Microsoft is changing the way businesses acquire and manage their licensure through their Cloud Solution (CSP) platform. At the start of 2022, the company officially introduced its New Commerce Experience (NCE). This new program will impact the way private consumers and business owners acquire Microsoft 365 licenses.
Official spokespeople from Microsoft maintain it launched NCE with intention of reducing complexity while providing better incentives for customers who commit to long-term contracts. At the same time, Microsoft NCE promises new features to make its Cloud Solution Platform the preferred alternative to their legacy Enterprise Agreement (EA), a volume licensing program for companies with 500 users or more. The EA program is dedicated to managing cloud services and software licenses for large organizations under one agreement while giving them the flexibility to alter their services as their business needs change.
Microsoft announced additional changes to take effect on March 1, 2022. The company’s 365 license fees are set to increase on this date, and they will impact licenses for the following software:
- Microsoft Business Basic
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium
- Office 365 E1
- Office 365 E3
- Office 365 E5
- Microsoft 365 E3
For those willing to commit to year-long contracts, Microsoft is currently offering 5% discount incentives through the entire month of March 2022. Customers who lock into new annual license agreements before the end of March 2022 will not only capture the discount but can also avoid Microsoft’s 365 price increases.
Microsoft explained in an official blog that these price increases aren’t directly related to its New Commerce experience. However, on average, depending on the SKU, prices will rise more than 15%. The price point for Office 365 hasn’t risen significantly since the software was released more than a decade ago.
What is Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience (NCE)?
Microsoft notes on its company website that the impetus behind NCE, facilitated by their Cloud Solution Provider, is to give consumers more options on how they acquire 365 licensure while increasing opportunities for their partners to sell more products to an expanding base of new and existing customers.
As many companies undergo critical digital transformation initiatives, Microsoft has placed a special emphasis on helping their partners grow their own businesses through new value-added services and continuous selling opportunities on its new commerce platform. This change is part of a multi-year, multistage campaign on behalf of Microsoft to simplify its customer engagement experience in a way that benefits its partners and customers alike.
Among the key changes brought about by Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience are the seat-based offers incorporated into the new user experience. NCE offers remain available in Azure, as are perpetual software transactions in CSP.
The new seat-based offers for Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Power Platform, and Windows 365, however, will migrate to NCE exclusively in 2022. Microsoft views this as a key milestone and a significant step in the evolution of their customer user experience.
Another important update to note is that beginning in January 2022, commercial licensees will longer purchase or renew services online through Microsoft’s Open License program. As the company aims to accelerate wide CSP, perpetual license offers will only be available on its Cloud Solution Platform.
Important NCE dates to keep to remember
NCE officially launches in January 2022. Keep these key dates in mind:
January 10, 2022
The official launch date of Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience, to include various introductory incentives. We advise new customers and businesses up for software license renewal to leverage these discount rates sooner rather than later as most will expire.
March 1, 2022
Microsoft 365 license increases take effect as of this date. Beginning in March, all and rewed license subscriptions must be purchased through the NCE program.
October 1, 2022
All Microsoft software customer must complete their purchase through NCE.
In addition to a new 36-month subscription, available in March 2022, Microsoft will continue to offer monthly and annual subscription options with the launch of NCE. Month-to-month commitments will run at least 20% higher than long-term contracts. 3-year pricing provides the most value and can be billed monthly, annually, or in one upfront payment.
Partner with a 365 expert
Licensure subscription management is resource-intensive and, despite Microsoft’s coal to simply the process, business owners should expect this task to take more time in 2022 as they adapt to the new changes.
If you’re searching for a trusted Microsoft 365 Partner, PCH Technologies can help your business decipher all the new changes associated with the New Commerce Experience. The team of experts at PCH Technologies will ensure your business leverages all available software discounts to get the most value out of your license agreements.
If your license subscriptions are due for an audit, now is a good time to reach out to PCH technologies. To find out more about how changes to Microsoft’s license agreements will impact you, dial (856) 754-7500 today.