Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program is constantly evolving, aiming to address the changing industry needs. Putting partners at the center of the SMB digital transformation, Microsoft invests in the CSP program, ensuring an optimal experience for every business. As a result, Microsoft has already launched the New Commerce Experience (NCE) for Microsoft Azure in 2019 and will soon introduce a new set of additions, including Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Windows 365, and Power Platform. NCE expansion offers new functionalities, capabilities, and policies that differ from the legacy CSP provisioning platform. It aims to reduce licensing complexity and costs and provide flexibility to support a wide range of client purchasing scenarios. Once fully launched, it will enable faster and simpler transactions.
The General Availability of NCE will be announced in January 2022 by Microsoft. More details will be announced before January’s launch.
What is the New Commerce Experience (NCE)?
The NCE is the latest version of the CSP program’s evolution, which will provide Microsoft partners with new tools to manage license-based subscriptions, new sales capabilities, and tools to manage subscriptions more effectively. In fact, it is a unified way of licensing ownership. NCE ensures stronger customer commitment with multiple term options. Microsoft’s vision is to provide a single, integrated platform unifying customers’ experience.
What will change and why?
SKU Price Increase
- Affects specific SKUs. The price increase comes as part of the hugely increased added value through the years.
New Commerce Experience
- Affects all seats-based SKUs (Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Windows365, Power Platform)
- +20% across all SKUs that will be on a monthly commitment
- New Subscription management features
- 25 new apps and over 1,400 features
What is the impact on your business?
As an indirect CSP, NCE will help you achieve business growth, build broader and more sustainable revenue streams, and reduce licensing complexities or management costs. Furthermore, an array of new features and functionalities will be introduced for buying, provisioning, and billing services. The upcoming NCE additions will also provide Microsoft partners with new tools to achieve flexibility in subscription management, while customers will enjoy discounted prices and multiple new term options.
What do the changes include?
The subscription term will now be enforced
Subscription will be available in:
- Enables a customer to change the number of licenses month to month
- 20% more expensive than an annual Subscription
- Regular commitment
- Enables a customer to lock pricing for a full 36 months
- Billing options (monthly, annual, or upfront)
Discounted pricing will apply for 12 & 36-month subscriptions
New subscription actions: Pause, Cancellation, Auto-Renew, Full & Partial Upgrade
To support the transition period Microsoft will be offering,
- 20% promotional discount for 1-month term subscriptions (until the end of June 2022)
- 5% promotional discount for 12-month term subscriptions (until the end of March 2022)
New cancellation policy:
- Full refund for the 1st day
- Pro-rated refund within the first 72 hours of terms
New cancellation-window duration for commercial seat-based offers in CSP new commerce
From March 18, 2022, any new commercial seat-based subscription orders in CSP new commerce allow seven calendar days for cancellations and seat reductions instead of the previous 72-hour window.
This change is intended to provide partners with additional time to make post-purchase corrections to orders.
Charges for canceled subscriptions or seat reductions will be prorated from the time the subscription is created until it’s canceled or seats are reduced, as was the case with the 72-hour window. See the billing scenarios documentation for examples on how cancellations and charges work for seven-day cancellations.
Also, the seven-day window will apply retroactively to subscriptions purchased seven days prior to the implementation of the change. Orders submitted prior to that date and time won’t be available for retroactive cancellation. As a result, a partner that ordered a subscription during the prior seven-day period can cancel or reduce seats on that subscription for up to seven days, post-purchase. For example, a subscription that was purchased at 11 a.m. local time on March 22 can be canceled (or have seats reduced) up until the same time on March 29.
Cancellations within the seven-day window will be enabled for the following commercial subscription scenarios:
- New seat-based subscription purchases on new commerce
- Seat-based subscriptions that have been renewed on new commerce
- Seat-based subscriptions purchased on new commerce as a result of a migration from legacy CSP
- Partial new commerce upgrades that resulted in a new subscription
- Reducing seats from incremental seat adds on existing subscriptions or on new subscription orders
What are my options in legacy from March 10?
The end date for renewals of legacy CSP subscriptions on the legacy platform has been moved from July 1, 2022, to July 11, 2022.
