Skip to content

Office 365 Management Tools

Managing your organization’s Office 365 environment is essential for maintaining secure and policy-compliant domains. With efficient management, you can have an organized domain and rely on policies to alert you when a problem arises.

There are two Office 365 management tools provided by Microsoft that help admins manage their organization’s domains. These are the Admin Center and the Microsoft System Center. In addition to these, third-party vendors also provide management solutions for Office 365. Third-party Office 365 management tools provide more functionality in many key areas of managing Office 365 environments.

Office 365 Management Tools – Admin Center

If you are an Administrator, when you log into your Office 365 account, you get access to the Admin Center. The Admin Center has a navigation panel on the left side of the screen that allows you to manage different areas of your Office 365 environment. You will frequently find yourself using the navigation panel to manage settings inside the Users, Domains, Billing, Service Settings, and Admin menus.

For small and midsized business licenses, the Dashboard page gives you links to common tasks like setup, adding users, billing, and managing domains. For Enterprise level licenses, you can access a list of common tasks from the right top corner of your page. Using the navigational panel, you can manage more common tasks such as setting policies for Mail and Passwords, creating groups and shared mailboxes, purchasing new licenses for new accounts, purchasing subscriptions to more Office 365 services, etc.

The Admin menu on the navigational panel can be used to access the separate admin centers for Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business and other Office 365 apps. This allows you more granular management and access to all settings of those services.

Office 365 Management Tools – Microsoft System Center

The Microsoft Service Center is an additional Office 365 management tool. The Service Center includes components like the Operations Manager, Configuration Manager and Data Protection Manager that IT Admins can use to gain insight into the state of your organization’s IT structure, policies and processes. Using this information, your IT department can manage secure systems and automate operations within your Office 365 environment.

Office 365 Management Tools – Third-Party Options

As mentioned before, management solutions provided by third-party vendors often provide more functionality than the native Office 365 management tools. Some third-party tools are specific to certain Office 365 apps. For example, a third-party vendor can provide a tool just for managing your organization’s SharePoint sites, users, groups and policies. Third-party vendors can also provide management tools for your entire Office 365 environment.

Third-party Office 365 management tools generally provide a better user-experience by providing management platforms that can be customized. They may let you build custom policies and set-up alerts and notifications with custom parameters. They may also provide a more secure and thorough process of provisioning users by allowing you to add/remove them from groups that define their user roles and see what areas they have access to at all times. Deprovisioning users can also be a better experience with third-party Office 365 management tools as they can allow you to see deleted users who may still be in the system and files they may have access to. Third-party management tools come with a wide-range of capabilities allowing you to pick solutions that fit your organization’s needs.