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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Introduction for Office 365 administrators

Welcome to Microsoft Office 365 for enterprises. This article provides an overview of where and how to start managing the services and features in Office 365, including user accounts and licenses, domain settings, and migration of existing email.

In this article

Learn about Office 365

Would you like to learn more about the services available to you and your users before you start your administration tasks?
  • Read the Quick Start Guide, which provides an introduction to basic tasks that you and your users can do in Office 365, such as sharing documents and setting up Microsoft Office desktop productivity applications.
  • Watch the tour for Office 365 administrators to get an overview of Office 365 from an administrator’s perspective.
  • Watch the tour for Office 365 users to get on overview of Office 365 from a user’s perspective.

Explore the portal

Familiarize yourself with the Office 365 portal by clicking the links in the header and in the navigation pane.
The header provides the following links to your services and access to administrator functionality:
  • Home: The Home page provides downloads your users will need to connect their desktop computers to Office 365, as well as access to the different Office 365 services. 
  • Outlook: The Outlook link provides direct access to your Inbox in Microsoft Outlook Web App. From there, you can send email, view your calendar, or manage organization-wide email settings.
  • Team Site: The Team Site link provides access to your organization’s default Microsoft SharePoint Online team site and shared documents, as designated by your SharePoint Online administrator. 
  • Admin: As an administrator, you have access to the Admin Overview page, where you can create new user accounts, set up and manage your service settings, check service status, and purchase and assign subscription licenses. For more information about the Admin Overview page, see Administer Office 365 from a central location.
Use the left navigation pane to perform other administrative tasks:
  • Setup: Click Overview to familiarize yourself with the various services and features available in Office 365. Click Custom Plan to launch a short wizard that will create a plan customized for your organization that will guide you in piloting or fully deploying Office 365 services.
  • Management: Use the links in this section to add or change user information, reset passwords, or manage domains.
  • Subscriptions: Go here to purchase and manage your service subscriptions, buy additional licenses and add-ons, update credit card information, and view bills.
  • Support: This is where you go for Help and Community resources and to create service requests for technical issues. If you need to see the status of your services, view the Service Health page.

Administer Office 365 from a central location

As an Office 365 administrator, you have access to the Admin Overview page. Use the links on this page, along with the links in the left navigation pane, to perform all of your administrative tasks.
The Admin overview page is organized into three sections: Start here tasksAdmin shortcuts, and Microsoft Office 365.

Start here tasks

To get started, follow the list under Start here tasks, which will help you explore, pilot, and deploy Office 365. You can take a tour of Office 365 to see all that it has to offer, or get some hands-on experience by adding users and trying out various features. When you’re ready to set up a pilot or deploy Office 365, you can create a custom plan that will help you configure Office 365 services.

Admin shortcuts

Use these links to perform common administrative tasks, such as resetting a user password or assigning a user license. Your administrator role within Office 365 determines which links display in this section (for example, a billing administrator will not see a link for resetting a user password).

Microsoft Office 365

When you first sign in to Office 365, some of your services may still be undergoing setup, in which case you’ll see a spinning wheel and a message indicating this. After setup is complete, you can access and manage the different services. The services that you see depend on what is included in your subscription.
  • Exchange Online: Your Microsoft Exchange Online settings are configured with a standard set of default settings that enable you to create new mailboxes, send and receive email from your new domain, and access shared calendars.
  • SharePoint Online: With SharePoint Online, you can build team sites for document sharing and collaboration. You can use templates, create custom sandbox solutions, and use My Site to manage and store your documents, content, links, and contacts. Additionally, you can create and publish a public-facing website for your organization.
  • Lync Online: Microsoft Lync Online provides instant messaging, web conferencing, and presence services for your organization. Users can access these services by installing and using the Microsoft Lync 2010 desktop application to chat with other users, make computer-to-computer calls, and see if another user is online. Some features, such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), may not be available in all countries or regions. 
  • Microsoft Office Desktop Apps: If you have a Microsoft Office Professional Plus subscription, and your users already use Microsoft Office 2007 or Microsoft Office 2010, you or your users can configure these desktop applications to work with their Office 365 email and team sites.

Manage users

Before a user can access services, an administrator must add the user to the system by creating a user account, including a user name and password, and assign a license. By default, users do not have administrator permissions, but you can optionally assign them when you add a user.
You can assign different permissions to multiple administrators within your organization. For more information and instructions on how to do this, seeAssigning administrator roles.

Add users one at a time

An easy first step is to add a single user to Office 365. Once added, users can set up and use email and work together on documents online with SharePoint Online.
For instructions on how to add a single user to Office 365, see Create, edit, or delete users.

