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Change

Management
for Office 365
Clients

What is the Servicing Model?

What s in it for Enterprise Organizations?

In a traditional development model it can take months of planning, development,


and testing before a large release is ready. Traditional deployments take
enterprises years to plan, evaluate test, pilot, and deploy and then maintain the
entire environment.

You want up-to-date features, but you also want the control and support you need to
run your business. With the variety of release programs and branches for Windows 10
and Office 365, you can evaluate new features, pilot them with specific groups in your
organization, and then deploy them widely to your organization. You can also keep
specialty systems on a long-term build for control.

Traditional release model


Plan

Develop

Test

Release

Multiple months cycle

Device
Type

Traditional deployment model

A New Update
Strategy: The
Servicing Model
Both Windows 10 and Office 365 have
adopted the servicing model for client
updates. This means that new features, nonsecurity updates, and security updates are
released regularly, so your users can have the
latest functionality and improvements. The
servicing model also includes time for
enterprise organizations to test and validate
releases before adopting them.

Evaluate
and Plan Pilot and Test

Phones and tablets


Deploy

Maintain

Multiple months cycle

In a servicing model, new features and innovations can be developed and released
in a quick cadence, so that customers are always seeing improvements. Because
development has changed, so does the deployment process for an enterprise
organization. Quicker release of features mean that you can evaluate, pilot, and
deploy different sets of features at the same time.

Releases in a servicing world


Plan, Develop, Test, Release - repeat

Multiple cycles in a year

Use the update option that s right for your devices and your business needs. We
recommend:

Update
option

iOS or Android devices


receive regular updates
from their respective app
stores. Devices running the
Office Universal apps
automatically receive
regular updates from the
Microsoft store.

Evaluate, Pilot, Deploy - repeat

September 2015

Use Current Branch to get


regular updates with the latest
features.

Use Windows 10 Long


Term Servicing Branch
and Office Professional
Plus 2016 client installs
(using MSI files) for
control.

Have custom add-ins? Choose


Current Branch for Business so
you have time to test.

Focus on your business, not managing the software.


Stay up to date

Regular updates mean your users phones, tablets, and desktops


stay up to date with the latest fixes.

Mix and match


programs

Follow your business needs not all systems need to follow the
same deployment model. You can even use different models for
Windows and Office on the same devices.

Save on
management

Allow automatic updates to the fully tested Current Branch for


Business for both Windows and Office 365 clients instead of
managing the software packages yourself.

Stay in the loop

See what s coming in the next branch releases and find out what
security updates have been included by reviewing
communications from Microsoft.

Manage risk

Use Current Branch for Business (and for Office, First Release for
Current Branch for Business) to test critical line-of-business
applications that must remain up and running.

Save on
development

First, check the marketplace others may have a solution that


works. If you need custom development, use best practices to
ensure add-ins work after updates.

Multiple cycles in a year

Specialty systems

For Windows 10 devices,


use Current Branch to get
regular updates with the
latest features.

Deployment in a servicing world


This topic is 1 of 6 in a series

Laptops and desktops

2015 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. To send feedback about this documentation, please write to us at ITSPdocs@microsoft.com.

Summary of Branches
This chart shows all of the release branches for Windows 10 and Office 365 clients.

Office 365 client


Up to date innovation.

Have time to evaluate.

Security, always.

Get the latest features


right away. Choose
Current Branch for
Windows 10 and Office
365.

Test with your existing


systems. Choose these
branches:

You ll always get the


latest security updates,
no waiting, whichever
program you choose.

Release Branches
You need to understand the different release
branches for Windows 10 and the Office 365
client applications so you can choose the right
options for your business. You decide what
works and choose the combinations of
branches to support for your organization.

This model provides an overview and helps


you choose.

Which Branch?

Choose the right release branch for your business needs:

Windows 10 and Office

Freshness

Change
Management
for Office 365
Clients

365: Current Branch for


Business

Office 365: First Release

Office 365 includes different sets of client applications. Office 365 Business includes the
core Office applications, and Office 365 ProPlus includes the core applications plus
Skype for Business and Access. Project Pro for Office 365 and Visio Pro for Office 365
also follow this release model.

