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NCE Migration Issues
Recently, we were informed that we had to migrate all of our legacy CSP licenses for our customers over to NCE (New Commerce Experience). We are an indirect reseller and go through distribution for licenses. All of our legacy products were on a month to month subscription (so we could make user count changes as necessary).
I inquired with the team there on how to migrate the licenses and was sent instructions. She stated very clearly that all the licenses would be moved to a similar subscription and that we could change the renewal dates (if needed). When we migrated all our licenses (30+ customers with 1200+licenses) we were not given an option on which NCE subscription it would be moved to. When I inquired with the Microsoft Cloud Manager, she said that it would be the same license within the NCE portal. Come to find out that all of our licenses were migrated over to a "Annual Paid Monthly" subscription. On the surface, this sounds OK. I have no problem with an annual commitment but I need to make changes to the user count on a monthly basis. But dig a little deeper and it really means that you can no longer make changes to the user count (unless it is to add a license).
Again, I contacted my Microsoft Cloud Manager and she informed me that "If the customer is outside of the 7 day cancellation period, unfortunately, we cannot make any changes until the renewal date". This was never mentioned originally and we were well outside of the 7 day grace period.
Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix this issue? I asked them if I could cancel the subscription and purchase new licenses (knowing that I would have to reapply every single license). My cloud rep is unresponsive to any of my requests at this point.
We began switching customers to NCE earlier on and the loss of licensing quantity flexibility of the CSP program is really a significant loss.
@dougkinzinger Though it is not lost, there is a different price tag to have this flexibility via monthly term subscriptions.
When one of your customers goes broke and Microsoft continues to charge you. Or when a client moves to a new provider and because you are overwhelmed with emails and work and you didn't realise that you were being locked in for a year and there is nothing officially binding a customer. Despite this, Microsoft will double dip and bill both MSPs for the same license. Or even when circumstances for a client change and they no longer need all the licenses they have due to factors out of their control. This isn't called loss, it's called theft. Spin it however you want. This doesn't pass the pub test. The old system worked well. It was flexible, and fair and easy to manage. NCE turned Microsoft into one of the most hated companies we deal with. Very disappointing.
I do not like the word hate in business. It sounds very unprofessional. But apart from language, I agree with @JanoschUlmer - Microsoft delivers several different versions of subscriptions, while three of them are usually: monthly commitment / annual commitment / annual commitment with a monthly payment. It is written in the documentation, materials, SPUR/EULA documents, and a few other places. Dealing with licenses daily requires engagement and being up-to-date. It requires as well reading a lot and even more with small letters. We had a much more complex way of licensing a decade or two ago.
This may be the worst reply of 2023. We'll see how we go.
NCE Migration report helps to migrate old subscriptions of their customers to NCE. Which promotions apply. All customers and sellers have access to the reporting section enabling tracking billings data over time. Reports can be accessed from the “ Reports ” section.
Many, many MSPs include 365 licensing in their bundles. MSPs generally add or remove support based on our customers' number of employees monthly. NCE costs us more and/or locks us in. It's basically terrible.
Sorry to hear that you had this experience.
Note that for any CSP related topic better post in this forum: Cloud Solution Provider Partner Community - Microsoft Partner Community
Reg. the issue itself - I think you need to raise a complaint with your Indirect provider, while Microsoft is providing the platform the Indirect Provider uses, Microsoft has no direct influence on the communication between you as reseller and the Indirect provider. While I don't want to make specific recommendations, all I can say is that as Reseller you are free to work with multiple providers, even for the same end customer.
BE sure to also regularly review the Partner Center Annoucements to stay informed about changes happening for CSP Partners: Partner Center announcements - Partner Center | Microsoft Docs
I can confirm though that indeed with NCE there is only an option to cancel an order for 168hs after the order, so I don't see a fix for this in the platform since also the provider can't cancel with Microsoft.
Some further comments on some of the claims:
Microsoft does not require anybody to migrate to NCE before the next renewal of the legacy subscription after July 11, 2022 - so for some customers the need to migrate might only occur in June 2023 because of the annual term all CSP subscriptions had until now. Though, incentives will be cut for legacy on Dec. 31, 2022, so this would be a motivation to migrate to NCE earlier.
