Microsoft partners will have to re-profile themselves on the vendor's web site to be eligible for maximum benefits under its new channel programme.
Last week the software giant officially launched its new certification process, which separates partners into three levels - Registered Member, Certified Partner and Gold Certified Partner - depending on the number of points they have amassed.
The vendor's online points calculator also went live last week.
Partners can gain points in 11 competencies, including business intelligence, e-business solutions, security, networking and advanced infrastructure services.
Last year Microsoft warned partners that time was running out to get re-accredited, before it launched its new scheme that it claimed would "create a level playing field" for its channel.
Eric Gales, director SMS&P managed partner group at Microsoft, admitted that some partners will fall by the wayside.
"Because we have raised the bar we expect to lose some partners, but also hope to accumulate some more along the way. The programme has been well received by VARs that are willing to invest in Microsoft," he said.
David Hurley, managing director of Gold Partner Anglia Business Computers UK, said the scheme was good news for VARs.
"A lot of people realise accreditations are a safety net when assembling mission-critical systems. If this accreditation helps make sure the IT industry does its job, then it is a good thing.
"VARs can either buy into the concept or go elsewhere."
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