Microsoft New Commerce Experience for Public Sector in 2024

Makayla Mota

As Microsoft transitions public sector subscriptions to the New Commerce Experience (NCE), Connection is here to support you. Here is what you need to know to ensure a smooth transition:

What Is NCE and How Does It Impact Public Sector Customers?

New Commerce Experience, or NCE, and is the latest iteration of the Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) program, applicable to seat-based offers in Microsoft’s modern work (Microsoft 365 and Office 365) and business applications (Dynamics 365 and Power Platform). Key changes to be aware of in NCE compared to legacy CSP include:

  • Commitment Periods: NCE enforces annual and monthly commitment periods, with monthly subscriptions carrying a 20% price premium.
  • Modification Window: While customers can add seats at any time, they have seven calendar days post-activation to change the subscription term, decrease quantity, or cancel. After this period, the subscription is locked in for the agreed term. 
  • License Qualification: A single customer tenant can qualify for both education and nonprofit licenses under NCE.

When Did These Changes Start?

In July 2023, Microsoft launched NCE for public sector customers, including nonprofits, government, and education. These sectors require Microsoft’s approval to access specific licenses. NCE, initially introduced to commercial customers in 2020, will soon be available to public sector customers, simplifying subscription management for partners.

The original availability of NCE for the public sector was set for November 2023. However, based on feedback, Microsoft extended the transition period. The eventual phase-out of legacy CSP subscriptions means action is required before the renewal date to avoid automatic migration to NCE with annual commitments for both public and commercial customers.


  • August 1, 2024: New subscription purchases must be on NCE.
  • No earlier than September 1, 2024: Microsoft-led migration for the public sector begins.
  • March 31, 2025: End of legacy incentives.

Key Considerations for Public Sector Clients Transitioning to NCE

As public sector organizations prepare for the transition to NCE, several major factors must be considered. These considerations are pivotal in ensuring that the move to NCE aligns seamlessly with the unique operational dynamics of the public sector.

Understanding the Transition: The shift to NCE is a major change, particularly for education, nonprofit, and government community cloud (GCC) customers. It’s crucial to grasp the full implications of this transition.

Timeline of Key Events: The transition began with high-volume offers on March 1, 2024, followed by monthly transition stages. This phased approach allows entities to adapt gradually.

Preparing for Migration: Work with your Connection Account Team to ensure eligibility for migration and thoroughly understand the migration process. Your Connection team can help access current legacy offers and their mapping of new NCE product SKUs.

Budget Cycles: As public sector organizations often operate on pre-allocated annual funding, work with your Connection Account Team to be aware of the changes to the licensing structure and payment schedules to ensure the management of costs effectively.

Security and Compliance: Cybersecurity remains paramount, with protecting sensitive data being a top priority. Adhering to security protocols is a critical aspect of the transition.

Microsoft and Partner Support: Successful navigation of the transition requires guidance from both Microsoft and its partners. Utilizing the support of your Connection Account Team can help overcome any challenges during the shift.

By addressing these key considerations, public sector clients can effectively prepare for the transition to NCE, ensuring alignment with budgetary requirements, user needs, security protocols, and compliance standards. Please reach out to your Connection Account Team with any questions in the coming months as your organization transitions.

Makayla Mota is a Partner Marketing Specialist at Connection with a background in educational technology training on Microsoft solutions in the classroom. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family, antiquing, hiking, and watching movies.