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Microsoft Partner Earned Credit (PEC) is a reward system for Microsoft partners designed to incentivize and reward Microsoft partners for driving the adoption of cloud services like Azure, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft 365. The Partner Earned Credit program enables partners to earn credits for purchasing Microsoft cloud services, helping them reduce operating costs and grow their businesses.

With PEC, Microsoft partners earn credits for various activities, including:

  • Selling Microsoft cloud services to customers
  • Offering support for these services
  • Participating in Microsoft-led training and certification programs. 

Microsoft also offers a variety of promotions and special offers that enable partners to earn additional PECs. The PEC program is open to Microsoft partners of all sizes and levels, including small and medium business (SMB), enterprise, and Action Pack partners. To be eligible for PECs, partners must be in good standing with Microsoft and have a valid Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) membership.

In this article, we’ll look at how Partner Earned Credit works, the advantages and limitations of PEC, eligibility criteria, and where to begin if your organization is interested in participating in the PEC program. 

Summary of key Microsoft Partner Earned Credit concepts

The table below summarizes the Microsoft Partner Credit concepts this article will explain in more detail. 

Partner Earned Credit conceptDescription 
Why PEC? Partner Earned Credit benefitsThe PEC program offers benefits such as:Financial incentivesDifferentiation for Microsoft partnersAccess to resources and support
Partner Earned Credit alternativesMicrosoft offers several other incentive programs, including the Microsoft Partner Incentives program. Additionally, other technology vendors and industry associations offer alternatives that can provide similar benefits. 
Partner Earned Credit eligibilityTo be part of the PEC program, partners must have a membership in the Microsoft Partnership Network, may need to achieve a Microsoft Competency, and actively participate in selling, deploying, and supporting Microsoft products and services.  
How to track Microsoft PEC program creditsParticipants in the PEC program can track earned credits on the Microsoft Partner Center website. 
How Partner Earned Credit is calculatedThe Partner Earned Credits calculation depends on various factors, including:Competency areaPerformance metricsThe specific incentives associated with the products and services 
Partner Earned Credit program limitationsLimitations of the PEC program include its focus on Microsoft, complexity, and variability in eligibility and credit calculations.  
Partner Earned Credit best practicesBest practices for getting the most out of the PEC program include focusing on customer success, understanding the program, and investing in Microsoft technical expertise. 

Why PEC? Partner Earned Credit benefits

Participating in the Microsoft Partner Earned Credits (PEC) program offers several advantages for partners and helps them address several business challenges. 

One of the key benefits of the PEC program is that it enables Microsoft partners to reduce their costs and maximize their profits. By earning PECs, partners can use these credits to offset the cost of Microsoft cloud services, which can help to lower their overall operating expenses. This is a great tool for MSPs which can add to a significant cost savings. To learn more on how to boost your MSP’s profit margin, check out this CloudBolt article. 

The PEC program can also help partners, particularly managed service providers (MSPs), grow their businesses. By offering Microsoft cloud services to their customers, partners can increase their revenue streams and expand their customer base. This can help them to build their reputation as a trusted Microsoft partner and attract new customers. It provides partners access to a wide range of resources and support from Microsoft. This includes training and certification programs, access to marketing and sales resources, and the ability to participate in Microsoft-led events and promotions.

Below are five more specific benefits of the PEC program and the challenges they solve.

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Financial incentives

The PEC program rewards partners who commit to customer success and achieve specific performance milestones. These incentives can help partners offset the costs of investing in new technology and infrastructure or expanding their teams.

Challenge Solved: By offering financial incentives, the PEC program helps partners tackle financial constraints that may hinder their growth and ability to investing in their businesses.

Recognition and differentiation

Earning Partner Earned Credits showcases a partner’s expertise and commitment to customer success. This recognition can help partners stand out in a competitive market, attracting new customers and building trust with existing clients.

Challenge Solved: The PEC program addresses the challenge of differentiation in a crowded marketplace, allowing partners to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to delivering exceptional services.