Office Professional Plus 2016


client installs (using MSI files) is
good for scenarios where maximum
control is required and the device
has limited internet access.

Control

Additional
Office 365 client
applications

Project Pro Visio Pro


for Office for Office
365
365

By default, the client applications for Office 365 are set to these branch releases:

This topic is 2 of 6 in a series

Current Branch gives your users the latest


released features. It s great for your mobile
users who bring their own devices, your sales
force out in the field, and for test systems or
pilot programs.

Current Branch for Business gives you a couple


of months lead-time before you get the latest
version. It s best for desktops and laptops in the
office. Enjoy new features, and the fact that
millions of users have tested and validate them.

Default branches for client applications

Client applications included


with Office 365 ProPlus

Windows Insider Preview Branch


lets you preview features and give
feedback.

First Release for Current Branch


for Business gives you time to
check out the features and test
your customizations or processes.

for Current Branch for


Business

Client applications included


with Office 365 Business

Windows 10

Long Term Servicing Branch is


best for scenarios where control
over the operating system
deployment is of prime
importance.

Freshness indicates rapid access to new features and the ability to provide feedback
to Microsoft.

Office 365 Business, Project Pro for Office 365, and Visio Pro for Office 365 are

You ll sacrifice features for extra control use the most controlled options for
specialty systems, like factory floors, air traffic control, or emergency room devices.

Office 365 ProPlus is set to use Current Branch for Business

Current Branch for Business offers a balance between new features and control.

set to use Current Branch

But you can determine which branch is used for your client applications, according to
your business needs.
For more information about the branches for Office 365 client applications, see
Overview of update branches for Office 365 ProPlus.

2015 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. To send feedback about this documentation, please write to us at ITSPdocs@microsoft.com.

Change
Management
for Office 365
Clients

Windows 10 Release Cadence

Office 365 Client Release Cadence

Windows 10 has four types of release branches:

Office 365 clients have the following types of release branches:

Windows Insider Preview Join the Windows Insider program to evaluate and

Current Branch New features, security updates, and fixes can be released to the

Current Branch After new features have been tested through the Windows

First Release for Current Branch for Business You can validate this branch for four

provide feedback on pre-release features, and perform application compatibility


validation testing. New features are released frequently.

Insider program, they are released along with bug fixes and security patches as the
Current Branch. A new Current Branch is released a few times a year.

Current Branch for Business The features from Current Branch are rolled into the
Current Branch for Business (CBB) a few times a year. Microsoft will support a
Current Branch for Business release for at least 8 months.

Long Term Servicing Branch This branch provides a supported OS platform for

Release Cadences
It is important to keep both Windows and
your Office clients up to date. Office 365 and
Windows 10 are working to align release
cadences to make this easier. Both will have
regular security updates and will have new
features releasing 2 or 3 times per year. There
is also a long-term service branch available for
Windows 10 for specialty devices.

10 years. Enterprises can choose to move to a new release or stay where they are
at and skip to the next one. Long Term Servicing Branches are infrequently for
specialty devices. Use Office Professional Plus 2016 clients with these devices.

Releases for Windows 10


Preview
Branches

Current Branch every month. This is the default release schedule for Office 365
Business clients.

months before it becomes a Current Branch for Business. New features are included
only at the beginning of a branch release. This branch is refreshed with non-security
updates and security updates every month.

Current Branch for Business The First Release for Current Branch for Business is

rolled up and released as the Current Branch for Business every 4 months. No new
features are added until the next Current Branch for Business, although security
updates will continue to be released. Each Current Branch for Business is supported
for an additional 4 months, at which point users must move to the next branch. This
is the default release schedule for Office 365 ProPlus clients.

Releases for Office 365 ProPlus


Current
Branch

Current Branch
for Business

Long Term
Servicing Branch

Current Branch
(Office 365 client)

First Release for


Current Branch for
Business
(Office 365 client)

LTSB

Current Branch for


Business
(Office 365 client)

Security update

CBB3

LTSB
CBB2
CBB
CBB

CBB1

CB
CB

FR CBB 1-...

FR CBB...

FR CBB...

FR CBB...

