Deploying common files to users in Office 365

We are using Office 365 for Mid-Size Business and would like to deploy a range of common files, such as word templates, company logos to our users.  They need to end up in a specified location on the users PC.

The ideal being that whenever the files change they can be deployed automatically by a administrator to a specified location on each persons PC.

I have tried SkyDrive Pro, linked to a SharePoint Document Folder, but I am not sure if it has been designed for this kind of task and it does seem restrictive in whereabouts is places files and in many instances likes to find the file 'in the cloud' instead of on the local machine.

Is this the recommended way of deploying files with Office 365 and if so I would appreciate any advice as to how to set it up.

Many thanks
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Adam BrownConnect With a Mentor Sr Solutions ArchitectCommented:
With Office 365, you won't really be able to "deploy" the files out to the users. You can have the files stored in the cloud and the users can access them through the SkyDrive application as long as that is connected to your Office 365 SkyDrive Pro storage, though. Each of the users' computers will have to have the SkyDrive application installed to access the files, or log in to the Office 365 portal, where the files will be visible in SkyDrive. By default, the SkyDrive application will create a local copy of all the files in the cloud locally, but this can be limited if you want. To update, your users would need to connect. The files are typically cached to your local user profile in the skydrive directory if you use that.

You can also use sharepoint to give users access to files, but if they don't have internet access at all times, they would need to use the Sharepoint workspaces tool that's included in most of the Office suites to sync data to a local drive.

Ultimately, there really isn't a way to *force* users to receive data that is stored in Office 365 unless you have an Active Directory Domain Controller on your local network. That's what your SBS 2003 server was doing, so if you get rid of that server, you won't have any kind of centralized control over how your computers function. You can set local policies on the computers, but those have to be changed on a per computer basis. If you want to be 100% cloud, you'll have to deal with the limitations of cloud services. Cloud is still very new and there are a lot of limitations to deal with. A few years from now you may be able to have the level of control you want, but it just isn't quite there yet. If you were to get a Server 2008 or 2012 installed on your network as a Domain Controller, you could deploy the files as stated above or use group policy to deploy the SkyDrive application with its appropriate settings, but without an Active Directory infrastructure in place, there's no easy way to do what you want.

For info, the skydrive app is available here: and is available for windows 7 and 8.
Vasil Michev (MVP)Commented:
Why not simply use GPO/preferences? Or put them on a network share?

Skydrive Pro/SharePoint Online is indeed very restrictive with this, you don't have any automated way to import files directly into libraries/personal storage. There are some third party products, but they cost a lot.
spganonAuthor Commented:
thanks for the response.

Our people are in several geographic locations and often work off-line.  We have recently moved away from a very old MS SBS 2003 system to Office 365.  Using the old MS SB 2003 system maybe an option, but we are planning on decommissioning this soon and have not yet decided on a replacement system.

I was hoping to be able to leverage some aspect of the Office 365 service to do this.  I was hoping that managing and deploying the Office templates etc required to make Office 365 work was catered for in the Office 365 service.

I would look at Intune for this - it is cloud based computer management, but carries a separate cost. That is the cloud equivalent of some (not all) of the things you had in SBS 2003.
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