In recognition of the rapid market growth of low code application development tools, Microsoft launched its Low Code Application Development Advanced Specialisation in February 2021. The hard-won specialisation denotes a partner who can rapidly develop custom and flexible low code line-of-business solutions that integrate existing systems and data to drive innovation and efficiency across their organisations. And critically, it acknowledges a partner’s verified knowledge, substantive experience, and documented success in supporting customer adoption of Microsoft low code solutions.
Kristy Brown, Director Customer Engagement & Collaboration at Fusion5, says the achievement of Low Code Application Development represents a substantial level of effort and elevated competency levels for the business.
"Microsoft has quite rightly set the bar high for partners keen to showcase this significant specialisation. It's admittedly been demanding, but achieving it demonstrates that if you start from a base of excellence, you can stand out from the crowd as a safe pair of hands."
Starting with a gold badge competency in Cloud Business Applications, Cloud Platform, Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions, Cloud Productivity, or Application Integration, an eligible partner must have a minimum of five Power Apps customers with solutions actively in use in their business, with each quality-validated app needing to have at least five users and 50 sessions monthly.
In addition, the partner must achieve at least 35% growth in usage across their customer base in a trailing 12-month period, and reach a minimum of 50% in monthly active usage (MAU) as a baseline to be eligible for growth. Other requirements include demonstrating internal knowledge and capability by having the requisite volume of certified experts across functional consultants, developers, and solution architecture – all with passes for specific, related exams.
Brown says that while Fusion5 started from a position of strength with gold badges for all five of the competencies, rather than just one, it wasn’t easy going. "On top of that, the five customer apps needed to include, at least once, AI Builder, application lifecycle management, canvas app, Dataverse, flow, model-driven app, and portals components."
Matt Bostwick, Partner Director at Microsoft New Zealand, says Fusion5’s achievement demonstrates New Zealand innovation is holding its own among the best in the world.
"Microsoft applies exacting standards for their Low Code Application Development Advanced Specialisation. So, when a customer chooses to work with Fusion5, they can be confident it’s a truly world-class partner. It’s really exciting for us to see partners like Fusion5 not just trying to keep up with the breakneck pace of change, but actively leading the way on making their solutions and skills the best they possibly can be. It means that when Fusion5 designs and builds you an app, it's going to be incredibly secure and deliver the business transformation you expect – and not only that, but it’s also going to empower your own teams to do more with it. Low code technology, which doesn’t require users to have a lot of technical knowledge or programming skills, is key to helping New Zealand businesses transform, getting people across the organisation engaged in making their own improvements and speeding up change that will benefit our economy, our competitiveness and our everyday lives.”
Adds Brown: "Microsoft laid out an incredibly stringent set of guidelines for this Advanced Specialisation, and being the first trans-Tasman partner to achieve it, is a testament to the quality of real-world applications we've built over time using of a vast array of technical elements. And that’s something you can't do by just building and deploying the same Power App many times. It’s a tribute to our people, our drive for excellence, and the customers that place their trust in us, every day.”