Friday 24th September 2021
Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience (NCE) for CSP began two years ago with Microsoft Azure (the first Microsoft offering introduced on the new commerce platform), followed by Azure Reserved Instances and, most recently, perpetual software offers. With the next phase in October 2021, Microsoft will bring seat-based cloud offers to the New Commerce Experience for Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform, as well as Windows 365.
What does this mean?
The New Commerce Experience brings multiple benefits to how you transact via the Cloud Solutions Provider program, including:
Future capabilities for new commerce in CSP
In 2022, additional features and new offers will launch exclusive to new commerce. For example, current plans for M365 (subject to change) include three-year term offers, hybrid use benefits (HUB), home use program (HUP), and multi-geo add-ons. We’ll be able to align term end dates of new and existing subscriptions.
New Cancellation Policy
With the launch of New Commerce Experience Microsoft will be enforcing a cancelation policy for annual term offers and will be introducing a new monthly term offer. The cancellation policy means that it will only be possible to cancel within 24 hours of placing an order. In order to provide customers with the flexibility that they have enjoyed through CSP Microsoft are introducing a new monthly term offer, which will be priced at 20% more than making an annual commitment (annual term offer).
Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience (NCE) launches on the 14th October 2021, at the same time Microsoft will release introductory promotions (available between October 2021 and March 2022). From March 2022 all new and renewing subscriptions will need to be purchased through NCE. On 1st October 2022 all customers will purchase through NCE.
The Bytes Cloud Dashboard will be NCE ready to enable you to purchase NCE offers ahead of the March cut off date, therefore providing you with the ability to take advantage of the launch promotional pricing and avoiding the Microsoft 365 price increases. As a Bytes customer, your account manager will be in contact with you shortly to talk through the timelines and the multiple options you have available to enable a smooth transition to NCE.
What is the new commerce experience, and what does it mean for Microsoft customers?
Microsoft is designing the new commerce experience to simplify and streamline how customers buy from Microsoft and to offer them more options for tailoring these purchases to their business needs and goals.
You may have heard or seen it referred to as “Modern Commerce” in the past. Simply put, it’s the present and future of how Microsoft sells cloud products and services to customers, both directly and through partners such as Bytes. If you have an Azure plan subscription or buy perpetual software, server software, Azure Reserved Instances, or third-party offers or apps through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, your subscriptions are already on the new commerce platform. Microsoft is expanding the new commerce cloud product portfolio, introducing seat-based or license-based offers such as M365, D365, Power Platform, and Windows 365.
Why should I agree to have my subscriptions moved to the new commerce experience?
The new commerce experience will soon be the platform on which all CSP products and services are provisioned. The addition of M365, D365, Power Platform, and Windows 365 to new commerce in October 2021 will mean that all CSP products can be sold through that new platform. Over the next several months, during which new commerce and the existing CSP experience will be available side by side, we as your partner will be moving existing subscriptions to the new commerce experience as well as placing new subscription orders on new commerce in preparation for the eventual decommissioning of the original CSP experience.
Also, starting in October, new CSP offers and term options will be launched and available only on the new commerce experience – for example, Microsoft plans to add three-year terms and multi-geo addons for M365.
I like having the flexibility to cancel or reduce seats whenever I want with the current CSP experience. Why is Microsoft taking away that flexibility for customers with annual term subscriptions in new commerce, and why am I being charged more for the new monthly term option?
The enforcement of a cancellation policy in new commerce is designed to bring CSP into alignment with other purchase motions in new commerce, as well as existing Microsoft licensing programs, such as the Enterprise Agreement, so that all customers have a consistent purchasing experience and are subject to the same terms and conditions for the cloud offerings they buy, whether it’s self-serve, from a Microsoft seller, or from a partner like us.
The cancellation enforcement in new commerce ensures that customers committing to the entire term will benefit from the more favourable pricing of long-term subscriptions.
It’s similar to the way you pay more for a refundable airline ticket or for an online subscription to premium content in which you can cancel at any time instead of paying for a year up front (which costs less per month on an annualized basis). Also, the premium pricing for the monthly-term option is in line with standard practice in the Microsoft Web Direct program, with licensing programs of competitors, and in other subscription-based businesses and industries.
When will my subscription on the current platform be required to be moved to new commerce?
Any new and renewing subscriptions from March 2022 will transact via the new commerce experience. Any legacy subscriptions will expire on 30th September 2022 at which point they will need to renew into NCE.
I don’t see any customer benefits from new commerce in this release compared to the existing CSP platform. Is there anything planned for future releases that will be good for us as customers?
The current release creates the foundation for customer-centric new features. For example, Microsoft plans to bring three-year terms to M365 and other seat-based offers, so that Bytes can help customers lock in their pricing for three years instead of just one. Also planned is consumption-based billing for some components of seat-based offers such as M365, to enable pay-for-what-you-use pricing, along with Hybrid Use Benefits and Home Use Program availability and a multi-geography add-on for the M365 product suite. The new commerce in CSP evolution also enables Bytes to offer more options for upgrades and conversions of free trials.
I have a seasonal business in which I need more seats for M365 during certain times of year when I have a lot more employees on staff. I understand that I can’t reduce the number of seats on an annual term subscription during the middle of the term. Would it be possible for me to have some seats on a monthly term and others on an annual term for the same offer?
Yes, you could have both a monthly term and an annual term subscription for the same seat-based offer at the same time with the appropriate number of seats in each term to accommodate your permanent and seasonal employees.
In CSP currently, I can upgrade only the SMB offers in the middle of the term and not the Enterprise offers that are a better fit for my business. Will that restriction change in new commerce?
Yes, you will also be able to upgrade Enterprise offers mid-term in new commerce.
Need more information?
Please speak to your Bytes account manager or email [email protected]
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