Making Sense of Exchange User Administration
The move to Office 365 and Exchange Online in particular, presents an interesting conundrum for the new IT administrator. With the consolidation of resources that comes along with a move to the cloud, the responsibility for administering and maintaining the environment is delegated to administrators who previously have had little to no experience with some of the services that are now under their purview. For example after moving to Office 365, Admins have to contend with managing their users, not only in SharePoint, but in Exchange Online as well. As companies reorganize, users onboard, transfer, and offboard, admins have a litany of tasks to perform in relation to the users’ email accounts including but not limited to:
- Creating Exchange Accounts/User Mailboxes
- Delegating Mailbox Quotas
- Setting Away/Out Of Office Messages
- Granting Managers Access to Mailboxes
- Setting Redirects for Users that have Offboarded
Performing all of these tasks requires that the new IT admin must spend a great deal of time in the Office 365 admin center or working in PowerShell. Creating Exchange User Mailboxes through the Office 365 admin center allows admins to create users individually through a wizard or in bulk using a CSV. Once a user's mailbox has been created, the admin can delegate mailbox quotas individually or in bulk by using the Exchange Online PowerShell.
Beyond creating mailboxes and delegating quotas, when users go on vacation, transfer departments, or leave the company, administrators must ensure that managers have the proper access to users mailboxes through the Exchange Admin Center (2013) or the Customer Management Portal (2010). They also have to make sure that the proper away messages and redirects are set through the Office 365 Admin Portal.
These tasks are only a sample of a much larger workload that awaits the new IT administrator when managing users in Office 365. Taking into account that these tasks, and the myriad others that have not been covered need to be performed in each siloed service within Office 365, it becomes clear that there needs to be a solution that bridges the gap between said services. Unfortunately, no such solution exists…at least not yet. Till it does, good documentation and a few helpful tips and tricks are the new IT administrator’s best friend.
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