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Using apps on mobile devices to access the Office 365 admin center

Microsoft has provided apps for mobile devices (iOS, Android and Windows flavors are all available), which Office 365 administrators can use to access the Office 365 admin center. A video tutorial available from Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA), over MSDN’s Channel 9, includes a demonstration of how the app can be used to check the health of Office 365 services from a smartphone running Windows Phone 8.1 and on an iOS iPad tablet. This a third post with comments on this video tutorial, which is titled Office 365 Troubleshooting: (01) Troubleshooting the Office 365 Service.

We tested app performance on an Android device, and on a Lumia 925 running Windows Phone 8.1. We’re pleased to report the functionality is absolutely the same on both platforms. The only difference we noted was an option to save our account password on the Lumia. We couldn’t find the option on our LG Android D415 smartphone.

The video also includes a demonstration of running the Office 365 Management Pack for System Center. This segment of the video should be of interest to any organization considering a hybrid computing scenario. The fact the management pack can be plugged into System Center should be a definite plus. Any network administrators will be able to use the management pack to monitor:

  • Office 365 subscriptions
  • the health of Office 365 services
  • “[a]ctive/resolved incidents”
  • and “[m]essage center communications”

The Office 365 plug ins for System Center can be found nested within the vertical feature nav on the left hand side of the System Center console (I had to full screen the video to make out the location of the plug ins within the feature nav). All of the management features of the management pack are displayed on a single screen, which can be accessed via a click on the “Office 365” feature in the nav.

The benefit of using the management pack with System Center also includes an opportunity for administrators to gain a pro-active position with regards to any anomalies. Curtis Sawin explains why this is the case, and illustrates how administrators can quickly notify users of any outages directly from System Center (perhaps via worklow?), which is not the case with any of the Office 365 amin apps.

©2014, Ira Michael Blonder & Rehmani Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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