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dswenson
Level 4 Contributor

NCE needs to be fixed ASAP!

@Microsoft, please fix the glaring issues in NCE. The program is completely unreasonable for your Partners and needs to be made more flexible immediately. Just ONE Example: 

 

I have an MSP Partner with a customer on an NCE agreement for 10 Business Standard licenses established a short time ago. Based on a recent development (they are adopting more Microsoft services) three out of the ten users MUST upgrade to Business Premium. Due to how NCE operates we are being FORCED to upgrade ALL ten of the users to Business Premium. This is not acceptable, and layering is a common occurrence with our customers. Please reach out to me directly with assistance as I have not been able to get in front of ANYONE on the NCE Team to discuss these issues. 

 

 

57 REPLIES 57
VNJoe
Level 6 Contributor

Direct Providers can upgrade, can use the Partner API, get direct support quicker, lots of things that Indirect Resellers cannot, even though we pay the same prices for the same levels of partnership. Distis are telling us Indirect Providers we can't do partial upgrades, and Microsoft is telling us it's not their fault, and MSP's pay the price. We come here to request help, and we're told to change distis because Microsoft isn't responsible, so we tell the customer it costs a lot more because Microsoft won't help us fix it.

 

This is by product design.

aroasdo1234
Level 6 Contributor

Just as @BennyRossaer stated in reply, it isn't Microsoft's responsibility to force an Indirect Provider how to run their portal.  Just like it isn't their job to help you run your business. If you are not getting what you need from your Indirect Provider, then it is time to change, or complain enough that they fix it. 

 

Indirect Provider: "Help me Microsoft? I don't want to spend more money on our development efforts to take advantage of your API to offer our resellers all the options available!"

 

Yeah, time to move on. 

 

BennyRossaer
Level 4 Contributor

You do need to change distri. We are an Indirect Provider in Belgium and offer partial upgrades, planned renewal changes, co-terminous and more in our portal. It's all available in the Microsoft API, but ofcourse the Indirect Provider needs to invest in development to offer these features.

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@BennyRossaer Thank you for the feedback, I know that not everybody is happy (and not expecting this), as not everybody would have been happier when not postponing the enforcement. 

 

It was a lastminute decision that was not made easily - based on the fact while the adoption of NCE was increasing fast, there were a few remaining Partners/Customer/scenarios that were at risk to run into problems if for some subscription migration would be enforced starting July and subscriptions would have automatically expired with service impact to end customers. And while those making the decision are aware that is will not well perceived everywhere, you have to take many different considerations into account. We would certainly prefer to not have to postpone it.

 

The question on timing the NCE migration was always a thing were the right approach & timing needed to be considered, and the right approach looked different for many Partners - thus some made the decision not to migrate most of their customer before late 2022/2023 because of various reasons.

Some planned to do the migration gradually (e.g. whenever a customer is renewing) - and some of those planned from the beginning that they use the maximum allowed time range, until end of June 2023, for this.

So, the difference in risk and pricing you mentioned would have been true for Jan 2022 till June 2023 anyway between Partners that migrated early and those who planned to postpone this for as long as possible.

But, for other this gives them more time to fix issues they still have in their platform or complete some implementations and the extension is desperately needed. 

 

All of those that migrated early have the advantage that they have completed the journey and won't have to maintain two different billing systems anymore, many of their customers benefit from the 5% promotion and Partners ensured they keep getting the incentives long term - Partners that are late will not have those benefits, and they can't (should not) stop to prepare and go forward with the migration, since it will need to happen at some point. And they need to adopt those changes as well since new sales needs to happen in NCE. I expect nobody will be better with just ignoring it. 

 

Incentives will not be changed because of Cloud Partner Program/Solution designation at least until Oct. '23, so it is relevant for SMB still way into next year. Can't say what will happen beyond Oct. '23 though since Incentive program can change every year anyway. 

 

Kind regards, Janosch
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wbrianbenton198
Level 3 Contributor

Hi Jason - Is NCE driven by greed?

