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Microsoft Delays Another NCE Deadline

Wade Tyler Millward

The original deadline for partners to move subscriptions of popular Microsoft offerings including Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 to the new commerce experience (NCE) was July 11.

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Microsoft has indefinitely delayed the end date for legacy subscriptions moving to its “new commerce experience,” crediting more migrations and giving partners more time to adopt the change.

The original deadline for partners to move subscriptions of popular Microsoft offerings including Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 to the new commerce experience (NCE) was July 11. The Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant in an online post called the delay “a business decision.”

CRN has reached out to Microsoft for additional comments.

[RELATED: 5 MAJOR MICROSOFT PARTNER PROGRAM CHANGES IN 2022]

“Microsoft has seen an acceleration of partners migrating legacy Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) subscriptions to the new commerce platform in recent weeks,” according to the post. “We appreciate the efforts of partners that have contributed to this acceleration, and all CSP partners are encouraged to complete migrations from legacy to new commerce as soon as possible.”

It continued: “Previously, we communicated that legacy commercial seat-based subscriptions would no longer be auto-renewed on the legacy platform starting July 11. Though our goal is still for partners to migrate legacy subscriptions to new commerce before end of term, we have made a business decision to continue supporting the legacy auto-renewal functionality beyond July 11.”

Partners are still unable to buy new orders of legacy subscriptions, a change implemented in March, according to Microsoft.

Monthly incentives rebates paid to partners on active legacy commercial seat-based subscriptions are also still set to end on Jan. 1.

“Partners should continue to migrate legacy CSP subscriptions to new commerce before they auto-renew in legacy, using the tools provided in Partner Center or via API,” according to Microsoft. To help with migrations, Microsoft offers a batch migration tool called BAM.

This isn’t the first change to Microsoft’s timeline for moving partners and customers to the new commerce experience, a campaign that has proven controversial among partners due in part to a 20 percent premium added to month-to-month commitments for applicable offerings.

Partners have told CRN that an additional price on monthly commitments punishes customers who want flexibility while pushing customers to annual commitments. With annual commitments, if a customer decides to forgo licenses during the commitment, partners could end up picking up the payment.

In March, Microsoft expanded a controversial 72-hour window allotted for partners to make changes to customer’s subscription plans to give partners seven calendar days to cancel or reduce seats after ordering or renewing subscriptions under the new commerce experience.

At CRN parent The Channel Company’s XChange 2022 event, former Microsoft channel chief Rodney Clark took credit for the change and said it was an example of how Microsoft is taking and responding to feedback from partners concerned about the recent major partner program changes.

This week’s timeline change came two weeks before the original deadline, an improvement in lead-time Microsoft has previously given partners. Also in March, Microsoft delayed an overall price increase separate from NCE’s 20 percent monthly premium. Microsoft had announced that delay on the date the price increase was set to start.

At the time, Microsoft cited “current high demand” to move customers onto NCE as the reason for pushing back the overall price increase.

Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

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