Microsoft today discussed about the IT Control and Management capabilities specifically around deployment and upgrade management for enterprise environments in Office 2016 preview. In the Office 2016 Preview, IT admins will see a number of significant improvements to Deployment and Update Management, designed to deliver the best Office experience with minimal effort, and provide high confidence around faster deployment, flexible update management and simplified administration.
The following are some of the enhancements:
Better network traffic management—With the frequency of updates delivered to users there is an inherent concern about bandwidth management, especially in organizations with limited or with no direct access to the Internet. To help resolve this, we are integrating Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) to ensure Office is a good citizen when on an organization’s network. Office will use BITS to transfer updates to a user’s device only when there is bandwidth not being used by other critical applications. Along with the previous introduction of Binary Delta Compression, BITS will also make Office updates smaller and more efficient when on the network.
Enhanced distribution management—For those of you who use the System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), we are introducing better integration to allow IT admins to efficiently download and distribute Office and any subsequent updates.
Flexible update management—We understand there is a need to reduce the number of feature enhancements on certain devices, especially for those being used for critical line of business solutions. For those devices, we are introducing the ability to receive feature updates no more than three times per year. In between these cycles, we will continue to provide security updates. IT admins will have the ability to easily define which system will take advantage of deferred updates versus the existing always up-to-date model.
Simplified activation management—Currently users have the ability to self-manage Office activations. We know that administrators also want the ability to centrally manage activations on users’ behalf to help reduce the amount of time spent on troubleshooting activation issues. Starting April 2015, administrators will have the ability to use the Office 365 Admin Portal to identify and manage the number of device activations for Office per user.