Beyond the console: 3 supplements for Office 365 admins

Office 365 provides the standard Office 365 Admins Center where you can perform most tasks. But you may require something different, such as a mobile, command-line, or third-party tool. There is value in versatility.

In some cases a mobile app is better for on-the-go IT admins. At other times, you need to get into the belly of the beast and may prefer PowerShell for the task. And on occasion, the standard Microsoft tool simply doesn’t cut it.

For example, while the Office 365 Admin Center can perform most administrative tasks (like setting up users and groups, running reports and health checks, and finding shortcut links to the most common tasks), it doesn’t provide every setting. Granted, for more specific administrative management, you use one of the admin centers for Exchange, Skype for Business, SharePoint, Yammer, Security and Compliance, and, as shown in Figure 1, Office 365 Admin Center. But you may prefer an alternative tool.

Office 365 Admin Center

Figure 1. The Office 365 Admin Center provides the standard web-based interface for working with Office 365 settings.

There are other tools and methods for working with Office 365 beyond the admin centers. Let’s look at three, which I chose because they each provide a little something the Office 365 admin center doesn’t.