Microsoft has insisted it is not about to axe any identity and access-management products after news it is retiring the related competency caused a stir among partners.
Last week, Microsoft announced plans to cut 12 competencies as it takes greater strides towards cloud. One of the badges set for the axe is Identity and Access (IA), along with the likes of Distributor and Volume Licensing.
Partners had mixed feelings about the competency changes, with some claiming that the move towards cloud is too fast and does not meet customers' current requirements.
News of IA's demise appears to have caused a stir, with Microsoft publishing a blog today aiming to "clear the air".
The IA competency allows partners access to Signature Cloud Support, in addition to Azure internal-use rights and specific incentives.
Microsoft insisted that getting rid of the specific IA competency does not mean that it is no longer important. Rather, it claimed it is so important that it needed to be brought up to date as part of a new and improved competency.
"The recent change for the Identity and Access competency should not be seen as Microsoft retiring it, but rather expanding the solution space to include Enterprise Mobility Management," the vendor said. "Identity and Access has been merged with mobility to better support customers with their transformation to modern end-user productivity where identity, mobility and information protection all come together.
"As customers increasingly look to the cloud to meet their business needs, they want to know that our partners have the expertise to help them. Identity is at the forefront of any customer's mind when leveraging cloud services and the recent changes in MPN [Microsoft Partner Network] competencies exemplifies more than ever that Microsoft is doubling down on Identity – not sun-setting."
It added that the competency axe "is not signalling in any way the end of any Microsoft products", saying that it has more than 600 engineers working on related products – more than it has ever had before.
Microsoft insisted that the move to axe the competency dozen is good news for partners.
"While we understand any change be can a challenge, the moves are all aimed at helping our partners find greater success," it added.
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