Inventory on Microsoft 365 Apps admin center goes GA!

Published Jun 30 2021 10:31 AM 7,996 Views

Today, we are happy to announce the General Availability (GA) of the new Inventory in the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center; a new experience specifically tailored to provide admins instant answers on the state of Microsoft 365 Apps in the enterprise environment.


Using the new dashboards, you as an admin can quickly identify potential issues. By getting a view of the build spread in your organization, you evaluate if you need to consolidate and update devices running unsupported Office app versions. You can see detailed information about add-ins installed on devices across the organization. You also have access to the raw Inventory, so you can drill through the device-level details and use filters to create views based on your requirements.


We also are happy to release the Security Update Status feature to GA. Based on inventory data, you as an IT pro can get an overview of how many devices are already running the latest security updates. You can slice and dice the data per channel or drill down to a list of devices missing security updates for the Microsoft 365 Apps. The report can be customized by setting your own goals for security currency and get a near-real time view of how close you are to these goals, such as having 90% of all devices running the latest security update within five days.


Both features are true cloud services providing you, as an admin, unparalleled insight into channels, releases, security and support status. Paired with the fact that both features span all Microsoft 365 Apps instances activated by your tenant, regardless of the management or directory domain of the device, this gives admins a more complete picture.

 

Overview

As mentioned, the Inventory in the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center is loaded with detailed reports and insights which are specifically built for the Microsoft 365 Apps. Onboarding is simple. Just visit Inventory on config.office.com and click, "Get started." This enables devices to register to the service, and admins can get a full overview of their devices with Microsoft 365 Apps installed within a few hours. The landing page highlights key insights, flagging how many different releases are deployed, which update channels are in use, what the architecture split looks like, and what the most installed add-ins are:

 

Inventory -  Providing easy overview of e.g. different releases of the Microsoft 365 AppsInventory - Providing easy overview of e.g. different releases of the Microsoft 365 Apps

 

Each insight has rich data behind it, which you can explore in greater detail by navigating into the different sections. You can get a full breakdown of all releases down to the device level. Or, see additional information about a given device and its Microsoft 365 Apps installation:

 

Detail pane of a devices, showing device name, memory, installed version of Windows and Office and moreDetail pane of a devices, showing device name, memory, installed version of Windows and Office and more

 

Maybe you are interested in getting a better understanding of which Component Object Model (COM)-based add-ins are installed in your environment or how many installs of different versions are out there:

 

Add-in view in Inventory, showing a list of add-ins and version breakdownAdd-in view in Inventory, showing a list of add-ins and version breakdown

 

Based on the same near-real time data from devices powering Inventory, you can also assess your security stance using the Security Update Status page:

 

Security Update Status page giving an overview how many devices are running the latest updates as well as a detailed breakdown by channelSecurity Update Status page giving an overview how many devices are running the latest updates as well as a detailed breakdown by channel

 

On a high level, you get an immediate insight into the share of devices which are already running the latest security update. You then can drill through this data by breaking the status down per channel or getting a full list of devices missing important security updates.

 

As mentioned before, this not only includes managed devices, but all devices which have a Microsoft 365 Apps installation that has been activated and used by an Azure Active Directory (AAD) user from your tenant. This way, you could also identify Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD), which would pose a risk to your tenant by missing important security updates.

 

From our early adopters

Since Ignite 2020, when these features were released into preview, our engineering and Microsoft 365 Apps Ranger teams have partnered with customers around the world, ranging in size from 10,000 to 300,000 seats across the enterprise and education spaces. While we shaped and improved the service during the preview phase, we consistently heard the following feedback from those early adopters:

 

Putting the new Inventory as well as the Security Update Status feature to work is as easy as can be. As true cloud services, there is no need to set up on-premises infrastructure, deploy software agents or policies to devices. Within minutes after the activation, admins were able to see the inventory populate automatically. Leveraging the unified integration into the Office product, it can be run side-by-side with other inventory solutions. For example, a device can report to Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager while the Microsoft 365 Apps installation reports its inventory directly to the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center.

