A new Microsoft subscription platform offers users attractive discounts
February 17, 2022
Microsoft has started transitioning all its customers to NCE (New Commerce Experience), a Microsoft services subscription platform that offers more flexibility and potential discounts for users of Microsoft 365 and other Microsoft services.
What is NCE?
NCE is a new unified purchasing platform that lets individuals and businesses alike purchase and renew Microsoft licenses such as Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Azure, and many other services available in the Partner Center.
Joining this new platform has no impact on access and package inclusion. What this platform DOES offer is an annual subscription option that translates to notable savings on Microsoft subscriptions. Overall, the new features that impact users the most are:
Before, it was possible to renew, allocate, and scale your monthly Microsoft subscriptions and licenses on-demand via a CSP partner. However, this relationship with a CSP partner did not make it possible to purchase products from other segments, such as Microsoft’s website.
NCE gives you multiple ways to access a single Microsoft product (via a CSP partner, directly through Microsoft, etc.). Moreover, Microsoft now offers more flexibility with 2 types of subscriptions: monthly and annual*.
With NCE, you can still renew, allocate, and scale on-demand with monthly licenses. On the other hand, annual licenses cannot be changed throughout the duration of the contract but will be offered at reduced rates.
Indeed, from a cost perspective, annual subscriptions will be notably more attractive than monthly subscriptions. In general, when you subscribe to the annual plan, you see savings that equate to 2 free months* (approx. 17% off).
Annual subscriptions require you to keep your Microsoft licenses throughout the year (payments are made monthly). Note that it’s possible to add and combine annual and monthly licenses without constraints and during any time of the year. With that said, it will not be possible to cancel annual licences for the contract duration.
For example, on March 1, 2022, you join NCE with 10 Microsoft licenses on an annual contract to save money. In June 2022, you hire an employee and add an 11th annual license to your plan. This new license must therefore be in effect until March 1, 2023.
You then recruit an intern for 4 months and add a 12th license to your package, using the monthly subscription. This license can be removed from your package at the end of the 4th month.
On March 1, 2023 (contract renewal date), you can renew and review the number of licenses you want in an annual and/or monthly contract**.
This new subscription model will change the way users manage their M365 subscriptions. They must now carefully select their subscriptions and quantity of licenses at the contract's start and again at the renewal date. But no fear—our experts will be by your side to support you and help assess the best possible strategy for your business.
Other changes have also been announced but these will have a very minor impact on end users.
enterprise SKU upgrade support
- Control subscription renewals
- Schedule subscription changes that take effect at the end of the period
- New subscription duration options
- New month-to-month offerings for customers who need flexibility regarding term duration and number of workstations per license
- Uniform cancellation policies: terms based on job positions in New Commerce (license withdrawals must happen within 72 hours of the renewal date*)
- Easier subscription management: Ability to combine short- and long-term offers for customers whose activities fluctuate according to season or turnover
Lastly, companies and individuals who migrate to NCE will be equipped with a platform that lets them better control subscriptions and benefit from greater flexibility. To accelerate the transition to NCE, Microsoft has added very enticing incentives for those migrating before March 31, 2022. Specifically, the price of monthly licenses will be reduced to the annual equivalent (nearly 17% off) until June 30, 2022. Additionally, those who sign up for annual licenses before March 31, 2022 will receive an additional 5% off for the duration of the contract.
If you have any questions regarding your transition to NCE, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Microsoft Gold accredited experts.
*Note that annual contract subscriptions are billed monthly.
**Savings differ by package and product and do not include active promotions other than the commitment discount. New pricing is attached to the email containing this presentation.
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