Power Platform Training Resources

Kylie Kiser has collated and posted a list of training resources for the Power Platform on her blog https://kyliekiser.com/2022/07/19/power-platform-training-resources/

Worth checking out.

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MCT Summit Switzerland September 12-14 2022

The MCT Community is running an in-person 3-day summit for Microsoft Certified Trainers in Zurich.

There will both technical and soft skills sessions delivered by some of the best MCTs around. Plus over the weekend of September 10-11 there are community activities.

If are not an MCT and you want to join the great community of MCTs, there an approved 3-day technical trainer course to qualify as an MCT on September 7-9.

After the summit there are three 2-day Train the Trainer workshops including one on Power Platform run by me!

More details and registration https://www.mctsummit.eu/

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Dynamics 365 functional consultant certifications now only require one exam

Until now to gain a one of the Dynamics 365 functional consultant associate certifications:

you had to also pass the PL-200 Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant exam.

From July 28 2022, you only need to pass the Dynamics 365 exam MB-210, MB-220, MB-230, or MB-240 to gain the associate certification.

Expect the MB-210, MB-220, MB-230, and MB-240 exams to contain some Power Platform content to test your knowledge on customizing the Dynamics 365 apps.

More details at https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-learn-blog/new-exam-structure-for-dynamics-365-certifications-for-customer/ba-p/3500861

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Microsoft Build

Microsoft Build starts tomorrow.

I will be taking part in a Humans of IT panel on discussion Build the skills you need for today’s tech world on Wednesday at 9PM BST.

I will also be answering questions for the following Power Platform Learn Live sessions:

and I am moderating the chat for The New Developer’s Guide to the Cloud session.

For all sessions related to the Power Platform, see Power Platform at Build.

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Exam voucher at Microsoft Build

Microsoft have a cloud skills challenge starting on May 24 where you can get an exam voucher by completing various Microsoft Learn modules. The list of exams covered is small but includes PL-100, PL-200, and PL-300.

Sign up at https://www.microsoft.com/en-US/cloudskillschallenge/build/registration/2022

The rules for the challenge can be found at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloudskillschallenge/build/officialrules/2022

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Speaking at Power Platform Community Sweden May 3

I will be in Stockholm next week for a training session and while I am there I will be speaking at the Power Platform Community Sweden event on May 3.

I will be discussing Dynamics 365 Customer Insights.

To find out more and register to to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/power-platform-community-sweden-event-may-2022-biljetter-299003687077

Power Platform Community Sweden Event - May 2022

Posted in Community, Dynamics 365 | Tagged | 1 Comment

Business Applications solutions partner

I posted an overview of the changes to the Microsoft Partner network. In this post I will outline the certification requirements for the Business Application solutions area.

To qualify as a Business Applications solution partner you need 70 points out of 100 possible. You can obtain 50% of the points (35 points) from certified individuals.

Both Dynamics 365 and Power Platform certifications are eligible.

Intermediate certifications (maximum 20 points)

For larger markets each qualifying individual is worth 1 point and for smaller markets each qualifying individual is worth 2 points.

You require a minimum of 20 individuals for larger markets and 10 individuals for smaller markets with one of the following associate level certifications:

  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate (PL-200 and MB0-210)
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Marketing Functional Consultant Associate (PL-200 and MB0-220)
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate (PL-200 and MB-230)
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Field Service Functional Consultant Associate (PL-200 and MB-240)
  • Microsoft Certified: Power Apps + Dynamics 365 Developer Associate (MB-400)
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate (MB-300 and MB-310)
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing Functional Consultant Associate (MB-300 and MB-320)
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management Functional Consultant Associate (MB-300 and MB-330)
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Commerce Functional Consultant Associate (MB-300 and MB-340)
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Apps Developer Associate (MB-300 and MB-500)
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Business Central Functional Consultant Associate (MB-800)
  • Microsoft Certified: Power Platform App Maker Associate (PL-100)
  • Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Functional Consultant Associate (PL-200)
  • Microsoft Certified: Power BI Data Analyst Associate (PL-300)
  • Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Developer Associate (PL-400)

Advanced certifications (maximum 15 points)

For larger markets each qualifying individual is worth 2.14 points and for smaller markets each qualifying individual is worth 5 points.

