Microsoft New Commerce Experience: What Changes for Resellers and Partners

Alessio Cecchi
Microsoft New Commerce Experience

With the New Commerce Experience (NCE) Microsoft wants to create a standard for the purchase of 365 and Azure services. Microsoft’s goal is to make it easier for its resellers and partners to purchase and renew subscriptions to its services.

In this article we will try to explain what changes and if this modality is really more advantageous for Microsoft’s resellers and partners.

The New Commerce Experience (NCE) was announced by Microsoft in 2019, but has only been active since March 2022 for new orders. While starting from July 2022 all subscriptions will be activated or renewed with the new method. *

Many resellers and partners have raised various concerns and questions about NCE. This new mode is not considered an improvement over the previous program, as it limits the flexibility previously available. So let’s see what are the main changes introduced by Microsoft with the New Commerce Experience (NCE).

20% increase in the price for the monthly subscription

The new mode brings with it a 20% increase in the price of Microsoft services purchased with a monthly subscription. Microsoft has decided to charge more for the flexibility of being able to change or terminate your subscription with just one month’s notice.

No changes to the subscription with the annual contract

Microsoft has preferred to target its partners on an annual contract type, making monthly subscriptions more expensive. However, it has also added a constraint to the annual contract, preventing it from being changed if more than 7 days have passed since the subscription activation date. So once you have chosen a service and activated your subscription it will not be possible to change the type for the next 12 months.

No possibility to reduce the purchased resources but only increase

Another constraint added by Microsoft is that of being able to only increase the resources purchased, it is not possible to decrease them in the following 12 months after activation.
For example, if a company buys a service for 15 collaborators but after 6 months the collaborators decrease to 10, it will have to continue to pay for the 5 licenses that are no longer necessary for another 6 months.
If instead the collaborators go from 15 to 20, it will be possible to purchase the additional 5 licenses at any time.

It is possible to change an annual or monthly subscription only within 7 days of its activation or its renewal

As we have already said above once you have purchased a subscription we only have 7 days from its activation or before its expiration to change the type. So it is also important during the renewal phase to remember to intervene in time, under penalty of being bound for another 12 months.

Free trial upgrade to paid plan without notice

The NCE program expects to be able to try some services with free licenses for 30 days. But beware, at the end of the 30 days the licenses switch to the paid version automatically and Microsoft will not send any prior warning, partners will have to remind of the expiration date of the free trial of the licenses.

Many Microsoft partners have not been satisfied with these changes as they consider them penalizing, we will see how things go in the coming months.

*Automatic renewals of legacy CSP contracts had been due to come to end on July 11, but Microsoft said in an update on its partner centre that this move has now been postponed “indefinitely”.

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