Updated: 2007-03-29

Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 is a remote management tool that enables system administrators to deploy desktops, servers, and devices in medium and large organizations. When combined with the new deployment tools in the 2007 Microsoft Office system, SMS 2003 provides a flexible solution for deploying and managing Office 2007 applications in network environments.

Compared to other deployment tools, such as Group Policy Software Installation, SMS provides one of the most flexible means to deploy software on a network. By using SMS, system administrators can target specific users or systems, elevate user rights for installation, specify when an installation can take place, specify user interaction levels, control restarts, and more. You can use SMS 2003 to deploy new versions of the 2007 Office system to users or computers within an organization on a specific basis—for example, initially to a pilot group, and then later to more departments and general users. It is also possible to customize those installations to coexist with previous versions of Microsoft Office.

In addition, the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) within SMS 2003 can significantly reduce the demands on network bandwidth when you install the 2007 Office system. BITS uses spare network capacity to transfer SMS packages to client computers, which the client computers then cache locally for later installation.

To learn more about using SMS 2003 to deploy the 2007 Office system, see Deploying the 2007 Microsoft Office System with Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 R2 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=78542&clcid=0x409) and Deploying the 2007 Office System at Microsoft (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=86626&clcid=0x409).