As your value-added distributor, we would like to thank you for your ongoing partnership and Microsoft business. The Microsoft CSP world is ever changing, and we would like to inform you of the most recent updates and announcements in this May addition of our newsletter:

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Microsoft announced the implementation of a new cancellation-window duration for commercial seat-based offers in CSP new commerce that will go into effect at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on March 18, 2022 (12 a.m. UTC on March 19).

Any new commercial seat-based subscription orders in CSP new commerce will allow seven calendar days for cancellations and seat reductions instead of the previous 72-hour window.

This change is intended to provide partners with additional time to make post-purchase corrections to orders.

Charges for canceled subscriptions or seat reductions will be prorated from the time the subscription is created until it’s canceled or seats are reduced, as was the case with the 72-hour window. See the billing scenarios documentation for examples on how cancellations and charges work for seven day cancellations. Also, the seven-day window will apply retroactively to subscriptions purchased seven days prior to the implementation of the change (for example, starting at 12 a.m. UTC on March 12). Orders submitted prior to that date and time won’t be available for retroactive cancellation. As a result, a partner that ordered a subscription during the prior seven-day period can cancel or reduce seats on that subscription for up to seven days, post-purchase. For example, a subscription that was purchased at 11 a.m. local time on March 15 can be canceled (or have seats reduced) up until the same time on March 22.

As with the previous cancellation window, partners can submit the cancellations and seat reductions via either the Partner Center UI or their integrated API. Cancellations within the seven-day window will be enabled for the following commercial subscription scenarios:

  • New seat-based subscription purchases on new commerce
  • Seat-based subscriptions that have been renewed on new commerce
  • Seat-based subscriptions purchased on new commerce as a result of a migration from legacy CSP
  • Partial new commerce upgrades that resulted in a new subscription
  • Reducing seats from incremental seat adds on existing subscriptions or on new subscription orders

Partner assets in the CSP new commerce experience for seat-based offers collection are in the process of being updated to reflect this change.

As a reminder, the price promotion for the CSP annual term commercial seat-based offers in new commerce will end on March 31, 2022. The promotion for monthly term offers will remain in place until July 1, 2022.

Additionally, all new subscription orders for commercial seat-based offers in CSP must be transacted in the new commerce experience as of 12∶00 AM UTC on March 10, 2022.

Offers in the following categories won’t be blocked from new legacy transactions on March 10, 2022:

  •  Noncommercial segments (such as Government, Education, and Nonprofit)
  • Offers with promotions that aren’t configurable in NCE
  • Nonstandard offers with term durations not supported in NCE (terms outside of 30-day trials, one month, one year, and three years)

Existing legacy subscriptions will still have the options for the partner to add or remove seats, purchase add-ons, and upgrade the subscription through the subscription term, regardless of the blocking of new commerce purchases from March 10, 2022.

Coming up

On April 1, 2022, the end-of-sale product retirement date addition to the CSP price lists will be available to help you identify an upcoming product that will no longer be available for purchase in the new commerce experience.

Starting in July 2022, all existing CSP seat-based subscriptions must be renewed in new commerce, and monthly term offers will return to being priced at a premium. Later in the calendar year 2022, partners can expect the launch of popular enterprise-grade offer types in the breadth motion, including three-year terms for Modern Workplace SKUs, Hybrid Use Benefits (HUB) offers, and multi-geo add-ons for Microsoft 365. Enforcement of seat-count limits to partner benefits in the CSP program will occur later in Microsoft fiscal year 2023 (FY23).

Partners now have seven calendar days–increased from 72 hours–to cancel or reduce seats after ordering or renewing new commerce subscriptions in CSP.

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These price changes will go into effect on September 1, 2022. The price changes won’t affect any offers available as a grant, including 10 licenses of Microsoft 365 Business Premium, 300 licenses of Microsoft 365 Business Basic, and 2,000 licenses of Microsoft Office 365 E1 via Enterprise Agreement.

Updated pricing for the following products will be:

·        Microsoft Office 365 E1: from 2.00 to 2.50 USD

·        Microsoft Office 365 E3: from 4.50 to 5.75 USD

·        Microsoft Office 365 E5: from 14.00 to 15.20 USD

·        Microsoft 365 E3: from 8.00 to 9.00 USD

·        Microsoft 365 Business Premium: from 5.00 to 5.50 USD

These price increases will apply globally, with local market adjustments for certain regions. We’ll continue to provide nonprofits discounts of up to 75 percent on many other Microsoft 365 products.

