GSX Blog

Product Tips: How To identify Power User on Exchange Online

Posted by Olivier Raynaut on Wed, Sep 23, 2015

Some users are dropping content into the site willy-nilly. For others, it takes days or weeks to find how to access to anything. The structure is all wrong, making it impossible to find anything. In short, the so-called power user in Office 365, or even on Exchange online, might easily become an IT administrator’s or manager’s worst nightmare.

In a perfect word, a true power user has a near-admin level of access rights, allowing him or her to manage access, add new lists and libraries, and reorganize content. However, the most common mistake made by site admins is misunderstanding permission inheritance and privilege (the concept that rights granted to an object higher up in a hierarchy also apply to the objects below it).

Ergo, if you give users contributor rights at the site level, they have them in all of the lists and libraries, too, as well as in groups. If you put users in a group, they, then, inherit all of the rights the Group has, and so forth. That’s where things might get complicated.

The main rookie mistake Office 365 power users make is ignoring groups and granting users direct access to lists and libraries. This breaks inheritance and means the system will eventually have different lists or users with different rights on all of your content containers.

Okay, back to square one. Identity true power users.

On Exchange, on-premises, and even in Office 365, it is important to monitor end users’ behavior. Any strange behavior can lead to storage or performance issues, which will impact the messaging service, altogether. False power users suck up bandwidth, and ultimately, increase the cost of ownership. For the true power user, this causes potentially severe productivity issues.

Let’s identity who is whom. False power users raise specific issues, such as:

  • Making too many connections because of multiple applications or too many devices;
  • Collaborating on documents by attaching local documents to their emails.;
  • Receiving too much spam.

Identifying true power users will help reduce storage costs and keep infrastructure in good shape, providing good performance. Besides, an indirect impact of knowing who is whom will increase end users’ productivity, while bad habits in terms or document storage and collaboration can be addressed.

How an administrator can address this issue?

Well, it is possible to review all of the IIS logs or message tracking in order to find top consumers. These can be accessed by PowerShell or with tools like Exmon or LogParser from Microsoft. However, depending on the number of users, these methods can be immensely time-consuming. Besides, it’s not particularly user friendly, especially if you need to address privacy rights within a company, and so on.

So, the monitoring and analyzing experts at GSX Solutions scratched their heads and came up with an elegant solution: configurable, conditional spot-check reports.

Configurable spot-check reports are based on conditions and filters to assure the smooth management of on-premises and cloud collaborative deployments. GSX can really help to keep an eye on top users, and analyze what exactly is causing performance impact or storage growth.

These spot-check reports can easily be configured within GSX to alert admins or to review top consumers based on mailbox size, number of items, last contact date, number of devices accessing the mailbox, and so forth. Now, not only can IT managers pinpoint devices that are non-compliant with company policies, but they can also prevent users from installing unauthorized applications which suck up bandwidth.

Examples of easy reports to pull would be the top 10 largest mailboxes or pinpointing all users who attach a lot of documents. By combining the number of items and the actual sizes of mailboxes, GSX can approximate the average item size and identify users who tend to share a lot of documents through emails.


Moreover, users with a high number of items are usually users who are hit by the most spam.


To pinpoint devices, the admin can simply request a screenshot of multiple devices. With this activity filter, an admin can easily identify single users who make multiple connections to their mailboxes at close intervals, therefore causing extra traffic and resource consumption on the server.


Problem solved, time saved and IT managers like their jobs a lot better!

The final winning aspect about this spot check report feature is that it’s really easy to configure. Once set up, the results of these checks are sent monthly, weekly or daily to the administrator’s mailbox. There is no need to spend time configuring specific PowerShell commands. This can directly help to solve businesses’ needs to reduce costs, increase productivity, and keep everyone confident.


Identify Power Users in a month click

Try it now and set the report your need to reduce your storage cost



Tags: Cloud, Office365, Exchange Online, Product tips, Monitoring cloud, Storage