Microsoft New Commerce Experience: 6 Things to Know

Credit: Tadas Sar


Organizations are continuing to grow into cloud-based software solutions in every aspect of their business. Your company may already be a customer of the Microsoft CSP, or Cloud Solutions Provider program. This is a partner program for Microsoft value-added resellers, and others providing Microsoft products, services, and support.

The CSP program supports cloud customers and helps manage cloud product purchases. Microsoft’s NCE or New Commerce Experience in CSP is just a fancy (and perhaps slightly overzealous) way of telling everyone that Microsoft is making some changes to the way they sell products.


What You Need to Know About Microsoft New Commerce Experience

There are a lot of blogs and articles in Microsoft’s partner center explaining what changes the New Commerce Experience in CSP will bring. If your organization is not a partner but an end-customer, the transition’s effects may not be as clear. This blog aims to bring some of the more impactful changes for partners and, ultimately, customers to light.


1. Microsoft 365 Pricing Will Increase in March 2022

Although insisting this price increase is unrelated to the NCE, Microsoft is raising prices about 15% on average in March 2022. This is the first major increase since Office 365 was released over 10 years ago. Here’s where the prices will stand:


Microsoft Office 365 Microsoft 365
E1 $8-$10/month E3 $32-$36/month
E3 $20-$23/month Business Basic $5-$6/month
E5 $35-$38/month Business Premium $20-$22/month


All OSG prices imply an annual commitment with prepayment.


2. It Changes How You Buy Microsoft Cloud Products

The NCE’s biggest impact is on purchasing in general. Microsoft is aiming for a simplified purchasing experience, regardless of what is called the sales motion.

Sales motion can be thought of as the “purchasing scenario” and it is categorized by Microsoft into 3 areas:

  • Enterprise (large corporations with dedicated Microsoft account teams )
  • Breadth (small to medium corporations usually working with a indirect reseller in the Microsoft CSP)
  • Self-Service (individuals or departments)


3. Reducing License Commitment Will NOT be Allowed

Working with a certified Microsoft partner will help your organization weed through all of this, but subscription add-ons that you may have purchased in the CSP can not be migrated to NCE. This means your add-ons will need to be removed prior to switching to NCE and then repurchased.

The base subscription migration is a little easier to handle with upgrade tools, however there are restrictions on going from a higher priced option to a lower one. Going to a higher-priced subscription is not a problem.

The same idea holds for making changes during any NCE subscription term. Adding licenses won’t be an issue, but reducing your license commitment will not be allowed.


4. Everything is On a Timeline

Microsoft knew this would be an adjustment for both partners and customers, and so they have been rolling out the changes encompassed by the NCE gradually since 2019. They’ve even revised dates after partners requested for more time. Some of the (current) major dates are:

March 10, 2022 – All new orders will have to be placed on the NCE platform

June 30, 2022 – The cut off for renewing existing subscriptions without the NCE

A significant change that customers need to be aware of is the move from a 30-day cancellation policy to a 72-hour cancellation policy of all subscriptions.


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5. Microsoft CSP Offers Seat-Based Subscriptions with NCE

In an effort to respond to feedback from customers, Microsoft will now offer subscriptions per user, or “seat.” This model is licensed by login, not by device. One user might use several devices, including mobile devices on the same cloud-based login, instead of PC only licensing.

Seat-based subscriptions began with Azure in 2019, now they’re available for Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Power Platform, and Windows 365 through the NCE.

Microsoft New Commerce Experience

Credit: Clint Patterson


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6. The Cloud Solutions Provider Program will Release More Perks in 2022

More new features will include:

  • A Home Use Program (HUP) to offer discounts for a customer’s employees on certain personal offers
  • Microsoft 365 subscriptions with multi-geo add-ons that allow users to contact data centers closest to them.


Getting the Microsoft New Commerce Experience at Your Company

Microsoft’s new commerce experience will bring a less complex, flexible and standardized approach to cloud products subscriptions. Partnering with a tech solutions expert may be necessary to ensure a smooth transition and optimal productivity.

Outsource Solutions Group is a Chicagoland area Microsoft Gold partner that helps with purchasing, installing and upgrading Microsoft products. Contact us today to maximize your software investment.

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