CB
Current Branches

Preview Branches

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan*

* Dates are for illustrative purposes only

Office Mobile Apps

Multiple years

This topic is 3 of 6 in a series

Deployment tools
Windows 10

Windows Update for Business


Windows Server Update Services

Windows 10 and Office 365 clients

Office Mobile Apps for iOS and Android and the Office Universal Apps for Windows
have regular releases available through the Microsoft Store.

System Center Configuration

Office Professional Plus 2016 client installs

Microsoft Intune
3rd party software deployment tools

Security updates are made available for the Office clients that you install by using .MSI
files as part of the Office Volume Licensing program. New features are not delivered
outside of full product releases. Recommended for devices on the Long Term Servicing
Branch of Windows 10.

Manager

2015 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. To send feedback about this documentation, please write to us at ITSPdocs@microsoft.com.

Types of Changes for the Office 365 Service and Client Applications

Change
Management
for Office 365
Clients

Not all changes have the same impact on your users or require action. Some are planned and some unplanned by their nature (non-security
updates and security updates aren t usually planned in advance). Depending on the type of change, the communication channel also varies.
Here are the types of changes you can expect for the Office 365 service and client applications:

Type of change
Functionality

Feature updates
New features or applications
Deprecated features

Advance
notice?

Communication
channel

30 days notice
for changes that
require action

Types of Changes
There are several types of changes that are
made to Office 365 on a regular basis. The
communication channels for those changes,
and the actions that you might have to take
for them will vary, depending on the type of
change.

This model explains the types of changes you


can expect, when to expect changes, and what
you need to do to be prepared for changes in
Office 365.

Non-security updates

Client hotfixes for issues

Security

Security patches

Non-security updates

Hotfixes based on customer reported bugs

Rarely check
business critical
Add-ins

Office 365 Roadmap

changes to users

Office 365 Blog

Validate

Office 365 Network on


Yammer

customizations

Security bulletin

Rarely

update branch releases


page

Change admin
settings

Sometimes
testing the fix
against processes
or customizations

Rarely

Guidelines for managing change when using Office Add-ins:


We recommend that customers use Current

New features or applications: Skype for Business

Change settings
Communicate

No, these are


included in the
monthly build
for all branches

embedding videos

Sometimes

Sometimes

Feature updates: PowerPoint simpler process for

Requires
testing?

TechNet Office 365 client

Functionality

What kind of
action?

No, these are


included in the
monthly build
for all branches

Examples of changes

This topic is 4 of 6 in a series

Message Center

Requires tenant
admin action?

Branch to get the latest updates. If you have


Office customizations or Add-ins deployed, you
can use the Current Branch for Business, which
delays updates to Office until you have had the
chance to fix and test your customizations. To
fix and test your customizations before updates
are applied to Current Branch for Business, use
First Release for Current Branch for
Business. Use the Office Telemetry Dashboard
to check Add-ins for compatibility.

If your developers built the Add-in, we

suggest they update the code and redeploy


the custom Office Add-in.

If you built your customization using VBA,

VSTO, or COM, consider rebuilding your


customization as an Office Add-in, or check
the Office Store to see if there is a 3rd-pary
Add-in that provides similar functionality.

Consider decommissioning Office Add-ins


that are no longer used or have low
utilization.

2015 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. To send feedback about this documentation, please write to us at ITSPdocs@microsoft.com.

Change
Management
for Office 365
Clients

Balance of Responsibility

Microsoft s Role and Your Role

In a service offering, the balance of responsibility for things such as hardware


maintenance and security updates shifts to the service provider (Microsoft) instead
of the customer (you). However, you still need to ensure that custom software
continues to function as expected when updates are rolled out.

Microsoft and you both play a role in managing change for Office 365:

For on-premises products, your organization takes on most of the responsibility for
managing change.
Your responsibility for change management is based on the type of
service. The following chart summarizes the balance of responsibility for
both Microsoft and the customer for online services and on-premises
software.

