Gartner Research

How to Migrate to Office 365 ProPlus

Published: 26 February 2018

ID: G00346499

Analyst(s): Guy Creese


Microsoft's Office 365 ProPlus service delivers and maintains an up-to-date version of Microsoft Office via the cloud. This assessment helps technical professionals understand how the service is different from the traditional software MSI-based install and how enterprises should move to it.

Table Of Contents


  • If You Last Looked at Office 365 ProPlus in 2016, Re-evaluate It Now
  • Implementing Office 365 ProPlus Will Force You to Do Four Things
  • How to Use This Report
  • What Is Office 365 ProPlus?
    • A Popular and Valuable Office 365 Service
    • New Feature Updates Come Out Semiannually, Not Once Every Three Years
    • It Offers Per-User Licensing
    • It's Not Office Online
    • It Offers More Features Than the Traditional Software Versions
    • The Standard License Includes Eight Applications (but Not Project or Visio)
    • It's Compliant With Microsoft's New Office 365 Support Policies
    • It's a Click-to-Run Installation, Not an MSI Install
    • It Uses the Same Distribution Mechanisms as the MSI Installs
    • It Offers Both 32-Bit and 64-Bit Versions
  • The "Gotchas" of Office 365 ProPlus for IT
    • The Initial Installation Payload Is 1GB or Greater
    • You Can't Mix Versions or Installation Technologies
    • Separate Security Patches Are Not Available
    • You Can't Use It When a Regulated Process Must Be Certified
    • You Must Use Shared Computer Activation to Run Office 365 ProPlus on Shared Computers, Including RDS and Pooled VDI
    • Devices Must Connect to the Internet Every 30 Days to Renew the License
    • For Support, Versions Can't Be More Than 18 Months Old
  • Move to Office 365 ProPlus or Stay on Traditional Software?
    • If You Want to Give Users the Latest Release With the Most Functionality, Move to Office 365 ProPlus
    • If You Want Per-User Pricing, Move to Office 365 ProPlus
    • If You Want to Edit Office Documents on Mobile Devices, Move to Office 365 ProPlus
    • If You Want to Use OneDrive for Business Across All Devices, Move to Office 365 ProPlus
    • If You Want to Perform Real-Time Co-authoring With the Rich Office Clients, Move to Office 365 ProPlus
    • If You're Unable or Unwilling to Support the Rapid Release Cadence, Stay on Traditional Software
    • If You're Running Devices Within a Highly Regulated Environment, Keep Them on Traditional Software
    • If You're Running Isolated Devices That Don't Connect to the Internet, Keep Them on Traditional Software
    • If the Traditional Version of Office 2013 or 2016 Is Sufficient and Paid for — And You Haven't Moved to Office 365 — Don't Move to Office 365 ProPlus
    • If You Do Move to Office 365, Pick Office 365 ProPlus as One of the First Services to Implement
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


  • Verify the Prerequisites
  • Develop the Deployment Strategy
    • Decide on the Deployment Method (Cloud or Local Network)
    • Decide on the Channel Option (Monthly or Semi-Annual)
    • Decide on Whether to Use the Office Deployment Tool or Group Policy
    • Decide on a Deployment Process
  • Develop the QA and Training Strategies
    • Assign Personnel
    • Inventory Macros and Plug-Ins
    • Create QA and Training Plans
  • Deploy, and Continually Refine Your Processes

The Details

  • Where to Find Information About Office 365 ProPlus on

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