Pax8 Chief Commerce Officer Nick Heddy

Microsoft NCE Changes Will Help Partners Grow, Be More Efficient And ‘Reduce Risk’

Pax8 Chief Commerce Officer Nick Heddy told CRN he is looking forward to expected Microsoft New Commerce Experience (NCE) changes in October that will put the focus squarely back on helping partners grow their business.

Pax8 has been working behind the scenes with Microsoft to advocate on our partners’ behalf,” Heddy told CRN in an interview at CRN parent The Channel Company’s XChange 2022 conference in Denver. “Our three core messages are: How do we help you grow? How do we help you optimize? How do we help you reduce risk? I believe the announcements in October will do all three of those things: help partners grow, help partners become more efficient and reduce risk.”

The NCE rollout has sparked an outcry from some partners frustrated with new annual software licensing commitments that they say have put an unfair burden on them and their customers. With NCE, customers are required to make an annual commitment to Microsoft software offerings like Microsoft 365 or pay a 20 percent premium on month-to-month commitments.

Heddy, for his part, said the changes were necessary but placed an enormous burden on partners and Pax8 as MSPs scrambled to meet the new NCE commitments.

“I think at the heart of NCE the spirit was to help partners with predictability of revenue,” Heddy said. “But when you make these big sweeping changes, it is hard to model out what the impact is going to be. There is no doubt there was a distraction as we all worked through this. It was also necessary as the current systems had been in place for around a decade and it needed that refresh.”

When the NCE changes required for Feb. 28 hit the channel, Pax8’s system processed 168,000 transactions over an eight-hour period. “Our platform did not go down, which is something we are really proud of,” said Heddy. “But the way it was received by the market there is no doubt that it was a distraction from growing your business.”

With the October changes, Heddy said Pax8, which received three awards from Microsoft this year—Modern Workplace for SMB, Indirect Provider and Customer Experience—is looking forward along with its partners to getting back to “business as usual.”’

Here is an edited transcript of the CRN discussion with Heddy.


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