Grapecanuck
Visitor 1

Part of the challenges I am seeing here is when trying to take advantage of new programs that we were hesitant to look into before. Currently many of our clients are using an Office E3 license because at the time it had the most bang for our buck (and our clients buck). With the larger migration to the cloud we did look to transition to cloud Azure DC servers and use InTune\AutoPilot to help control workstations especially with so many end users now working from home\remote. We would be afforded a level of control that is above what your usual on-Prem solutions afford you. Imagine my surprise when an Office E3 license is now $1 more (since March?) over a standard Business Premium licenses and all the functionality it gave you. Since I can no longer simply cancel a license at the end of the month and replace it under NCE in order to pursue these options I would have to add licenses on top of the Office E3, making it cost prohibitive to many clients or simply tell the end of many subscriptions (ironically several are in February of next year - curse my due diligence) holding back our planned roll out for many clients this year. I am not sure how this supports partners that are trying to use an opportunity for more Microsoft functionality vs. the short term $$ gain they will see?

NickatTheta
Level 7 Contributor

There are upgrade options available. This can be done partially or in full for the subscription.

For example from M365 Business Premium to M365 E3 or E5.

O365 E1 can be upgraded O365 E3 or E5, or M365 E3 or E5.

 

Where you have add-ons and an upgraded offer includes those add-ons, you can raise a support ticket and ask for the add-ons to be cancelled or quantity reduced.

MikeLab
Visitor 2

Important to note that now we have, beside of the support request to open in the Partner Center, to fill out both a Business Justification Letter and a Form to explain that we are requesting a seats reduction/subscription cancellation due to upgrade that makes standalone products duplicate...

BennyRossaer
Level 4 Contributor

Thanks for the feedback, Janosch.  And thank you personally for answering all these questions here - it's not always easy getting straight answers from Microsoft.

 

I understand some of the reasoning, I think the overall reaction would have been more positive if a new, later date was set.  Now it was communicated as "indefinitely" which comes over a bit strange, especially to all those partners and resellers who've put a lot of time and work in their NCE migration, with the July 11 deadline in mind.  

 

Perhaps another point of (constructive) criticism is that the communication is a bit off.  We check the Partner Center Announcements page daily, but not everybody does this - and we received no other communication - not an e-mail, not a phone call, nothing. 

After being surprised by the article, I called a few people from Microsoft Belgium, but apparantly they were just as surprised as we were...

Perhaps some form of more proactive communication via e-mail or something similiar would not be a bad thing.

 

jgriffin
Level 5 Contributor

It appears that forced migration for legacy subscriptions has been put on hold...?

 

June 2022 announcements - Partner Center | Microsoft Docs

dswenson
Level 4 Contributor

@JanoschUlmer Can we get any clarification on this? Does this mean we can continue to do business as usual before NCE? I am finding it complex to understand the verbiage used in the guide linked by @jgriffin above. Thank you. 

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@dswenson : if the customer still has legacy subscriptions, the custom can renew them, resp. you can allow them to renew those until further notice (and add/remove licenses in those subscriptions, or add/remove add-ons). You can't change the billing cycle for legacy, you can't add new legacy subscriptions to a customer.  And if customers are on legacy subscription, you won't earn incentives anymore starting Jan. 2023.

This announcement does not mean that legacy is kept forever, it will be replaced by NCE, it is just that there is more time to make the move. Since keeping two different billing system in parallel might also be more effort, and considering the issue about incentives Partners can & should still evaluate if it makes sense to migrate to NCE at next renewal anyway sS8ince at each renewal there is a new agreement term, new pricing anyway), but this is your decision of course. 

Kind regards, Janosch
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wbrianbenton198
Level 3 Contributor

Hi Janosch - NCE was introduced because Microsoft is greedy and wants more control. 

BennyRossaer
Level 4 Contributor

Hi Janosch,

I hope you guys understand that this decision isn't well received everywhere?

You're basically rewarding all those who haven't migrated anything yet - they can continue on legacy with lower prices (when compared to NCE monthly) and no financial risk.  Meanwhile, those who already migrated everything, have higher prices (when monthly) and incredible financial risk, and far less flexibility.  
It might be a bit cynical, but all those who migrated to NCE would have been better off just ignoring everything.

