Discover the latest enhancements to the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program and how they’re reshaping the digital transformation landscape for Managed Service Providers (MSPs).
The Microsoft CSP program is on a journey to provide unique service offerings for MSPs. Regardless of how customers buy Microsoft products and solutions, this new program will continue enabling them to digitally transform.
Microsoft New Commerce Experience explained
First introduced in 2020, Microsoft New Commerce Experience (NCE) for the Microsoft CSP program is based on the same ideas that made CSP the go-to for partners that sell value-add cloud solutions in the first place and is applicable to seat-based offers in Microsoft’s modern work and business applications. Similar to the changes seen in the release of NCE for Azure, this next phase brings new opportunities, offers, features and benefits for Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Power Platform and Windows 365.
NCE updates: What’s new?
This extension not only simplifies subscription management but also equips partners with enhanced sales capabilities.
NCE provides resellers with new tools to manage subscriptions more easily. Microsoft announced in July 2023, the launch of NCE for public sector customers (nonprofits, government, and education customers). This extension not only simplifies subscription management but also equips partners with enhanced sales capabilities. Ultimately, this will help partners manage all their subscriptions under one platform more easily, provides partners in the CSP program with new sales capabilities, delivers operational efficiencies and drives long-term customer commitment with multiple term options.
The key changes in NCE include enforced commitment periods, a 20% premium for monthly subscriptions, and a grace period for changes or cancellations post-activation. The latest update requires Microsoft to qualify and approve customers to access sector-specific licenses. But it’s worth noting, a single customer tenant can now qualify for both education and nonprofit licenses.
Legacy CSP subscriptions are on the brink of retirement, and action is imperative. Microsoft’s meticulous migration plan, set to commence July 1, 2024, emphasizes the urgency for partners to initiate discussions with their customers promptly. This means you should take action before the legacy subscription renewal date, otherwise, Microsoft will begin migrating legacy CSP subscriptions to NCE with annual commitments. This applies to commercial customers who have not migrated to NCE as well.
Commercial and Public Sector implications
The implications of NCE on partners, such as annual term offers, competitive pricing, and discounted rates for stable, long-term commitments. The structure includes new monthly-term offers with added flexibility, consistent cancellation policies, and streamlined subscription management capabilities. The introduction of incentives through the Microsoft Commerce Incentive program (MCI) enhances the appeal of NCE transactions.
Partners leveraging NCE gain strategic positioning for future growth, fostering sustainable revenue streams with reduced licensing complexities. As of December 2022, Microsoft initiated the Commerce Incentive program, offering rewards for direct bill partners, indirect providers, and resellers. Additional features include three-year terms for Microsoft 365.
The move to the NCE has helped partners strategically position their business for future growth and as a result build broader and more sustainable revenue streams in CSP with less licensing complexity and cost.
Guiding public sector clients through change
MSPs are urged to proactively engage public sector clients, aligning with budget cycles, addressing user fluctuations, and emphasizing security priorities. The NCE transition provides an opportune moment to elevate clients’ security posture, upgrading to modern SKUs and addressing vulnerabilities in legacy products. Sherweb will continue to share more detailed information as updates evolve.
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Understanding the Microsoft ecosystem is complex, but working with a partner like Sherweb can simplify the journey. Our in-house experts consult with partners to optimize their Microsoft relationships. Stay up-to-date on the latest changes by downloading our comprehensive NCE guide.