CSP partners wanting to have their customers’ commercial seat-based legacy subscriptions renewed on the legacy platform will now have until July 11, 2022, for those renewals to be completed. The previously announced end date for legacy renewals was July 1, 2022.
Starting July 11, 2022, any commercial seat-based legacy CSP subscription that reaches the end of its term won’t be automatically renewed on the legacy platform and must be either repurchased in the new commerce experience or allowed to expire.
While the subscriptions are active, partners may migrate existing legacy subscriptions to new commerce in CSP at any time. By using the migration tool in Partner Center or via API, the partner migrating a legacy subscription to new commerce can do the following:
- Keep the existing legacy term duration, the number of months remaining on the term, seat count, and billing frequency.
- Select a different term duration, seat count, and/or billing frequency.
- Start a new term for the migrated subscription.
Microsoft won’t notify the partner or customer when a legacy subscription nears or reaches its expiration date. It will be the partner’s responsibility to monitor active legacy subscriptions to confirm when each one is due to expire.
Starting July 11, 2022, the partner must take action to migrate or repurchase the commercial seat-based legacy subscription in new commerce if the customer wants to continue using the subscription. Also, as communicated in March, an existing legacy subscription can’t be repurchased in legacy before that subscription reaches the end of its term, as this repurchase is considered a new order and will be blocked.
Note that the blocking of legacy subscription renewals on July 11 applies only to commercial seat-based offers and not also to Education, Government, and Non-profit seat-based offers, which have not yet been added to the CSP new commerce platform.
- Implement this change within your provisioning and billing systems and marketing content, and communicate the new legacy renewal end date to your customers who have active legacy commercial seat-based subscriptions.
- Visit the new commerce experience for CSP seat-based offers collection and review the CSP new commerce experience handbook for partners.
- To learn more about new commerce for seat-based offers, register to attend the New Commerce Experience Fundamentals community calls on May 10 and 11, 2022.
New pricing for Microsoft 365 & Office 365 in NCE
Microsoft announced some price changes for Microsoft 365 and Office 365 products. Prices have increased due to the value of the solutions and the addition of new innovations around communications and collaboration, security, and automation.
This change will go into effect on March 15, 2022 as follows
- Microsoft 365 E3 – EUR 42,48 (from EUR 37,80)
- Office 365 E5 – EUR 44,88 (from EUR 41,28)
- Office 365 E3 – EUR 27,12 (from EUR 23,64)
- Office 365 E1 – EUR 10,08 (from EUR 8,04)
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic – EUR 6,12 (from EUR 5,04)
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium – EUR 22,32 (from EUR 20,28)
Please note that the price increase applies to both monthly and annual pricing.
In order to avoid the price increase, you should renew and move to NCE before March 15th.
What is the benefit of being able to purchase addons on their own?
The ability to purchase add-ons separately from base offers can be a benefit when the customer already has a prerequisite base offer (which can have been purchased from another partner or directly from Microsoft) and just needs the add-on from the specific partner. Note that in new commerce, it will be required that the customer has a prerequisite subscription in place in order for the partner to sell the add-on separately.
What is the timeline for New Commerce Experience (NCE)?
The NCE key changes are the following:
- The annual promo will only run for 3 months (January – March) whereas the 1-month promo for six months (January- June).
- Renewals cut-off date pushed back to June (new purchases cut-off date remain the same = March).
How will the interworks.cloud team help its Resellers?
- Our cloud experts are committed to guiding you through this transition so that you stay focused on your business growth.
Your Partner Account Managers are ready to answer our partners’ questions and provide them consultation.
- Our Partner Success team is constantly working on supporting any issues our partners face and will cover their smooth transition.
- Our Product team is focused on implementing NCE on our Marketplace according to the timeline above.
- Our Marketing team is engaged in constantly updating partners with NCE news. Save this page and regularly revisit to discover any updates Microsoft announces. Stay Tuned
We know it is tough to get lost in the huge resources funnel that is available out there, so we collected for you the most relevant documentation shared by Microsoft.
- Operating Guide – NCE
- Coming to the Cloud Solution Provider program: seat-based offers in new commerce
- New commerce experience for CSP seat-based offers
- FAQs for the new commerce experience in CSP
- Subscription-management scenarios for M365, D365, and Windows 365 in NCE
- Global Promo Readiness Guide