Deploying Office 365 Apps for Enterprise [OFF365A]

Deploying Office: user-driven or centralized?

Previously, you learnt about assigning update channels. Have you considered the deployment options available to you?

In this step, you’ll look at the choices and tools that you can use to plan a successful Office 365 Enterprise deployment.

You’ll want to decide the deployment method that best meets the needs of your organization.

Microsoft 365 apps can be deployed in two ways:

  1. Users can install Office on their own devices directly from the Office portal.
  2. Administrators can control the product installation.

Decorative image: various devices with images of Microsoft programs on them.


User-driven approach

The user-driven deployment approach lessens the administrative burden and setup. However, administrators have less control over how the deployment is configured and formatted. 

As an administrator, you have the option to define the frequency users receive Office feature updates (the update channel).

Each user with a license can install five desktop installations. As an administrator, you may want to have some control of the downloads and know where each user has Office installed (devices). A user-driven deployment does not allow this, which is one of the reasons why most organizations will choose a centralized approach.

Centralized Approach

The alternative deployment option available is a centralized method. Here, you’ll be able to control when the install will occur, how the install occurs, and where the install will be performed from. 

There are two tools that are typically used to control a centralized deployment: 

  • The Office Deployment Tool (ODT). ODT will allow you to create several different configurations that will then be deployed using your favourite software deployment tool, such as Group Policy or Configuration Manager. 
  • Microsoft Intune. This can be used to directly target Microsoft 365 apps to devices. Microsoft 365 Apps must first be activated (by Microsoft 365 licenses), via Intune. Intune allows you to assign, manage, configure, and run apps on devices that run Windows 10 or Windows 11. For more information, select Intune to support Microsoft 365 Apps deployment.

You’ll use the ODT along with Group Policy to deploy the Office files from your local network to the devices on the Live event. 

As a side note, a centralized deployment gives more control over the install. For example, you may choose not to install PowerPoint, whereas a user driven-deployment always installs everything.

Still can’t decide?

It’s not a one-size-fits-all-organization. It’s possible to use a combination of these deployment options for different users within the same business. User needs and the organization’s business goals or objectives will determine the action that you take.

In other words, you’ll want to deploy Office in ways that make sense to the users in your organisation.

What’s next?

In this step, you briefly learnt about the options available to deploy Office. Have you wondered how you might use and control the user-driven approach to deployment?

Up next, you’ll learn the process and how to implement user-driven deployment.

When you’re ready select the Next button to continue.


In this course, you’ll look at deploying Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise and you will explore the difference between user-driven and centralized deployments.

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