Office 365 Admin: Overview of Capabilities

Tags: ,

Office 365 is a cloud-based service from Microsoft aimed at replacing old on-premise solutions with SaaS (software as a service) policy. The newest platform turned out to be one of the fastest-selling products for the company as the new solution is applicable to small and medium sized businesses and large companies alike. Among the key features of Office 365, a few are especially worth mentioning, like scalability, flexibility and administration simplicity. Today we will focus on the last one to see how you can utilize the Office 365 Admin application.

The State of Cloud

As mentioned before, Office 365 is aimed at replacing on-premise services but this doesn’t mean that Microsoft demands to abandon them straight away. One of the undisputed strengths of Admin Center is that you are now able to control the entire environment that is linked to Office 365. That includes SharePoint Server, Lync 2013, and Exchange Server. That is because we are currently in a transition period, where cloud-based platforms become more and more popular but the existing on-premise infrastructure is valuable too and takes too much of the entire web to be just left behind overnight. So Microsoft still gives customers all the means necessary to run and administrate the old environment but at the same time it slowly uses Office 365 to absorb old parts like SharePoint in the long run.

Office 365 Admin App

But what is Admin Center anyway? To those of you who don’t know, it is an interconnection of all sectors of an IT infrastructure from which all the license management, subscriptions, domains, groups, accounts and other parts are managed. It’s like a headquarters for everything IT related.

So now that we got the basics out of the way, we can talk about Office 365 administration features for mobile devices.

Although Office 365 is a Microsoft product, the new application is available on all major mobile operating systems. Moreover, the Windows Phone 8 version has absolutely the same set of features as iOS or Android versions. So regardless of a smartphone preference the administrator will always have the same capabilities.

So what the new app can do and why should anyone care? First, let’s answer why we need this app. The application allows you to ignore such thing as Browser compatibility. With the well-executed app, administrators can perform their duties from anywhere.

Office 365 Admin: Features and Capabilities

Now, back to the first part of the question, what can the app do? Unfortunately, it’s not as brilliant as we’d like it to be. It doesn’t provide a full set of administrator features but it does allow you to manage most of urgent issues like:

  • User management – the most simple and one of the most important duties of an administrator is to add, edit, delete or block users.
  • Licenses assignment – give out new licenses and cancel the old ones.
  • Password resetting – this is pretty straightforward, now admins can give out new passwords from a mobile phone.
  • Notifications – the feature allows to set up alerts and messages regarding Office 365 environment straight to your mobile device.
  • Message center access – allows to view all the messages on a mobile device.
  • Microsoft Support service contact – administrators can now contact customer support immediately from the application.

Plus the AAD (Azure Active Directory) Multi-Factor Authentication is also supported in the application. What does that mean? It means that you can setup a PIN code for additional security in case your mobile device is stolen or missing.

These are not all the features of Office 365 Admin but rather the most important that we thought are worth mentioning.

What Changed

This is a great step forward from what initially was offered in the application. At first, it was only useful to stay up to date with Office 365 and it was no more than an RSS reader. Now the application presents quite an impressive list of features that can all be used from your mobile device and therefore no longer require the presence of an administrator at all times, which lifts a great burden from the shoulders of any organization. Office 365 Admin is yet another reason, now from administrator’s point of view, to switch from on-premise systems to the cloud. If you are interested in migrating your IT infrastructure to Office 365, then you can contact us at Digital Design. We will be happy to assist you in upgrading your environment to the cloud or hybrid status.