Dynamics exams and assessments

19 August 2014
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Microsoft is continuing to rhyme with its lead message from the Worldwide Partner Conference - Dynamics professionals must now develop in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. Part of the fall-out from this is the elimination of Dynamics certification to allow for more training emphasis “On Azure” and “In Office 365”. A quote from Microsoft reads: “In a time of major transition to the cloud, we want to give partners the flexibility to use their readiness time and money on the investments in those areas most impactful to their individual businesses.” This shift may seem odd to some, based on Microsoft’s previous enthusiasm for certification. It also generates unanswered questions for partners who have worked so hard to accumulate the qualifications needed to achieve Gold and Silver status.  

Unanswered questions

The announcement sees the removal of exam requirements for Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Microsoft Dynamics RMS and Microsoft Dynamics C5, effective August 13th.  The situation doesn’t change for Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM partners. That said, CRM partners might wonder how they will be trained on the new online cloud competencies scheduled for later this year. More general questions include:
  • Will the quality of consulting be reduced as a result of no formal training requirements?
  • Is this change an early indicator of Microsoft scaling back its commitment to NAV and GP?
  • Will we see smaller businesses that don’t usually require assessments enter the market in waves?

A call for better content 

It’s Microsoft’s aim to redirect previous efforts and costs spent on exams and certification towards new and more engaging online content. For example, Microsoft Dynamics NAV learning content will now include more of the short, sharp “How to…” videos that have already proved to be popular among users. With this, expect for Microsoft to increase their focus on online Microsoft Dynamics communities, where Microsoft expect more intuitive information to be shared and learned amongst partners and customers.

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