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In Dec 2021, Microsoft launched new reporting tools that display active DAP connections and allow partners to turn off unused DAP connections. Now the API to remove DAP is also available for all partners.

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To facilitate guest licensing for Azure Stack HCI customers, we’re pleased to announce a new offer that brings simplicity and more flexibility for licensing. The new Windows Server subscription for Azure Stack HCI is generally available as of April 1, 2022. With this offer, you can purchase unlimited Windows Server guest licenses for your Azure Stack HCI cluster through your Azure subscription.

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Partners can now monitor progress and details of CSP revenue in a new report that gives a breakdown of revenue by the customers, subscriptions, and products (which maps to the product family, such as Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Power BI, EMS, Azure, and so on).

To generate a report, in the Download reports section of Partner Center Insights workspace, select CSP Revenue Details Report from the dropdown, then select a timeframe, file type, and either a full or custom report.

Read more

Starting on April 4, 2022, we’ll be retiring our perpetual software grants, with two notable exceptions:

·        To ensure all nonprofits can access Windows 11, we’ll provide grants of the new Windows Professional 11 Charity SKU. All registered nonprofits will be eligible for up to 50 granted licenses via TechSoup, with the option to purchase additional licenses at a discount through Microsoft partners.

·        In markets where Azure isn’t yet available, we’ll continue to provide grants of Windows Server and SQL Server.


All other perpetual software SKUs remain available with current discounted Charity pricing in the CSP and Open Value programs.

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Starting on April 4, 2022, we’ll be retiring our perpetual software grants, with two notable exceptions:

·        To ensure all nonprofits can access Windows 11, we’ll provide grants of the new Windows Professional 11 Charity SKU. All registered nonprofits will be eligible for up to 50 granted licenses via TechSoup, with the option to purchase additional licenses at a discount through Microsoft partners.

·        In markets where Azure isn’t yet available, we’ll continue to provide grants of Windows Server and SQL Server.


All other perpetual software SKUs remain available with current discounted Charity pricing in the CSP and Open Value programs.

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Microsoft Inspire is where partners from around the world come together to create and strengthen connections, celebrate successes and learn how to build their business with Microsoft, and the benefits they can receive from our differentiated business model and technology.

What you need to know:

  • Update your calendar from the original date of July 12-13, 2022 and now save the dates – July 19-20, 2022 (PST).
  • The event format will be digital, which gives us an incredible opportunity to reach a global audience,
  • We welcome all partners to join us, so please encourage your colleagues to participate.
  • There will be no cost to attend.
  • If you are interested in the Microsoft Inspire Featured Partner program, please contact for details.

Registration will open in June, and in the meantime, be sure to follow the Microsoft Partner Network on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn for the latest news and information.

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Before enabling Defender for Cloud across subscriptions, customers are often interested in having a cost estimation to make sure the cost aligns with the team’s budget. This comprehensive workbook covers most Microsoft Defender for Cloud plans. This includes Defender for Key Vault, Containers, App Service, Servers, Storage and Databases.

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Azure Backup now acquires a lease on the snapshots taken by scheduled/on-demand backup jobs.

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Integrating Site Recovery with capacity reservation to reserve compute capacity in the disaster recovery region and use that for failover.

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Use Azure Monitor agent and data collection rules in restricted environments and maintain network isolation by leveraging private links.

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Minimize API attack surface for SOAP or XML- based REST APIs with custom schemas in addition to the schemas specified in the API’s definition.

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Azure Form Recognizer now supports extraction from custom documents, W-2 forms, access to the read API, additional human languages, and enhancements.

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Provision your Azure Database for MySQL – Flexible Server today in the China East 2 and China North 2 regions.

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Use PostgreSQL 11.15, 12.10, 13.6, and 14.2 minor versions with Hyperscale (Citus) for Azure Database for PostgreSQL, a managed service running the open source Postgres database on Azure.

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You can now manage approvals for business terms or self-service data access requests for your entire data estate without having to use manual controls like emails or worksheets.

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The new cloud workload protection capabilities are designed as an Azure-native layer of security, that detect attempts to exploit databases in your Azure Cosmos DB accounts based on the most common attack techniques and known bad actors—enabling security teams to detect and respond to these threats more effectively, using the Microsoft Defender for Cloud toolset.

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You can now use Azure IoT Central in South Central (United States) and Canada Central (Canada) to build reliable, scalable, and secure enterprise grade IoT Solutions.

