25th October 2021 Introducing Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience

Helping you navigate the new changes to Microsoft’s CSP landscape

Microsoft have recently announced several changes to their CSP landscape. The New Commerce Experience (NCE) gives resellers access to a wealth of Microsoft products, which you can use to expand your product and service offerings for customers. These changes, taking place over multiple stages and years, aims to boost your business’s growth, reduce licensing complexity and cost, and enables you, as a partner, to address the wants and needs of your customers.

The current landscape

Under the current CSP landscape, products such as Microsoft 365, Office 365, EM+S E3/35, Windows 10, Windows 365, Power Platform and Dynamics 365 are under the Legacy Billing Method. This means they’re run under a 12-month subscription term. Microsoft bills partners monthly and annually for this subscription.

With Legacy Billing, Microsoft can suspend subscriptions, allowing for changes to be made throughout the subscription’s duration. When the subscription is suspended, billing is too. So you’re only billed for days where the subscription is active. Under an active subscription, data is accessible to everyone, and both users and admins have normal access to Microsoft 365, and the files, data, and applications they would usually be able to view.

With an expired subscription (which lasts 30 days), data is still accessible to everyone, and users can still access Microsoft 365, files and applications. When an account becomes disabled (which lasts 90 days), the data is only accessible to admins, and users can’t access Microsoft 365, files, or applications. The downside of this is that if you have a customer that doesn’t pay, you cannot immediately turn off the service, meaning they will still be able to use the service for 30 days after you’ve suspended it.

What’s changing?

With the NCE, you and your customers will have 3 subscription types to choose from:

  • 1 month – which allows a customer to change a number of licenses month to month, but is 20% more expensive than the annual subscription
  • 12 month – a regular, annual commitment, billed both monthly and annually
  • 36 month – allows you to lock in a price for 36 months, with monthly, annual, and upfront billing options

The NCE also allows you to pause, cancel, and auto-renew your subscriptions. Pausing means that you continue to be billed, but your subscription enters ‘disabled’ status and users and admins will lose access to 365 applications immediately. You will be able to reactivate a paused subscription. If you choose to cancel within 72 hours, you’ll receive a pro-rated refund (but will receive no refund if cancelled after the 72 hours). Again, your subscription enters the ‘disabled’ status, but you cannot reverse the cancellation. Turning auto-renew on means your subscription will renew on its own at the end of your term, and the 72 hour cancellation period restarts at this time. Otherwise, the subscription will finish at the end of the term.

When will NCE be available?

The start date for products entering NCE depends on the product, and the subscription type. For all products under a 1 month subscription, NCE has been available in a technical release since the 14th October 2021. This remains the same for all products under 12 month subscriptions too, except for Windows 365, which is still to be announced. Most products under 36 month subscriptions are also still to be confirmed, other than Dynamics 365 which has been available from the 14th October 2021, and Microsoft 365 which switches over in March 2022 for select offers. To allow us more time to implement changes to our platform and processes, Microsoft have delayed the general availability of their NCE to January 2022.

During this time, you will still able to purchase the Microsoft products mentioned above via Legacy billing until the end of February 2022.

The Exertis Cloud team are here to help make the transition to NCE as smooth and easy as possible. The team will work with you to make sure you’re ready for these changes. And if you have any questions, or need more information, we are available and happy to discuss NCE and what it means for your business.

Contact us on: cloud@exertis.co.uk