In today’s fast-changing tech landscape, it’s important for not-for-profits to stay on top of changes that can impact their software use and cost. A notable shift is underway with Microsoft’s update to their charity licensing, introducing the New Commerce Experience (NCE). Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:

Understanding the Shift

Firstly, it’s important to note that Microsoft’s donation programs for charities, including Business Basic and Business Premium donated licensing, will continue to be offered.

The upcoming changes will predominantly affect paid licenses, which previously enjoyed adjustable terms without penalties. Under NCE, this flexibility will be curtailed, with stricter 12-month commitments being enforced and the introduction of a new, month-to-month payment option for those requiring greater flex.  However, it’s important to note that this convenience will come at a pricey premium—approximately 20% higher than the annual plan.

Is it just Charitable licensing that is impacted?

Following the adaptation of similar adjustments within commercial licenses in 2023, it was clear that changes would extend beyond the commercial realm. The objective now is to transition all Not-For-Profit and educational licensing to the NCE platform by the end of June 2024.

Recommended Actions

For leaders within the Not-For-Profit sector, we suggest a comprehensive review of your existing Microsoft licensing arrangements prior to June. This includes;

  • Audit Current Licenses: Assessing all of your licenses for relevancy and usage. It’s not uncommon to discover suspended accounts or unused add-on licenses following staff departures.
  • Maximise Microsoft’s Licensing Program: Are you leveraging the full suite of benefits from the 10 free Microsoft Business Premium licenses available to you? These tools offer significant advantages in productivity and security and these entitlements will remain in NCE.
  • Strategise Your Paid Licenses: Consider the balance between locking in licenses on a 12-month, paid monthly basis for savings, versus the need for flexibility with month-to-month terms. What configuration best aligns with your organisation’s needs and budget?

 Need Help Navigating the Changes?

These updates can be tricky to wrap your head around, but don’t worry—you’re not in this alone. Our licensing team is here to help guide you through this transition smoothly, making sure you understand your options and have the support you need. Don’t hesitate to contact us, we’re happy to assist.