7 Simple Tasks All New Office 365 Admins Should Learn

As a new Microsoft Office 365 admin, there are some critical Office 365 common admin tasks you need to know. There are the first tasks that you should learn about; the tasks that you’ll find the most common as you maintain and manage the system. This is a review of common and easy techniques that you should learn from Microsoft.

7 Simple Tasks All New Office 365 Admins Should Learn 

When you sign into your account, you’ll now have access to the Office 365 Admin Dashboard. It’s through this area that you’ll be able to complete most of your Office 365 common admin tasks.
  1. User Management

Your first administrative task should be learning how to create user accounts, setup user permissions, and reset user passwords. If your company intends on using Multi-Factor-Authentication, it will also be managed here. Enabling multi-factor instructs Office 365 to send a passcode to a user’s phone when they sign-on to Office 365 thus providing a second means to verify the user’s identity. At the heart of the Office 365 system are users and their accounts. Authentication services will help secure accounts whether used on a desktop or mobile device. Authentication is the process by which a user’s identity is validated. Users are managed in the Microsoft 365 Console under the ”Users” Admin Unit, and then by selecting the ”Active Users” section. To add users, click on the ”+” and fill in the relevant information. To manage and modify users, click on any user name.
  1. Contact Management

As an administrator, you’ll be able to create and manage contacts to make sure that people in your organization are able to immediately communicate with the outside people they need. For example, if your organization works with outside vendors, you may want to track their phone numbers and email address in the same place you do everyone else in your organization. You’ll manage contacts in the Microsoft 365 Console under Users Admin Unit. Being able to access shared contacts is partially what makes managing communication so effective.
  1. Resources & Shared Mailbox Management

Resource mailboxes fall into two types have two types Equipment and Room mailboxes. Some administrators call Shared Mailboxes a type of resource also, but Shared Mailboxes are displayed along with normal user accounts by Microsoft. Equipment and Room mailboxes, however, are split off under their own heading in the Microsoft 365 admin interface. Administrators should understand the differences between these mailbox types and when to use them. Resource Mailboxes are ideal for allowing people within your organization to reserve resources like conference rooms, projectors and other physical items shared by the organization. Resource mailboxes are managed under the Microsoft 365 Console under Resources > Rooms & Equipment. Shared Mailboxes are most often used by a group of people that need a single place to collect email and often that email comes from outside of the organization like in the case with product or company feedback. Shared Mailboxes allow multiple people to add that mailbox to their list of mailboxes in Microsoft Outlook so they can simply click the name of the Shared Mailbox and see its content. Shared Mailboxes are managed under the Microsoft 365 Console under Active Users > Active Users.
  1. Office 365 Group Management

As a member of a group, users have access to collaboration resources to which the group has been assigned permissions. Such resources can include Microsoft Team, access to shared mailbox and shared calendars, Microsoft SharePoint sites, documents and much more. As an administrator, you will often be called upon to create groups for teams, so they can collaborate easily together. Resource permission assignments are done from the resource meaning you go to the resource, open the security settings of the resource and there assign the group the level of access you want. As a general rule, any group or user should only have the least amount permissions they absolutely need. Groups are managed through the Microsoft 365 Console under ”Groups,” where they can be added, modified, and deleted.
  1. Setting External Sharing Permission

As an administrator, external sharing permissions are dangerous; they can make it easier for data to be breached by a malicious user. Enable or disable external sharing for users and guest accounts, as this will give your organization more control over its important information. You can do this under the ”Settings” area of the administrative dashboard, under the category ”Services and Add-Ins.”
  1. External Guest Account Management

With an external guest account, people from outside your organization will be able to interact with your organization’s documents and information. Guest accounts do represent a security risk; it depends on your organization and its current security measures whether you want to use this feature. You can create a guest account automatically, as well as controlling the use of guest users in the settings. If you configure it, all users will be able to create guest accounts when sharing documents. Many companies find that sharing documents easily is a priority. This does make it easier, even though it may threaten the security of some information.
  1. Service Configuration Settings

As an administrator, one of the first things you should do is review the Microsoft Office 365 service settings. Under the ”Settings” section of the Administrative dashboard, there will be a ”Services” category. Here is where you can modify the settings of the services that are used throughout the platform. Here are a few settings you should be conscious of:
  • Mail. Mail settings include Microsoft’s spam and malware protection, as well as the ability to manage mail flow rules and audit mail usage. A Microsoft Office exchange administrator can control mail settings to improve security.
  • Sites. SharePoint sites are how users interact with each other on the Intranet. Your creation tools for the company’s intranet are accessed here. You can create new site collections and libraries.
  • Microsoft Updates. Microsoft Office 365 services and utilities need to be updated frequently to remain protected. Here’s where you’ll control your update schedule.
  • User Software. You can restrict certain Office 365 programs here, to maintain control over the user’s operations. If you want only basic programs, such as Microsoft Office, you can enable this here.
  • Passwords.  While password training goes a long way, it’s important to enforce password hygiene through settings. An administrator should make sure that employees need to change their passwords at intervals and need to maintain complex passwords.
Conclusion  With the above Office 365 common admin tasks, you should be able to manage most of Office 365’s core features. You’ll still need to follow things such as exchange online support tickets and the message center to manage Office 365, but the above contains the majority of the administrator role tasks. As a global administrator, it’s important that you be able to learn as much as you can about the Office 365 admin center—but you can’t be expected to learn everything at once. The above provides a good starting point and many of the features you’ll need to use throughout your career. A Microsoft partner can help you learn more.  

Read our Active Directory Management Tools guide to learn more about managing Active Directory with native and third-party tools.

Check out these relevant resources.

New Survey Finds...

Active Directory forest recovery not taken serious enough. See what else your peers had to say.