Recently I’ve been getting a few requests from partners to help them identify some of the key Office 2010 deployment resources that we have available, so here are a collection of useful links to articles and tools to get you started. Thanks to those who have pointed out some of these links to me previously,

One of the important things to remember here is that those of you who are looking at suppling Office Professional Plus, via Office 365, or even looking to use the new software distribution features of Windows Intune, can take advantage of this information as well!

Office 2010 Resource Kit

This is always my first recommendation for anyone looking to get up to speed on Office 2010, even if not for deployment reasons. Some of the links below are also from the Office 2010 Resource Kit to make sure you don’t miss them.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc303401.aspx

Planning The Upgrade

Plan an upgrade to Office 2010

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee624354.aspx

Office 2010 Migration Guides

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/office-2010-migration-guides-HA101982272.aspx

Common questions when planning Office 2010 deployments

http://blogs.technet.com/b/office_resource_kit/archive/2011/04/23/common-questions-when-planning-office-2010-deployments.aspx

 

Addressing Compatibility Issues

Office Compatibility Tools

Office Compatibility Tools Update 1 Available for Download – includes the Office Migration Planning Manager Office Environment Assessment Tool and Office Code Compatibility Inspector. Be prepared for what you might encounter in old Office documents that could still be in use.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/office_resource_kit/archive/2011/08/08/office-compatibility-tools-update-1-available-for-download.aspx

Office 2010 application compatibility guide

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee819096.aspx#section5

File formats supported in Office 2010

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd797428.aspx

Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint File Formats (Co-Existence During Migration Phase)

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=3

Deployment Tasks

Precache the local installation source for Office 2010

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179231.aspx

Use Group Policy to enforce Office 2010 settings

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179081.aspx

End User Training

Last, but not least, what about getting users ready for Office 2010? I’ve grabbed this list from Andy O’Donald from the Office team, there was no point in reinventing the wheel. I’m currently working with one of our partners on some of these items, as they prepare to move across to Office 2010 internally.

1. Productivity Hub – A key resource for raising awareness and all phases of user readiness training, the Office 2010 Productivity Hub is a SharePoint Server 2010 site collection that you can download and install to provide a fully customizable learning solution to help support ongoing end user training efforts. The Hub acts a central place for all your training efforts, and is pre-populated with hundreds of items of learning content including documents, videos, podcasts and other types of content.

2. Posters and Flyers – A great way to get people excited about Office 2010 is to post colorful posters and flyers in the cafeteria, by the water cooler, by the elevator, or in other locations where users can easily find them. A free toolkit containing posters, flyers, and other Office 2010 user readiness resources, available in 10 languages, is available from the Microsoft Download Center.

3. Home Use Program – When employees use the same software at home and work, they naturally gain more skills which helps improve productivity. The Microsoft Home Use Program (HUP) gives employees the flexibility to use the same software at home that they use at work. As users become familiar with the product by using it at home, training effort is drastically reduced.

4. Interactive Ribbon Guides – Available in 38 languages, Interactive Ribbon guides show users where their favorite Office 2003 menu and toolbar commands are located in Office 2010. You can install the guides on multiple computers, and download a printable list of Office 2010 commands and buttons in the form of a menu to ribbon reference workbook for each Office 2010 program. The guides are available in both online and downloadable formats.

5. "Getting Started" Resources – Help users transition to Office 2010 from an earlier version of Office, learn what's new, and find basic instruction for first-time use. This collection of resources includes short instructional videos, migration guides with answers to common questions, and more.

6. Office.com Training – These free, self-paced online courses include a short lesson covering various topics, a practice session for hands-on experience, a short self-test, and a Quick Reference Card the user can print for later use at the end of the course. The courses are available in over 20 languages online or in PowerPoint format.

7. Weekly Email Tips – Send tips and tricks via email to your users to help ease them into learning about the new features in Office 2010 with this zip file containing customizable email templates and the posters and flyers mentioned above.

8. MSL eLearning Courseware – If you are a Volume License customer with Software Assurance (SA), you may have access to various eLearning courseware from Microsoft Learning (MSL). Such courseware can help your employees become more productive with Office 2010 by providing them with flexible self-paced training options without impacting your budget.

9. Ribbon Hero 2 – Clippy's Second Chance is a free productivity application in the guise of a game that you can download and use to boost Office skills and knowledge around the office. The challenges focus on helping users complete real tasks with Office, but all with a fun twist. Take it one step further and run an IT-sponsored contest where every week people who complete all the challenges are entered into a random contest drawing.

 

There are obviously many more resources in each of these categories that are also useful, and if you have any other recommendations feel free to suggest them and I can add them in to the list to keep it alive and growing.