Access to resources and support

Participating in the PEC program grants partners access to exclusive resources, training, and support from Microsoft. This can help them develop their expertise, enhance their offerings, and provide better customer service.

Challenge Solved: The PEC program helps partners overcome the challenges of keeping up with rapidly evolving technology and staying current with industry trends by providing access to resources and support.

Business growth

The PEC program encourages partners to invest in their businesses, supporting marketing efforts, improving profitability, and driving growth. By participating in the program, partners can focus on developing their expertise in Microsoft technologies and expanding their customer base.

Challenge Solved: The PEC program tackles the challenge of business growth by providing financial incentives and resources that enable partners to invest in their operations and expand their market presence.

Stronger relationship with Microsoft

Participation in the PEC program fosters a closer relationship with Microsoft, enabling partners to benefit from co-marketing, co-selling, and joint business development opportunities.

Challenge Solved: The PEC program helps partners address the challenge of building and maintaining solid relationships with technology vendors, providing an avenue for collaboration and growth with Microsoft.

Share PEC with clients 

Suppose you have earned Microsoft Partner credits and wish to share them with your clients. This is a great way to show your appreciation for the business your clients are providing and improves loyalty. 

The first thing you want to do before sharing PECs is to ensure that your clients are eligible to receive the Microsoft Partner earned credits. Review the terms and conditions of the specific program or offer that awarded you the credits to determine if they can be shared with clients. Familiarize yourself with any restrictions or limitations associated with the earned credits. Some credits may have specific usage guidelines, expiration dates, or usage rights that must be considered. 

Cloudbolt makes it easy to calculate your PECs and assists with sharing them with your client by generating a detailed report for your PECs. Reach out to your clients and inform them about your earned credits. Clearly explain the benefits and potential value they can receive by utilizing these credits. Discuss with your clients how the credits will be allocated and used. Consider their specific needs, objectives, and priorities. Determine the appropriate amount of credits to allocate to each client based on their usage requirements.

Finally, share instructions on how to redeem and utilize the earned credits. This may involve providing unique codes, links, or access to a portal where the credits can be applied.

Partner Earned Credit alternatives

While Microsoft Partner Earned Credits (PEC) is a unique program within the Microsoft Partner Network, other incentive programs and partnership opportunities are offered by Microsoft and other technology vendors that businesses can explore. 

The table below describes five alternatives to the PEC program. 

Partner Earned Credit alternativeDescription
Microsoft Partner IncentivesMicrosoft offers several other incentive programs for partners, such as Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) incentives, Enterprise Agreements incentives, and Services Partner incentives. These programs reward partners for sales, deployment, and support of Microsoft products and services and may have different eligibility requirements and benefits compared to the PEC program.
Microsoft Partner CompetenciesMicrosoft Partner Competencies are a part of the Microsoft Partner Network, allowing businesses to demonstrate their expertise in specific areas of Microsoft technologies, such as cloud services, data management, or business applications. Competency can provide businesses with benefits like access to technical resources, training, and marketing support.
Microsoft Action PackThe Microsoft Action Pack is a subscription-based program that provides partners with software licenses, technical support, and marketing resources. This program helps partners to develop and maintain their expertise in Microsoft products and services, enabling them to deliver better solutions to their customers.
Partner Programs from Other Technology VendorsBusinesses can also explore partnership opportunities with other technology vendors, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, IBM, or Oracle. These vendors offer partner programs, incentives, and resources that may suit businesses looking for alternatives to the Microsoft PEC program. Examples include AWS Partner Network, Google Cloud Partner Advantage, IBM PartnerWorld, and Oracle PartnerNetwork.
Industry Associations and PartnershipsBusinesses can consider joining industry associations or forming partnerships with other companies in their domain. These collaborations can provide access to resources, networking opportunities, and potential leads, helping businesses grow and stay competitive.

While the Microsoft Partner Earned Credits program offers unique benefits, businesses have a variety of alternative programs and partnership opportunities to choose from, depending on their needs and strategic objectives. By exploring these alternatives, companies can find the right fit to help them grow and succeed in the technology landscape.

