November marked the next phase of Microsoft’s transition to the New Customer Experience (NCE) licensing model. The NCE model focuses on the purchasing and management of your licenses. The goal of NCE is to provide cost savings and to reduce complexity. Microsoft have announced that certain customers, specifically Public Sector and charities, can begin their transition. This shift involves commercial legacy seat-based customers moving to NCE licensing. Microsoft’s motivation behind this change is to establish consistency in their licensing program, acknowledging the challenges of managing businesses on two platforms. They believe the new licensing structure will provide customers with a more cohesive and holistic experience. So, what benefits can customers expect to receive?
Microsoft is offering a 7-day reduction window upon monthly, annual or triennial renewal. This gives you the flexibility to assess the value of your licenses and make any necessary changes for the benefit of your business.
NCE offers the ability to align your subscription renewals, either upon initial purchase or when scheduling your renewal. The alignment brings all your costs together creating greater visibility for your business. NCE brings an expectation of what costs are coming out and when. This gives you greater accuracy in your financial forecasting, resulting in more control of your costs, strengthening profitability.
New flexible virtualisation benefit for customers introduced with NCE, this will increase customer choice when expanding. Virtualisation is the process of building a virtual system to replicate hardware capabilities. In a nutshell, customers with software assurance of subscription licenses will be able to use their own licensed software to build/install solutions and run them on any outsourcer’s infrastructure. Software assurance covers a business in terms of whether its software is free from vulnerabilities and is a critical process in software development. Software assurance ensures the reliability, safety, and security of software products. This gives providers the opportunity to host their customer solutions on more flexible hardware setups, as well as enabling hosting partners to allow their customers to install customer licenses, such as 365 apps.
Users with Microsoft 365 F3, Microsoft 365 E3 or Microsoft 365 E5 licenses will be able to virtualise Windows 10 or 11 on their own servers or an outsourcer’s server. The ability to do this does not require a qualifying operating system (QOS) and you do not need any additional licenses. As it stands, Microsoft 365 users without a primary device with a QOS must acquire a VDA (Virtual Desktop access) add-on license to do this.
Microsoft recommends that all partners manage customer migrations. If your IT provider has not reached out about these changes, then we recommend getting in contact with them about migration. Microsoft also advise that if your business requires monthly subscription terms then you should be migrated before the legacy subscriptions reach their end of term in 2024. Furthermore Microsoft have stated users who do not switch to annual renewal terms will pay a 20% premium price. Multi-year deal customers can start migrating when the offers are published in Microsoft’s legacy offer matrix. Microsoft also confirmed it will migrate multiyear legacy offers itself on the subscription renewal date in 2024, 2025 and so on. There will be a migration deadline timeline published by Microsoft next year to guide customers. Microsoft advise users to review their timeline matrix for guidance, see here.