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For the 15th consecutive year1 Microsoft has been positioned as a Leader in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms. We’ve also been positioned furthest to the right for Completeness of Vision and highest in the Ability to Execute within the Leaders quadrant for the 4th consecutive year.

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Power Apps PAYG licensing will be available for General Availability on March 8. Customers can post-pay for Power Apps services based on actual usage, via an Azure subscription.

Here is the webinar to learn how you can use an Azure subscription to cover your Power Apps using the new pay-as-you-go licensing for Microsoft Power Apps. 

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Last September Gartner recognized Microsoft as a Leader in the 2021 Magic Quadrant for Cloud ERP for Product-Centric Enterprises for Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Now we want to further substantiate our value proposition to customers by sharing the results of a recently commissioned Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Microsoft. The study examines the potential return on investment (ROI) that enterprises may realize by deploying Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.

Forrester’s study uncovered five quantifiable impact areas as well as several unquantified benefits: increased production volumereduced downtimeimproved qualityreduced infrastructure cost, and increased developer productivity. When these are considered in combination, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management delivered a total economic impact of $44.33 million in financial savings over three years. At $23.27 million, the investment provided a ROI of 90 percent and took 22 months to pay back. Check the TEI report here.

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New Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management site for partners only. It’s part of the Dynamics partners site, where we created a section dedicated to Commerce with resources related to Build a practice, drive the readiness and go to market. These include documents, PPTs and videos. Go to market content also includes customer’s ready documents and resources.

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In telecommunications, avoiding downtime is Job One. Planning, scheduling, and tracking maintenance operations that can reduce or avoid outages is critical. Plant operators need to have a quick, accurate picture of maintenance while maximizing efficiency. This is the Version 2.0 of Dynamics 365 telecommunications accelerator that includes an extended data model and new sample applications to help you meet customer needs and realize time-to-value more quickly.
The data model includes also plans, network resources and zone, with the possibility to manage maintenance types. These improvements are really important for the modern telephony operators. The accelerator also includes some concepts taken by TM Forum Open Digital Framework, that is a modern standard for Telco.

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The benefits of adopting mixed reality today are significant. Microsoft’s comprehensive ecosystem of mixed reality solutions, including Microsoft HoloLens 2, Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, and Dynamics 365 Guides, help manufacturing organizations navigate complex situations, empower frontline workers, and create new customer experiences.

According to the HoloLens 2 TEI study, manufacturing organizations that have deployed mixed reality solutions on HoloLens 2 have: Reduced training time by 75 percent, at an average savings of $30 per labor hour. Saved an average of $3,500 per avoided expert trip. Avoided 240 to 320 hours of average lost throughput per year. Over the past decade, organizations across industries have engaged in digital transformation, leveraging advances in technology to reimagine business processes to make them more effective and efficient.

Watch how to improve on-the-job guidance with mixed reality

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Five years ago, we embarked on an exciting journey with Microsoft Teams to build a hub for collaboration and teamwork. Video meetings were not the workplace norm, but it was clear from the beginning that the combination of asynchronous and synchronous collaboration in a single product presented a unique opportunity to reimagine how we work, learn, and connect with others.

As we reflect on this milestone, we want to pause and say thank you to our customers and partners who have inspired us to do our best work. From hospitals to schools to nonprofits and commercial enterprises, we’re humbled that so many of you use Teams to achieve your goals.

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March 2022 continued strong in Microsoft 365, bringing the goodness: Boost news to the Viva Connections dashboard, focus plans in Viva Insights, SharePoint Syntex: Content assembly, Microsoft Teams Connect “Shared channels”, co-authoring MIP content on mobile, Managed metadata column in SharePoint document libraries, new Lists templates, Yammer dark mode, and more; all listed below with screenshots and links to more details.

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Welcome to the March edition of What’s New in Teams. This month, we are announcing new, rich feature updates for you. With the goal of making meeting experiences more efficient and engaging for all Teams users, find out how these new updates will impact you! From the Healthcare vertical to the frontline workers and end user customer experiences for meetings, we have lots of news waiting for you.

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Although most migrations between on-premises Exchange Server and Microsoft 365 are performed using the Migration Service’s batching functionality, a few stalwart admins have held onto the more granular control given by using the MoveRequest cmdlets directly.  But as time goes on even the hardiest and most proven of tools need to be sharpened or have components replaced, and it is now time for the MoveRequest cmdlets to be refreshed a little.

