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If you are determined to obtain Microsoft Gold or Silver Certification, it will certainly require significant effort and dedication. This is not a certification that is simply handed out to make people feel good. I would almost compare it to a master’s degree in the area of certification; it is indicative of a level of experience and expertise that is well above average. Further, it is not awarded through a simple classroom process; to reach the Gold partner level requires a demonstration of real world deployments in a multitude of Microsoft technologies as well as independent verification by Microsoft. In Microsoft’s own words, “a gold competency is evidence of the deepest, most consistent commitment to a specific, in-demand, business solution area.” A gold certification will also grant a company early access to the most current internal use software, which is a very real advantage over companies that have not achieved the same level of expertise. As with most things in life that are challenging to obtain, when you finally become a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner it is something that you can truly be proud of, it shows others that you are dedicated to your core competencies, and have the distinction of being among the 1% of Microsoft partners in the world that have attained and demonstrated the required level of proficiency.