November 18, 2021

Let’s simplify the changes in the new commerce experience

By Alex Perez

When Microsoft launched the new commerce experience (NCE) in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program in November 2019, the goal was to give customers greater choice and flexibility in how and where they purchase, while giving our partners more opportunities to sell to a growing base of existing and new customers. Partners play a critical role in helping guide customers through their digital transformation, regardless of where they are in their journey or how they decide to transact. With the new commerce platform, partners can drive growth by:

  • Expanding their business with continuous selling.
  • Developing enduring business through value-added services.
  • Reducing costs while accelerating their customers’ success.

NCE

Microsoft is currently in the third phase of a multi-stage, multi-year transformational journey to deliver a simplified engagement experience that will benefit both partners and customers. In this third phase of the journey, we’re delivering a new experience in Partner Center for the Microsoft Commerce Incentive (MCI) program. New incentive and investment offers are being released that leverage this enhanced experience aimed at providing partners with more flexibility to grow their business. In future phases, we’ll continue to add, enhance, expand, and migrate new and existing incentive opportunities into the MCI program.

You may have already heard that seat-based offers are being added to the new commerce experience in CSP. To date in NCE, we’ve launched NCE offers for Azure, made perpetual software transactions available in CSP, and are excited to begin the migration of seat-based offers to NCE. The inclusion of seat-based offers for Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Power Platform, and Windows 365 are an important step in our evolution toward a unified experience. Now we want to expand on the opportunities for partners—and make sure you’re prepared for general availability and the launch of two promos on January 1, 2022. Faster, simpler transactions mean sellers will have more time and opportunity to support their customers’ digital transformation.

Also as of January 1, 2022, commercial customers will no longer be able to buy new or renew software licenses or online services through the Open License program as we accelerate the adoption of perpetual license availability in CSP. New license-only purchases will need to be transacted through partners in the CSP program. Learn more with the latest information and resources on transitioning from Open License to CSP.

Where partners should be focused in their NCE adoption journey

As the new commerce experience continues to evolve, Microsoft is asking partners to ensure they’re ready by remaining focused on the following changes.

 

Key change Partner call to action Partner-ready resources
Purchasing Guidance
Mapping the customer’s intent and service needs to the best-fit sales motion is critical to reducing conflict between partner and internal sellers.
Make sure you’re aware of the new guidance by studying the collateral released, absorbing announcements, and voicing feedback in preparation for release.
Microsoft Commerce Incentive (MCI)
As part of our path to consolidate and simplify incentives, MCI is adding new earning opportunities. MCI will govern incentives in the new commerce experience.
Complete MCI enrollment (in Partner Center, select the Incentives tile and then select Enroll) and leverage rate cards to update economic modeling.
Open License to CSP Migration
Customers can now purchase perpetual along with cloud services via a CSP partner and move away from the Open License program, which will be phased out on January 1, 2022.
If you are still selling Open License,  shift those sales to CSP with a preference for Cloud subscriptions.

 

 

New Commerce Experience in CSP for Azure
The NCE for Azure in CSP offers alignment across all sales motions, the introduction of transition tool and management tools, and incentivizes partners to govern customer Azure environment through Partner Earned Credit (PEC).
Familiarize yourself with the new Azure offer in CSP and work with your partners to understand the impact on their business. Prepare to capitalize on the opportunities presented, leverage the tools made available, and take advantage of the new incentive structure.
New commerce experience in CSP for seat-based offers
Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform are all signature solutions that customers know and rely on to address a wide range of business scenarios. Beginning in October, partners can now sell these products in the new commerce experience in the CSP program through the technical preview, offering customers a consistent and simplified purchasing experience.
Ensure your business stakeholders are aware of the change and preparing to capitalize on the new functionality in Partner Center.
Direct Bill Threshold Enforcement
Partners not meeting requirements for Direct being offboarded to Indirect Reseller status.
If you are at risk:

Develop an action plan to meet the requirements.

-or-

Help them transition to Indirect Reseller status and establish relationship with an Indirect Provider.

Microsoft 365 price increasing

Though not directly related to the new commerce experience, on March 1, 2022, Microsoft 365 will go up in price, on average +15% (depending on the SKU). This is the first significant price increase since Office 365 was released more than a decade ago and reflects the value of innovation that’s been added over the years. We want to ensure our partners are keeping this top of mind when evaluating deals in the new commerce experience for seat-based offers.

This is a great opportunity for you to reaffirm Microsoft 365 as our hero solution and the value of the Cloud to your SMB customers.

Other posts you may be interested in:

New commerce experience for seat-based offers in Cloud Solution Provider
Coming to the Cloud Solution Provider program: seat-based offers in new commerce
Expanding opportunities for partners in the Cloud Solution Provider program

Other posts you may like