Local Enterprise Project Management (EPM) solution provider, UMT Consulting SA, is the first company to achieve a Microsoft Gold Competency for Project and Portfolio management in the Microsoft Partner Network in South Africa, the rest of Africa and the Middle East. This is the highest competency level obtainable through Microsoft.
UMT Consulting SA managing director Dries van der Colff says to earn a Microsoft Gold Competency, organisations must complete a rigorous set of tests to prove their level of expertise. “They must also have the right number of Microsoft certified professionals, submit references approved by customers, and demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction by participating in an annual survey.”
Microsoft launched its new Partner network system in 2010, a revised system with much higher standards for achieving Gold status. One of the results of the significantly increased depth and breadth of requirements needed to achieve a Gold Competency, is that achieving a Microsoft Gold Competency has become a key differentiator amongst Microsoft partners.
There are nearly 1 000 companies worldwide offering products and services based on Microsoft Project and Microsoft Project Server and only about 20 have achieved a Gold competency in Project and Portfolio Management.
“We achieved Microsoft Gold Partner status in 2003 have maintained that status since then. During the transition period, since the launch of the new competency-based partner dispensation, Microsoft has allowed companies that had previously qualified for Gold Partner status, to continue using the associated logo and designation until October 2011. From November, only the new competency-based logos and titles may be used by partners that have earned the relevant competencies,” he explains.
Van der Colff stresses that UMT Consulting SA is the first company to achieve this in South Africa, the rest of Africa, and the Middle East. “This achievement underpins our continued commitment to Microsoft technologies, and our technical ability to successfully deliver Project, Programme and Portfolio Management solutions – based on Microsoft technologies.”