As a person that started the MPP program just recently, you can imagine my shock to find out that Microsoft is killing the program. I’m still debating on trying on either to finish the 10 left classes in less than 3 months or to just give up. Something tells me, I’m not the only Microsoft Data Platform enthusiast that is stuck here deciding what to do. There is plenty of good analysis by gentlemen that are much smarter than I am talking about it and comparing it to the long-gone MCM program:
- Professional Program Is Ending by Thomas LaRock
- Opinion: RIP Microsoft Professional Program by Gregg Low
- Goodbye Microsoft Professional Program and a Question by Andy Leonard
What was not discussed is the why factor – a chance to upset the community that extends Microsoft marketing and support efforts and vs. the cost-saving benefit for Microsoft.
It is no surprise that Microsoft Professional Program (“MPP”) was designed to highlight the Microsoft way of achieving things, i.e. using most if not all Microsoft Azure products to accomplish business goals. Essentially, the more IT people pass that program, the more certified advocates Microsoft will have to keep it’s product relevant and keep making money. I could be wrong, but I always thought that Microsoft success didn’t happen because of the 150K employees it has (144K+ to be exact according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft), but it rather happened because of the healthy ecosystem it created (intentionally or unintentionally). So why upset and alienate your core fans, people that invested their money and time into building their career around Microsoft products? Since Microsoft is not releasing any numbers, I’m going to guess either of the two things (maybe both?) – the audience wasn’t big enough or the ecosystem is no longer needed.
Microsoft is a public company with the main objective to make money to its shareholders. Microsoft is no different than other companies that are constantly analyzing cost vs. benefit. Both Google and Amazon have a graveyard of ambitions with Google Wave and Glass (more can be found here https://www.businessinsider.com/discontinued-google-products-2016-8/), Amazon Fire Phone and Dash Buttons (more can be found here https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-products-services-failed-discontinued-2019-3). Microsoft did that to Windows Phone, Windows Media Player, as well as hundreds of other Microsoft services and products that didn’t make a cut. Looks like MPP didn’t make it, right? Well, this is where I think that the card game is not worth the candle. Since Microsoft is not releasing any numbers, I’m going to guess that Microsoft on-going cost is negligible. Unless Microsoft is paying Edx to cover the ongoing cost, Microsoft cost is limited to an initial investment in creating the content.
In conclusion, shutting down MPP to save few dollars while upsetting a some IT folks?! Looks like a non-sense, right? Microsoft hard-core fans are the golden goose that enables Microsoft to close new deals and keep “milking” existing deals, so IMHO this is a very shortsighted decision that is highly tactical and very low on strategy.