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i.e. not ask every user to run an installer to put it on their machine?

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You can.

So for MG-Picker Studio v2, there is a Maya plug-in version and a standalone version.

The Maya plug-in version is what animators use for animating,  the standalone version is mainly for design.

The Maya version comes with all the features the standalone version has, plus Maya features. The standalone version is handy for designing as you don't need to start Maya just to change the visual design.

 For the standalone version, you put the program file in a central, read-only location and give the user the path to the executable. They just run it like running other standalone programs.

 For the Maya plug-in version, you can also choose to store the program files in a central, read-only location, but for each Maya on the user's machine, they need to install two shelf buttons for the convenience of launching the tool in Maya, check more information here:

If you've already got an in-house tool launching framework, you can wrap the launch mel code with your stuff.