Partner Earned Credit eligibility

To be eligible for the Microsoft Partner Earned Credits (PEC) program, businesses must first become a member of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). The MPN is a global ecosystem of partners working with Microsoft to deliver innovative solutions and services to customers. The specific eligibility criteria for the PEC program may vary depending on the competency area, but some general requirements include the following:

  • Membership in the Microsoft Partner Network: To participate in the PEC program, businesses must join the Microsoft Partner Network. This membership allows access to resources, training, and support and the opportunity to earn competencies in specific areas of expertise.
  • Achievement of a Microsoft Competency: Partners may be required to achieve a Microsoft Competency, demonstrating their expertise in a specific area of Microsoft technologies. Competencies are available in various categories, such as cloud services, data management, business applications, etc. Achieving a competency may require businesses to meet performance targets, obtain technical certifications, and showcase customer success stories.
  • Active Participation in Selling, Deploying, and Supporting Microsoft Solutions: To earn Partner Earned Credits, businesses must actively participate in selling, deploying, and supporting Microsoft products and services. This may involve meeting specific performance metrics and achieving milestones, such as sales targets or successful customer implementations.
  • Adherence to Microsoft’s Policies and Guidelines: Partners participating in the PEC program must adhere to Microsoft’s policies, guidelines, and requirements, including the Partner Code of Conduct and the MPN Program Agreement.
  • Performance Metrics and Customer Success: Partners may be required to meet specific performance metrics, such as sales targets, deployment milestones, or customer satisfaction scores, to be eligible for earning PECs. Demonstrating customer success stories and showcasing the value of Microsoft solutions is another essential criterion for eligibility.

It is essential to note that the specific eligibility requirements for the PEC program may vary depending on the partner’s competency area and the program’s terms and conditions. Businesses should consult the Microsoft Partner Center or their Microsoft Partner Development Manager for detailed information on the PEC program’s eligibility criteria and requirements.

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How to track Microsoft PEC program credits

MSPs can track their Microsoft PEC earned credits through the Microsoft Partner Center website. The Partner Center provides a dashboard where MSPs can view their current credit balance, track their progress toward earning additional credits and redeem credits for rewards and benefits.

To track their earned credits, MSPs can log in to the Microsoft Partner Center and navigate to the “Competencies” section. From there, they can view their credit balance and see a breakdown of the credits they have earned in different categories, such as technical assessments, certifications, and sales performance.

Partner earned credit is calculated daily, and though it doesn’t appear on the monthly invoice, it is factored into the “adjusted net charges” line, with more details available in the daily usage and monthly invoice recon files, which is produced in CSV (common-separate value) file that can be opened in Microsoft Excel as shown below.

MSPs can also use cost management platforms to support the management of their PEC credits. Cost management platforms such as CloudBolt provide MSPs with tools to track and manage their cloud spending and usage across multiple subscriptions and accounts.

By integrating their PEC credits into their cost management platform, MSPs can get a more comprehensive view of their Microsoft expenses and optimize their use of PEC benefits. For example, they can use cost management tools to monitor their cloud usage and track how many PEC credits they have redeemed for Azure services.

Tracking PEC earned credits and managing costs can help MSPs maximize the value they get from the program and ensure they use their credits effectively. Using the Partner Center and cost management platforms, MSPs can stay on top of their PEC and make informed decisions about allocating them.

How Partner Earned Credit is calculated

Microsoft Partner Earned Credits (PECs) calculation depends on various factors, including the partner’s competency area, performance metrics, and specific incentives associated with their products and services. Although Microsoft does not disclose the exact formula for calculating PECs, the following general factors are considered in the calculation:

  1. Sales Performance: Partners can earn PECs by achieving sales targets for Microsoft products and services, such as Azure, Office 365, Dynamics 365, or Microsoft 365. The more a partner sells, the higher the potential to earn credits.
  2. Deployment and Support Services: Partners who provide deployment, integration, and support services for Microsoft solutions can earn PECs based on their performance in these areas. This may include the number of successful implementations, the size and complexity of the projects, and the overall satisfaction of the customers they serve.
  3. Technical Expertise and Certifications: Partners who invest in obtaining and maintaining certifications in Microsoft technologies can earn PECs. The more certifications and advanced technical expertise a partner possesses, the higher the potential for earning credits.
  4. Customer Success Stories: Showcasing successful customer implementations and demonstrating the value of Microsoft solutions can also contribute to calculating PECs. Partners who can provide tangible evidence of their impact on customers’ businesses may be rewarded with more credits.
  5. Performance Metrics and Milestones: Microsoft may set specific performance metrics and milestones for partners to achieve, which can impact the number of PECs earned. These metrics may include sales growth, customer retention, or other key performance indicators (KPIs) aligned with Microsoft’s strategic objectives.

PEC credits are typically awarded quarterly, and MSPs can track their credit balance and redeem credits for rewards and benefits through the Microsoft Partner Center website.

Since the calculation of PECs can vary based on the partner’s competency area and the specific incentives associated with the products and services they offer, partners need to review the terms and conditions of the PEC program and consult with their Microsoft Partner Development Manager or the Microsoft Partner Center for detailed information on how PECs are calculated for their particular situation.

It’s important to note that the specific criteria and credit values for PEC may vary by region or program. MSPs should consult with their Microsoft representative or review the program documentation carefully for details on calculating PEC credits in their specific case.

Partner Earned Credit program limitations

While the Microsoft Partner Earned Credits (PEC) program offers various benefits to businesses, there are certain limitations that partners should be aware of:

  1. Complexity: The PEC program may involve complex performance metrics, requirements, and reward structures, making it challenging for partners to understand and navigate the program. This complexity may make it difficult for partners to determine how to optimize their efforts to earn the maximum number of credits.
  2. Variability in Eligibility and Calculation: The PEC program’s eligibility criteria and credit calculation methods can vary depending on the partner’s competency area and the specific incentives associated with the products and services they offer. This variability may create uncertainty and confusion for partners in understanding how credits are earned and calculated.
  3. Performance Pressure: The PEC program ties financial incentives to performance metrics and milestones, which can pressure partners to meet sales targets, achieve customer satisfaction scores, and demonstrate customer success stories. This pressure may lead to increased stress and potential burnout for partner organizations.
  4. Focus on Microsoft Technologies: Since the PEC program rewards partners for their expertise and commitment to Microsoft technologies, it may lead to a narrow focus on Microsoft products and services. This singular focus could limit the partner’s ability to explore and offer solutions from other technology vendors, reducing their overall market potential.
  5. Limited Flexibility: The PEC program might have strict terms and conditions, limiting partners’ flexibility in utilizing the earned credits. This rigidity may make it challenging for partners to allocate resources and investments optimally, potentially hindering their growth and development.
  6. Competition: The PEC program encourages partners to compete for the same incentives, potentially leading to increased competition among partners offering similar products and services. This competition may make it more challenging for smaller or newer partners to stand out and succeed in the crowded marketplace.

Despite these limitations, the Microsoft Partner Earned Credits program still offers significant benefits to partners, including financial incentives, access to resources and support, and market differentiation. By understanding the limitations and optimizing their efforts within the program, partners can make the most of the opportunities provided by the PEC program.

Partner Earned Credit best practices

To maximize the benefits and success of participating in the Microsoft Partner Earned Credits (PEC) program, partners should follow these best practices:

  1. Understand the PEC program: Make sure to thoroughly understand the PEC program’s terms and conditions, eligibility requirements, and reward structures. Familiarize yourself with the performance metrics and milestones associated with your competency area and the specific incentives for your products and services.
  2. Invest in technical expertise: Develop your team’s expertise in Microsoft technologies by obtaining certifications, attending training sessions, and staying up-to-date with industry trends. A well-trained and certified team can provide better customer service and increase your chances of earning more credits.
  3. Focus on customer success: Prioritize customer satisfaction and success in your service delivery. Showcase customer success stories and demonstrate the value of Microsoft solutions to your clients. This focus on customer success will improve your chances of earning PECs and enhance your reputation and customer loyalty.
  4. Set realistic goals: Set achievable performance goals based on your organization’s capacity, resources, and market potential. Monitor your progress towards these goals regularly and adjust your strategies to maximize your chances of earning credits.
  5. Leverage marketing resources: Utilize marketing resources and co-marketing opportunities provided by Microsoft to promote your business, showcase your expertise, and differentiate yourself in the market. Participate in Microsoft events, webinars, and campaigns to increase your visibility and attract potential customers.
  6. Diversify your offerings: While the PEC program focuses on Microsoft technologies, do not limit yourself to only these products and services. Diversify your offerings to include complementary solutions that enhance your value proposition and meet your customers’ diverse needs.
  7. Monitor performance and adapt: Regularly review your performance metrics, customer satisfaction scores, and progress toward achieving milestones. Identify areas of improvement and adjust your strategies accordingly to maximize your chances of earning PECs.
  8. Share best practices: Encourage knowledge sharing within your organization and the broader partner community. Learn from the successes and challenges of other partners and apply those insights to your business strategies.
  9. Be proactive and agile: Identify new business opportunities, respond to customer needs, and adapt to industry trends. Maintain an agile approach that allows you to pivot and adjust your strategies as required to succeed in the ever-evolving technology landscape.

By following these best practices, partners can optimize their efforts within the Microsoft Partner Earned Credits program, maximizing their chances of earning credits and ensuring their continued growth and success in the competitive technology market. An important this to note here is that these best practices are a general guideline on how to make the most of the PEC program. To ensure you maximize your chaces of earning PEC, establish a strong relationship with your Microsoft Partner Development Manager or your local Microsoft office. Engage with Microsoft regularly to stay informed about program updates, new incentives, and resources that can help your business succeed.

PEC troubleshooting

If you did not receive the Microsoft Partners Earn Credits that you were supposed to get, you can take the following steps to address the issue:

  1. Check eligibility: Make sure you meet all the criteria and requirements for earning the credits. Review the terms and conditions of the program to ensure that you have fulfilled all the necessary qualifications.
  2. Contact Microsoft Support: Reach out to Microsoft’s customer support or partner support team for assistance. Explain the situation and provide any relevant details such as your partner ID, the program you participated in, and the expected credits you were supposed to receive. They will be able to investigate the issue and provide guidance.  You can contact Microsoft partner support by going to this link.
  3. Provide documentation: If you have any supporting documentation, such as confirmation emails or participation records, share them with the support team. These documents can help verify your eligibility and assist in resolving the problem more efficiently.
  4. Follow up: If you don’t receive a timely response or resolution from the initial contact, don’t hesitate to follow up with Microsoft support. Persistence and clear communication can often help in expediting the process.
  5. Engage with the community: Reach out to other Microsoft partners through forums, communities, or social media platforms. They may have encountered similar issues or have insights on how to resolve the problem. Sharing your experience with others can provide valuable advice and potential solutions.

Remember, the specific steps may vary depending on the nature of the program and the terms outlined by Microsoft. Contacting their support channels will provide you with the most accurate guidance tailored to your situation. For more information on resolving PEC related issue, please visit Microsoft’s official KB here

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Conclusion

Microsoft Partner Earned Credits (PEC) program is an essential aspect of the Microsoft Partner Network that provides financial incentives, resources, and market differentiation to partner organizations. By actively participating in the program, businesses can unlock numerous benefits that contribute to their overall success, growth, and competitive advantage in the technology landscape.

However, partners must understand the program’s limitations and complexities and the variability in eligibility and credit calculation. To succeed in the PEC program, partners should invest in technical expertise, prioritize customer success, set realistic goals, and leverage available resources and support.

By adopting best practices and maintaining a solid relationship with Microsoft, businesses can maximize their potential within the PEC program and reap its benefits. The PEC program ultimately enables partners to deliver exceptional value and services to their customers, driving growth and fostering innovation in the technology sector.

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