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Activation and Licensing of Office 365 RRS feed

  • Question

  • My scenario is this:

    I want to have the Office 365 click to run desktop product (2013 office products) rolled out to all my computers in the network, lets say I have 25 for example. I understand I can use the click to run deployment tool using the /download and the /configure switches with an appropriate xml file to download and install office 365 pro plus click to run on a machine. So, lets say I do this for 25 computers (start up script or something).

    questions:

    1. the administrative account (me or another admin in our AD) is the installing user, this user would also have to have a valid subscription to office 365 as I understand it. when a user logs into windows and opens Office products, who has activated that product - the user or the administrator who installed it? I would assume the latter

    2. in our environment of 25 computers, from what I have read and understood about how activation and licensing works, it is not possible for a user to activate O365 on more than 5 devices at a time, but I need to install this on 25 machines, none of our users are local administrators which is why we will go for the E3 plan to get the download and install through our local network, the installing account will be 1 admin account, so how does this work out when that admin account has installed on a 6th and more machine?

    3. our environment is a fairly hot-desking environment, and one which requires access to the office products offline (another reason we will go for the E3 plan so we can install the desktop click to run for offline use). sometimes a single user may need to borrow 5 or more of our laptops to take offsite (training company), what happens when multiple users are logging onto a single machine - again, im under the impression the product will be fine provided the installing user (the admin) has an active subscription with O365.

    my biggest area of concern I suppose is what is going to happen when we roll this out to more than 5 computers, is the administrator account for the office 365 subscription a special account which waives this 5 installation limit? if not, then how do the bigger business roll this out to many more machines, because 25 is really not large at all, and 5 devices is pathetic IF its restricted to that for the admin installing account...

    my issue is also important to note that none of our users are local admins, they do not have the rights to install anything on their machine so this has to be automated through our local network, I also cant make any one particular user a local admin of any one particular laptop due to the hot-desking scenario, if I made everyone a local admin I may as well just throw away security all together and put the entire company's users into the domain admins group - this is not a solution by the way.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg982959.aspx

    many thanks

    Steve

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013 3:50 PM

Answers

  • Hi Steve,

    I've been following the new Garage series, where the guys have clearly described a few scenarios where O365 is a poor fit and Office2013 (perpetual via MAK or KMS) is a much better solution: http://blogs.technet.com/b/office_resource_kit/archive/tags/garage/

    Although the conversation between MS and myself seems to have stalled, your/my joint concern that some "musical chairs" of a per-user 5 license limit, seems to be seen as nothing to worry about. I think this is based on an assumption that the 30day grace period will be enough to carry through. I'm not sure if that will work out for us in our warm/cold business continuity centre and our learning facilities/rooms, but it sure seems like MS recognise that the premise of always-connected/retail -scenario of O365 does have a couple of practical limitations, and, that a mixture of subscription-licensing *and* perpetual-licensing may be needed in some cases.

    I guess it's up to you and I to convince the relevant people in our organisations that one-size-fits-all will come at some commercial simplicity but a convenience tradeoff for the end-user (and flowing on to you and I as the IT guys) will likely pop up.


    Don
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    • Edited by DonPick Monday, March 18, 2013 8:37 PM
    • Marked as answer by Milkientia Tuesday, March 19, 2013 8:21 PM
    Monday, March 18, 2013 8:36 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    The the top level object in the hierarchical representation of company in Office 365 is Tenant.

    A tenant get created during initial signup process. During the signup process customer creates the Global admin and domain for the company.
    After completing the initial sign up process then admin will log into the site and places an orders for the company and assign thee users to the licenses.

    In the situation, you will need to sign in the Microsoft Online service, add the 25 users and assign the licenses. The licenses are for users not admin. And each user can install Office on 5 devices.

    You can check the article and the post here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=28724

    http://community.office365.com/en-us/forums/172/t/45950.aspx

    Best regards,


    Rex Zhang
    TechNet Community Support


    Friday, March 1, 2013 6:52 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the information, however this does not answer my question. if I want to deploy click to run office 365 professional plus to 25 machines in my office using one administrator account that is configured in my active directory, from our software deployment server to the 25 clients.... who is activating the installation - the admin account or the user who logs in?

    how do companies who have many hundreds of users deploy office 365 click to run and activate it on all those client machines?