 

And yes, they'll lose incentives, but when I look at SMB segment, not many resellers will continue to have incentives anyway, since the Solution Designations have much higher conditions and price.

 

NickatTheta
Level 7 Contributor

I agree. It has not been well received.

We have very few customers that have fully transitioned to NCE, meaning we have majority now with a mix of NCE & Legacy.

Confusion, complexity, different billing etc.

 

Given the explanation and choice, no customer is going to move from legacy to NCE while the requirement is indefinitely postponed.

Customer will not care partner receives no incentive benefits from Jan 2023.

 

Three ways customer will move from legacy to NCE:

  1. They are encouraged to do so by increasing price of legacy to match monthly commitment pricing
  2. Partner offers them a discount
  3. Customer has some/all legacy licenses. They want to move to a new partner, and have to transition to NCE
JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@NickatTheta : Appreciate your feedback - the choice customers have is defined by the Partner. I have worked with Partners which did not allow early cancellation even before NCE was a thing, so there is some freedom to define on a Partner side what are your conditions to move forward - and if customers do care or not if Partner receives incentives depends on what Partner does (or does not anymore) for the customer using those incentives.

 

Not saying that there couldn't be done more on Microsoft side to motivate customers (I don't know of any plans if there will be more).

There are options already which some Partners have used - some even migrated all customers to NCE even before it would have been required since they did not provide a choice from the beginning, the complexity of maintaining different billing systems being one reason for them. I would recommend outlining the options to the customer based on that - if you think keeping the customer on legacy is the right option for them and you can handle the burden of two billing system, I'd recommend proceeding with legacy as well. If you think this will be too expensive for your company to maintain the duality in the long run, I recommend communicating to customers that moving to NCE is the only way you as a service Partner is willing to go forward.

 

I understand that now there is some additional burden on the Partner to explain this and/or justify the move to NCE - and I agree that this will likely not accelerate the move to NCE. 

 

 

Kind regards, Janosch
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aroasdo1234
Level 6 Contributor

We were one of those partners. We moved everyone we could to NCE in Feb. We choose only to offer Annual/Paid Annual and Monthly Terms. No Annual/Paid Monthly. We gave our customers those 2 options only. For those that wanted to go annual but wanted a different time of year for that investment, we allowed to stay on legacy with the communication they had to transition to the new program by Dec 2022.  Not one our clients had a complaint about this and it was just planning for when they moved to NCE. 

 

Partners get hung up on what customers want. But as partners, we get all the information and options, but no one is saying all of that needs to be shared to clients. You have control over the billing relationship. That is the heart of CSP.  You the partner get to decide what your rules are. Why are you bending over backwards trying to do what you "think" will keep clients happy. Most cloud products on the market have the same rules. Monthly or Annual Term. Monthly is more expensive. Annual can't be cancelled. This isn't a new concept. 

 

Even with the latest "indefinitely" for legacy renewals, we are not communicating that to our customers and holding firm that all legacy customers migrate to NCE by Dec 2022.  Of the 50 we have left, only 1 customer hasn't scheduled when they want to make that transition. We didn't lose business, we didn't have customers shop around. We didn't have anyone leave for another partner. Why? Because we communicated that this is a change being made by Microsoft and here is how we adapted our billing policies to better serve you the customer. 

 

wjptech
Visitor 1

Agreed!!  Also, try to transfer licensing from one partner to another for a tenant, It won't happen till the license is up for renewal. NCE was handled poorly by Microsoft and was not a win/win for their partners, or are we just now users? 

Matt_H
Level 5 Contributor

Our indirect provider specifically said we'd be able to do partial subscription upgrades in the lead up to NCE. Now that we've changed our subscriptions over to NCE they're telling us that they can only do full subscription upgrades. They won't even take support tickets for partial upgrades. They also won't tell us when (or if) the promised partial upgrade option will become available. 

jturenchalk
Level 2 Contributor

I was told the same by PAX8.  Is there an indirect reseller that has that ability.