In legacy CSP there was no monthly term subscription, you signed an annual agreement/subscription term, with either monthly or annual payment. Maybe you did not notice because Microsoft and Provider did allow to cancel before term end, but you could see that it is an annual subscription by looking at the renewal date and the fact that pricing stayed the same throughout the term (even when the pricing did increase in the meantime for new customers).
On the migration option - indeed the platform Microsoft does provide, the Partner Center API your Indirect provider is using to build their portal own, allows to migrate to NCE subscriptions choosing various options - keeping same term, starting new term and choosing to migrate to a different term, like monthly term instead of the default of annual term with monthly payment that you had before in legacy. I can't tell if the provider did not fully implement those options, all I can say is that the migration options generally allows to make this modification. usually you would also discuss with customer before if you migrate a subset of licenses to annual term, and add monthly term licenses well - so they don't pay the premium price for monthly term for all licenses and still keep some flexibility.
Thank you for getting back to me Jason. And thank you for the advice. I am new to the forum and didn't know where to ask my questions.
My provider did not make any of this process clear at all. She said we had to migrate as soon as possible or lose all of our incentives. I should have done my homework but they are supposed to be my advisors and I trusted them (my fault). I went back and checked and their migration tool did not give any options to choose different subscriptions. And after speaking with them, they admit there was no options to choose from but will not give me a answer why. It seems like they should do something to fix this issue but will not.
I totally understand that there is a yearly commitment with any of the licenses. That is not the issue. My issue is I need to be able to add/remove licenses on a monthly basis. With the economy the way it is, my small business companies need all the help we can give them to stay in business and making them pay for licenses that are not being used is huge. All I am asking for is an opportunity to change over to an option that allows us to make those changes.
We have been a good Microsoft partner for over 30 years and this could really hurt our business and client relationships. Is there any way I can make a case to Microsoft for an exception?
@Keeps1 : In the Indirect model, only the indirect provider can reach out to Microsoft support to ask for an exception. Only the indirect provider has technically provisioned the licenses, and gets the invoice from Microsoft - any option would only be possible via the provider because there is no direct billing relationship between you as Indirect Reseller and Microsoft..
That said, the support team policies on cancellations is very strict as far as I can tell, so I doubt the provider would be able get some exception.
Of course you can reach out to Partner Center support directly to ask what they can do, I do not have the authority to decide on any of that, I can just explain the workings.
As far as I know, MS will charge you for the entire year if you cancel the license which is annual/pay monthly 😞 for monthly only you pay 20% more. The lesson learnt is to tey with a smaller amount of licenses for the first transfer and see how it works. Thank you veey much for sharing your experience! And of course MS will not reply, she’s got her yearly bonus on your transition and now you want to cancel it :)))
@UgneSOFT4 : Well, you simply can't cancel, customer (or Partner on behalf of customer) committed to paying for a full year. Actually, it was the same before in legacy from an agreement perspective (MCA did not mention early cancellation options) it was more an operational options that Microsoft allowed Partners to suspend licenses early and di provide refunds.
The main thing is that when migrating to NCE, you need to discuss with the end customer how to move forward - monthly commitment, annual commitment with lower price (in the future maybe even 3 year commitment) - or a mixture, and only then migrate from legacy to the respective offers.
You need to spend a day in the shoes of the people that are out there promoting and selling your licenses. NCE is the Microsoft Vista of licensing and the way Microsoft and employees like you have conducted yourself is a disgrace. NCE is bordering on a scam. I've heard of Team meetings between Microsoft and MSPs having to be abandoned due to the arguments and screaming during the calls. I'm sure if these were in person there'd be punches thrown. NCE is a disaster and I hope you are working to fix it. You've gone from being the best company I work with to the very worst and I have developed such a hatred for Microsoft, it saddens me.
@oxyit Yes, regularly connecting with partners to get their perspective, was a Partner myself before and had multiple in-person meetings with partners as well. No punches thrown so far, but that is only my experience.
If there are some specific things you want to change or having questions about options and plans, please go forward and raise a thread in the CSP community group: https://www.microsoftpartnercommunity.com/t5/Cloud-Solution-Provider-Partner/ct-p/CSP