    I think you missed the important part of my original question.... none of our users are local admins. this means that no user will be able to install the product, it must be installed by an automated method using an administrator account, such as a group policy login script, a scheduled task, or SCCM or whatever other automated deployment system, users will not be able to install the office product.

    I have not yet read the 100+ combined pages of activation information you referenced yet as I was hoping to get a quick answer which would tell me what I wanted to know, I guess my weekend plans will change to enlighten me about office 365 activation.

    thanks

    Steve

    Friday, March 1, 2013 11:17 AM
  • when you (admin) downloads the O365ProPlus package and you deploy it via your deployment mechanism, the product isn't activated at that time.
    so, the admin account isn't clocking up activations.

    when the end-user first launches O365ProPlus, that user will be prompted for their O365 MS account by the co-requisite/embedded MOSSIA component (Microsoft Online Services Sign In Assistant). MOSSIA will handle the product "activation" via the O365 MS account that you (as O365 portal admin) have created for that user.

    each of your users can use their O365 subscription on up to 5 devices.
    in this way, your (admin) O365 account isn't being used to "activate" / consume any O365 subscriptions at all (unless you yourself use MOSSIA and a user subscription)

    or have I misunderstood?


    Don
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    Saturday, March 2, 2013 12:32 AM
  • hmmm ok, this explains a bit better.... but by the time a user has perhaps downloaded the click to run on their home computer and logged into a few workstations in the office -this surely will knock out the activation for someone else who uses the office workstations? 5 activations used in a business in this manner doesn't seem many.

    is this how larger businesses activate/license their Office 365 Click to Run products? what happens in the scenario where some companies have many training computers maybe 10,20,30 or more machines... those office products need to be activated but which user(s) in the business should be penalised for the activation? I understand there are academic licenses for O365 but I doubt they activate any differently (though I may be mistaken) and our business unfortunately is not eligible for academic licensing because we aim to make a profit. so how does a business address the need of rolling out O365 which would be used in this manner, a training room of 30 machines, where any learner could log into any machine and use it? does each learner require a subscription throughout their training?

    anyway, the training scenario is kind of a point im trying to make, but my real point is how you do this in a heavily hot-desking environment where there is no guarantee that any user will log into the same machine day by day - imagine a call centre if that helps, how does the product remain activated in this scenario, users will constantly be hitting their 5 device limit possibly as regular as every week (different machine mon-fri)!!

    thanks

    Steve

    Monday, March 4, 2013 12:13 PM
  • for the hotdesking/hoteling/training scenario - these are good points, which I haven't considered yet, in our O365 adoption plan.
    I'll be raising them with our project lead today, since we do have some similar working arrangements in our organisation.

    at the moment, we have ~100 or so people piloting O365 but they are individuals who don't hotdesk.

    I think that perhaps Office2013ProPlus (not O365ProPlus) may be a better solution for these cases, but lets see what MS respond with.

    with O365, whenever a user signs in via MOSSIA, the subscription license for Office for that user at that machine is revalidated, so I can see how a highly mobile worker (who uses more than 5 devices, i.e. your hotdesk worker) could strike problems with the 5 device limit.


    Don
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    Monday, March 4, 2013 8:28 PM
  • My biggest concerns are around the activation of O365ProPlus, but I do like what the package offers for the price which is why I am keen to go with this, but I must have a clear understanding of the activation parts first. the last thing I want is users raising support calls to me saying their product isn't activated. although in our environment most users are "assigned" a laptop and its their duty to look after it, but we are looking to expand to have a set of training machines and a "pool" of laptops for anyone to use.... I have no way of knowing which user is going to log into which machine from one day to the next - this is where my concern comes from with the 5 device thing. in some cases we may have a single account called "learner" in our AD, and more than 10 machines would be logged into this account at the same time its a bit of a ball ache to be creating loads of different AD accounts to accommodate a load of temporary users, as I'm sure you are aware. I am looking for a solution that was more like the traditional desktop method where the software is activated on the device, not the user - or... an admin user can activate it with a much larger figure than 5 devices.

