Transcript of audio:
Demystifying Mictosoft's New Commerce Experience
Published February 14, 2021
TRISH:Hi there, I'm Trish O'Keeffe. I am the director of the Microsoft practice at Insight Canada. And I have with me a special guest, Kelli Maidoff. She is our subject matter expert on everything CSP and everything NCE. So what we're going to do today is talk about, there are three distinct changes that are coming at the beginning of March from Microsoft. There is a price increase on six products, office products NCE, which is live now, there are some timelines that are going to either push customers to NCE or customers have to make changes before those timelines in the current CSP portal to avoid either a price increase or having to make a decision about NCE. So we're going to talk a about the price increases. We're going to talk about NCE and there's some really good news, which is on the voice side where what you are paying for about $5 Canadian is now part of the Microsoft. Anybody who has a teams product is part of the team's product enabling you to have conference calls with a telephone number at it. So three changes, and Kelli's going to talk to all three. The first one we're going to talk about for a short period of time is the price increase. So price increase as of March 1st. Kelli, you want to talk us through this, please?
KELLI: Absolutely. So this is the first price increase that we're seeing from Microsoft in about 10 years. There have been some substantial increases and benefit to the offerings that we're seeing this price increase effect. We have six products. This Trish mentioned that are affected by the price increase. We have the M 365 Business Basic, M 365 Business Premium, the Office 365 E1, E3 and E5 offerings as well as the M 365 E3. And the added benefits to these over the last decade the enhancements that Microsoft has brought include things like security and teams for collaboration. There is a multitude of things that Microsoft has brought to these specific products that are adding to the value of utilizing these offerings.
TRISH: Something to point out this is not specific to one program with Microsoft. One contract program. These prices will increase in the EA program, the MPSA, anywhere where you buy this from Microsoft there will be an increase on March 1st. What we're going to focus on today is, we're going to focus on the CSP. So there is a way. And so what we're going to ask is that you give a call to your account executive. There's a way to delay these price increases for a period of time. So that you can arrange your budgets, simply on CSP. On the other programs, you can again have a conversation with your account executive and they'll bring on the specialists to talk about when those price increases will come into effect but on the CSP part, please, and it has to be in February before March 1st, give your account executive a call, they'll get the specialist on. They'll look at your very specific dates of renewals or products that you buy, and they'll be able to help you if it's possible to avoid this price increase for a period of time. So that you can settle your business about this price increase. So we're not going to go into too much detail about it. As you can see Microsoft put a lot of effort into enhancing these parts. And again you can review this with your account executive. You could see all the changes that they made and that's why these price increases are coming into effect.
KELLI: And also to that point, it's a great opportunity, if you foresee in the very near future of moving to one of these products now is the opportune time to take advantage of establishing that subscription prior to the March 1st increase. Again, contact your account executive to further talk about your plans.
TRISH: Really good point, Kelli, thank you. Okay, now we're going to move to NCE. So, I will mention that the price increase is one thing, NCE is another, the move to NCE will have some cost scenarios where there could be an increase in the price which will be on top of the current increase. Again, the best way to know if it's going to touch you or not is to call your account executive and they'll get a specialist on. So we'll go straight to NCE. So Kelli, can you just like give us overarchingly the dates, the important dates we need to about NCE and then we'll get into a few of the details around it.
KELLI: Absolutely. So most important date to note is March 10th. March 10th, all Net New subscriptions will need to be purchased within new commerce. And that pertains specifically to commercial offerings. This does not affect non-profit or educational offerings but any Net New commercial corporate offering after March 10th or forward will be purchased in new commerce. The next date to keep in mind is July 1st. So any subscription that has an anniversary date that is July 1st, 2022, and forward, you will renew or need to move your subscription into new commerce. Their commerce experience with that next renewal. That's the our basic dates.
