How to Deploy Office 365/Office 2013 in Your Environment

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Mar 3, 2015 by Kevin Oppihle

Your company is signed up for a version of Office 365 that includes deployment of the latest Office Suite, currently 2013, to all your end users. You are all excited until you wonder, “How am I going to deploy this?”

Office 365 does not deploy from an MSI or EXE in a standard fashion as the installations are tied to the licensed users and there is no ISO. So if you have a small site of three to five users then you can just go desk to desk and sign on as the users to the Office 365 portal and install the Office suite. But what if you have 25, 50, or 100 or more users? The answer is to deploy your Office Suite using local shares via Scripts and/or Group Policies. This is one of those tasks that is documented all over the internet but very vague or missing steps.

So, relax and enjoy the detailed step by step instructions below to deploy in your environment.

Warning: Uninstall all previous versions of office, that includes 2013 and 365 demos before proceeding.

Users must be admins on their systems temporarily for the  Group Policy Object (GPO) to work.

Create a shared folder on your central server, for example: \\SRV-UTIL01\OfficeDeploy\

Download the Office Deployment Tool and extract to: \\SRV-UTIL01\OfficeDeploy\

Microsoft’s Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run

Create 2 XML files with the options

The first is Download.XML which sets your path, 32 or 64 bit, and is used for the download process:

<Add SourcePath=”\\SRV-UTIL01\OfficeDeploy\” OfficeClientEdition=”64″ >
<Product ID=”O365ProPlusRetail”>
<Language ID=”en-us” />

The second is Configuration.xml used to deploy Office 365 ProPlus package

Note: The example that is included with the Office Deployment Tool might as well be blank since it is rem’d out with the <!— and –!> Here is what it should look like when ready to use:

<Add SourcePath=”\\SRV-UTIL01\OfficeDeploy\” Version=”15.0.4649.1001″ OfficeClientEdition=”64″ >
<Product ID=”O365ProPlusRetail”>
<Language ID=”en-us” />
<Updates Enabled=”TRUE” UpdatePath=”\\SRV-UTIL01\OfficeDeploy\” />
<Display Level=”None” AcceptEULA=”TRUE” />
<Logging Path=”\\SRV-UTIL\OfficeDeploy\Logfiles\” />
<Property Name=”AUTOACTIVATE” Value=”1″ />

Now to create your local copy of the media run the following command:
Setup.exe /Download Download.xml

Note: when you run the above command above it will create \\SRV-UTIL01\OfficeDeploy\Office\Data\Version\ and under that folder will have the large stream.x32 or .x64 files. This runs in a plain cmd line window with no output on status. So be patient as it will be downloading approx. 2GB of data or more.

Note: Version is optional however it assures your system will use the media version you have in that path and not grab a newer version online.

While that is downloading you can modify or create your deployment script and GPO

For example OfficePush.bat as shown below:


echo off
Rem Created by Kevin Oppihle
If EXIST “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\ClientX64\officeclicktorun.exe” goto 365Complete else goto :365Needed
Echo Installing Office 365 >c:\365.txt
\\SRV-Util01\OfficeDeploy\Setup.exe /configure \\SRV-Util01\officedeploy\configuration.xml >>c:\365.txt
Echo Office 365 Installed >c:\365.txt

The batch file above first confirms if Office is already installed. If it is then if you open the txt file c:\365.txt it will say “Office 365 installed”. However, if Office is not installed, it will use the deployment path outlined in the batch file to run the installation.

While the installer is running the 365.txt file will say “installing Office 365”. When the installation is completed the 365.txt file will change to “Office 365 Installed”. It is set to run minimized so to verify when it is completed reference the 365.txt file. The installation time depends on the network and PC speed but expect an average of 10 minutes. The Office icons usually appear before the installer is completed. If you open an Office application before the completion of the installer it will slow the process as it may download from online.

From there you need to copy the batch file to your sysvol scripts and assign the batch file to be a logon script of the users.

Note: This will check and install as necessary every time the user logs on so once your deployment is finished unassign the GPO.

Happy Office 365 deployment!

If you have questions about migrating to Office 365, the licensing or anything in between, email us or give us a call: 502-240-0404!

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