Microsoft delays deadline to shift to NCE subscriptions indefinitely

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Microsoft delays deadline to shift to NCE subscriptions indefinitely

Microsoft has further delayed its previously announced 11 July 2022 deadline to block auto-renewals of legacy CSP subscriptions, one part of the New Commerce Experience (NCE) changes, indefinitely.

In an announcement earlier this week, the tech giant said it “made a business decision” to continue supporting the legacy auto-renewal functionality beyond 11 July. This was first reported by The Register.

“Microsoft has seen an acceleration of partners migrating legacy Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) subscriptions to the new commerce platform in recent weeks. 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,” the announcement read.

“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.”

NCE is Microsoft’s plan to replace perpetual licences to prioritise subscriptions for its cloud products, which also comes with price increases of 20 percent month-to-month. The changes impact Microsoft 365 – which includes Word, Excel, Teams, SharePoint and other popular Microsoft applications – and other software packages.

Starting 10 March 2022, the vendor mandated CSP subscriptions be moved to NCE and initially planned a 1 July 2022 deadline to shift all renewal subscriptions to the platform. Microsoft later pushed the deadline back to 11 July.

Former Microsoft channel chief Rodney Clark said in February that NCE would be a “rare combination” of change in business model, business policy and technology, saying it was “change in multiple areas”, hitting technical, back end, API integration and business policy.

Clark at the time also said he hoped that partners critical of NCE see that the long-term positives of the changes outweigh short-term changes they need to make to adopt it.

Another addition to NCE was a new indicator to measure partner success called the partner capability score (PCS) in October 2022. Partners would require a PCS of at least 70 points out of an available 100 to qualify as a “solutions provider”, one of two levels under the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program.

Microsoft channel partners criticised the announcements, with one Aussie partner starting a petition in March expressing his disapproval of the vendor’s plan to be more heavily biased towards new sales.

Speaking to CRN in March, the partner said that while a partner scoring system would be “a fantastic thing”, the way Microsoft weighs the scores were skewed more heavily towards new product sales.

“When we look at the weighted score for the October 2022 changes, if we’re going out of a total of 100, partners can only achieve up to a maximum of only 25 points as an education component,” the partner said.

“So if I upskill my entire office here, that only counts to about 25 percent out of the total 100, while the rest is stipulated around selling.”

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