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  • Larry Gregory

What’s New for Microsoft 2020 Partner of the Year Awards

Winning a Microsoft Partner Award can help attract new customer prospects, add credibility to existing sales efforts, enable partnerships within the Microsoft ecosystem, and trigger Microsoft Co-Sell collaboration.

The Microsoft Partner of the Year award submission tool is now available. The deadline for all entries is April 21, 2020.

The tool for submitting nominations has changed but the core requirement of writing a compelling 8,000-character essay is the same. As usual, award categories have seen some additions and eliminations.

Award Changes

New awards this year include the following:

Business Applications

  • Dynamics 365 Business Central

Modern Workplace

  • Apps & Solutions for Microsoft Teams

  • Modern Workplace for Firstline Workers


  • Energy


  • Advisory Services

  • Commercial Marketplace

  • Microsoft for Startups

  • Solution Assessment

  • Surface Hub

  • Surface PC

There were no significant changes to the Azure awards.

Award categories eliminated this year include:

  • Dynamics 365 for Talent

  • Microsoft CityNext

Several awards were modified including:

  • Dynamics 365 for Marketing and Dynamics 365 for Sales were merged into one award (Intelligent Sales & Marketing)

  • Intelligent Communications became Calling and Meetings for Microsoft Teams

  • Modern Desktop became Modern Endpoint Management

Award Requirements

ISV Co-Sell Ready status is enough to qualify for most awards. Gold competencies are typically required if applying as another kind of partner and the specific competency requirements have been made clearer for each award. Note that Competencies must have been achieved by January 2020 (no last-minute competency achievement for award purposes). There are requirements for Microsoft marketplace listings across the award categories.

The Nomination Tool

The award submission tool ( can be finicky if accessed from Chrome. You’ll have a more consistent experience if you access the tool from Edge.

When submitting a nomination, you need to log in with a corporate account that maps to your MPN Partner Center identity. You also must identify regional CEO, CFO, and COO contacts as part of the nomination process.

You can learn all about the submission rules, award categories and nomination process from the Inspire awards website:

How to Win

Thousands of nominations were received last year so if you plan to go for an award, put your best foot forward. See the 10 Tips to Winning a Microsoft Partner Award article in the Resources section of In addition, Competegy provides award writing services for managed partners (Competegy clients have won 10 Microsoft Partner of the Year awards).

2020 Microsoft Partner Awards

The full list of 2020 Microsoft Partner of the Year awards is as follows:

Azure awards

  • AI and machine learning

  • Application innovation

  • Azure Influencer

  • Data analytics

  • Data estate modernization

  • Datacenter migration

  • DevOps

  • Internet of Things

  • Mixed reality

  • OSS on Azure

  • SAP on Azure

Business applications awards

  • Connected field service

  • Dynamics 365 business central (new)

  • Intelligent sales & marketing (changed)

  • Modernize finance and operations

  • Power Apps and Power Automate

  • Power BI

  • Proactive customer service

Industry awards

  • Automotive

  • Education

  • Energy (new)

  • Financial services

  • Government

  • Healthcare

  • Manufacturing

  • Media & Communications

  • Retail

Modern workplace awards

  • Apps & solutions for Microsoft Teams (new)

  • Calling and meetings for Microsoft Teams (changed)

  • Modern endpoint management (changed)

  • Modern workplace for firstline workers (new)

  • Project and portfolio management

  • Security and compliance

  • Teamwork

Other awards

  • Advisory services (new)

  • Alliance global ISV

  • Diversity and inclusion changemaker

  • Commercial marketplace (new)

  • Customer experience

  • Indirect provider

  • Learning

  • Microsoft for startups (new)

  • Partner for social impact

  • Solution assessment (new)

  • Surface Hub (new)

  • Surface PC (new)

Country/Region Partner of the Year Awards

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