Migrating from CSP to NCE – Read this Microsoft explainer and stop the confusion

This is what the New Commerce Experience (NCE) is 

The NCE was introduced by Microsoft to make simple purchases of cloud services for all its business clients through a new pricing model. The NCE is an improvement on what the CSP program offered before.   

For Azure, Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, Windows 365 and Power Platform, customers can now use the NCE. The flexibility that comes with the NCE offers seat-based services sold on a per-user basis. There are also further flexibility commitment options in the NCE allowing the option of monthly subscription over annual ones.   

On the other hand, the NCE working for Microsoft partners will simplify sales, transactions, speed up the whole cloud adoption process and help establish an enhanced business relationship with clients.    

Microsoft is in recent times engaging in efforts to change and modernize commercial offerings made available to clients. This is in recent times, the switch in modern purchasing needs and options and Microsoft’s desire to meet the increasing shift to digital and cloud-related business space.   

To standardize offerings into one contractual model, the New Commerce Experience is Microsoft’s first move with others to unfold in coming months. Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA) is the name referred to the one contractual model and customers may purchase directly from Microsoft (MCA), through offers on the web or facilitated by a Microsoft led partner (NCE).    

Why is Microsoft introducing the NCE? 

To offer flexible pricing options.    

NCE brings with it reduced complexity with cloud subscription.    

Also to introduce new features designed to make sure you get the most out of your purchase.     

Limit the option to freely increase and decrease license count for a set of period or even cancel throughout the term of the subscription.    

Long-term commitments that cannot be undone mid-subscription with the NCE.     

Allows customers the option to scale services effortlessly as required by their needs.  

Varied subscription durations can now be set at either monthly or annually catering for business needs allowing for predictability based on revenue availability or business requirement.  

Upcoming events on CSP and NCE 

According to Microsoft, the CSP end of life starts January 2024 with subscriptions coming up on an annual renewal. There are options available for partners to either manually migrate customers or have Microsoft do it automatically.    

Automatic CSP to NCE migration initiated by Microsoft   

  • All CSP subscriptions that Microsoft migrates to newcomers will be set to an annual term with the same billing plan and seek counts that the customers had in CSP.  
  • If as a partner your customer wants monthly subscription instead of annual, it is important the migration is done manually before the subscription reaches end of term in 2024.  
  • Microsoft-initiated migrations will occur on the date of subscription renewal starting with all subscriptions renewing in January 2024 and continuing throughout the 2024 calendar year.  
  • Auto migrations of subscription at their 2024 renewal dates, partners have 7-day (167 hours) window for adjustments or to stop subscription from proceeding further.   
  • Subscriptions that are identified with the public sector will be moved starting July 2024. But until then nothing happens. NCE will afterwards start the offering of SKUs for public sector products including Government, Education and Non-profit.  

Manual CSP to NCE migration initiated by CSP partner  

  • Partners should be able to manually migrate subscriptions prior to the renewal date in 2024 with approval for the NCE annual commitment monthly payment plan.  
  • Seeing this as a proactive move, partners and their clients get to have more control to favorably align the transition process to their preference.  
  • The advantage that comes with the manual migration is the ability to align the subscription to the end date of your new subscription as an existing NCE subscriber.  
  • If as a partner you are yet to receive approval for the NCE commitment monthly payment option, your plan will be to migrate either to NCE monthly commitment monthly payment or NCE annual commitment annual payment subscriptions ahead of the 2024 subscription renewal dates.  
  • There is the need to plan either as a customer or partner in order to initiate discussions for a smooth migration and integration.   

What do you gain as a Microsoft customer on the New Commerce Experience?  

The benefits are elaborate based on the solutions offered to your peculiar needs. The customer is offered a simplified way of buying and managing cloud services offered by tech giant Microsoft. There is room for flexibility when choosing subscription duration options (monthly/annually) with the ability of cost predictability.  

NCE customers also have the option to meet changing business needs through either scaling up or down, with committed prices lower than the monthly prices. Also, when you settle for long-term commitments on annual subscription for NCE, access to new features is available immediately they are released.  

With the NCE comes improved customer experience from Microsoft partners which is consistent across all cloud services. Partners are also required to maintain uniformed standards and offer value added services to customers on NCE to meet their expectations as well as modern business requirements and practices.  

A look at the difference between NCE and CSP 

Looking for a longer term of commitment as a cloud services customer, the NCE offers a more flexible and predictable option. Also the NCE is an improved platform within the Cloud Solution Provider program that comes with pricing, licensing and billing changes in cloud services.  

For new customers, the CSP is no longer available. But for many old customers who through their partners make purchases through CSP can take advantage of these prices. Making the move to migrate to NCE, Microsoft advises a move to annual commitment rather than monthly but payment requirements for monthly you should note will cost you more.  

As a way for Microsoft partners to sell cloud services to customers in a simplified way, Microsoft introduced CSP in 2010. This introduction also made the licensing structures easier as well as the purchase and the management of cloud services by customers.    

A new way of purchasing loud services was introduced in 2019 which was the New Commerce Experience designer in comparative to the CSP to be simpler and flexible in use. NCE came with lots of benefits to customers as well as offering Microsoft partners the platform to create solutions for better customer services.  

Commitment options in NCE, types and features  

The commitment options as introduced in the NCE allow organizations to look at their varied needs and purchase accordingly. The commitment based on annual for some organizations will give stability and cost savings advantage. For others, the interest is in the flexibility of a monthly commitment looking at dynamics in operations. Whatever choice you settle on, know that by default, NCE offers an annual commitment while the monthly commitment is optional.  

Committed annual subscription in the NCE

  • An upgrade is possible any time but subscription in the committed option cannot be cancelled or downsized.  
  • Monthly subscriptions are expensive compared to committed subscriptions.  
  • For either monthly or annual basis, there is the option for committed subscriptions payment. 

Non-committed monthly subscription 

For example, a Microsoft 365 license can be acquired on a monthly basis without any annual commitment. This allows for a change in flexibility for license users and sellers who make regular changes to their Office 365 or Microsoft 365 license plans or user count.    

This subscription option offers flexibility to scale up/down or cancel, but compared to the annual subscription price, the monthly option is sold at a premium price.  

How Microsoft experts can assist you with the NCE migration    

We have a team of Microsoft CSP and NCE experts who can guide you to review your remaining CSP subscription and help you with further clarity on the migration requirements by looking at your case specifically. There are more considerations to take to arrive at which billing plan will suit your finances, i.e. monthly or annually, and we can share scenarios that will inform your choice.    

We will assist you to analyze your current organization’s license position and your future needs from services required.   

The Microsoft NCE migration process has to align with your ongoing operations in order not to hinder your output hence we can support you to determine if the monthly or long-term commitment will work in your case.   

Whiles you are looking at the migration process, we can extend attention to your entire licensing structure to make sure the coming months will see you prepared for any changes in Microsoft usage terms or agreement. 

We can help you with regular review after the entire migration process and partner selection to facilitate your cost saving option. You want more information on cloud-related subscriptions, our team of experts will support you!

Reach out to our team, let’s start the preparation stage immediately.

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