TRISH: On that point in the Insight portal, it shows the listing of everything that you buy and what your subscription end date is. If you have any questions whatsoever, how to delay, what do I need to do, whats the best experience for me? Is it move to NCE on March 10th? Is it stay in the legacy for a little while longer? Talk to your account executives. The whole team is waiting for your calls to be able to talk specifically to what your requirements are based on your subscription end dates. One thing I want to note, Kelli and team are on calls almost daily with Microsoft. So, they're on business calls and they're on technical calls so that we're all prepared technically and within the business to be able to manage NCE through the portal. The one thing that we're seeing is the dates are set now, but they're a bit fluid things change. Right now, we're just going to say, March 10th, July 1st things could change. And if they do, we'll let you know but just know for the moment those dates are set and as things change your account executive or somebody within the organization will let you know. So Kelli explain the biggest change that NCA brings to clients who buy through CSP.
KELLI: So the biggest change in understanding the biggest change we kind of have to set the precedence for how CSP is purchased today. So anyone who's purchasing a subscription today in CSP has a duration of 12 months or a term of 12 months of their subscription. And then they can choose to either pay monthly or annual. They have the flexibility to be able to increase and decrease their license count at any time and through the history of CSP we've seen so far that there has been the ability to cancel without any penalty. So we're moving into this new commerce experience and Microsoft is bringing the flexibility of three different offerings. So the first offering is a true monthly offering. So that monthly duration is an actual term. So we're looking at a monthly term duration of the subscription itself. The ability to pay is just monthly. And then you can change for the next following month or choose to cancel that subscription at the end of that month. The second offering is what we see similar to today's CSP is a 12 month duration. That 12 month duration in the subscription allows for both monthly and upfront or annual payment. And we can see the ability to increase that license count over the 12 month duration. But Microsoft outside of the original 72 hours is not enabling any reduction in license count for that 12 month commitment. So you're committing to that 12 months at whatever the originated subscription is outside of that original 72 hours. The third month or third option is 36 months. And Microsoft is bringing this option to enable more predictability in pricing for clients. And that offering is coming from Microsoft later in calendar year 2022. So that's the major difference.
TRISH: Sorry, Kelli. Another thing to note that's really important. We are hearing from clients that they're being forced into NCE. Unless you're buying Net New after March 10th then you go into the new commerce experience. You don't have another experience to compare it to, but Microsoft Insight no one is forcing you into the new commerce experience which is why I say call your account executive. They'll look at your specific situation when your subscriptions end, and between the two of us we'll figure out when is the best time for you to move into the new commerce experience. Of course, at some point the legacy CSP portal in partner center will no longer be supported by Microsoft but they haven't given a date yet. So we're not too worried about that. It's a little bit like the Azure plan. They haven't sunset the old portal. There are still customers transacting in the old portal, not many in Canada but there are still customers transacting in the old portal. And it's not sunset yet. And this is the same thing. There will however be a movement to get you into it, certainly by the end of this calendar year. But if you work with your account executive we can look at your specific needs and make a decision. What's the best for you. So, Kelli, if I have a hundred licenses annually of Microsoft 365 E3, and I want to pay monthly, I know what I have there. If I want those hundred licenses and the term is 30 days, what's price difference?
KELLI: So in order to have the monthly duration and the flexibility to cancel at the end of that month, or modify the license count, Microsoft is offering that monthly duration with a 20% premium over the same offer in the annual subscription. So if you had that a hundred licenses under an annual commitment, that price would be 20% less than what you would be paying in the monthly offering. So it does enable you to mix and match because you can have monthly as well as annual within the same product. So let's take, for example E3, if you had a subscription need for E3 for that hundred but you had 25 additional licenses that you needed more fluctuation, more flexibility in, that would be an opportunity for you to take advantage of the savings on the 100 commit to the full year and then use the monthly offering to take advantage of the flexibility, even at the 20% premium because you're going to be able to flexibly change what that license count is, or cancel if you if you no longer need that say after three months.
TRISH: And so for those of you who do transact CSP with Insight Canada, our portal will be able to manage both experiences. And for the most part, it'll be invisible to you unless you really want to know where everything is. Of course that visibility is available as well but the invoicing, the things like that. If you are living in both portals for a little while for the most part, that won't be something that will change your experience within CSP. Okay. Tell us about trials Kelli.