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We are thrilled to announce the general availability of the new response actions in Microsoft Defender for Identity, targeting on-premises Active Directory accounts in the event that an identity is compromised.

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In our first blog of this series, we discussed general availability of custom roles for delegated app management. Continuing the series of announcements for Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) role-based access control (RBAC), I’m excited to share several new features to enable fine-grained delegation of device administration in Azure AD. With these new capabilities, you can now:

  • Create custom roles using permissions for device objects.
  • Add devices as members of administrative units and assign built-in or custom roles for managing devices over the scope of an administrative unit.

Let’s take a look at some of the cool things you can do with these new capabilities.

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We are delighted to announce the general availability of four new detections in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Identity Protection, further expanding our identity threat detection surface area in cloud applications and at endpoints to enhance our comprehensive identity risk signal.

We have four new partner detections:

  • Unusual Additional of Credentials to an OAuth App
  • Mass Access to Sensitive Files
  • Possible Attempt to Access Primary Refresh Token (PRT)
  • Workload Identities Leaked Credentials

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Dynamic distribution groups (DDGs) have been a beloved feature in Exchange Online for years. They allow you to create distribution groups based on customizable filters and conditions – simplifying membership management and expediting sending of emails to groups. However, with the current implementation of DDGs, some customers have been seeing slow delivery of emails or non-delivery of emails to users that they expected to be included in the recipient list. In extreme cases, our services have even encountered issues due to DDGs that have highly complex filters.

This led to modernization efforts starting in January 2021. We know how important it is to have an extremely reliable service for our customers. This feature update focuses on reducing mail delivery latency for DDGs, increasing service reliability, and enabling customers to determine the exact list of recipients.

This feature update is enabled for Preview customers and will be rolled out to all customers mid-April.

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IN PREVIEW: You no longer need to specify the exact Kubernetes patch version number in your setup.

Learn more:

NOW AVAILABLE: With 1-minute frequency log alerts, query can be evaluated every minute for faster time to fire.

Learn more:

NOW AVAILABLE: Regular API Management service updates for January 2022 with new features, bug fixes, and other improvements.

Learn more:

NOW AVAILABLE: Enable the ‘automatic extension upgrade’ feature on the Azure Monitor agent extension to automatically get new extension versions rolled out to your virtual machines and scale sets in Azure.

Learn more:

IN PREVIEW: New features now available in public preview include automatic time series ID detection for automation, automated ML model’s training code generation, and move Azure Machine Learning workspaces between subscriptions.

Learn more:

IN PREVIEW: Resource configuration changes, a feature enabling the querying of changes to Azure resource configurations across subscriptions, management groups, and tenant, is now in public preview.

Learn more:

Product, Sales and Technical Enablement

13 May | 10h00

Microsoft Technical Enablement: Managing Customers.

17 May | 10h00

Microsoft Technical Enablement: Security Setup.

23 May | 10h00

Microsoft Technical Enablement: Adding Custom Domain.

24 May | 10h00

Azure Webinar Series: Azure Window Server Migration.

MEA Digital Events – May 2022



Microsoft Teams Essentials:
A guide to features


Move your RDS Deployment to Azure


Licensing on-premises products in CSP


Azure Burstable Series


Microsoft Security in the Cloud


Azure at a Glance


How to Power BI as a Partner


Be Azure Ready – powered by First Distribution


Breakout Rooms on Teams


Why Microsoft for Compliance


Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide August 2021


Cloud partners are more profitable, grow faster, and have more recurring revenue


Microsoft 365 Enterprise License Map.


Build Your Ultimate Guard with Microsoft 365.


Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Power Automate and Microsoft Power Virtual Agents Licensing Guide

Did You Know

Operations updates:

Please note that when you want to generate a quote or place and order for any of the free education SKU’s, you must put in quantity as zero.

Please note that all requests for cancellation/suspension or reduction of licenses must be done on License Central.

These requests will not be processed from email.

If you need guidance on the steps to log such a request, please get in touch with your Account Manager or the Operations Team.

Annual subscriptions can be managed in full, from your webstore – adding and removing licenses

Add-on subscriptions can now also be purchased from your store, provided that the parent subscription is already purchased.

Please use the following email address for any Microsoft Operations related queries/requests:

Please contact your Account Manager for the above as this is not available on License Central for Africa

To get all the value First Distribution has to offer, lookout for the upcoming  campaigns we will be releasing to market. 

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Kind regards,
The First Distribution Microsoft Team