Tech Ed 2013- Deploying Microsoft Office? Begin Here!

Speakers: Jill MaguireCurtis Sawin

The key to keeping your Office deployment project on track is utilizing the right process and leveraging tools appropriately to understand the potential risks. Come see how the Office deployment and management features fit into the Modern Compatibility Process and how they can address your common upgrade, testing, and management headaches.

"Let's talk about the office compatibility process, office features, and how-to."



Start by collaborating with the business and discover whats important, then rationalize the business impact and determine your scale. Next we validate what we need on day 1, and what might be needed on demand for further validation. Managing the process and deployment moving forward is a matter of determining future plans as well as obtaining value from your products.


The recommendation from Microsoft is not to look at what you have, but instead look at what you need. Talk to the business partners and determine what they want to accomplish. Inventorying the documents and usage is less useful, because there's too much chaff. I've been saying that for years, it's about time MS litened to me!

What tools might be useful in this discovery process? Well first we have to determine if technical metadata like size, date, number, etc. is an accurate measure of importance- maybe not. What we might need to determine is how critical the files ARE> meaning a small file that was list modded a year ago might be the legal filings that are required to operate the business. That matters. OMPM is an example of a microsoft tool that is considered BAD, by MICROSOFT. Admittedly it creates a great little report, but unfortunately it only looks at risk of converting, it doesn't look at opening the docs without converting. This is an example of looking at the wrong data points.


The new office telemetry dashboard provides usage stats of docs, add ins, and solutions. It can derive this data by way of a built in agent for office. This is still not a substitute for talking to the business leaders, but rather for engaging in the conversation with some data. My question is how secure is the data, how much is too much? Are  there any opportunities for that telemetry data to get out? Where is this agent? You show office 2003-2013 in the dashboard. 


The dashboard is based in the MRU list and is sending this data up to an excel sheet. Here's some more info on the telemetry tools: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj863580.aspx


Is there a way that a user could opt-out of telemetry say because of confidential usage, privacy laws, etc?

File obsfucation can be set at the GPO level. Check out http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj863580.aspx on that. 

It's not USER opt-out, but they have taken it into consideration. More roadmap info at http://aka.ms/officecompat

Remember- the telemetry is just a conversation starter. This discovery can drive testing, but must not be a decision making tool. When we enter the testing phase, final step must be user testing, let's face it nothing else matters. This could be with Kiosks, VDI, AppV, or another way. I like to make the software available in my Kace K1000 user portal and let them install on demand. Clarification: AppV does not support Office Pro Plus 2013; only office 365 works in AppV. (There's a Office 365 Pro Plus that streams via AppV) Now with telemetry data I could also determine how testing is going, and what my adoption rate is. One good call out (and not surprising) is that there is no Mac Office telemetry tools. Too bad, Mac Office is heavily used by loads of folks. Several were in the room.

AppV can be a cool way to allow side by side testing, but it would require a fair amount of infrastructure and setup. I had hoped this class would be more about the actual packaging and deployment of Office, and maybe even the telemetry tools, but it's basically a lesson on preparing a business plan for a deployment. Rather disappointing class to be honest, but I guess I'll do my own research. This telemetry tool is cool, but let's you and I take a look at Office Pro Plus 2013 packaging and deployment….

Good news- not much has changed. Here's a resource or two: 




But here's the BEST one (Yep, it's already on ITNinja so I won't write it again): http://www.itninja.com/blog/view/deploying-office-2013-managed-install


Gotta love you Ninjas- already having everything the world needs to know :) 


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