KELLI: So trials have a very important change under new commerce experience. Currently trials expire at the end of their duration. When you enable those through your Microsoft 365 admin center, you have the opportunity to move into a full license but it does not automatically happen. Under new commerce experience the big change coming is that at the end of that 30 days the license will or the subscription will autorenew into a fully paid license at whatever the count is that you have within that specific trial. So, very important if you're not looking to keep that trial there is an option to turn the auto renew off. And our recommendation is that you do so, and working with Insight Canada, you can go into your Insight cloud management portal and enable the actual full product purchase through Insight with your applied Insight discount.
TRISH: Okay. Tell us the good news about add-ons. First explain what they are, not everybody knows. Explain and then give us the news.
: Great news with add-on. So currently under CSP, in order to have an add-on say an Azure active directory premium plan to or in current situation, audio conferencing, you need to own or have provisioned in CSP that parent SKU. So the SKU that enables the add-on to be functional. So in CSP currently, you can't independently purchase that add-on. The great news is coming with new commerce, you will be able to search both in your Insight cloud management portal and add that add-on and it will look to the tenant for is there an eligible parent SKU for that add-on. So it decreases the amount of complication when provisioning specific add-ons and enables you to search for those specific add-ons themselves, rather than determining what that parent SKU is first.
TRISH: And so you can have that parent SKU in another program like in an EA and you're still able to purchase because as Kelli said, it's looking at the tenant level.
TRISH: To find out if you have kind of the mothership SKU.
TRISH: Okay. Talk a little bit more about toggling auto renew.
KELLI: So auto renew is a great functionality that Microsoft is bringing to the commerce experience. Everything within CSP, which we're calling legacy CSP at this point, auto renews, unless it's canceled. So we know that functionality, the ability to turn it off has not existed previously. That is an enhancement that's coming to new commerce. So you can plan ahead and make those changes as necessary. So with a monthly subscription, for example if you are taking advantage of the ability to have a more flexible subscription within that monthly duration offering, but you know that I won't need it past the end of June you can turn that autorenew toggle off. And then at the end of June that service will simply expire. And you don't have to remember set yourself a calendar reminder in order to go in and cancel that subscription. So it helps to provide some of that cost savings and memory check that goes on with having to remember those specific dates. So the autorenew toggle is a choice with NCE. You can choose to leave it as well as turn it off.
TRISH: What does it default to?
KELLI: So it defaults to on, so that will help with any loss of service. You can imagine that if you have a monthly subscription every month that subscription renews and you have that functionality enabled. If you happen to toggle that off or if it was defaulting to off you might have some loss of service for your users. If that end of the month, again, you'd have to set yourself a calendar reminder. So it's a great thing that it's toggled to on.
TRISH: Okay, let's move on to the next good news. And that's what Microsoft is giving away. One last thing I just want to say about NCE. We've been on this journey Kelli and I and the team for 180 plus days there's a lot to kind of understand because we've been doing it for so long because we've been working with Microsoft, the team has a better understanding. So take advantage of that while you can the best time to take advantage of it truly is February. Everybody's waiting for your calls, ready to be able to to deliver whatever it is, whatever is your individual need around NCE. So Kelli, tell us the good news about what Microsoft is giving away.
KELLI: So the great news that's coming March 1st is Microsoft has announced that with any teams, inclusive SKU they are making available a $0 Microsoft Teams audio conferencing select dial out SKU which enables unlimited dial in, 60 minutes of dial out. And that can be added to your existing Microsoft Teams inclusive SKU in order to enable that functionality in your M 365 admin console. And you will have the functionality of audio conferencing at no additional cost come March 1st.
TRISH: And if I have overages?
KELLI: And if you have overages Microsoft is now enabling the ability to have those build through your CSP. It's done similar to an Azure experience in that it will build based on consumption. So excellent news there as well.
TRISH: So, yes, talk to your account executives because if you want to take advantage of the overage you do have to have an Azure tenant within your environment and we can help you with that as well. So thank you very much, Kelli. Kelli is the resident subject matter expert on everything, new commerce experience. Affectionately known as NCE. And once again, I'm Trish O'Keeffe. We're from Insight Canada. We appreciate your time today. Take advantage of the expertise that we have. Understand that NCE is not mandatory at this time. So please call your account executive make sure they have the Microsoft specialist on the call and we'll walk you through when you have to move which is best for your business. Thanks for your time. Thanks, Kelli.
KELLI: Thank you.