Microsoft shows flexibility on block to legacy CSP auto-renewals

Microsoft reacts to efforts made by the channel to move to alternatives in the face of the previously proposed deadline to support next month

The threat of a block on the auto-renewals of legacy cloud service provider (CSP) subscriptions has seen Microsoft’s channel move away from those options and spark a reaction from the vendor.

Plans to block support for legacy subscriptions from 11 July has now been indefinitely postponed after a surge in recent weeks by cloud service providers towards putting orders through the firm’s new commerce experience.

In some respects, this u-turn on ending support on legacy auto-renewals could be added to the move made by the vendor back in 2019 to abandon proposed changes to its internal use rights policy.

According to a web post, Microsoft’s reasoning for indefinitely delaying the proposed block is because the channel itself has changed in the past few months, making the issue less of a moment for the vendor to pursue decisive action.

The plan had been to introduce the changes on the 11 July, but instead the vendor will now be working with cloud service partners to move away from legacy approaches without the threat of a hard cut-off date.

“Microsoft has seen an acceleration of partners migrating legacy CSP subscriptions to the new commerce platform in recent weeks. We appreciate the efforts of partners that have contributed to this acceleration, and all CSP partners are encouraged to complete migrations from legacy to new commerce as soon as possible,” the vendor stated in its web update.

“Previously, we communicated that legacy commercial seat-based subscriptions would no longer be auto-renewed on the legacy platform starting July 11. Though our goal is still for partners to migrate legacy subscriptions to new commerce before end of term, we have made a business decision to continue supporting the legacy auto-renewal functionality beyond July 11,” it added.

The pressure on partners to continue to migrate will continue, with the vendor holding firm on its decision to block new orders of legacy CSP subscriptions. It will also stick to the termination date on 1 January 2023 of monthly incentives rebates paid to partners on active legacy CSP commercial seat-based subscriptions.

Keen Microsoft channel watchers will have seen u-turns, changes in plans and negative reaction from partners becoming a pattern over the past four years. In that time, there have been petitions about changes to internal usage rights as well as proposed changes to the partner programme itself. Those online efforts have not only generated thousands of signatures, but made public levels of discontent across segments of the firm’s channel base.

There has also been a shift in recent months in the channel leadership at the vendor, with its former global channel chief Rodney Clark opting to leave the business back in May.

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