Learn How to Manage Office 365 Client Upgrade from SCCM

This post will provide details about how to enable Office 365 client updates, create collections for Office 365 upgrades?, and Office 365 Client Upgrade.

Related PostsHow to Install Office 365 ProPlus Client Package, How to Change Office 365 Update Channel with SCCM Run Script, and SCCM to Deploy and Install Office 365 ProPlus Updates

IMP – Office 365 ProPlus Bandwidth Consideration PostsLean/HybridBuilding dynamic, lean & universal packages for Office 365 ProPlus & Office 365 ProPlus Deployment and Proxy Server Guidance !


Managing Office 365 client update is very challenging for many organization as Microsoft release office 365 update very frequently, which is based on the channels you have used in your organization.

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Many organizations do it via an auto-update to update their clients, some have not used it, and some use the legacy method to create an application/package and deploy it to their clients.

SCCM can manage Office 365 client updates by using Software Update management. First, we need to confirm all the requirements and prerequisites are in place to deploy the Office 365 updates.

If you have to create the Office365 Package in SCCM, you can go through How to Install Office 365 ProPlus Client package with all the steps.

In this blog post, I will describe the setup of the ADR used for the Deployments of the Office 365 ProPlus Semi-Annual Channel.


Before starting the Office 365 client update, you must have to verify the requirements for using SCCM to manage Office 365 client updates:

Requirements Office 365 Client Upgrade

  • SCCM update 1602 or later
  • An Office 365 client
  • Supported channel version for Office 365 client
  • Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 4.0

You need to enable office 365 clients to receive the updates from SCCM, you can allow it via SCCM client setting or Group policy, and in SCCM, you need to enable the office 365 client updates.

Enable Office 365 clients

After configuring this setting and deploying Office 365 updates, the SCCM client agent communicates with the Office 365 client agent to download the updates from a distribution point and install them. 

SCCM takes inventory of Office 365 ProPlus Client settings.

  • In the SCCM console, click Administration > Overview > Client Settings.
  • Click default client settings Properties, then go to Software Updates and select Yes for the Enable management of the Office 365 Client Agent setting.

Another method is to Enable Office 365 clients to receive updates from SCCM by using the Office Deployment Tool or Group Policy.

Enable Classification and Product for Office 365

To manage Office 365 updates via SCCM, we need to enable the following classification and product.

  • Navigate to SCCM console – \Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Sites. Click on Settings – Configure Site Components – Software Update point component – Properties.
  • Go to the Classification tab and enable Updates. Once updates from the classification tab are allowed (to support Office 365 updates), you can go to the Products tab to help “Office 365 Client“.

Create Collections for Office 365 ProPlus

First, we will create collections for Office 365 updates. Each Collection is defined by the CDNBaseURL, which gets populated upon installation.

This property is leveraged over other options as it provides the Office Channel’s most consistent and accurate definition.

The following query rule should be used for each of the Channels. Be sure to update each with the proper CDNBaseURL value.

select SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceID,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceType,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Name,SMS_R_SYSTEM.SMSUniqueIdentifier,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceDomainORWorkgroup,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Client from SMS_R_System inner join SMS_G_System_OFFICE365PROPLUSCONFIGURATIONS on SMS_G_System_OFFICE365PROPLUSCONFIGURATIONS.ResourceID = SMS_R_System.ResourceId where SMS_G_System_OFFICE365PROPLUSCONFIGURATIONS.CDNBaseUrl = "http://officecdn.microsoft.com/pr/7ffbc6bf-bc32-4f92-8982-f9dd17fd3114"
  1. Monthly Channel (Current Channel): CDNBaseUrl = http://officecdn.microsoft.com/pr/492350f6-3a01-4f97-b9c0-c7c6ddf67d60
  2. Semi-Annual Channel (Deferred Channel): CDNBaseUrl = http://officecdn.microsoft.com/pr/7ffbc6bf-bc32-4f92-8982-f9dd17fd3114
  3. Monthly Channel (Targeted) (First Release for Current Channel): CDNBaseUrl = http://officecdn.microsoft.com/pr/64256afe-f5d9-4f86-8936-8840a6a4f5be
  4. Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) (First Release for Deferred Channel): CDNBaseUrl = http://officecdn.microsoft.com/pr/b8f9b850-328d-4355-9145-c59439a0c4cf
Office 365 Client Upgrade
Office 365 Client Upgrade 1

Semi-Annual Channel Updates

Depending on the Organizations and their needs, the number of deployments will differ. The following deployments are my own and will showcase three (3) servicing deployments, each allowing 15 days of deployment availability.

This allows an Administrator to delay a deployment if an issue is identified. The availability date is based on when the new version of the Semi-Annual Channel is released (Every six months, in January and July) and when the ADR rule is scheduled to run.

Office 365 Client Upgrade
Office 365 Client Upgrade 2

Create Automatic Deployment Rule

This ADR will run every month on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. This option gives the IT Administrator the time to update this rule to reflect the most recent version of the Semi-Annual Channel released build.

In the SCCM, click Software Library >Software Updates > Automatic Deployment Rules> Create Automatic Deployment Rule.

Office 365 Client Upgrade
Office 365 Client Upgrade 3
Office 365 Client Upgrade
Office 365 Client Upgrade 4
Office 365 Client Upgrade
Select the criteria for office 365 updates and channels – Office 365 Client Upgrade 5
Office 365 Client Upgrade
Set the schedule to run every month on the 2nd Wednesday of the month – Office 365 Client Upgrade 6
Office 365 Client Upgrade
for the testing, it will be immediate – Office 365 Client Upgrade 7
Office 365 Client Upgrade
Office 365 Client Upgrade 8
Office 365 Client Upgrade
Create deployment package – Office 365 Client Upgrade 9

Then next, add the distribution points and download location and languages.

Office 365 Client Upgrade
Now ADR is created and deployed on Phase-1 collection – Office 365 Client Upgrade. 10

Add additional deployments

Now we have ADR created, and that is deployed on Phase-1 IT users; to test Office 365 and its new features, the next action is to deploy the updates on Phase-2 on Pilot users and then deploy on all production users.

Office 365 Client Upgrade
Right-click on ADR and click on Add Deployment – Office 365 Client Upgrade 11
Learn How to Manage Office 365 Client Upgrade from SCCM 1
Add Collection for Phase-2 – Office 365 Client Upgrade 12
Office 365 Client Upgrade
Provided schedule for 15 days – Office 365 Client Upgrade 13
Office 365 Client Upgrade
Collection for Phase-3 – Office 365 Client Upgrade 14
Learn How to Manage Office 365 Client Upgrade from SCCM 2
Schedule configuration – Office 365 Client Upgrade 15
Office 365 Client Upgrade
Office 365 Client Upgrade 16

User Experience

The default user experience behavior is Hide in Software Center and All notifications. There are loads of granularity options in setting up the deadline behavior, Device restart behavior.

Learn How to Manage Office 365 Client Upgrade from SCCM 3
The above picture shows that Office365 Semi-annual channel 1803 is installed and waiting for computer restart.17

So I hope that the above process will help simplify the deployment of Office 365 updates as much as possible.


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