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How to Deploy Microsoft 365 Apps for Remote Workers?

Many businesses are switching from their on-premises version of Office to keep pace with the end of support for the legacy version of the suite. Moreover, businesses have to address challenges around working-from-home scenarios. Using VPN (Virtual Private Network) to connect remote employees with the corporate infrastructure is the most common method for providing secure access to remote employees. However, this can saturate the company’s VPN connection. Microsoft provides several strategic solutions, such as Intune and Windows Autopilot, to provide secure access to corporate resources. In this article, we will focus on a quick fix solution to deploy Microsoft 365 Apps to remote workers.

How to Optimize Microsoft 365 for Remote Workers?

Microsoft 365 has to be optimized for IT admins to use the existing enterprise management solutions while allowing remote users to leverage their existing internet connection. Follow the steps below to set up Microsoft 365 for remote users.

  • Modify deployment package

    If an on-premises network has been configured, the source file from the Configuration Manager application must be removed to allow remote users to use their local internet connection to access the source file. This can be done by deleting the software source files in the Office folder. Deleting large files reduces the deployment package size and saves VPN connection bandwidth. If the Microsoft 365 Apps installation package is not yet available, the built-in wizard can be used to create it.

  • Change content source

    Applications that are already synchronized to Distribution Points have larger cached packages. To ensure that these also have a smaller deployment package, changes have to be re-synchronized to the Distribution Points. Update Content for the application from Software Library > Application Management > Applications, in the Deployment Types tab. This will update the content source with a smaller deployment package.

  • Verify and deploy VPN configuration

    Once the smaller package has been received by the client from ConfigMgr, installation is initiated. As the source files are directly downloaded from Microsoft CDN (Content Delivery Network), devices must be able to reach out to those endpoints directly and must not be backhauled through the VPN tunnel. If the newly updated package is already active, clients will receive them after the Distribution Points finish syncing the changes.

  • Reduce on-prem traffic with peer caching

    If the same package has to be deployed for remote and on-premises workers, it is recommended to configure and enable Delivery Optimization for Office with Connected Cache. With this, on-prem devices can share content that is not included in the deployment to minimize the load on the corporate internet connection.

Apps4Rent Can Help with Microsoft 365 Custom Deployments

One of the most challenging aspects of deploying, servicing, and managing Microsoft 365 Apps on corporate networks with the user’s VPN connections, is the on-prem network impact it can cause on remote workers. IT admins must be able to use enterprise management solutions such as Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager while offloading the content distribution to Microsoft CDN, while remote users leverage their local internet connection.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner for Application Integration and Cloud Productivity, Apps4Rent can help businesses acquire appropriate Office 365/ Microsoft 365 licenses and customize the deployment based on their unique requirements. Call, chat, or email our senior Microsoft 365 deployment consultants, available 24/7 for assistance.

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