 

The second important aspect was that Inventory, as well as the Security Update Status page, are specifically tailored to the Microsoft 365 Apps and are available in one place. Instead of having to build custom reports in a management solution which might be operated and owned by another team, the admin team owning the Microsoft 365 Apps get pre-build reports which they can access at any time.

 

Finally, customers valued the deep insights into which add-ins and versions are installed on devices. Often, add-ins can influence the user experience dramatically when it comes to performance and stability of the Microsoft 365 Apps. Several customers used this data to consolidate a wide version spread for an add-in or kicked off uninstall campaigns for add-ins which are out of support and should no longer be used.

 

Get started today

We encourage you to start evaluating the Inventory and the Security Update Status page. It only takes a few minutes to enable the new feature. It does not block other management solutions and the registration into Inventory is silent to the user. Just navigate to the Inventory overview page, enable the feature and see devices trickle in within minutes. To learn more, check out our documentation or watch the video from Ignite.

 

This is just the starting point

Today, there are more than 18 million devices registered into Inventory. We’ve gotten overwhelmingly positive feedback on today’s capabilities, but we’re not stopping anytime soon . We are working on even more features built on top of Inventory, like security vulnerability reporting, historical uptake trends for the Security Update Status, insights into add-in usage as well as cross-update channel comparisons, to name a few.

10 Comments
Occasional Contributor

Hello @Martin Nothnagel ,

when can we expect to see Visio and Project in the App Health / App metrics ?

thanks,
Stefan

Established Member

Great tool, highly recommended!

Microsoft

@Stefan Farnik Thanks for the feedback. At the moment we cannot offer a timeline for the addition of Visio and Project insights to Microsoft 365 Apps health but we are looking into it.  

Occasional Contributor

Hello There,

What about the inventory of Apps Usage Reports. We as an admin, we love to see the percentage of usage of the rollout o365 Apps.

 

Regards 

Great. Now give us Graph API endpoints to access this please :)

Occasional Visitor

Hi,

It will be any way to export the inventory using powershell?

Also it will be very useful be able to export the OneDrive Sync report. There is any date for this feature?

Contributor

@Martin Nothnagel, it seems your Security Update Status is outdated and shows customers a wrong information.  

Currently the Security Update Status has a state from 13. July.

 

TobiasAsbck_0-1626202974805.png

 

Based on your update page https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/officeupdates/microsoft365-apps-security-updates your latest update for Current Channel is Version 2106 (Build 14131.20320). That is wrong. The latest update for Current Channel is 16.0.14228.20070, released 9. July. The version is detected via Inventory. 

TobiasAsbck_1-1626203021144.png

For Security Update Status all clients with Office update 16.0.14228.20070 (released 9. July) have the status "Not up to date". This is clearly a misinformation to customers with the latest Office updates. 

Contributor

Ok, maybe the issue is that Security Update Status does not yet support Current Channel (Preview) update channel. Higher updates as the known updates are not up to date too. The 2107 is from the Preview channel. In a normal case I would expect the status Unknown.

Occasional Contributor

Hi @Martin Nothnagel  - many thanks for the useful article.  Are there any plans to support Windows Server 2016/9 'Guest OS' rather than just Windows 10?  We deploy using RDSH with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops and being able to see the various metrics provided from these installations would be invaluable.

Currently these Session Host Servers do not display in inventory.

Thanks

 

Janson

@Janson Ragon Technically inventory does not care about the underlying Windows OS, so it could be any version of Windows which can run the min version of the Microsoft 365 Apps. The reason you don't see your RDSH/Citrix instances is because those installs run in Shared Computer Activation mode, am I correct? Currently we don't cover this activation type of the M365Apps. I will check with the team if we have any changes to also cover instances in SCA mode in the pipeline.

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