Office 365 is a powerful enterprise solution, with an impressive lineup of fully integrated communication, collaboration, and productivity features. And with different plans to suit different company sizes and needs, it’s no wonder that businesses large and small are taking advantage of Office 365.
The ability to deploy any number of mailboxes and other objects into the cloud confers a great deal of flexibility and scalability, but it also means that you relinquish a lot of control over these objects to Microsoft, and have very little insight into what’s going on under the hood.
Sure, Office 365 comes with built-in monitoring and reporting tools, but these don’t provide enough information to take actions when something unexpected occurs.
If you manage IT for your organization, you need to be well-aware of the status of your services at all times — not only to avoid downtime and outages, but to make sure your infrastructure is secure, devices are compliant, and resources are being allocated as efficiently as possible. Proper monitoring of your Office 365 environment will save you a lot of time and money in the long run, and there are plenty of third-party vendors that provide the tools necessary to do this. Here is an interesting article that lists some interesting tools to report on Office 365 done by Tony redmond, on Windows IT Pro.
So with all the options out there, what should you look for?
There are a few key features that almost all organizations will benefit from. For instance, the ability to identify unused licenses can save you money off the bat. You’ll want to be able to monitor all and any number of devices — including mobile — and ensure compliancy with your organizational security policies, as well as proactively identify potential security risks. Having a better understanding of your employees’ day-to-day and long term usage trends will empower you with knowledge that can lead to cost savings for your company.
In addition to these features, it’s imperative that your reporting tool is a) fully scalable and b) painless to use. GSX 365 Usage, for instance, is a web application that’s simple enough for a small organization to implement, but powerful enough to get valuable data’s from thousands of users.
It allows you to create detailed custom reports about your entire Office 365 environment, including usage, licensing, security, and compliance, and can automatically deliver these via email in PDF or CSV format.
This includes reporting and graphs for licensing, mail traffic, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype For Business, and more.
Many people don’t realize that having a better understanding of usage trends can ultimately save their organization money. If you have greater insight into how your cloud services are being consumed, including storage and license allocation, you can better distribute resources to where are actually needed. This is especially true for storage — if you’re paying by the gigabyte, why waste money on space that’s unused or taken up by stale content? GSX 365 Usage can identify inactive users and unused licenses for you, and pinpoint storage quotas at the click of a button.
And of course, proactively addressing security and device compliance issues will absolutely save you time and money in the long run. Wouldn’t you prefer to stop issues before they happen?
GSX 365 Usage enables you audit all devices in your environment for compliance, and will alert you the minute any user demonstrates activity that violates your organization’s policies. And with clear visibility of user permissions and privileges, you can be sure that your employees have access to exactly what they need and not more.
The bottom line is that a comprehensive solution will absolutely be crucial to your bottom line.
It boils down to saving your organization money on its day-to-day operations, and avoiding additional costs by proactively addressing issues before they impact your business.