Onboarding devices to Microsoft 365 Apps admin center

You can easily set up and control Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise using the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center. When you enroll devices in the Inventory, it automatically activates many helpful features to make things easier.

The good news is that there’s no need for manual steps beyond initiating the enrollment process. The onboarding occurs in the background without requiring any action from the user. When you enroll all devices into the Inventory service, you can access highly valuable information from those devices.

The Inventory page in the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center offers valuable insights into the status of Microsoft 365 Apps, along with information about your devices. To access this information, there are specific requirements that need to be met:

  • Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise or Microsoft 365 Apps for business, Version 2008 or later.
  • Windows 10 or Windows 11 is supported by Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise or by Microsoft 365 Apps for business.
  • Microsoft 365 (or Office 365) for Business Standard, Business Premium, A3, A5, E3, or E5 subscription plans.
  • Client devices can reach the following endpoints:
    • https://login.live.com
    • https://*.config.office.com
    • https://*.config.office.net

Information Synced from your Device to M365 Apps Admin Center

Here’s the information that is synchronized from your Device to the Inventory service page of the Microsoft 365 Apps Admin Center:

Office Details:

  • Version
  • Build
  • Update Channel
  • Add-ins (you can get more details about Add-ins by clicking on a particular Add-in)
  • Macros (Yes/No)
  • Release date
  • Office Apps

Device Details:

  • Device Name
  • Architecture (x64 or x86).
  • Manufacturer
  • Model Family
  • Model
  • Total RAM
  • OS Family
  • OS Version (for example 21H2)
  • OS build (for example 10.0.1.19044.1889 (X64))
  • Free storage
  • Total Storage

User Details:

  • Last User name
  • Last User Email

Now that we have a clear understanding of the Inventory service and the information it synchronizes to the portal, let’s proceed to enable it and begin the enrollment process.

1. Enable Inventory Service

To enable the Inventory service from the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center, follow these steps:

  • Log in to https://config.office.com/ using either a Global Administrator, Security Administrator, or Office Apps Administrator account.
  • Once logged in, click on “Inventory” located on the left-hand side.
  • Click on Get Started to start the enrollment process.
Enable Inventory Service
Enable Inventory Service

2. Verify Device Enrollment

Here are the steps to confirm that a device is successfully enrolled and sending data to the Inventory service in the Microsoft 365 Apps Admin Center portal. Keep in mind, that this step is not necessary for the initial device enrollment.

It’s primarily for administrators to double-check changes and, if needed, troubleshoot any issues to ensure a smooth enrollment process with the Inventory service.

2.1 TenantAssociationKey

  • Login on the target device.
  • Launch any of the Microsoft 365 apps for Enterprise app for example: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Outlook.

Check the TenantAssociationKey at the registry location. This is a unique token associated with your Tenant / Organization. This registration will enable devices to sync the data with the Microsoft 365 apps service.

If Office apps usage is paused for 14 days or longer, the tenant association key will be deleted automatically. It will be retrieved the next time a user launches any Office application.

If you’re troubleshooting device enrollment into the Inventory service, ensure that this key is present in the registry at the following location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\cloud\office\16.0\Common\officesvcmanager

If you can’t locate the TenantAssociationKey in this registry location, you can attempt to sign out of Microsoft 365 apps, such as Word, Excel, or any other Office application, and then sign in again using your organization email address. This may help re-establish the association key.

TenantAssociationKey
TenantAssociationKey

2.2 Office Serviceability Manager Scheduled task

A scheduled task is set up on the target device to manage the check-in and enrollment process. This task is designed to execute a file named “officesvcmgr.exe” with the “/checkin” parameter. It runs at regular intervals on the device to ensure that data remains current and synchronized with the Microsoft 365 Apps Admin Center.

  • This task can be located in Task Scheduler -> Task Scheduler Library -> Microsoft -> Office folder.
Office Serviceability Manager Scheduled task
Office Serviceability Manager Scheduled task
  • Within the Action tab, you can verify the execution of the specified executable file along with the “/checkin” parameter. This parameter is responsible for initiating the device check-in process with the portal.
Office Serviceability Manager Scheduled task
Office Serviceability Manager Scheduled task

2.3 COM Objects

A Component Object is also registered under the name “OfficeSvcManagerAddons.” It comprises two objects: “InventoryObject.Object 1” and “PolicyObject.Object 1.” These objects play essential roles in the system’s management and functionality.

COM Objects
COM Objects

3. Check Device Inventory on M365 Apps admin center

Gathering information from all devices can take some time, especially when dealing with a large number of devices in your environment. Typically, you should start seeing devices populate within the first 30 minutes to an hour. However, the list will continue to grow gradually as more users begin using Microsoft Office apps.

If you’ve enabled this service during a holiday period, such as Christmas, it might take a bit longer for devices to complete their check-in. This is because users need to launch Microsoft Office apps to initiate the check-in process, and during holidays, app usage might be less frequent.

After waiting for a couple of days to allow the service to automatically enroll devices, you can check the Inventory service to see the number of devices increasing. You can click on “Show all devices” to display a list of all registered devices.

Check Device Inventory on M365 apps admin center
Check Device Inventory on M365 apps admin center

Once you click on the “Show all devices” link from the Inventory homepage, you’ll be presented with a list of all devices, including the synced information. From there, you can click on “Export” to generate an Inventory report in CSV format.

This report is particularly valuable as it offers insights into the devices and the versions of Office installed on them, providing a comprehensive view of your organization’s environment.

Check Device Inventory on M365 apps admin center

When you click on a specific device, you’ll gain access to more detailed insights about that device. This information may include details such as the manufacturer, model, total RAM, OS family, OS version, and other relevant specifics about the device.

Check Device Inventory on M365 apps admin center

2 thoughts on “Onboarding devices to Microsoft 365 Apps admin center”

  1. We’ve previously used SCCM/GPO to manage O365 updates, but several months ago we switched to Intune. We now have Intune configuration profiles that set the update channel and target version. Until now, we’ve been doing Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel. However, we want to move to Monthly Enterprise Channel and using “Cloud Update” in the M365 Apps Admin Center, getting rid of the Intune setting for target version altogether.

    However… There seems to be little/no information available on which management systems/methods override others, especially with this new “Cloud Update” in the M365 Apps Admin Center. Ideally, I want ALL of my workstations managed only by the M365 Apps Admin Center. To do that, do I need to undo the configuration profiles in Intune? How about the setting in the similarly-named portal, “Microsoft 365 Admin Center” (not “apps” admin center)? That one we still have set to Semi-Annual, but I don’t know if it matters or not. What takes precedence?

    Reply

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