OneDrive (the service formally known as SkyDrive) can be one of the greatest assets that a small/mid size organization has! With just a bit of setup and planning, any IT department can have hosted storage that is available offline and syncs across any device! Your users will get 7GB of storage each for free!In this guide, we will cover deploying OneDrive with Group Policy or SCCM. At the end, you will also find a training template that you can use with your staff.
To get started, you must first have a OneDrive Account. If you don’t have one, take two minutes and sign up here. Once signed up, you can download the PC Sync app. Because we will deploy this app, save it to a network location and ensure that domain computers have read/execute.
Preparing Your OneDrive GPO
We will use Group Policy to deploy the OneDrive PC sync app. Create a new GPO named APP_OneDrive. Ensure that any Windows 8/8.1 machines do not get this GPO. The OneDrive syncing is already built into 8+. Edit the GPO and add in the following as a shutdown script:
if exist "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SkyDrive\SkyDriveSetup.exe" goto end
if not exist "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SkyDrive\SkyDriveSetup.exe" goto Install
If you are deploying to x64 machines, you will need to modify the if exist conditions to point to Program Files (x86). Under the :Install section, you will also need to change the skydrivesetup.exe path. Link your GPO to a test OU and run a GPUpdate. On shutdown, OneDrive will install for the computer.
Helping Your Users Migrate to OneDrive
Deploying OneDrive is easy, getting your users to adopt it takes a bit more work! In our environment, we were successful by mixing constant pestering with storage quota limits. When we first introduced OneDrive as a storage option, we touted the benefits above and provided our users with this simple setup guide. We emailed our users about once a month to show different benefits (like Office Web apps).
Next, we tightened our storage quotas and stopped giving users near unlimited space. When a user started to approach their quota limit, we used the storage quota script to persuade our users to move personal pictures, documents, etc to SkyDrive. That script is in the storage quota limit link above.
Finally, we started pushing the Favorites location in Windows Explorer as a location to pin often used shortcuts. Because our users loved the Favorites location and SkyDrive/OneDrive placed a shortcut there, many users were more comfortable using SkyDrive/OneDrive.
This combination helped us get the vast majority of our users setup on SkyDrive. As a side benefit, we stopped having requests to install other syncing apps like DropBox. If you like the benefits of OneDrive but prefer to keep things in house, you can also make use of Work Folders. Once we’ve finished rolling out Work Folders in our environment, I hope to post some tips to make your rollouts even easier.
If you have deployed OneDrive/SkyDrive in your environment, how did it go? How did you get your users to actually use it? Did you run into any problems like our 8.1 Group Policy issues?