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Cast your mind all the way back to March 2022. It was a wild month! Tom Brady announced he was “jk” about retirement, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock, and Microsoft partners began transitioning customer license subscriptions from legacy to NCE. While those first two items are certainly still topics of conversation for many of us, the last one continues to present some challenges.

A year later, Microsoft resellers are still navigating changes associated with the shift to NCE. In particular, many partners are still adjusting to having a larger number of clients with annual term commitments. And as we approach a busy time for those annual terms to renew, it’s imperative for Microsoft partners to ensure that clients’ commitment terms and renewal dates listed in the Microsoft Partner Center match up with their own invoicing records.

Much like an approaching trade deadline for pro sports, the clock is ticking for MSPs to make sure their NCE subscription renewals are ready for a smooth transition to the next annual term, unless they want to see precious free-agents (read: clients) flock to competing providers.

What’s up with mismatched dates?

Some Microsoft partners have noticed discrepancies between when they transitioned client subscriptions to NCE, and when those terms are set to renew in the Microsoft Partner Center. This presents a problem for partners in the event that a client cancels their subscription or does not otherwise intend to renew.

Why? Because if a client’s renewal date is offset from when a partner communicated their term to end, the partner (read: your MSP business) could therefore be on the hook for a subscription that will not be paid for.

If these dates are only misaligned by, say, a few weeks, and the client in question doesn’t occupy a large number of seats, that might be a cost you can stomach. But if the dates differ by multiple months and the client subscription entailed a large number of seats, the negative impact on your MSP’s profitability could be substantial.

Therefore, by checking to make sure these dates align for relevant clients as soon as possible, you could be saving yourself from a lot of potential financial heartache.

What can partners do if dates for NCE subscription renewals don’t line up?

If you do notice a difference in when a client’s subscription is supposed to renew and when the renewal date is listed in the Microsoft Partner Center, you have to act fast. Partners only have seven days within a given renewal date to ensure that a client’s subscription doesn’t proceed unnecessarily or to make changes in the volume of licenses, such as reducing seats.

Unfortunately, it might happen that you do notice a misalignment in dates, but there’s nothing your CSP provider or Microsoft can do about it. It goes without saying that such a situation would be extremely frustrating for resellers. If this is the case, and you want to consider switching to a provider that hasn’t had this problem, Sherweb can help.

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Deferred price increases for NCE SKUs are also coming into effect

To further cloud the issue, a price increase on all NCE licenses is also on the horizon for many Microsoft partners. Implemented at the same time the NCE transition rolled out, partners had the option of deferring this price increase to March 2023, provided that they transitioned legacy SKUs to NCE before a certain date. On March 14, 2023, these deferred increases will be showing up on invoices for NCE SKUs, which could amplify the bill shock should an MSP also be dealing with issues with their NCE subscription renewals. A note here that prices for legacy SKUs have already taken effect as of March 1, 2023.

Check your renewal dates ASAP

The main action for partners to take is to review clients’ license renewal dates for any subscription sold under NCE as soon as possible. If you’re looking for an expert to help you through the process, Sherweb can deliver. Join our partner program to get started, check out our partner guide for more information about how we can help your business grow, or reach out to us to start a conversation about how we can make sense of the maelstrom that is Microsoft NCE.

Written by Alexandre Laflamme Microsoft Partner Program and Incentives Manager @ Sherweb

Alex helps Sherweb partners be successful in the cloud. Whether it requires navigating treacherous waters or scaling towering peaks, he’s determined to guide and advise all partners to reach their full cloud potential. Outside of leading Sherweb partners towards their loftiest goals, Alex is a big fan of the English Premier League, and enjoys collecting old school Magic the Gathering cards.