    I would really really appreciate it if you could post back to me your findings on this with what MS say to you under this scenario, I would be interested to know how I can deal with it. if the desktop product is the only way to beat this scenario then I guess it will be back to the drawing board and wait yet again for MS to get their product more accommodating. in some slides I saw from the earlier post in this thread there was an option for "O365 Volume Licensing".... is this a true method of licensing O365 and would its activation be managed any differently? what agreement do you have? you sound like quite a big business if you already have 100 users trialling it....

    cheers for your info on this. Steve

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013 6:17 PM
  • I've had a response/acknowledgement to my email from our Account Technology Specialist, he is pursuing with the licensing team for us (although I'm thinking he may not have quite grasped our joint concern just yet, which is "technical" rather than "permitted use rights").

    We have a master agreement which covers our various entities, and an Enterprise Agreement for 50,000 end-user devices, so usually get heard ;)

    From what I've seen so far (in our trial which is using a hybrid/federated implementation and also in the TN documentation and the forums), the on-premise AD account isn't used as a control for O365, it's the online/hosted MS account that is used for authenticating in MOSSIA.

    So, the user signs-in to the laptop using on-premise AD (cached) account, then fires up O365 and signs-in to MS account using MOSSIA.
    I guess it does depend on how far you might be "cloudifying", eg if you were dispensing with your on-prem AD, or using BYOD where the device is not domain-joined or similar, then there would be a slightly different user-auth experience, particularly if using Win8 where a non-domain-joined PC doesn't seem to need a local machine account in addition to an MS online account.

    I'll go back to him today to re-state our question. I have emailed him this thread URL, so he can see your story as well as my own words.


    Don
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    Tuesday, March 5, 2013 8:02 PM
  • Great, sounds like I got the right person on the case on my behalf with 50k users :) cheers for that Don.

    I think (depending on how far my understanding is going to go with this) it is most likely we can sync our AD with the Office 365 subscription, so users don't have to "see" a separate login for Office so its more transparent. however we are at least for the next few years going to be keeping the AD on prem - we have an environment where we need to easily separate networking, destroy and rebuild machines in varying configs for training purposes... hooking deployment services and the like into AD so for now it will stay on prem.

    I am just a bit concerned that we will end up having two different types of agreement (traditional volume licensing, and O365) we are not a massive company like yours where having multiple agreements may be more acceptable, for us this just adds a layer of complexity from both a technical standpoint and a management of agreements standpoint.

    You also have to bear in mind that although I am the IT Manager, the person who authorises these agreements for payment is not IT literate at all, has very little understanding of how IT works in a business compared to a home, and has no idea on benefits or understanding of a longer term IT strategy/vision. He does however seem to be a great fan of Apple and Google cloud based stuff (probably not fully understanding what they are, but he loves Apple because he has a golf app on his iPad) and if this stuff from MS appears too complicated and expensive then he will make an incorrect choice, in my opinion, and use someone else's products.

    I hope your contact can fully understand our scenario, I think the call centre scenario may be the most accurate to compare to my way of thinking. still appreciating your input with this Don, look forward to any further information. thank you ever so much

    Steve

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013 8:39 PM
  • Steve - I feel your pain.
    I've worked in small companies through to very large organisations, and it's often "too complicated", "too much choice", "confusing". Which is quite ironic in so many ways...

    Further responses from MS have arrived but nothing helpful just yet.


    Don
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    Thursday, March 7, 2013 8:02 PM
  • Yes indeed, if only the licensing and activation rules didn't have to exist things could be a lot simpler - oh but that's open source.

    its a tough and vicious circle in the "for profit" world against pirates and legitimate stuff, unfortunately those products I feel are higher quality in many ways. One day I'm sure we will get there, but that day is not today. please keep this post updated Don, very much appreciate your input with this.

