FAQs about Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience, answered
What do you need to know about Microsoft New Commerce Experience? New Commerce Experience (NCE) has been around for Microsoft Azure since 2019, but now it’s expanding to include Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Windows 365, and Power Platform.
While technical previews have been underway since October, the general release date is fast approaching. Without further ado, here are some common questions we hear about NCE—and their answers.
What is Microsoft New Commerce Experience?
As Microsoft puts it, “The new commerce experience makes it easier to transact with Microsoft…It’s a multi-phase, long-term investment in the CSP program aimed at helping our partners accelerate business growth, simplify licensing, and address how their customers prefer to purchase.”
Whereas before, NCE only existed for Microsoft Azure, it’s now a Microsoft-wide initiative that introduces a standardized way of doing business, both directly with customers and through partners.
The ultimate goal of introducing NCE is to enable customers to have more choice and buy more easily while optimizing costs. This is evident through the consistent and simplified purchasing experience and the greater standardization of offers and terms.
Please note, the initial rollout of NCE for CSP subscriptions will only be for commercial offers. Government, education, and non-profit offers are expected to be introduced to NCE over the coming months, but there is currently no date for when these subscriptions will be available in New Commerce.
How will Microsoft New Commerce Experience affect customers?
There are a number of things that make NCE more flexible and accommodating for customers, such as:
Offers to meet specific or changing needs: For a premium, Microsoft will now offer new monthly-term subscriptions, allowing customers to cancel or reduce seat counts on a monthly basis. Monthly subscriptions can also be combined with annual subscriptions to help customers balance cost.
More value for commitment: Customers can access the best pricing on annual terms with long-term protection. They can also lock in pricing further with multi-year terms, and switch from a monthly to an annual term easily to save money.
When are commercial subscriptions moving to Microsoft New Commerce Experience?
There are a few dates to keep in mind. Any new subscriptions will have to be made on NCE after March 2022. However, the ability to renew existing subscriptions on the legacy CSP platform will continue through June 30th, 2022, ending on July 1st, 2022. Legacy subscriptions will remain in effect until each of the subscription terms end, but Microsoft partner incentive rebates on legacy subscriptions will be removed in October 2022. After June, legacy customers will have to renew subscriptions in the New Commerce Experience before each subscription expires to ensure the services continue.
How do I cancel, and will I receive a refund?
With NCE, a cancellation policy will be enforced for all terms. A subscription can only be cancelled or downgraded within 72 hours of the initial order or renewal, for all term types. A prorated refund will be provided for cancellations, with proration calculated daily within that 72-hour span. After 72 hours, that cancellation function will not be available. Suspending an account can prevent users from accessing the subscription, but billing for that subscription will continue.
Can I reduce seats during an existing contract?
Like cancellations, seat counts on a new commerce subscription can be reduced within the first 72 hours. However, if there’s a midterm order of additional seats, you will also have a 72-hour window to reduce that back to the original number of seats.
Conversely, if customers want to add seats, they will be priced at the original subscription purchase price (not the current price). Overall, this means that the price for additional seats will always be locked in at the beginning of the term.
Will there be promos? When?
Microsoft has announced a promotional period for NCE commercial offers that begins January 10, 2022 and runs through June 30, 2022. During this time, customers can choose a monthly subscription without paying the 20% premium, aligning monthly term pricing with annual term pricing. From January 10, 2022 to March 31, 2022, customers can choose an annual subscription and lock in a 5% discount off the annual term pricing. Microsoft has indicated they may extend this 5% promotion, possibly all the way through June 30, 2022.
A note on the Microsoft 365 pricing changes
In addition to launching the New Commerce Experience for CSP’s, Microsoft also announced commercial pricing changes for some key Microsoft 365 SKU’s around the same time. Although these price changes are unrelated to NCE, it’s good to be aware of how they could impact you and your business. This pricing increase reflects the value of the solutions and the added areas of innovation around communication and collaboration, security and automation. The pricing changes will go into effect on March 1, 2022.
Hopefully, we’ve answered any questions you had around Microsoft New Commerce Experience. If you’d like to know more, contact us today.
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