GSX Blog

The changing role of Office 365 Administrators

Posted by Juliette Ollagnier on Thu, May 19, 2016

Admin.jpgIf your organization has made the move to Office 365, then you’re already well aware of the numerous benefits afforded by the cloud, including flexibility, scalability, and reliability — not to mention significant cost savings. However, just because you’ve survived the migration process doesn’t mean your organization will automatically reap the maximum benefits. You should be concerned with making all and any necessary adjustments to ensure that your resources are being optimized, and overall run-and-maintain costs are truly being reduced.

As an IT admin, you need to be able to measure specific aspects of your deployment in order to guarantee that your investment has been returned — whether the return is financial or through increased performance, or (ideally) both. In order to do this, you need to have full visibility into your environment, how resources are being used (or not used), and an efficient way of troubleshooting in the event of an issue.

Office 365 does not come with any useful reporting capabilities built-in. While the necessary data exists, there simply isn’t any way to access it in the Portal. The only two ways Microsoft offers are by manual retrieval through PowerShell commands or native reports. These methods are not only time consuming, but don’t even present the data in a way that is useful. And naturally, you’d expect that various departments in your organization would want different kinds of relevant data — e.g., perhaps your finance department needs end user adoption statistics, or HR wants details on license usage. They’d have no way to access this data themselves, so every request would have to run through an IT admin with PowerShell skills. The other problem is data retention time. Microsoft only allows you to retrieve data for up to 180 days. That’s little more than a snapshot in the life of an organization, and this makes it impossible for you to track meaningful trends over time or even calculate ROI.

So what are some of the key capabilities you should look for?

While there may be specific requirements that are high priority for your particular organization, there are a number of metrics and insights that most companies would benefit from. For example, monitoring the service quality delivered to the end user is critical to business performance, and you’ll want to be able to anticipate, detect, diagnose, and fix latency problems as proactively as possible. If there are bad configurations that are leading to bottlenecks in your organization’s infrastructure, you’ll want to pinpoint them before they start to wreak havoc on your business operations. Furthermore, your organization may be located in multiple offices around the world, so you’ll need to be able to streamline the management and monitoring easily and effectively. 

GSX Monitor & Analyzer is the solution of choice for admins looking to optimize their organization’s resources and infrastructure. By automatically performing synthetic transactions, GSX is able to determine the service levels of an application from an end-user perspective. This includes actions such as opening a mailbox, creating a folder, performing a task, sending an email etc. And when it comes to network latency, one of the biggest headaches is in identifying the root cause of the issue. Is it a Microsoft datacenter issue? An issue with your ISP? Or is your own network to blame? To quickly answer this question and drastically reduce the time to repair any performance or unavailability incident, GSX tests the entire network between the user and the cloud service so you can pinpoint the issue right away.

All of this data is available and visible via a customizable web dashboard that enables automatic performance comparison between critical sites over time. You can now justify the service delivered at the end user location, compare it from location to location, and quickly identify any bottlenecks in your infrastructure organization — at the datacenter level and at the local network level.

Also, GSX 365 Usage is a simple to use web application that allows you to create reports about your Office 365 environment. It allows you to save money by identifying unused licenses and analyze how your cloud services are being used. There are 50 built-in reports designed to help you save money and maximize the value your organization get from Office 365.

In addition to these extensive insights, GSX 365 Enterprise Management provides you with everything you need to efficiently manage your IT environment and solves some of the major pain points of the Office 365 Portal. This includes the ability to manage massive numbers of users with the click of a button, as well as a streamlined and more secure help desk and support process. With all of these capabilities, IT admins will be empowered to avoid costly downtime and outages, and truly maximize your organization’s usage of the cloud.

To address this shift, we have released a white paper Reducing costs while guaranteeing end-user satisfaction.

In this white paper, you will learn:

  • Why your organization should make the move to Office 365
  • The importance of service quality monitoring, expertise management, and measuring your ROI
  • How to reduce costs associated with service management
  • How to reduce costs associated with day-to-day operations
  • How to enable your finance team to calculate your ROI on Office 365

To access the Office 365 Management White Paper, click here

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Tags: Office365, Office 365 monitoring, office 365 reporting