When your enterprise adopts Microsoft Office 365, it takes a powerful step towards better productivity, efficiency and collaboration. Yet to properly leverage the robust features of Office 365, you need to first understand all of its capabilities. A migration towards Office 365 begins with a solid understanding of its most important management tips.
To help, we’ve made a list of what we consider the most important tips for Office 365 management.
7 Office 365 Management Tips for Making the Most of Office 365 for Enterprise
- Expect to deal with a more complex management environment. Despite synchronization tools like Azure AD connect, you will have two distinct and disconnected environments to manage. Of course, there are many advantages to this: having on-premise and off-premise data protects your security and facilitates your operations. Nevertheless, it can lead to challenges with service health—your old business processes will need to be modified to this new environment. Your Help Desk will need to adapt to these systems, through new scripts, third party tools and revised processes.
- Make use of Microsoft Teams to grow end user collaboration. MS Teams provides a lot of robust, collaborative power, with its complete integration to the rest of the Office 365 business ecosystem. From Skype for Business to MS SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams can be used to consolidate all the information your team members need. Chat, file sharing and voice & video calling can all be initiated through the MS Teams console, and MS teams is able to easily link with many third-party add-in solutions to further extend functionality.
- Consider restricting the environment at first for new Office 365 users. Do not allow users to create Office 365 groups, new teams or even SharePoint sites. This will allow your employees to adapt to the new environment slowly. From the beginning, figure out how IT can provide the Office 365 service environment so that the environment does not become cluttered and confusing. Have a scheduled system for changes that will take place at intervals, and avoid naming groups, teams and sites similarly.
- Use reports to understand user activity and user adoption. Activity Reports in the Office 365 Admin Center or can help you identify who may need additional training, whose assigned licenses could be reassigned and even whose mailbox may benefit from a slim-down and purge of extremely large attachments. 3rd Party tools like Cayosoft’s free Hybrid Office 365 Reporting solution will give you key insights into how users are actually using the new features that they’ve been given.
- Enable end users to use OneDrive to access cloud drives via mobile devices. OneDrive is a very useful tool for employees who regularly need to work from home or to work on the go. Not only does it serve as a central repository for the user’s data files, but it also ensures that this data remains secured. A mobile device management strategy will also be needed to manage users working remotely, but otherwise, OneDrive will keep everything (work and personal) in a single, secured place.
- Consider 3rd party tools to cover gaps where there is missing functionality or where complex and potentially disruptive PowerShell scripts are needed for basic administration. If you need to automate repetitive tasks, perform bulk tasks or get additional capabilities (which are not available in the Office 365 admin center), 3rd party tools for Office 365 can help. There are a number of affordable products that allow you to take complete control over Office 365 system, automating mundane tasks, improving security and compliance of your tenant and freeing yourself up for other things.
- Visit the admin training portal to keep learning. There are resources available to help get you and your colleagues on the same page regarding cloud apps like Office 365, deployment and administration, and more. Every new system requires at least a little retraining, especially a system that is as complex and robust as Office 365. If you want to advance your administrator knowledge, you’ll need to be constantly learning about new tips and tricks.
Implementing Office 365 is the best step towards a new way of working. Focusing on collaboration and accessibility, Office 365 provides a robust and scalable environment through which employees can work together from anywhere in the world. Yet because of the increased complexity of the Office 365 infrastructure, it may take some time to figure out the new systems.
Working with the administrative portal, visiting the admin training portal and otherwise committing yourself to learning about the new systems can help—as can working with a managed, experienced partner who can ease your transition. The above Office 365 management techniques are a good starting point.