This blog post was written by Shinobu Furuma, a Program Manager on the Office Solutions Management team.

In our last blog post, we introduced how to Quickly set up Office Telemetry Dashboard on a workgroup or domain-joined computer. In this post, we’d like to explain how you can deploy Telemetry Agent to large-scale environments by using System Center Configuration Manager. 

If your company uses Configuration Manager for client PC management, software asset management, etc., we recommend that you also use Configuration Manager to deploy Telemetry Agent to existing Office client computers (Office 2003, 2007, or 2010). If you are familiar with application deployment in Configuration Manager, it’s quite easy to deploy Telemetry Agent because you can use the standard process of application deployment without the need for end-user operation or logon scripts. You can also manage, monitor, and uninstall the agent on client computers by using the Configuration Manager Console.

This post covers these steps of Telemetry Agent deployment by using Configuration Manager:

1. Create an application for the Telemetry Agent by using Configuration Manager
2. Deploy the application by using Configuration Manager
3. Configure the Telemetry Agent

Note that Steps 1 and 2 are required only for client computers that run Office 2003, Office 2007, or Office 2010. You don’t have to deploy Telemetry Agent to Office Professional Plus 2013 and Office 365 ProPlus because the agent is built-in to those editions of Office 2013. However, you do need to configure the built-in agent by using the methods described in Step 3.

1. Create an application for the Telemetry Agent using Configuration Manager

The following video discusses how to create an application with a single deployment type in System Center Configuration Manager 2012.

TechNet Video - Creating an Application

Below are more details for delivering the Telemetry Agent by using Configuration Manager

Create a new application for the Telemetry Agent MSI

1. Save the Telemetry Agent MSI file to a shared folder that the Configuration Manager Console can access. To do this, perform these steps:

a)      Create a new shared folder.
Because the Telemetry Agent MSI is available for each operating system architecture (x86 and x64), you must create a shared folder for each MSI, such as
\\ServerName\Telemetry\x86 and \\ServerName\Telemetry\x64.

b)      Launch Telemetry Dashboard and select Let’s get started on the left navigation pane.

c)      Expand the section 3. Deploy Telemetry agent.

d)      Select Save the x86 Telemetry Agent and Save the x64 Telemetry Agent.

e)     Save the MSI files to the folders that you created in Step 1. 

2. Launch the Configuration Manager Console and select Software Library on the navigation pane.

3. In the Software Library workspace, expand Application Management, and then select Applications.

4. Select Create Application on the ribbon, and create a new application with the X86 (or x64) Telemetry Agent MSI.

You can read more detailed steps in How to Create Applications in Configuration Manager.

5. If both x86 Windows and x64 Windows are running in your site, and if you want to collect inventory/telemetry from both, you should create the applications for each MSI that matches the operating system architecture (not the Office architecture). The two applications are shown in the following screen shot.

 

 

2. Deploy the application by using Configuration Manager

After you create an application for the Telemetry Agent MSI, you can deploy it to client computers by using the Configuration Manager Console.

1. In the Configuration Manager Console, select Software Library again.

2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Application Management, and then select Applications.

3. In the Applications list, select the application that you created for the Telemetry Agent MSI, and then select Deploy in the Home tab, as shown in the following screen shot.

4. In the Deployment Software Wizard, you can specify a Device Collection that includes client computers to which you want to deploy the Telemetry agent.

If both x86 PC and x64 client computers are running at your site, you should create a Device Collection for each CPU type (operating system architecture*) , and then specify a valid Device Collection in the wizard. You can deploy the agent by using specific rules, (for example, deploy the agent only to client computers that run Windows XP) by using the query rule in the Device collection.

See How to Create Collections in Configuration Manager to get more details.

*If a client operating system is x64, you should deliver the x64 Telemetry Agent even if the 32-bit version Office is installed.

5. You can also set the deployment schedule, alert settings, etc., in the wizard.

6.  Finally, select OK to deploy the Telemetry Agent.

 

3. Configure the Telemetry Agent

After the Telemetry Agent is deployed to the client computers, you must configure the agent on each client by setting the correct registry values. If you have Active Directory, we recommend that you Use Group Policy to enable and configure Telemetry Agent.

However, if you still want to configure/manage the Telemetry Agent by using Configuration Manager, you can use Compliance Settings in Configuration Manager. The following two videos discuss how to create a configuration item for checking/setting a registry in the client computer by using Configuration Manager.

TechNet Video - Creating configuration items for settings management

TechNet Video - Enabling remediation with settings management

In the configuration item, you should specify the following registry key and value.

Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Key: Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\15.0\OSM
"CommonFileShare"="\\\\<SERVERNAME>\\<SHARENAME>"
"Enablelogging"=dword:00000001
"EnableUpload"=dword:00000001

Telemetry Agent works well if these keys are placed under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. However, Configuration Manager can’t use Compliance Settings to change registry values that are placed under HKEY_CURRENT_USER. Therefore, you can’t set tags (also called labels) by using Compliance Settings because tags must be placed HKEY_CURRENT_USER. The following table indicates which Telemetry Agent registry values can be managed by using Compliance Settings. 

Value name

Group Policy

Compliance Setting

enablelogging

X

X

enableupload

X

X

commonfileshare

X

X

tag1 - tag4

X

 

enablefileobfuscation

X

 

AgentInitWait

X

 

AgentRandomDelay

X

 

 

Please refer to Use the registry to enable and configure Telemetry Agent for more details of each registry value.

Need more information about deploying Telemetry Dashboard components? See our deployment guidance.