Microsoft is silently working and has made public a new certification about the cloud: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: Office 365. As Microsoft is increasingly trying to push companies to the cloud, IT pros will have to learn the migration process as well as learn how to help business get the most out of Office 365. The MCSA Office 365 will probably be the highest O365 certification level (no MCSE) and will provide IT professionals a certification that they are experts in the migration and administration of Office 365 business productivity services.
Even though as you see, the MCSA Office 365 is not on the official MCSA List yet, I will try to share as much information as I can with you. All this information is public, but hidden in the Microsoft Learning Website.
This MCSA Certification will only require two exams as opposed to the others who most require three exams:
1. Exam 70-346: Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements
Summary of Skills Being Measured:
- Provision Office 365
- Plan and Implement Networking and Security in Office 365
- Manage Cloud Identities
- Implement and Manage Identities by Using DirSync
- Implement and Manage Federated Identities [single sign-on (SSO)]
- Monitor and Troubleshoot Office 365 Availability and Usage
Furthermore, there seems to already be a MOC (Microsoft Official Course) for this exam :
20346B: Managing Office 365 Identities and Services (5 Days) , however there is no info on it on the internet yet, and it’s the “B” version but there is no “A” version either!
2. Exam 70-347: Enabling Office 365 Services
Summary of Skills Being Measured:
- Manage Clients and End-User Devices
- Provision SharePoint Online Site Collections
- Configure Exchange Online and Lync Online for End Users
- Plan for Exchange Online and Lync Online
This Exam also has not one… but two MOCs listed on the website. One of them is the 20346A and the second one is 20346B. In my opinion this is either a typo from MS Learning, or in 5 days you could learn for both exams, which would actually be a good deal!
Both Exams are currently in Development and should come out on February 17th 2014!
Candidates for this exam are IT professionals who take part in evaluating, planning, deploying, and operating the Office 365 services, including its dependencies, requirements, and supporting technologies. Candidates should have experience with the Office 365 Admin Center and an understanding of Microsoft Exchange Online, Lync Online, SharePoint Online, Office 365 ProPlus, and Windows Azure Active Directory. This includes experience with service descriptions, configuration options, and integrating services with existing identity management and on-premises infrastructure to support the business requirements of an organization.
Not sure if this is the right term, however if you want to try the exams and maybe be one of the first O365 MCSA, you can now already book them at Prometric, however you will still have to pay the 150$ . Note: The Beta Exams start with 071- while the “RTM” ones start with 070-
If you pass the exam, it will count as passed and you won’t have to re-do it again, and if you fail… well you fail. However you’re in luck! Microsoft Learning currently has the Second Shot Promotion at the moment! This is how the Second Shot works for Beta Exams: (Thanks to Dan Usher for finding the info!)
If you fail a beta (prefix 071) exam using your Second Shot voucher, Prometric will email your retake voucher code for the live (070) version within a week of receiving your beta results. This only applies to regular-priced individual technical exams, not certification pack exams.
Source- MS Learning
So, if you ever fail the beta and you used the Second Shot, you can still take the Real Exam for free when it comes out! I think it’s a pretty sweet deal from the part of Microsoft!
I think finally having a solid and planned O365 Certification is a good thing for the Microsoft Partner Ecosystem. Talking about MPN, I do believe that maybe in the future, this certification might become a requirement for certain competencies, or even replace the Office 365 Technical Assessment required in january for Collaboration & Portals. Furthermore I think that having 2 IT-PRO exams focused on O365 proves that O365 isn’t the “end of the IT-Pro”. In fact, the IT-Pro will be needed just as much, but we(I am an IT-Pro as well J ) will have to learn new skills and scenarios.