You require a minimum of 7 individuals for larger markets and 3 individuals for smaller markets with one of the following expert level certifications:

  • Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Solution Architect Expert (PL-600)
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Apps Solution Architect Expert (MB-700)
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 + Power Platform Solution Architect Expert (MB-600)

Note: MB-400 and MB-600 are retired.

There is more information on the Microsoft Partner blog and in Microsoft Docs.

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Microsoft Partner program changes

The Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) program is changing to the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program later this year. No longer will there be many competencies with Silver and Gold levels but six solution areas:

  • Data & AI (Azure)
  • Infrastructure (Azure)
  • Digital & App Innovation (Azure)
  • Business Applications
  • Modern Work
  • Security

Partner capability score

This new program is going back to a points model where you earn points in one of three areas

  • Performance​
  • Skilling​
  • Customer Success​

You need to gain a number of points in these areas to become a solutions partner.

Specializations

Once you have achieved solution partner there are specializations that you can obtain than demonstrate your technical expertise.

Skilling

As you can probably guess, I am going to focus on the skilling area. Partners have always required a number of certified individuals to qualify for partner status and this new program does not change that but it does change the numbers and the certifications required.

Each solution area requires a number of individuals with intermediate certifications and and a number of individuals with advanced certifications. The numbers of certifications required varies by solution area.

I am going to summarize the certifications required in subsequent posts but what I have found interesting is that Power Platform (PL-400 and PL-600) and Dynamics 365 (MB-260) certifications qualify for solution areas other than Business Applications.

I expect the new program is going to drive training to meet these new requirements.

You can read more about these changes on the Microsoft Partner blog and checkout this infographic to see the timeline. If you can access the Microsoft Partner center to view your current solutions partner status.

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Taking vs writing an exam

As one of my other activities I “create” items for Microsoft exams and practice tests. For example on the PL-900 exam there are sample questions that you can use to gauge the level of knowledge used in exam item.

Now one thing that annoys me is people who misuse the term “write the exam” when they mean to take or sit the exam. These are the definitions I use for exams:

  • Write – the creator of the exam writes the exam.
  • Give – the proctor or administrator of the exam gives the exam.
  • Take – the student who answers the questions on the exam takes the exam.
  • Sit – the student who answers the questions on the exam sits the exam.

Let me explain how exam items are written. For each Microsoft exam e.g., Dynamics 365 Fundamentals MB-910, there is the objective domain which is also known as the exam skills outline. The skills measured has three levels:

  • Functional groups
  • Objectives
  • Tasks

For example for MB-910 there are five functional groups. The functional group for Dynamics 365 Sales has two objectives, the first objective has 4 tasks and the second objective has 2 tasks as shown below.

Describe Dynamics 365 Sales (15–20%)

Describe the Dynamics 365 Sales lifecycle

  • describe leads and the process for qualifying leads
  • describe the opportunity management process
  • describe the quote lifecycle
  • describe sales pipeline forecasting concepts

Describe sales-related apps

  • describe capabilities of Dynamics 365 Sales Insights
  • describe capabilities of LinkedIn Sales Navigator

As an exam writer you are asked to create a number of items for each objective. For example if I was asked to write two items for the Describe the Dynamics 365 Sales lifecycle objective I would select two of the tasks, the bullet points, and write one item for each task.

When taking an exam you will see questions on each objective but not necessarily on each task. However, you do not know which tasks will be included so you need to cover them all.

If you want to understand further how exam items are written watch this recording How to Think Like a Certification Exam by William Assaf.

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Microsoft certification exam renewals

Microsoft Associate, Speciality,  and Expert exams like MB-210, PL-200, and PL-600 must be renewed each year rather than retaking the exam every two years. The idea is for you to be able to demonstrate that you are up-to-date without having to retake the exam.

Renewals are free and you need to complete an online assessment on Microsoft Learn. The questions in the online assessment tend to focus on the changes in the exam since the previous year and changes in functionality.

If one of your certifications is due for renewal then you should receive an email and you will see this at the top of your Microsoft Learning dashboard https://www.microsoft.com/learning/dashboard.aspx. You will also find a set of Microsoft Learn modules that you can use to prepare for the assessment on the exam page.

You can read the full details of the renewal process at https://docs.microsoft.com/learn/certifications/renew-your-microsoft-certification

If you have any questions, there is an Ask the Experts session on Microsoft Learn TV on Tuesday, January 25 at 10am PT/6pm GMT at https://aka.ms/learntv where you can ask questions about renewals.

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