Introducing centralized deployments

Introducing centralized deployments

In your role as administrator, knowing the options available to you helps in making the best decisions possible.

In this step, you’ll look at the choices you have to better manage centralized deployments. You’ll go into more detail about centralized deployments in the Live stage of this course.

Be sure to make a note of any questions or thoughts you have and bring them to the Live event.

There will be times when you’ll need to have more control of the Microsoft 365 Apps deployment. For example, employees using corporate laptops may need to have the software on their device. 

However, many users won't have permission to install, especially on corporate computers. In addition, a centralized deployment allows different options than the default Microsoft options, including which components of Office to install. 

There are different ways to deploy Microsoft 365 apps centrally; however, the control the administrator has is common between the tools.

Here are some of the elements you can control using a centralized tool:

  • Which Microsoft 365 Applications to install.
  • Which version (32-bit or 64-bit) of Microsoft 365 Apps to install.
  • Where clients find the installation files (cloud or local source).
  • Frequency of updates.
  • Additional installations, for example, language packs.

Decorative image: someone holding a mobile device with a picture of a padlock on the screen.


What is centralized deployment?

In a general sense, a centralized deployment is the push or distribution of software, typically from a central location (i.e., the local network), to a user’s device.

As an administrator, it’s best practice to deploy Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, etc. to users and groups within your organization using a centralized deployment. There are exceptions to this; for example, guest users or consultants that have minimal organizational interaction.

Administrators can select specific users or groups that need to use Microsoft 365 Apps and install that software on their computer over the cloud.

Decorative image: computer screen with configuration symbol on it for an install

What tools do you need to push installations?

There are several tools that allow you to push installations to user devices. The most commonly used ones are the ODT and Intune. 

The ODT will create configuration files which will then be pushed to client machines using standard software deployment tools such as:

  • Intune
  • Configuration Manager
  • Non-Microsoft software distribution
  • Group Policy login scripts
  • Scripted installation

Intune can also be used to deploy Microsoft 365 Apps without using the ODT.

Why would you use centralized deployment?

You know what centralized deployment is, but why would you use this approach?

Two main benefits for administrators to use centralized deployments are easier deployments for individual users, groups or an entire organization, and flexibility to choose specific add-ins, whether that be from the organization or directly from Office 365.

Identifying advantages of centralized deployments

Other benefits of a centralized deployment approach include the following:

  • A greater level of control.
  • Administrators can push local installs when they are available to a user’s device.
  • Administrators have less administrative burden as users, groups and an entire organization can receive software relatively quickly.
  • Administrators can turn add-ins on or off depending on user requirements.

What's Next?

Next up, you’ll go into more detail about the advantages of this deployment approach.


When you’re ready select Next 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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