74-324 exam: A refined and relevant exam for Small Business Competency

By Stuart_R_Crawford
In MSP Coaching
July 30, 2012

Article By Stuart Crawford

There is breaking news for all those people who are Microsoft Partners from small businesses and also trying to attain Small Business Competency. After a long episode of debate and conciliation, Microsoft has finally decided to make major changes in their exam module 74-323 which is a pre-requisite to attain the Small Business Competency. This exam will be transformed into a new exam named 74-324. This is indeed a great news for the partners who had a number of issues with former 74-323 exam for a long time.

Small Business Competency is one of the most sought after achievements by any SMEs since they include a number of benefits that address key stages of their business cycle. These benefits can include internal-use software licenses, partner newsletters, access to Microsoft Cloud Solutions, eligibility for Windows Phone Discount Program & Windows Phone app   and many more. Besides that the SMEs also get unlimited to access to Small and Medium Business Resource Center and Partner Marketing Center which are must for all SMEs regardless of their industry, size or target market.

Although very attractive, it was really difficult for the people to attain Small Business Competency. Partners have been complaining that the previous 74-324 Small Business Competency exam was actually based on Enterprise scenarios of Office 365 and had less focus on the actual Small Business issues. In general, Small Business partners would hardly have any expertise or acquaintance with the Enterprise scenarios of Office 365. Although they have been raising their concern about this for a long while, it was last month when Eric Ligman, the director of Partner Experience from  Microsoft Corporation announced that they will be replacing the old 74-323 exam with 74-324 Exam: Administering Office 365 for Small Business which would be more relevant and focused on small businesses.

According to the announcement, people will need to complete all competency requirements except the 70-323 and wait for the new exam 74-324 until it is available. We are not sure about the exact date when the exam will be available, but we are certain that it wouldn’t take too long. Meanwhile, if you are planning to appear for the exam, you can try a one of those 10 hour JumpStart clinic programs available in various training houses.

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Author: Stuart R. Crawford