Before a change
Microsoft s role

Set expectations for service changes


Notify customers 30 days in advance for

changes that require administrator action

Publish majority of new features and

updates on the Office 365 Roadmap

Customer s role

Understand what to expect for changes and


communications

Read Message Center, Office 365 Roadmap


and Office Blog regularly

Set up pilot teams to preview new

functionality using Current Branch

Review and update internal change


Office 365 Office 365
service
clients

management processes

On-premises
clients and servers

Roles and
Responsibilities

Responsibility

Test new features for


quality assurance

During a change

Responsibility for managing change is shared


between Microsoft and you as the admin of
your Office 365 tenancy. The balance of
responsibility is different for an online service
than it is for an on-premises server or client.

Communicate about new


features

Microsoft s role

Understand the roles both Microsoft and you


need to play before, during, and after a
change occurs to the service.
Review what s included in each release on the
Office 365 client update branch releases page
on TechNet.

Understand the Office 365 system

requirements and check compliance

Provide new functionality

Roll change out to customers


Specifically for Office 365 clients: release a

Integrate custom software

new Current Branch each month and new


Security + Hotfix update for Current Branch
for Business

Apply security updates

Monitor telemetry and support escalations

Maintain system software

for any unexpected issues

Maintain hardware

Check Message Center and review the


additional information link

Take any action required (if applicable) and


test any add-ins

If using an internal share for updates,

download the latest builds (CB, CBB, and


FRCBB) and upload to your share.

If a break/fix scenario is experienced, create a


Support Request

Microsoft

Customer

After a change
Microsoft s role

This topic is 5 of 6 in a series

Customer s role

Tips for Testing

Listen to customer feedback to improve

Don t wait have a pilot team use the Current Branch builds to start evaluating

Listen to feedback from the Office 365

rollout of future changes

new features. Use the Office 365 First Release for Current Branch for Business if
you need a longer lead time for testing.

Use an Azure virtual environment to test against your customizations or


processes.

Align your work with the release schedule schedule testing passes monthly.

Network in Yammer and admin feedback


tool

Update Office 365 Roadmap statuses and


add new features

Customer s role
Work with people in your organization to

adopt the change (get help on the Office 365


Success Center)

Review change management processes and


bottlenecks for opportunities to streamline,
and use more Microsoft resources

Provide general feedback in the Office 365

Network in Yammer and specific feedback in


the admin feedback tool

Train users to provide app specific feedback


using the Smile button in Office apps

2015 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. To send feedback about this documentation, please write to us at ITSPdocs@microsoft.com.

How to Apply Updates

Change
Management
for Office 365
Clients
Manage Update
Deployments
You choose when and how updates are deployed
to your organization by configuring:

You can decide how updates are deployed to your users computers. You can allow
the client computers to automatically receive updates over the Internet or from an
on-premises location. Alternatively, you might want to have more control by
packaging the updates yourself and manually delivering them to client computers
over your network.

Methods for applying Office updates to client


computers
Automatic

Manual

From the Internet

From an onpremises location

From an on-premises
location

Microsoft makes an
updated build
available on the
Internet.

An administrator
downloads the
updated build to an
on-premises location.

An administrator
downloads the updated
build to an on-premises
location.

The client computers


automatically install
the updates when
they are available.

The client computers


automatically install
the updates when
they are available.

The administrator uses


scripts or software
distribution tools to
push the updated build
to the client computers.

Do you need to control the delivery of updates?


To decide which method to use, consider the following scenarios:

Customizations
Allow automatic updates
for...

Use manual delivery of


updates for...

Users or computers that are


primarily for productivity and don t
use customizations or integrated
solutions.

Users or computers that rely on


customizations or integrated
solutions that work with the Office
365 clients.

Low customizations

Recommended Branch:
Current Branch

Which branch to use. This controls how often


updates are available.
Which update method to use (automatic or
manual). This controls how your client
computers get the updates.

High customizations

Recommended Branch:
Current Branch for Business.
Validate by using First Release
for Current Branch for Business.

Managed or un-managed computers?

This topic is 6 of 6 in a series

Allow automatic updates


from the Internet for...

Deploy from an onpremises location when...

Consumers and small businesses


without an IT department.

You want to control when updates


are pushed out to your
organization s computers.

How to configure branches and update methods


5

Use the following methods to configure which branches are used by which
client computers and how those clients computers are updated:

Office Deployment Tool


Group Policy for centralized administration of domain-joined computers.

2015 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. To send feedback about this documentation, please write to us at ITSPdocs@microsoft.com.