Licensing issues with Office 365

New Contributor II

Hi all, I am new to Jamf Nation (and providing assistance to this school) but thought I would reach out to this great resource to see what more experienced Jamf support folks think of my school's MS issue and offer solutions.

I work at a college that supports about 150 Macs, not joined to AD / all using a generic student account. All students have O365 accounts and access email and OneDrive data via web browser. MS Office (Word, Powerpoint, Excel) are deployed to the Macs via Apple School Manager, however, these apps require students to login with their O365 credentials to detect licensing. This is often cumbersome for students and faculty, especially since these are shared computers. So far as I can tell, we cannot do device based licensing for MS Office, and are further limited by not having AD / Azure AD setup. My questions are:

Is there something that we should explore to get MS Office apps via Mac App Store and Apple School Manager licensing more streamlined on our Macs, such as AD implementation, etc?

Would it make more sense to get licenses for MS Office 2019, build a package and use the serializer to distribute licenses instead?

Thank you in advance for any insight you can provide.


New Contributor II

Hi there, Any input?

New Contributor III

Hi Skypointer,
I have been using JAMF for a few years now at our college. While I am certain that others can offer better solutions, I can only offer you what my setup has been in our labs. Our computers are AD joined, and we are working towards Azure AD. We have moved to Office365 in our Windows labs successfully. However, I am still using Office 2019 with the volume serializer in our Mac labs. It works fine, and it sounds like it would solve the issue of students and faculty having to login to the individual Office apps. If you have access to this, it may be worth a try.
At some point I will need to begin to move to Office 365 for the Mac labs. I searched a little bit a while back and came across a script on GitHub that may work in our environment since users logon and off with their AD credentials.
I never really pursued it, but others may have been able to incorporate it into their environment (Although it looks like it would require the user to logon and off. Not sure if that would work in your environment. Hope this helps.

New Contributor II

Thank you for the reply, smcmjeff. I appreciate the input! We are far from AD implementation, so Office 2019 may be our best bet at this time.


In your environment yes you should be using the Volume License Purchase. You don't even need to package up the installers as Microsoft have been very kind to make them available via

Then you just need to download the volume license activator from your volume license portal. Put the two installers together into a policy and then you have your install

Another alternative you could use. Is deploy web links to O365 and package them up and put them in the Applications folder. I have done this for shared laptops with very little space. Saves users opening outlook and downloading all their email to machine and filling up the space