ALH, AzurePass, Cloud Express and performance of Microsoft Learning.

Brass Contributor

Hello Learning Partner Support,

Hello Dan,

we have now tried several courses with the ALH included Azure Passes. Here is our feedback:

 

  • The included Azure Subscription is sliced with several other users

--> Total confusion for students (where are these resources coming from?)

  • Only the features that are used in the labs are enabled in the subscriptions (you cannot use other features of azure in that moment)

    Original Student feedback: I don´t want to pay for an ILT training, to only click thru some super-trivial labs. From my MCT opinion I can only conform that.
  • Subscription Switching
    After the lab time has elapsed you have to restart the lab and you get another subscription
    --> All Work is gone - Super-Demotivating for Students
  • Learning Paths Labs depth
    As I have already said sometime, the content on learn.microsoft.com is too trivial. For a 3 day course about 120 minutes learn content. That´s just a bad joke.

 

I don´t know how other learning partners are dealing with these issues. We from our side are discussing to completely cancel the Microsoft cloud training business. That offer is unusable at all.

 

We have been a Microsoft Learning partner for more than 20 years now, we never had to deal with such issues that were happening in last 2 years. Every month other issues to deals with. e.g.

 

  • Courseware Quality & Release Chaos
  • No more instructor handbooks
  • Cancelling all MOC courses with no replacement
  • New Lab Hosters, closing down courseware marketplace (and no recommendation from MSLex)
  • Endless announcements for partner portal and KPIs (and increasing requirements that are not possible to achieve)
  • Huge insecurity and the partner program at all (Licenses, Requirements, etc.)
  • Discontinuation of trial tenants for M365 (too much hassle to create, including some options are not available as trial)
  • No marketing/partner support at all.
  • Communication Channels changing every 3 months (from yammer to a forum to another forum to the next option; It seems just to clean up the issues)
  • ALH provided tenants are unusable (which MCT wants to remember 8 different M365x???????.onmicrosoft.com tenants, I do not)
  • much more to list if I would think back.

 

Our business is to sell and deliver high quality training and not to deal with MS WW Learning issues every day.

 

Sorry Dan, we are completely disappointed about the Microsoft Learning Partner program right now and we are discussing not to renew it anymore. (if that’s even possible without becoming a solution partner).

 

In my opinion that is not a “partner” program anymore. Just to get cheaper licenses.

 

Maybe you could forward that to the right position. I’m always ready to discuss or explain these issues with you.

Greetings from Austria

Mario Fuchs, MCT 26297

4 Replies
I agree, quite sad what has happened to this program.

Hi @MarioFuchs, as always, I appreciate the candid feedback. 

 

I know our partners have seen more changes in Microsoft’s Training Services Partner ecosystem in the last 2 years than probably the previous 10 combined. We’ve had some monumental shifts as we evolved our strategy to be at the forefront of technical training of all types. For some aspects, we’ve taken an agile approach by landing the solution and then working to make it better. While there have been some speed bumps, I assure you that our partners remain a massively strategic pillar of the business. With that, I want to ensure we digest your feedback and provide you some additional details.

 

For the labs topics, we’re connecting with you via email to discuss - as we’ll need course number, ALH name, and student specific information to understand these concerns. Additionally, I’ll also look to have our Labs program manager on an upcoming Community Call to provide an update and answer some FAQs.

 

For the non-labs topics (your titles, not mine :smile:):

  • Courseware Quality / Release Chaos:  for issues with courses (including quality) you can escalate to https://aka.ms/ILTSupport.
    • Click on Ask a new question
    • At the bottom of the subsequent page select:
      • Forum: Instructor Led Training
      • Support Area: Learning Partner
      • Topic: Courses/course content
      • Sub-topic: Other issues

There was some unfortunate churn with the recent MD-102 / MS-102 deployment and then delay, but we typically see releases land on time or delays communicated in advance via the Title Plan and Community Call.

 

  • Canceling All MOC w/ No Replacement: we did phase out MOC last year, but the replacement is courseware on Microsoft Learn. This was a strategic decision and allows us to keep training materials updated with the pace of solution area innovation demanded by all audiences. Since we’ve pivoted courseware to Learn the content has made great progress to increase quality for the learners. I agree there is still more work to be done.  
  • No More Instructor Handbooks: I’ll need to dig a bit more on this one. I believe the handbooks were tied to the MOC creation process and the fundamental change to courseware on Learn disrupted that. While MOC would publish and remain relatively unchanged for upwards of several years, the world of cloud evolves much more rapidly. Much like our partners we must be strategic with limited resources and drive the biggest impacts where we can.
  • Endless announcements / KPIs / program insecurity: this all lands with me. For the program, I’ve also been frustrated with the technical delays. However, we have been able to mitigate that with renewal overrides for all partners for several years now. Yes, we have redesigned the program and the bar for solution area badging is higher than the previous silver level. At the same time, we’ve continued to provide legacy benefits and a space for partners of all sizes and specialties to operate in an official training partner capacity. I know you don’t mean “not possible to achieve” literally, and I can share that we’ve had many partners achieve the new solution area badges. Regardless of the performance benchmarks we’ll always be home to training partners of all sizes.
  • Comms channels changing: one of my goals in managing this program is for comms channels to be predictable and consistent. We’ve done that for many years across our Community Calls, newsletters, and forum communities. 2 years ago, we pivoted from the antiquated Yammer site to a forum with a richer partner experience. 3 months ago, we were notified of the planned sunset of that site, and we migrated here to our current home. Honestly, I liked the functionality of the last forum better, but the team here is open to improvements and I welcome suggestions from all partners. You’ve probably seen @JillArmour working hard tagging different posts around here – she’s the Microsoft Partner Community lead and liaison to the developers. I know she’s open to site feedback as well.
  • No marketing / partner support at all: I’m going to push back on this one. We have this forum for partner questions, we have https://aka.ms/ILTSupport for course and MS Learn issues. Our marketing team puts out a tremendous amount of assets across all solution areas which can be found here: Training Services Partner Marketing Assets - Home (sharepoint.com) (you’ll have to request access the first time). The marketing team also has a quarterly community call dedicated to just marketing topics and opportunities for partners. While I can’t promise any specific deliverables,  @debbieuttecht , @KimBoey, or Anastasia Kountoura (Americas, APAC, and EMEA marketing, respectively) are always open to suggestions for marketing assets that would help our partners leverage Microsoft strategic initiatives and drive awareness in your offerings.  

 

Happy to discuss more and we’re always open to feedback from partners and MCTs. I want to be clear that we can’t implement every idea as we need to consider a wide range of factors and to be frank, there are differing points of view within the partner community itself. However, streamlining operations and supporting our partners to our best ability are things I think we all agree on.

 

Thanks again for the opportunity to drive some clarity around the program. Please let me know if you have additional questions.

 

Dan 

Thank you Dan for your detailed and honest answers.

I apologise for the (my) harsh (you are right) titles.

Some statements from my side:
- The missing SQL Courses is a great pain (as you know there is no replacement for that on learn)
- For the labs it maybe would be an better option to offer an easy way to create trial tenants for partners. (like an API to create tenants; i dont understand why we have to pay for an virtual windows 10 client to do a training just to get the tenant)

In the meantime I tried to get access to the sharepoint marking portal.

Ill send you the info for the labs issues by mail if its ok.
Best regards,
Mario