    Steve

    Friday, March 8, 2013 12:28 PM
  • Hi Don,

    was just wondering if you had heard any further information regarding scenario?

    thanks

    Steve

    Monday, March 18, 2013 2:54 PM
  • Hi Steve,

    I've been following the new Garage series, where the guys have clearly described a few scenarios where O365 is a poor fit and Office2013 (perpetual via MAK or KMS) is a much better solution: http://blogs.technet.com/b/office_resource_kit/archive/tags/garage/

    Although the conversation between MS and myself seems to have stalled, your/my joint concern that some "musical chairs" of a per-user 5 license limit, seems to be seen as nothing to worry about. I think this is based on an assumption that the 30day grace period will be enough to carry through. I'm not sure if that will work out for us in our warm/cold business continuity centre and our learning facilities/rooms, but it sure seems like MS recognise that the premise of always-connected/retail -scenario of O365 does have a couple of practical limitations, and, that a mixture of subscription-licensing *and* perpetual-licensing may be needed in some cases.

    I guess it's up to you and I to convince the relevant people in our organisations that one-size-fits-all will come at some commercial simplicity but a convenience tradeoff for the end-user (and flowing on to you and I as the IT guys) will likely pop up.


    Don
    (Please take a moment to "Vote as Helpful" and/or "Mark as Answer", where applicable.
    This helps the community, keeps the forums tidy, and recognises useful contributions. Thanks!)


    • Edited by DonPick Monday, March 18, 2013 8:37 PM
    • Marked as answer by Milkientia Tuesday, March 19, 2013 8:21 PM
    Monday, March 18, 2013 8:36 PM
  • hmmm a bit disappointing that the scenario might not (or at least have some concerns) with our scenarios. I haven't signed up for 365 yet, but I will soon begin a fully tested trial using the exchange portion as well, and will try to figure out the hot desking scenario as well during that trial (but of course it might not be 100% accurate because of the trial).

    I guess if worst comes to worst and office365 doesn't work out in that particular scenario then we would have to just adopt the usual 3 year volume licensing cycle to cover those specific machines - a bit of a pain to have two agreements in such a small organisation, but perhaps the O365 product will mature in time to accommodate such scenarios fully.

    Don, I thank you very much for your input with my query you have been most useful. I will mark yours an answer but I would really appreciate it if you ever come across any further experience or information regarding this to update this post for mine (and others) future reference.

    cheers mate, and good luck with your O365 rollout

    Steve

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 8:20 PM
  • I'm still dogging MS on this and that's something I'll always make time to do ;)

    Don
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    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 9:01 PM
  • I'm not exactly sure how this video (link below) relates to our scenario but I picked up on what Jeremy was saying which was along the lines of "we haven't taken anything away from you, you still have the MSI based installation"... however, if I sign up for an O365 agreement (particularly the E3 plan) do we still have the MSI based installation method, or is this actually a separate volume license agreement to get this? if the MSI based installation method is included in O365 then it would partially answer our scenario with regards to the hot desking but doesn't address it specifically with regards to "click to run" (but at least it would be available). Do you know exactly what is included in your O365 plan Don? do we get MSI based or not?

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/office_resource_kit/archive/2013/03/20/the-new-office-garage-series-identity-activation-data-access.aspx

    Also, thanks for the post to my other thread with regards the default file formats dialog box, I see in their demo above that office opened fine without that dialog box so I'm either missing a policy setting, a registry key, or this really does effect the EU countries (I know I probably shouldn't have posted this in this thread but hey ho)

    cheers

    Steve

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013 7:36 PM
  • although Jeremy/Yoni say you can have MSI, as far as I can tell through our own experience so far plus my reading, O365 doesn't give you MSI at all, but, as MS offer traditional/perpetual (albeit under a seperate licensing deal), it's possible to have a bit of both.

    One way I see this might work, is to subscribe to O365 for %90 of your estate, and, have a Select agreement alongside, where you buy %10 as traditional/perpetual. In an EA model, this might get tricky, since the EA model assumes/implies/requires that your complete estate is endowed with a common bundle of MS goodness.

    I am still pursuing with MS and have an additional contact now who is an Office guru.


    Don
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    Wednesday, March 20, 2013 8:25 PM
  • Yeah there is that "company wide" thing so MS are really causing a headache for some people with this. While your pursuing it with MS can you possibly tell them to sack all their legal mumbo jumbo staff and go back to basics haha. I need paracetamol just to cure my headache over licensing rules.

    Nice to know you have another contact, lets hope he/she can shed some definitive light on this :)

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013 8:39 PM