Deploying Office 365 ProPlus Insider in the Enterprise

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how I can help people in my organisation with the journey to Office 365 ProPlus (Monthly Channel), while still having confidence that their legacy applications that use the Office apps would still work, or at the very least, give them a little bit more time for our Business Systems teams to identify work arounds or contact application vendors for resolution.

Enter the Office Insider program.

As an active Windows Insider for many years, and an Office Insider on my home MacBook (Shhh, don’t tell the Microsoft gang I have a Mac too), it was time to take Office Insider for Windows Desktop out of the “I’ll do it later” basket and make it happen.

Here are the steps I took to make Office 365 ProPlus Insider available via SCCM in my organisation.

  1. Download the Office Deployment Tool here.
  2. Once downloaded, open and select an easy place to extract the files.
  3. In File Explorer, Browse to the extracted files.  There should be a setup.exe and configuration.xml file.
  4. In a text editor, open the configuration.xml file.  Microsoft have provided basic template, but I normally delete the entire content of the file and replace with the following:

    <Configuration>
        <Add OfficeClientEdition=”32″ Channel=”InsiderFast”>
            <Product ID=”O365ProPlusRetail”>
                <Language ID=”en-us”/>
            </Product>
        </Add>
    </Configuration>TIP – There is a really great XML editor here that takes the pain out of creating these XML files for deployment.  Note, it does not include the Insider Channel, so just create the XML how you want it and then manually change the channel to be InsiderFast
  5. Open a command prompt and run setup.exe /download configuration.xml.  Once the download has completed, the source for Office 365 ProPlus Insider is ready to be added to SCCM.
  6. For the install, I created a new xml (Creatively named Install.xml) with the following configuration (again, the XML Editor above is fantastic for this)
    <Configuration>

        <Add OfficeClientEdition=”32″ Channel=”InsiderFast”>
            <Product ID=”O365ProPlusRetail”>
                <Language ID=”en-us” />
                <ExcludeApp ID=”OneDrive” />
                <ExcludeApp ID=”Access” />
                <ExcludeApp ID=”Groove” />
            </Product>
        </Add>
        <Display Level=”None” AcceptEULA=”TRUE” />
        <Logging Level=”Standard” Path=”%Windir%\Logs\Software\Office365ProPlusInstall” />
    </Configuration>
  7. In my organisation, I use the PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit to deploy Office 365 ProPlus.  The reason I do this is because it gives me the ability to run tasks both pre install and post install.  This became very useful when I needed to upgrade users who had many different versions of Office on their device and needed those versions removed beforehand.
  8. Office Insider can be made available in the SCCM Software Center for users to install themselves

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The end result – Office Insider in the Enterprise

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