Upcoming Changes to Microsoft 365 Licenses You Need To Know About

Upcoming Changes to Microsoft 365 Licenses You Need To Know About

If there’s one thing we know about Microsoft as a company, it’s that its innovation team rarely sits still. The latest change you need to know about concerns how you purchase and manage your licenses. 

Previously, this was achieved through Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. Now, the CSP plan is being retired in favor of a new program that Microsoft has branded the New Commerce Experience. 

If you use Microsoft in your company, read on to find out how this change will impact you and the best step forward. 

NCE: Everything you need to know about the phase out of CSP 

A lot has changed since Microsoft launched its CSP plan in 2015. Since then, Teams adoption has skyrocketed, Microsoft has released Power Platform and Loop, and the company has generally moved forward heaps and bounds. In fact, ​​Microsoft Office 365 witnessed a 21% rise in usage to 258 million users in 2020.

In line with all these changes and so much growth, Microsoft has come to believe that the CSP program is no longer fit for purpose. It limits customers from accessing everything Microsoft has to offer. To fix this issue, Microsoft has launched NCE, which includes Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Windows 365 and Power Platform. 

With NCE, Microsoft aims to help customers access more of Microsoft’s solutions while offering agility and cost optimization. 

It’s worth noting that, if you’re a government or non-profit business, NCE doesn’t apply to you. It’s only relevant for commercial companies. 

How does NCE work?

NCE changes how customers add and subtract licenses from their subscription. There are now 3 subscription options: monthly, annual and tri-annual. 

While the monthly subscription offers businesses the most flexibility, it’s worth noting that. Compared to CSP, NCE comes with a 20% increase in subscriptions. It’s crucial to know about. 

For the annual and tri-annual subscriptions, the costs stay the same as within the existing CSP pricing, so this may be the best option for many businesses – to avoid unnecessary price hikes. 

Are There Any New Features I Should Know About? 

 Yes, alongside the release of NCE, Microsoft has announced a couple of innovations: multi-geo and the home use program.

Multi-geo enables companies to store data in various countries in order to meet data residency clauses – which you may have to meet as part of GDPR or a supplier contract. This feature should be available later this year.

Then there’s the home use program, which allows employees of organizations who have NCE subscriptions to purchase their own home subscription at a 30% discount. 

Dates to Know: NCE Launch and Important Deadlines

There were first whispers about NCE towards the end of last year, and the new program officially came into play at the beginning of March. Here’s the dates you need to know about 

  • March 1st: All new and renewing subscriptions will need to be purchased through NCE 
  • July 1st: Previous CSP customers will need to renew via the NCE program to continue with their subscriptions 
  • October 1st: All customers much purchase through NCE 

What Should My Company Do About Microsoft NCE? 

With a range of subscription options and lots of discounts available, it’s important to take a strategic approach to NCE migration. We don’t suggest just waiting until the October 1st deadline – you’ll miss out on some great bundle deals if you do! 

The NCE is also a welcome opportunity for companies to review and audit their current licenses. Often, we find that organizations are paying for licenses they aren’t using, or unnecessarily paying for features their employees never use. 

We have the Microsoft expertise to help you review your current use of Microsoft 365 and ensure you’re getting the most out of the platform – at the price that’s right for you. 

Unity IT Can Support Your Business With Getting The Most From NCE

The announcement of NCE has snuck up on a lot of organizations. While NCE is a surprise, it certainly shouldn’t be viewed as an unpleasant one. The new program will help organizations simplify and standardize Microsoft usage.

However, to get the most out of NCE, you need the trusted support and experience of a partner that understands Microsoft. That’s where we come in. We can make the transition to NCE seamless and cost-effective for your business. 

We’ll leverage our decades of experience in Microsoft’s solutions and business IT to help you find the most cost-effective and effortless way to move towards NCE and harness the power of Microsoft’s suite of applications. 

Unity IT can help your Fresno area business ensure you get the most out of Microsoft 365, Teams, and Loop, while making sure you find the NCE solution that’s right for your business. 

Contact us today to schedule a technology consultation at 559-297-1007 or reach out online.

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