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Microsoft 365 Price Change Deadline Extended

Wade Tyler Millward

‘The grace period provides partners with additional lead time for adapting business processes and placing orders for these six Modern Work products,’ according to Microsoft. ‘We anticipate Microsoft partners will not use this grace period to pull forward demand for these offers.’

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Microsoft has pushed back a deadline set for today for overall price increases on certain plans for its Microsoft 365 and Office 365 packages of applications, which include Word, Excel and Teams. The new deadline is 5 p.m. Pacific March 14.

Because of “current high demand” to move customers onto the “New Commerce Experience” (NCE) platform by the original deadline, Microsoft created a “transitional grace period” that allows partners to invoice new transactions at February pricing as long as the transactions are submitted by 5 p.m. Pacific March 14, according to Microsoft’s website.

The delay to the overall price increase applies to the Microsoft 365 Business Basic, M365 Business Premium, Office 365 E1, O365 E3, O365 E5 and M365 E3 packages, according to Microsoft.

[RELATED: Channel Chief Rodney Clark Defends Microsoft 365 Licensing Model]

Transactions for those packages submitted after the new March 14 deadline are invoiced at the increased March pricing Microsoft announced last year, according to the company.

“The grace period provides partners with additional lead time for adapting business processes and placing orders for these six Modern Work products,” according to Microsoft. “We anticipate Microsoft partners will not use this grace period to pull forward demand for these offers.”

A promotion to delay a 20 percent premium on monthly subscriptions Microsoft still runs through June. That 20 percent premium is on top of the overall price increase now planned for March 14.

Microsoft Channel Chief Rodney Clark brought up the 14-day delay during his talk today at CRN parent The Channel Company’s XChange 2022 event as an example of ways he works as an intermediary between channel partners and Microsoft.

“It’s my job to say, ‘OK, what’s in the best interest of our channel, and at the same time, the best interest of the broader industry. And then the third, in the best interest of Microsoft,’” Clark said today at XChange. “We had modern work price increases that were going to happen on March 1. We have NCE, a new way of engaging from a licensing perspective. We had 10x the volume of orders in the last week of February than any partner – this is a general statement – was accustomed to managing.”

He continued: “It caused a considerable amount of concern because they were like, ‘Hey, if I don’t get this thing in on March 1, it was going to add expense because they’re having to process it.’ So I made a decision with three other leaders across the company to extend that 14 days to give the partners an opportunity to transact and engage.”

Michael Goldstein, CEO of LAN Infotech – a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Microsoft partner and member of CRN’s 2022 Managed Service Provider 500 – told CRN in an interview that he’s glad Microsoft acknowledged the challenges around NCE and created a way to extend the deadline.

Some customers waited until “the last minute” to approve license changes, which left partners such as LAN Infotech pushing up against the original deadline, Goldstein said.

“Our company had been filing NCE changes until 11:59 last night and the system was running slow,” Goldstein said. “The extra time is much appreciated.”

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