TL;DR: The New Commerce Experience (NCE) – Microsoft’s new Cloud Solutions Provider platform for IT businesses, which comes into effect in March. And with it, a new suite of NCE incentives.
Giacom present a workshop addressing the new incentives, comparing them to the legacy CSP incentives, and provide links to useful resources that will help Managed Service Providers (MSPs) manage the transition more smoothly.
Giacom Workshop: Introduction to NCE Incentives
Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience (NCE) is here. For MSPs and IT business owners, this means that along with a new set of price structures, there are also new incentive schemes.
These new incentives affect any business who hold Microsoft Silver or Gold Partnership Agreements.
To explain how these incentives differ from the previous Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) incentives, Giacom‘s Anthony Taylor and Tova Lill guided us through the changes.
Firstly, Anthony described the incentives as they were prior to the switch to NCE. Secondly, he gave a breakdown of the new NCE incentive breakdowns. And then finally, Tova provided some useful links to help MSPs and SMB IT companies. These will help MSPs transition smoothly into the new way of earning incentives.
Recap of Incentives Today – Legacy Incentives
Prior to NCE, the indirect resellers of CSP products earned incentives differently.
Referred to as legacy CSP incentives, they included a rebate element.
The rebate pay out depended on whether or not the reseller met the $10k per semester threshold.
To put it another way, as an MSP you earned the first 60% of any licences sold up to six months, then after that period:
- If you didn’t meet the $10k sales threshold you would be paid the remaining 40% immediately
- If you exceeded this threshold, you could claim that 40% back in co-op activities over the next six months
Co-op activities included training and marketing activities to promote Microsoft cloud solutions.
The legacy incentive rates split by product type:
NCE Incentives – the Breakdown
NCE Incentives are calculated differently.
Anthony explained these no longer include a Co-op earning element. Meaning all the earnings are immediately paid to the reseller, because there is no need to wait six months for the other 40%.
The modern workplace (mwp) licence incentives and the business applications (biz apps) licence incentives are displayed in separate tables.
Giacom’s account manager made note that while it may appear that earnings will reduce during the transition to NCE, the rates are slightly higher to mitigate this. Microsoft are planning to review the incentives in September. In which case, those percentages may change again.
Tova Lill then provided more detailed Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) information of the different licences on offer. The list was not the full list though. A more detailed list of SKUs can be found on Giacom’s Cloud Market platform for anyone who is a member.
High Level Roadmap for NCE Incentives
Important dates in 2022 that MSPs need to be aware of – presented in a high level roadmap.
The most important of these dates are:
- 1st March – Microsoft price increases come into effect
- 10th March – New subscriptions on NCE enforced
- 1st July – Legacy subscriptions on NCE enforced
- 30th Sept – Microsoft Commerce Incentives (MCI) updates
- 11th Dec – CSP indirect reseller incentives
December is the last chance you have to remain on the legacy incentives scheme. After that, the incentives cease unless you move over to NCE.
Useful Links for NCE Incentives and Migration
This subject is quite complex, and MSPs will want to get the best outcome for their business model.
Fortunately, some useful resources are available.
For anyone already a Microsoft Partner, there is a step-by-step guide to the partner enrolment process, which can be accessed here.
Giacom Cloud Market Links:
- NCE SST (Service Specific Terms) Update Information
- NCE Help Tools – Featuring videos and templates, as well as impact and migration tools
There is also a community forum built into Cloud Market, where users can take part in peer discussions and post any questions they have.
- NCE Promo Guide – A guide available to Microsoft Partners (sign-in required)
- Microsoft Commerce Incentives – More Microsoft Commerce resources
- MS MCE Incentives Webinar – Microsoft Teams recorded webinar
Questions and Answers
The presenters encouraged questions from the audience to finish off the workshop.
Q: Can you earn incentives if you’re a Microsoft Partner with only an action pack?
A: No. You have to be at least a Silver Partner to qualify for incentives.
Q: If a customer becomes insolvent before their contract term is up, is there a refund option?
A: No. You are still liable for the licences until the contract term is up.
Q: How much are the Silver and Gold Partnerships at the moment?
A: Partnerships are £1300 for Silver and £3600 for Gold – and there are qualification requirements to consider as well. However, if you buy a reasonable number of licences, Microsoft may waive the qualification fees when you become a partner.
So, NCE is here to stay, and MSPs owners dealing in Microsoft Cloud licences need to get their heads around the changes. In navigating the new incentive structures, there is an opportunity to get ahead of the game and make competitive pricing bundles for their clients.
How do you feel about the new NCE incentives?
Do you think they’ll make licence cost breakdowns too complex for your clients?
I would love to hear your thoughts! So, leave a comment below or get in touch.