Improving Admin Efficiency in Office 365

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Improving Admin Efficiency in Office 365

INTEGRATED POWERSHELL SCRIPTS FOR AUTOMATED TASKS IN OFFICE 365

This blog entry is a continuation of our series on improving administration efficiencies in Office 365.  This topic covers the integration of PowerShell Scripts within the 4Ward365 toolset in order to help automate administrator tasks.

Updates to user accounts in O365 is a common occurrence for administrators.  The free O365 Admin Center can be used to make regular changes to a few users, one at a time.  But what if you need to make 100’s or 1,000’s of user updates?

That is where the usefulness of PowerShell comes into play.  However, you first have to learn how to program in PowerShell before you can take advantage of its capabilities to perform mass updates or automate repetitive admin tasks.  That is why Microsoft explains that it is complementary to the O365 Admin Center and why they created a separate website to help train administrators.  http://powershell.office.com/

But the reality is that PowerShell is a complicated infrastructure management method and O365 is not just one platform where PowerShell is concerned.

There are multiple connection methods to perform different tasks within O365 as you can see from one of Microsoft’s support postings on automating management tasks with PowerShell:

From the O365 administrators that we have talked with the consensus is that PowerShell is NOT something for the rookie admin, but is more amenable to script developers.

That is why we have integrated the most useful PowerShell scripts into our 4Ward365 solution interface.  Administrators who want to select 100+ users and utilize a PowerShell script to update them all, just need to perform a simple click within the “Actions” drop-down menu.  No script development is required.

Office 365 management-wizard

To help ease the burden on administrators we have included all PowerShell script actions that we could think of within the management section of our 4Ward365 solution, and we continue to integrate more PowerShell scripts over time based on requests from our partner community and existing customers.

A perfect example is the bulk operation to “Change Mailbox Policies”.  If you want to restrict some users from creating groups, then you can use a PowerShell command to set this policy to “$false”.  Set-OwaMailboxPolicy -Identity test.com\OwaMailboxPolicy-Default -GroupCreationEnabled $false

But the tricky part is getting the correct grouping of user accounts via PowerShell and then running that script line on the listing. From within the 4Ward365 console screen you just filter the list of users down to the ones you want to select and then use the drop-down actions button to choose the PowerShell script you want to run.  That’s all there is to it.  In just a minute you can perform these type of PowerShell enabled bulk operations on hundreds of accounts in your environment.

Office 365 distribution groupoffice 365 management license

…And don’t forget: in a mobile world, using Powershell on mobile devices is quite difficult, while 4ward365 is the perfect solution anywhere and on any device!

If you are interested in finding out more about our 4ward365 solution and how it can cut your Office365 administration time in half or more, please sign up for one of our upcoming on-line demonstration webcasts, or contact us.

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4ward365 provides enterprises and Microsoft partners the ability to manage, control and obtain valuable information on all aspects of their Microsoft Office 365 investment.