IT professionals can have it rough sometimes, especially when it comes to keeping everyone on the same page. When you need to deploy updates or add-ins to services and don't want the hassle of teaching people how to install them, there really aren't that many good ways of getting past it. With Microsoft's new Centralized Deployment service, that's a thing of the past.
Several programs in the Office family are getting some new functionality along with Centralized Deployment. The service will be making sure that IT administrators can deploy add-ins to their users with minimal interaction, making for a smooth process.
Here's a list of the functionality that Centralized Deployment is offering on launch.
- Windows, Mac and Office Online support for Word, Excel and PowerPoint: The Add-Ins are automatically deployed on client boot.
- Store Add-Ins or Line of Business Add-In: Add-Ins can either be acquired and assigned to users from the Office Store or a manifest can be uploaded for Line Of Business applications.
- Office Admin Center or PowerShell: Use either Office 365 Admin Center or Powershell to deploy, assign and modify Add-Ins.
- Eligibility documentation and Compatibility script: Documentation has been provided to help organizations determine if centralized deployment will work as expected. An Administrator can run a script to determine if their organization has the correct configuration to use Centralized Deployment.
- ISV analytics: Via Seller Dashboard we will soon display analytics of how many users have been assigned an Add-In per tenant ID. This can be tied into licensing recommendations for upsell, for more information see here.
Microsoft capped off the announcement with a link to a blog post about Genetec, a Canadian surveillance company that was able to get a lot of use out of Centralized Deployment. It's a good read if you want some convincing about the quality of the service.