Dan Truax General Manager, Global Partner Solutions

January 10: Seat-based offers now available in the new commerce experience

Three coworkers in a conference room, one with a laptop, one holding a phone, and one gesturing at the phone with a stylus

Update March 17, 2022: Today we announced a change to the cancellation and seat-reduction window in CSP new commerce. This change is intended to provide partners with additional time to make post purchase corrections to orders. Partners now have seven days instead of 72 hours to cancel or reduce seats after ordering or renewing new commerce subscriptions in CSP. More information is available here.

Update March 10, 2022: Today we announced the addition of coterminosity capabilities and the Home Use Program (HUP) to the new commerce experience in the CSP program. Additionally, all new subscription orders for commercial seat-based offers in CSP must be transacted in the new commerce experience as of 12:00AM UTC on March 10, 2022. (Brazil is excluded from this restriction until later in the year.) More information is available here.

Update February 23, 2022: The next stop in this journey, on February 28, 2022, brings testing to the Partner Center sandbox environment for coterminosity (which allows partners to align customer subscription end dates). This addition to CSP seat-based commercial offers in new commerce will move into the production environment on March 10, 2022, along with the Home Use Program (which enables customer employees to purchase M365 for personal use at a discount). More information, including additional future milestones, is available here. 

Update January 10, 2022: Promotional discounts for CSP annual term and monthly term new commerce subscriptions are now live.

Update January 10, 2022: Partners will see the two promotions in the catalog, but they are currently not being applied to purchases. Partners can log into the service health page for updates. This blog will be updated when the issue has been resolved.

At Microsoft, we share a common goal with partners: to help customers achieve business success and digital transformation. So it’s critical that both partners and customers understand how they can grow their business as our commerce experience evolves.

With the new commerce experience, Microsoft is on a multi-stage, multi-year journey to drive cloud business growth and profitability, reduce licensing complexity and costs, and address how customers prefer to purchase and partners are enabled to sell.

The next stage of this journey becomes reality on January 10, 2022, with the general availability (GA) of seat-based offers for Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Power Platform, and Windows 365 in the new commerce experience in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.

Also, on January 10 at 9 a.m. PST/5 p.m. UTC, Microsoft will launch two time-bound promotional discounts for CSP annual term and monthly term new commerce subscriptions, to help CSP partners accelerate their customers’ transition to the new commerce experience. These promotions are applied to subscriptions for Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Power Platform, and other seat-based commercial offers (excluding Windows 365).

During the promo period (which lasts through June 2022 for monthly term offers and at least through March 2022 for annual term offers), new commerce annual term subscriptions will be billed to the partner at a 5% discount, and monthly term subscriptions will be billed at the same regular price per month as annual term subscriptions, instead of at the usual 20% premium.

The monthly term option is new to CSP with this release and will allow partners to:

  • Provide the flexibility that customers valued in the existing CSP experience.
  • Cancel or reduce seats on a customer’s subscription at the end of any given month without being tied to a year of payments for an annual term offer.
  • Charge a premium for short-term use, aligned with industry practices.  

Partners can learn more about these promotions here and they can review the release FAQs, comparison charts, a summary of policies and key dates, and other release readiness content in the Operations Readiness collection.

Microsoft understands that many partners and customers may prefer to remain on the legacy experience for as much time as possible. We believe that the promotional discounts will help partners incentivize customers’ migration of legacy subscriptions to new commerce by enabling more favorable pricing for the new commerce option. 

Additionally, to deliver consistency for partners and customers across all purchase motions—Breadth, Enterprise, and Self-Service—and Microsoft’s cloud portfolio, the seat-based offers release in new commerce brings cancellation enforcement to CSP, aligned with standard practice in other Microsoft programs and other industries. 

In CSP new commerce, a seat-based subscription of any term length can be cancelled (or have the number of seats on the original order reduced) only within the first 72 hours of the subscription term, with a prorated refund (proration calculated daily). After that initial 72-hour cancellation window, the partner will be billed for the remainder of the term. Customers unsure about committing to an annual term could be encouraged to purchase the monthly term option to have the flexibility to cancel or reduce seats as needed month to month.

The transition from legacy to new commerce will include some key milestone dates for which partners need to plan. The ability to place new subscription orders on the legacy platform will end on March 10, 2022. However, to give partners more time to transition legacy CSP subscriptions to new commerce, Microsoft has extended the time during which subscriptions can be renewed on the legacy platform to June 30, 2022.

Starting July 2022, any legacy subscription must be renewed in new commerce by the partner. Finally, we are planning to extend legacy CSP incentives for seat-based offers (such as Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365) through December 31, 2022. More details will be shared via Partner Center announcements soon.

For more information, partners should sign in to the Microsoft partner website and review the partner readiness and training content, including technical and API resources.

The new commerce experience represents the future of the Microsoft cloud business, and we look forward to supporting our partners every step of the way on this rewarding journey.