It’s Time to Make the Move to the New Commerce Experience for Azure

Kyle Banas Vendor Marketing Manager

The Microsoft New Commerce Experience with Tech Data Series is designed to help our customers stay up to date. We hope you find the resources we provide in our series helpful. To see all articles pertaining to this series, filter our blog for New Commerce Experience. 

If you haven’t started thinking about making the switch to Microsoft's new commerce experience for Azure, the time to plan is now.  In Microsoft's latest announcement, there will be a three-phased approach to retire the previous Azure offer on CSP and transition all Azure business to the new Azure plan offer. 

This most likely isn’t the first time you’re hearing about Microsoft’s initiative to drive innovation and digitally transform the CSP program, but before we go into the important upcoming changes and what this means for you, let’s quickly review the new commerce experience. 

First, what is Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience? 

In November 2019, Microsoft announced the new commerce experience in CSP for Azure to expand partner opportunities to deliver managed services, enhance the customer and partner experience and help drive digital transformation.  In simple terms, it’s the new way partners will buy Microsoft Azure services in efforts to make life simpler for partners and customers. If you want to dive deeper into what the new commerce experience is, check out our blog here

So, what does Microsoft’s latest announcement mean for Microsoft partners? 

Microsoft has announced the plan to retire the previous Azure offer on CSP in three phases to allow partners time to incorporate the new Azure features with their services and transition their customers.  

Phase one begins in July 2021, which states all new Azure CSP business will be on the new Azure plan offer within the new commerce experience.  So, what does this mean and what about the final two phases? 

Let’s break it down. 

  • Phase 1- July 21, 2021: All new Azure business in the Cloud Solution Provider program will transact on the new commerce platform via the Azure plan offer. 
    • For all new Azure business, partners can only transact the new Azure offer (Azure Plan).  
    • For all currently transacting Azure business in CSP: 
      • If the customer has already purchased the legacy Azure offer, the partner may continue to transact, and the customer may continue to purchase the legacy Azure offer from that partner.  
      • If the customer has never purchased Azure before, the partner may only transact, and customer may only purchase the new Azure offer from that partner. 
  • Phase 2- In 2022, Microsoft will announce the removal of incentives and partner margin on the previous Azure offer. [VL6] [PA7] 
    • From then on, incentives will only be available through the new Azure offer (Azure Plan) sold through the new commerce experience.  
  • Phase 3- The final phase will include the removal of the availability of the legacy Azure offer in the Cloud Solution Provider program for existing partners and customers. All remaining customers on the previous Azure offer will be migrated to the new Azure plan in the Cloud Solution Provider program. The start date is unconfirmed, but will be communicated by Microsoft six months in advance. 

For full details on the changes, read more here. 

Don't Miss out on Microsoft Incentives! 

Not only is achieving Microsoft Gold Partner status the best way to demonstrate your expertise, but it also means you will not miss future incentives from Microsoft. After July 21st 2021, resellers who purchase Azure plans (the only way to transact Azure after phase 1) will only be eligible for incentives from Microsoft if they have achieved Gold competency for Cloud Platform. If you are a Silver Partner, or a Gold Partner on another competency outside of the Cloud Platform, you will not receive incentives from Microsoft.  

What are the next steps? 

Good News – you don’t have to go through the transition alone!  We’re here to act as your trusted advisor to help you land the Azure Plan with new and existing customers to ensure a smooth transition and adoption of the modern Azure Plan offer. 

But before we get started there are a few things you should familiarize yourself with: 

  • Review the partner earned credit (PEC) model here 
  • Understand the difference between Azure subscription versus the Azure Plan here 
  • Ensure you meet the prerequisites to move to the New Commerce Experience here 
  • Differentiate your business by attaining Microsoft Gold competency here 

Ready to get started? Our team is waiting to help you on this journey. Contact your Microsoft Cloud Specialist at or 1-800-237-8931 ext.5545006. 

Kyle Banas has been with Tech Data for two and a half years as part of the Microsoft Cloud Marketing Team, helping Microsoft and Partners alike go-to-market with Microsoft Cloud products. Kyle has earned a Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certification, Google Ads Certification, IBM Design Thinking Certification, and Microsoft 365 fundamentals Certification. His previous experience includes working as an Account Manager at an Advertising Agency where he developed and executed Social Media and multi-channel marketing campaigns for global consumer packaged brands.