Microsoft NCE – intY’s Need to Know Guide for MSPs

In 2021, Microsoft shared its future plans for the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. This multi-stage, long-term vision was designed to help MSPs better support their customers’ digital transformation, by streamlining its processes.

What is Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience (NCE)?

The NCE is the latest development in the CSP program. Its primary aims are to simplify the way Microsoft’s products, models and subscriptions work, and to make new offers available to MSPs and their customers.

It also provides Partners with new tools to streamline and manage subscriptions, with an economical, seat-based model for Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Windows 365 and Power Platform subscriptions.

The timeline is already underway – Microsoft wants all legacy CSP to be moved to NCE in 2022. 

What does this mean for Managed Service Providers (MSP)?

For MSPs, these changes mean simplified licensing with three ways to buy:

  1. NCE
  2. Enterprise Agreements (EA)
  3. Web Direct 

There are also 3 straightforward subscription models:

  1. Per-month
  2. Annual
  3. Multi-year

For more detail on these subscription models, download our eBook below.

Microsoft is also stepping up enforcement of its cancellation rules around licenses and renewal dates, with a 7 day, pro-rated cancellation period across all subscriptions.

You should also bear in mind that by purchasing the subscription, Partners accept the financial liability to pay if the end user doesn’t pay you or goes out of business.

What are the key dates* in 2022 for the NCE timeline?

Key dates for Partners and their customers are as follows:

  • 11th July 2022: All renewing subscriptions must be placed through NCE
  • 31st Dec 2022: Microsoft Incentives on legacy CSP will be removed
  • Feb 2023: All remaining subscriptions on legacy CSP must be moved across to NCE

*Note: These dates are subject to change at Microsoft’s discretion

There’s currently a time-limited promotion to encourage uptake of these new models. Microsoft are offering a 20% discount for monthly term subscriptions until June 2022 (in effect, monthly term subscriptions will be priced the same as the annual term during this period). 

What are the benefits of NCE?

Shifting over to NCE has many positives and Microsoft have worked hard to bring improved functionality. NCE contains several brand-new features that improve operations and offer multiple benefits for corporate and individual users:

  • Multi-Geo – 365 subscribers can provision and store data in different geographical locations while retaining centralised administration of users and groups from a single Azure Active Directory tenant.
  • Hybrid Use Benefit (HUB) – allows organisations to further capitalise on their Microsoft investments made via the CSP programme.
  • Home Use Program (HUP) – this allows employees at eligible companies to buy an annual subscription of Microsoft 365 Family or Microsoft 365 Personal at a discount for use on personal devices.

Further features to help your business grow

In addition to new features for users, Microsoft has also created new revenue opportunities and business benefits for its Partners and resellers:

  • Price lock – a price lock of up to 3 years is a serious business advantage for MSPs.
  • Microsoft Solution Assessments – analyse your customer’s existing licensing and use the reports to optimise.
  • Trial Licenses – seamless conversion of trial licenses into paid subscriptions, meaning less manual intervention.
  • Incentives – Microsoft are increasing the Core Modern Workplace and Security incentive to 5% from 4% and the Core Business Applications Incentive from 4.75% to 5% (ask us for eligibility requirements).

We’re keeping you in the loop

There are several additional service changes for businesses to be aware of. Currently these include:

  • Windows 365 is available on a monthly commitment without a price premium
  • Subscription changes can be scheduled in advance
  • Subscriptions can be set to auto-renew (or not)
  • Add-ons can be purchased without the base product being available

We’re committed to helping our Partners navigate change

As we’ve seen, NCE is completely reinventing the way MSPs take Microsoft services to customers. 

Since these changes were announced, we’ve been working closely with Microsoft to ensure we fully support our Partners and make the necessary changes to CASCADE.

We’re here to give you the knowledge, insight and sales support to make your service offering the best available. Follow our blog and social media to keep on top of future updates.

Got questions? Contact our Modern Workplace Practice with your NCE queries and we’ll get straight back to you.

Want to find out more?

If you have any questions, please reach out to your Account Manager!

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