By David J. Rosenthal
Microsoft first launched its Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program in 2015 to create a framework for their partners to deliver best-in-class cloud-based infrastructure, networks, and applications. The CSP program has seen tremendous growth since then because it helps businesses navigate the often confusing array of services and licensing options that Microsoft offers, and only buy what they need, and only for as long as they need it.
2021 was the biggest year yet for CSPs and 2022 looks set to break that record. The convenience, security, and ubiquity of cloud services has reached a tipping point where they are more economical and accessible than building out and managing internal infrastructure for a large swath of businesses across virtually all industries.
The CSP program continues to evolve in response to increased demand and the changing needs of the modern, digitally-connected workplace.
Take Advantage of the Cloud… With Maximum Efficiency!
Among the top priorities for businesses using Microsoft cloud services include gaining a better understanding of where their licensing dollars are going and how to optimize their spend by ensuring they aren’t purchasing resources which no longer fit their business model or that aren’t delivering a positive return on investment. An additional goal is gaining more flexibility so that they can make changes to their services as needed without incurring significant costs.
To that end, Microsoft rolled out its New Commerce Experience (NCE) model in 2019, a licensing framework that helps their partners better position businesses that rely on Microsoft cloud services for growth, adaptability, and efficiency. The first iteration of NCE was limited to Microsoft’s Azure cloud. Starting January 1, 2022 Microsoft’s seat-based platforms were added for Commercial customers including:
Razor Technology, a highly decorated Microsoft Gold Partner and Cloud Solution Provider, is excited to help our customers take full advantage of the latest NCE update and all its benefits, including:
- Reduced licensing complexity
- Multiple term options
- New features and solutions
NCE is an especially good fit for companies with 2,400 users or fewer and is currently only available for Commercial enterprises…stay tuned for Education, Non Profit, and Education announcements in 2022!
Start Your Transformation as Soon as Possible
The NCE expansion is part of a multi-year global initiative to standardize all license purchasing across Azure solutions, Microsoft 365 subscriptions, and perpetual software. Microsoft is also standardizing all of their customer agreements, purchase processes, billing processes, and contractual terms.
Razor Technology is tracking these changes closely and helping our customers make the right decisions for their operation and industry, choosing only the solutions that make economic sense for their business model, include all the special offers available, and keep them on the cutting-edge in the digitally-dominated marketplace.
But timing is of the essence for companies hoping to maximize the cost effective solutions NCE can deliver.
Microsoft is offering several time sensitive promotions to encourage early adoption. Companies that sign up for an annual plan from January 10 to February 28 will receive the largest discount. After March 1, prices will increase to their standard levels.
Overview of NCE Plans
All seat licenses will be available in three plans:
- One Year
- Three Year
Plans can be mixed and matched to provide greater flexibility, but all plans have a 72-hour cancellation and adjustment window (prorated daily charges apply). Seat changes can be increased at any time but decreases and adjustments can only occur within the adjustment window or at the end of the subscription term.
The Monthly plan has a 20% cost premium over the one and three year plans but offers increased flexibility. The One Year plan, by comparison, is paid upfront and offers cost savings and price protection. The Three Year plan offers an even longer price lock.
Monthly Plan Pricing
Microsoft Voice Conference for Teams, which is normally $4 per user, will be included in all plans.
|Subscription||Before March 1||After March 1|
|Office 365 E1||$8||$10|
|Office 365 E3||$20||$23|
|Office 365 E5||$35||$38|
|Microsoft 365 Business Basic||$5||$6|
|Microsoft 365 Business Premium||$20||$22|
|Microsoft 365 E3||$32||$36|
Promotions and Rollout Schedule
Organizations with less than 2,400 seats can take advantage of Microsoft’s incentives to switch to NCE early. Excluding Windows 365, Microsoft is offering a 5% discount off subscriptions if you move to an annual plan at any time between January 10 and March 31, 2022.
NCE expansion will rollout in four phases:
Phase 1: January 1, 2022
The NCE will become available with a monthly discount to annual pricing available through June 30.
Phase 2: January 10, 2022
The 5% promotional offer for annual plans becomes available.
Phase 3: March 10, 2022
All new subscriptions must start utilizing the NCE process.
Phase 4: July 1, 2022
Any remaining legacy subscriptions will be converted or renewed into the NCE.
Three Year subscription plan terms will be available starting in March 2022 and global/multi-region add on and discounts for home use will be announced. However, all dates are subject to change by Microsoft.
Upcoming NCE Features and Benefits
Over the course of 2022 and beyond, Microsoft will be unlocking several additional NCE options and capabilities:
Test up to 25 licenses for 30 days. Licenses automatically convert to paid subscriptions if not canceled.
Home Use Rights
Purchase Microsoft 365 subscriptions at a 30% discount for personal use.
Provision and store data at rest globally for employees in international locations to meet data residency requirements and improve performance (per user add-on cost).
Any voice charges outside of your plan will be invoiced in arrears through Communication Credit invoices.
Automatic Subscription Actions
Control renewals, upgrades, and schedule changes in advance.
Rely on Razor Technology to Optimize Your NCE Transition
This is a big and complex change from Microsoft, but as always, the devil is in the details. Choosing the right plan and the right services for your particular needs takes specialized guidance.
Talk to Razor’s experts to review your current licenses, determine how to prioritize a migration to NCE that involves the fewest headaches and nets the biggest savings.
Razor Technology is a certified Microsoft Gold Partner and Cloud Solution Provider that helps growing businesses get the most out of their IT investment. To learn more about Microsoft’s cloud solutions and the benefits of the New Commerce Experience, please schedule a license briefing with our M365 Team.
Razor Technology has been recognized as one of Top 10 Top Managed Service Providers by DesignRush” .