Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience and Price Changes are here – are you ready to drive customer conversations?

SkyKick Cloud Manager makes it easier with built-in licensing reporting and management

In this article, we discuss some important Microsoft New Commerce Experience (NCE) and pricing updates impacting cloud providers, and how SkyKick Cloud Manager can help partners get ahead of potential customer opportunities or objections with use of the built-in Microsoft 365 License Status Report.

Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience (NCE) model is bringing important changes for Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs)

Microsoft’s NCE recently took a jump step forward, expanding from Microsoft Azure to also include commercial seat-based offers for Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Power Platform, and Windows 365. The NCE is intended to reduce licensing complexity, provide greater flexibility, and enable greater revenue predictability and growth. However, this update also brings other important changes that are already impacting CSPs and their sales conversations with customers. Here’s a summary of some key changes:

1. New Microsoft Subscription Terms Optimize for Annual Commitments

NCE aims to lock more customers into one- or three-year Microsoft subscription terms. For customers that opt into monthly subscriptions, they will be expected to pay a 20% premium versus annual pricing. While partner margins are expected to remain the same, the emphasis on annual subscriptions may impact sales conversations with customers that prefer the flexibility of paying on a monthly basis – particularly given perceived uncertainty during COVID and other economic events.

2. Microsoft 365 Price Increases by 15 – 20% 

Starting on March 1, 2022, there is significant changes in pricing for Microsoft 365 and Modern Work SKUs. While pricing changes are to be expected, this increase presents a timely call for partners to affirm the value of Microsoft 365 services with their customers. This rings particularly true for businesses used to monthly terms – if they choose to continue to pay month by month, they’ll need to pay a 20% premium on top of the standard 15-20% price increase.

3. Special Promo Offers to Assist with the Transition

As part of this recent Microsoft New Commerce Experience (NCE) launch, Microsoft is offering two special price discounts. There is a 5% discount off annual subscriptions through March 2022, and monthly subscriptions can be purchased at annual pricing through June 2022. This may help ease the transition for new customers considering a move to Microsoft 365, but not yet ready for the full annual commitment.

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Get ahead of Microsoft 365 sales conversations and opportunities with Cloud Manager

Naturally, many CSPs are looking to get timely insights across their current customer base to respond to these Microsoft New Commerce Experience changes and drive M365 subscription renewal or expansion conversations. What’s more, annual terms can present significant ongoing management challenges, as it requires the ability to accurately and efficiently track, manage, and address licenses across tenants and expiration dates.

Thanks to strong partner feedback and insights about the challenges and opportunities ahead, the SkyKick product team worked quickly to develop ready-to-use automation in Cloud Manager to help IT partners address the changes and easily monitor and manage Microsoft 365 licenses across customers.

New Microsoft 365 License Status Report Now Available in Cloud Manager


The built-in Microsoft 365 License Status Report can be used to rapidly access license information across customers and over 2,000 licenses types to help partners address a variety of license management needs, including:

  • Identifying expiring licenses by customer, license type, expiration date, and more to proactively:
    • Ensure license continuity for all users
    • Anticipate license purchase requirements
  • Monitoring and managing the inventory of available licenses for:
    • Agile license assignment, especially for customers with a growing number of users
    • Visibility into potential license reduction, consolidation, or other cost savings.
  • Monitor and manage trial licenses to inform customer conversations around moving to paid licenses for expiring trials.

The command also offers a variety of run options and outputs to help partners access the exact data they need in the form they need it. For example, partners can use an HTML version of the report to quickly scan data or instead use it as a CSV to more surgically sort, filter, and focus on the exact data required to support various license management scenarios.

Additionally, partners can leverage the Monitor & Schedule feature in Cloud Manager to proactively monitor license status by running the report on a recurring basis.

Ready to try it? Getting started with Cloud Manager is easy

Cloud Manager can help CSPs automate this cloud management scenario and many others – whether you’re looking to streamline Microsoft 365 and cloud service administration, accelerate Microsoft Teams, or deliver cloud security solutions. To see how it can help your business today, sign up for a free trial or book a product demo with the SkyKick team.