Microsoft has revealed a price hike in its certifications that'll go into effect throughout many parts of the world, including Australia, from July.
While the software company did not provide specific details about the scale of the price changes - except in the US and Canada - it did confirm which certifications would be effected.
They include: Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD), Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST), Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD), Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD), Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA).
Microsoft said it doesn't expect to increase the price of Microsoft Certified Master (MCM), Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA), Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA), and Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification exams.
Microsoft isn't raising the price of exams uniformly around the world: The retail price for Microsoft Certification exams in the US and Canada will rise from $US125 to $US150, but they'll remain unchanged in counties like Ireland, Spain and Greece, whose economies are still shaky.
Microsoft Australia confirmed to CRN that training prices would increase in Australia but proviced no other details.
Microsoft says the price hike will allow it to improve the Microsoft Certification program with new certifications and question types, as well as frequent exam updates and better exam security.
The move came as a surprise to partners, and those who've been adjusting their businesses to meet the new terms of Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) said the timing is unfortunate.
However, Microsoft plans to unveil new Microsoft Certification exam offers in July that will give partners "substantial savings" on exam fees for Microsoft Certifications required to attain MPN competencies.
Details on these offers are on the agenda for this year's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), to be held from July 10-14 in Los Angeles.
MPN adds a great deal of weight to the technical skills partners carry, and many have had to make difficult choices as part of their migration to MPN. In MPN, the old Gold and Silver rankings are now being used as indicators of a partner's skill level within 29 distinct MPN technology competencies.
To obtain Gold, partners must hire or contract with four Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs), and the requirement for Silver is two MCPs. This is in addition to the business model changes Microsoft is pressing partners to make as part of the software giant's march in cloud computing.
In light of all these changes, it's understandable that some partners would be irked by the addition of an additional cost burden.
"Not only are we eating administrative costs to realign ourselves with Microsoft, we’re coming off a tough few years of lackluster IT spending and dealing with cloud solutions that are trying to capture a significant amount of value from the channel ecosystem," said Travis Fisher, executive vice president at Inacom Information Systems, a US-based solution provider.
"I can’t imagine a worse time for increased certification costs to take effect than right now."
This article originally appeared at crn.com
Issue: 315 | May 2013
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