Despite Mobility Certification, Microsoft Partners Still Not Feeling Love From Apple


About 18 months ago, when Apple began recruiting Windows-trained experts for its Mobility Technical Competency, many Microsoft partners jumped at the chance to get certified to deliver integration services for iPhones and iPads. They were especially intrigued by Apple's hiring of Francois Daumard, a well-respected 12-year Microsoft channel veteran, and expected it to result in better channel relations.

While the MTC program is working as advertised, generating a steady stream of business for partners who've obtained it, Microsoft partners that were expecting Apple to adopt a Microsoft-like approach to channel relations are feeling disillusioned. They're annoyed with Apple's strict code of silence with MTC, its threats to revoke the credentials of members who talk about the program publicly, and the fact that Apple's channel team isn't permitted to appear at industry events.

"The Apple MTC is a program that has yet to come to full force," one source familiar with the situation told CRN. "Apple has a history of being a little inconsistent with partners, so there is some doubt as to their long-term commitment to the channel."

 

[Related: Apple Channel Strategy Ripens With New Hires, iPad Certification]

Apple did not respond to a request for comment on the status of MTC or the concerns raised by partners in this story.

Apple created the MTC, part of the Apple Consultants Network, as part of its broader campaign to grab more share in the enterprise than it was getting organically through the bring-your-own-device craze. Apple didn't have the in-house network infrastructure expertise to handle integrations of iPads and iPhones on Windows-based networks, and it needed to formalize things like security and management.

Apple currently has between 1,500 and 1,700 MTC-certified partners and is no longer aggressively recruiting, sources told CRN. Apple had intended to sign up 1,000 Microsoft partners by the end of 2012; it's not clear if it reached this goal, but sources told CRN strong interest in the program suggests this wasn't a difficult bar.

To be eligible for MTC, a company must have both a Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) with Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008 and a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) for Exchange Server 2010.

Another option is to have a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) in both security and wireless, or a single staff member with CompTIA Network+ certification.

NEXT: Partners Have Faith Apple Will Get Channel