We all let out a groan when we hear the words ‘price changes’... because, let’s face it, they never go down, do they? But in reality, Microsoft has done a damn good job of adjusting at pace to the new working world we’ve found ourselves in over the past couple of years. They’ve responded to the need for working from home and now hybrid working, giving us the tools we needed to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. So let’s not be too harsh on them.
These price changes are part of Microsoft’s evolution to provide companies with more flexibility, and they are offering better prices in exchange for a bit of long-term commitment… just like the vast majority of service providers these days.
Here, we’re going to break the changes down and look at your different options…
New Commerce Experience (NCE) - the options…
The NCE is the new offering from Microsoft - a licensing model that aims to streamline and simplify options for businesses and reward long-term commitment.
Mix and match
Monthly or annually
Monthly, annually or fully prepaid
12- or 36-month subscription plus monthly subscription rates for additional monthly licenses
At the end of every month
At the end of 12-months
At the end of 36-months
At the end of the 12- or 36-months, or at the end of the month for additional monthly licenses
Lower fixed price
Lower fixed price for longer term
Allows benefits of long term commitment and flexibility for temporary workers
20% premium on standard rates
Standard for longterm subscription, plus 20% premium on additional monthly licenses
No mid-term cancellations. They must happen within 72 hours of purchase (or at the end of the subscription term).
So, basically, you have the option of staying with a monthly subscription, but you’ll be charged a premium on it. Or you can commit for 12 or 36 months and save costs. Or you can mix and match - and benefit from both the savings and flexibility. This is particularly useful for companies that have temporary or seasonal workers.
Like we've said, this is very common in service provider pricing structures… think about others you use in your company - Zoom, FreeAgent, Asana - they all have cheaper deals if you're willing to commit for a longer period.
You might be wondering at this point whether you need to transfer over to NCE, or whether you can just stay as you are…
Can I stay as a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Program customer?
Yes and no. The immediate answer is yes, but they will be a price increase of up to 20% from March 1st for certain licenses, including:
Microsoft Business Basic
Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Office 365 E1, E3 and E5
Microsoft 365 E3
Also, from next month CSP will become a legacy product and these dates are worth considering:
10th March - end of new subscriptions for CSP. New customers will automatically go onto NCE
30th June - last date for CSP renewals
January 2023 - end of CSP incentives
So while there is the possibility for continuing as a CSP customer, the options and benefits will reduce significantly during the upcoming months.
What do I need to do now?
The best and easiest way to figure out what to do about the price increases and transferring over to NCE is to give us a call. The right decision will depend on your company’s situation, the number of staff you have, whether you take on temporary workers throughout the year, and so on.