Microsoft recently switched their 100% flexible M365 subscription model (now known as “legacy”) to NCE, its New Commerce Experience. Microsoft Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) were tasked with getting customers moved across to the new Monthly & Annual subscription model. So, how was NCE for you?
Why the shift to NCE?
Well, Microsoft were one of only a few major vendors still providing a truly flexible cloud service model. It it was only a matter of time before they started tying customers in to more rigid contracts. This is not too dissimilar to well known service providers like YouTube, Netflix, Sky…
Whilst the model they’ve chosen has been widely regarded as “pro-Microsoft” and not very “pro-customer”, they have given customers some options. Microsoft did communicate well and gave CSP’s plenty of time to get used to the idea and relay back to their customers.
Following Microsoft’s announcement, we wrote an entry on our website entitle NCE is coming! back in 2021 and then contacted all of our M365 customers to let them know it was coming. At that point only limited information was being released from Microsoft, but it allowed us to get ahead of the game.
Once Microsoft released all the information we needed, we reached out to every customer to explain the options. Most of our customers engaged us. Phone calls, Teams meetings, site visits and a lot of number crunching involved, but it was all worth it as we helped our customers subscribe to Microsoft 365 in the way that best suited them.
- Some customers like the simplicity and flexibility so kept it the same (Monthly) and just accepted the price increases.
- Many customers just took the cheapest option (we are based in Yorkshire after all!) and weren’t concerned with the annual commitments. They’d been on M365 for years, were very happy, and weren’t going anywhere.
- Lots of customers decided to take a mixture of license types to get value and flexibility combined.
Most importantly, every customer was given the opportunity to understand the changes and make the best decisions for their business – and rightly so. For us at CTO, it was a nice excuse for a chin-wag and it was a pleasure to catch up with some friendly faces.
Every CTO customer was successfully transitioned from Legacy to NCE in 2022.
What we’re seeing in 2023…
We regularly bring M365 customers into our platforms while improving their all-round IT Security posture. We’re finding that some IT companies haven’t made the switch and are still running legacy subscriptions. Whether they haven’t had the time, or they’ve just ignored Microsoft’s directives, they haven’t made the switch and could be suffer for it. We’re not just talking small boutique MSP’s here, some reasonably large and well established managed service providers simply haven’t got it done.
Worse than that, some customers have come to us completely unaware that their previous MSP has signed them up for NCE subscriptions! M365 customers who thought they had flexible monthly subscriptions have been stitched up, and found themselves having very awkward conversations with their MSPs. Not what anyone wants or needs…
Despite what people might say about Microsoft, they have protected their customers from this kind of activity. They put the responsibility of subscription commitments and management on the Cloud Service Provider. So when things aren’t lined up correctly the end customer has the power to walk away and take their M365 business to another provider.
How was NCE for you?
How did your NCE transition go? Good? Did your provider get it done swiftly and easily?
Did you know anything about it? Bad? Is this the first time you’ve heard of NCE?
If you want to check if you are still on “Legacy” or on Microsoft NCE then find out in your Admin portal. The billing section shows what commitments you have, along with lots of other information to help you understand what you have and control your Microsoft 365 NCE journey.
If you don’t have access to your own M365 portal you should have. The portal belongs to you, not your Microsoft Partner, and you should always have administrative access to aid collaboration with your Microsoft Partner and ultimately maintain an element of control over your M365 data.
If you’re not sure about any of this are you want some help to understand what you’ve got or why you’ve got it – feel free to reach out to our team who will be happy to help.