Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Program is ever changing and adapting to meet the current business needs of organisations of all sizes. Microsoft recently announced the latest evolution of the CSP program, the New Commerce Experience (NCE).
NCE will change how you purchase Microsoft online services such as Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Power Platform and Windows 365. It aims to reduce complexity and provide cost savings for longer term commitments, whilst also introducing additional features to make CSP comparable to the legacy Enterprise Agreement (EA).
Key dates announced by Microsoft:
- A technical preview for NCE will go live from the 14th October 2021
- General availability will be in January 2022
- Customers can still procure via the existing ‘legacy’ route until NCE is mandated in March 2022
Subscription options with NCE
One of the biggest changes that NCE brings is the introduction of monthly subscriptions to run alongside the existing annual subscriptions. From March 2022 a new 36-month subscription is expected to be launched as well. We’ve rounded up the major subscription terms below.
NCE will provide customers with the opportunity to consume Online Services on a true monthly basis without the need for an annual commitment. This will provide additional flexibility for customers who need to make regular changes* on a month-by-month basis to their seat count and plans.
The monthly subscription via NCE comes at a premium of an uplift of 20% across all online services plans.
*Licenses can be decreased or cancelled within 72 hours of being purchased or alternatively at the end of the monthly term.
The 12 month subscription via NCE will provide customers with the opportunity to consume online services on an annual commitment basis. Unlike the legacy CSP model customers who consume on a 12 month subscription, you will have the option to be billed on a monthly or annual basis.
Pricing will be locked in for the duration of the term which provides customers with additional cost savings and security against any price increases due in that time. You can increase seats during the 12 month subscription term but are not able to reduce seat count.
36-month subscription – Available in 2022
As a part of NCE, Multi Year Pricing will be coming to CSP. This will allow for customers to secure 3-year pricing upfront for longer term commitment. Customers who consume via this model will have the option to be billed monthly, annually, or upfront. Similarly, to the monthly and 12 month subscription terms they will not be able to reduce their seat count for the duration of the term.
What new features will the new commerce experience provide?
Multi- Geo – Available in 2022
Multi-Geo allows organisations to provision and store data at rest in the various geo- locations that they have chosen to meet data residency requirements. This is currently only available for customers who consume online services via Enterprise Agreements (EA) or Enterprise Subscription Agreements (ESA).
As a part of the New Commerce Experience (NCE), Multi-Geo will be available for customers consuming online services on CSP in 2022. This will give smaller organisations who do not meet the criteria for EA/ESA the ability to secure Multi-Geo pricing.
Home Use Program (HUP) – Available in early 2022
The HUP will allow employees of organisations who consume online services via CSP to take advantage of purchasing a Microsoft 365 subscription with a 30% discount.
Hybrid Use Benefits (HUB) – Available in 2022
HUB will allow organisations to further capitalise on their Microsoft investments made via the CSP program.
In addition to the NCE, Microsoft announced a price rise from 1st March 2022 for Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 Business Premium, Office 365 E1, E3 and E5, and Microsoft 365 E3. For further information regarding NCE or the upcoming price rises please contact your Softcat Account Manager to discuss how Softcat can help you plan for the above changes.