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Office 365 management tips for Exchange administrators

Going to the cloud can alleviate a lot of mundane duties, but there are still common tasks required for managing Office 365.

Microsoft's Office 365 suite is the hosted, online version of Microsoft Office. It can be accessed from any device and eliminates certain management tasks, such as patching and applying updates. However, there are still several aspects of Office 365 management that Exchange administrators need to be aware of, including managing user accounts and group memberships. Admins can use services such as Active Directory and PowerShell to ease Office 365 management tasks.

Using Active Directory for Office 365 management

Enterprises that have migrated to the cloud can use Active Directory (AD) to manage certain aspects of Office 365, such as group memberships. Organizations can request a free hybrid server license from Microsoft to install a dedicated copy of Exchange to use its management tools.

How to manage Office 365 user accounts

Administrators have three options for establishing Office 365 user accounts, including Active Directory synchronization. Each has pros and cons, and admins will need to decide which option is best for user account migration and management.

Manage Office 365 and Exchange Online with PowerShell

Administrators have three options for establishing Office 365 user accounts, including Active Directory synchronization.

Exchange administrators with PowerShell experience can use the scripting language to complete various tasks, such as making bulk changes quickly through the command line. But there are two prerequisites that need to be installed first to establish a connection between PowerShell and Office 365 or Exchange Online.

Managing Office 365 and Exchange Online with Microsoft EMS

Enterprises that have migrated to Office 365 -- or plan to migrate -- can benefit from Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), which includes tools for mobile device management and threat detection. It's important for organizations to explore EMS features first and compare them to native Office 365 capabilities before buying a subscription.

ADFS vs. Password Sync for Office 365 identity management

Exchange administrators can use either Active Directory Federated Services or DirSync's Password Sync to manage Office 365 identities. Both offer similar end-user experiences, but there are configuration differences that admins should consider before choosing one over the other.

Next Steps

How to manage Office 365 identities with an ADFS server

Office 365 MDM protects user devices

Useful Exchange, Office 365 apps

This was last published in June 2016

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