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How to Transition to Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience with Cense

For years, organizations have been challenged by Microsoft’s multiple licenses and the confusing way they’re managed. Finally, Microsoft listened!

With the Microsoft New Commerce Experience (NCE), there’s now a unified platform where partners can manage their cloud solution offerings to their customers.

What exactly is Microsoft NCE and how does this change affect you as a partner?

Let’s start with the basics: Microsoft NCE is a license management platform for resellers and partners. NCE includes Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Power Platform, and Windows 365.

Promising a simplified billing experience and automated seat assignments, NCE aims to promote better subscription management for Microsoft partners and resellers. However, this also brings new policies that affect how Managed Service Providers deliver offerings to their clients.

Some questions you may be asking:

  • How will the new NCE affect my license management?
  • Does NCE reduce license complexity?
  • What can I do to prepare for the NCE policy updates?

Let’s discuss!

Cancellation: While the legacy CSP experience didn’t use to have a canceling feature, the NCE now has the option to cancel the subscription. What’s the catch? Well, it can only be canceled within the first 168 hours after the order is placed.

Partner billing after the cancellation period: What happens if you don’t cancel your customers’ subscriptions in the first 168 hours? You’ll be billed for the remainder of the subscription term!

While there’s still the option to suspend a subscription, that only means your customer won’t be able to access their Microsoft 365 environment; it doesn’t mean you’ll be stopped being billed by Microsoft, even as the subscription is being suspended.


Premium pricing on monthly term offers: Because this new model is Microsoft’s way to promote annual subscriptions, the monthly term is offered at a premium price—which is 20% higher than the annual term subscription.

License management doesn’t need to be difficult or costly. Learn more.

If you’re offering subscriptions to your customers on a monthly basis, you better rethink how you’re going to make their purchased costs worth more than the subscription costs they don’t want to pay for.

Subscription transfer between partners: What about if your customer decides to change their partner? Can you transfer their subscription and make the new partner pay instead for the remaining term cost?

Again, no. Even if your customer purchases the same SKU with their new partner, you will still be billed for the entire term of the customers’ subscription that they purchased with you.

You could lose customers!

With all these policy changes, what can you do?

If your offerings cease to be beneficial to your clients, they could simply find another MSP that can cater to their needs and meet their budgetary requirements.

Proper planning for this transition then becomes crucial.

Much like with migrating, undergoing discovery—finding out what you have and transforming it into something that’s going to benefit both your business and your customers—could help you better strategize moving forward.


Cense can help.

With Cense, you can conduct a comprehensive discovery of the current licenses you manage so you can plan better offerings that adhere to Microsoft NCE’s new policies. Here’s how you can make that happen:

Read more: 5 Serious Microsoft 365 License Management Challenges

Comprehensive Reporting

Get central, unit, or user-based insight into subscriptions, licenses, and budget for Microsoft 365 licenses. From your comprehensive report map out which license bundles are best for unique business needs that your customer wants.

License consumption insights are also available so you can have visibility into how the Microsoft 365 licenses are adopted and distributed among your tenants and their users.

This provides you with an opportunity to proactively change and reconstruct your bundle offerings, as well as establish charge-back models so you don’t have to waste costs on underutilized or over-assigned licenses.

Price Book Management

Cense also offers a unified view of Microsoft licenses and subscription prices—including prices from previous years and price forecasts.

With this feature, you can set unique costs for each subscription to understand the cost distribution among license types and schedule price changes to make sense of the impact of price promotions.

This gives you an edge not only in planning your price changes but also in keeping transparent service offerings to your customers.

budget control

License Budget Control

The new policies all come down to one key consideration that would be greatly affected: budget allocations.

With insights into all your tenants or user container groups, you can monitor and manage license consumption and costs to keep license expenses within allocated budgets.

You can also configure automatic email notifications to your users when consumption reaches the thresholds you set.

Learn more about Cense!

See what else Cense can further do. Request for a demo, start your free trial, or learn how you can tailor Cense to transition and even keep up with future NCE changes by visiting the Cense website or reaching out to us directly.

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Sherian Batallones
Sherian Batallones
Sherian Batallones is a Content Marketing Specialist at AvePoint, covering AvePoint and Microsoft solutions, including SaaS management, governance, backup, and data management. She believes organizations can scale their cloud management, collaboration, and security by finding the right digital transformation technology and partner.

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