Bulk-add users from a CSV file

You can also import multiple user accounts from a single file source. The file must be a comma-separated values (CSV) file and adhere to the required format. The Bulk add userswizard provides a blank CSV template that you can open and edit using Microsoft Office Excel. The template contains user data column labels under which you enter information about the users that you want to import. The wizard also includes a sample CSV file that provides a correctly formatted example containing sample user data.
For instructions on how to bulk-add users to your account, see Add multiple users with bulk import.

Assign licenses

You can assign licenses to users when creating new accounts, and you can assign licenses to existing user accounts. For example, if users’ job responsibilities change, you can change the services that they use by removing the licenses from those users. In addition, if you have a license conflict where you have more users assigned to a service than you have licenses available, you can resolve the conflict by removing licenses from users who no longer use the service.
For instructions on how to assign and manage licenses, see Manage licenses.

Use your corporate credentials with Office 365

If you are already using Active Directory in your existing environment, you should consider setting up single sign-on, also known as identity federation. With single sign-on, your users can continue to use their existing corporate credentials to sign in to and use Office 365 services. Without single sign-on, users who have been added to the services with Active Directory will need to maintain separate usernames and passwords for their online and on-premises accounts.
For more information about how to set up single sign-on, see Prepare for single sign-on.

Synchronize your on-premises Active Directory with Office 365

If your organization already has existing users in a local Active Directory environment, there are tools for synchronizing those users to your Office 365 services directory. Using the Microsoft Online Services Directory Synchronization tool, you can keep your local Active Directory continuously in sync with Office 365. This not only allows you to create copies of each user account and group, but also allows global address list (GAL) synchronization from your local Microsoft Exchange environment to Exchange Online. This is a one-way synchronization process, from your on-premises environment to your online environment.
For more information about how to set up Active Directory synchronization, see Active Directory synchronization: Roadmap.

Add your own domain to Office 365

During the sign-up process, you created a new domain for your account ( This domain is set as your default primary domain after you first sign up for Office 365. This domain is fully functional; you can use it to send and receive email, create SharePoint sites, and create public websites.
You also have the option of adding a domain that you already own to your subscription. If your organization has a registered domain name, you can add that domain to Office 365.
When you add and configure your domain in Office 365, you change the destination of domain services such as email and web hosting to point to your Office 365 domain, but maintain the existing relationship between your company and your existing domain registrar. To use your domain in Office 365, you must add the domain to Office 365, create a DNS record to verify that you own it, specify the purchased services that you intend to use with the domain, and then configure DNS settings for those services.
For more information about how to add your domain and configure DNS settings, see Add your domain to Office 365.

Configure settings for Office 365 services

When you begin to integrate your current environment with Office 365, you’ll need to configure some additional settings at the service level. These will enable a richer interaction between your on-premises environment and Office 365. Some items may require changes to your existing on-premises environment.

Configure desktop computers for Office 365

If your users will use Microsoft Office desktop applications with their Office 365 services, you can deploy updates to users’ desktops or instruct users to do this themselves from theDownloads page. These updates are required when connecting the Microsoft Office desktop applications to Office 365.
Users can access the Downloads page by signing in to the Office 365 portal, going to theHome page, and then clicking one of the following:
  • Set up now link at the end of the first step in the Start here list 
  • Downloads link at the bottom of the Resources section on the right-hand side of the page 
For more information about how to install updates, see Set up your desktop for Office 365.

Manage SharePoint Online permissions

As the global administrator of your Office 365 services, you’re automatically added as an administrator on your SharePoint Online team site. However, new user accounts that you create in the Office 365 portal are not automatically added to your SharePoint site’s user list. You will need to manually add users to the site so that you can control who in your organization has access to the team site. You can also set user account permissions that are specific to the SharePoint Online site. For more information about planning your SharePoint Online sites, see SharePoint Online planning guide for Office 365 for enterprises.
Before you begin adding users to your SharePoint Online site, review Roadmap: Grant permissions for a site.

Configure Lync Online

As an Office 365 administrator, you can enable domain federation in Microsoft Lync Online so users in your organization can connect to other Microsoft Lync 2010 users in other companies. Once you have enabled domain federation, users can send instant messages (IM), initiate audio and video calls, and view presence information. You can also enable public IM connectivity, so that users can add contacts from Windows Live Messenger and communicate with them by installing and using the Lync 2010 desktop application.
For more information, see Set up Microsoft Lync Online.

Configure existing desktop applications

Your users can use the Microsoft Office Web Apps, the online companions to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, as well as their existing Microsoft Office desktop applications to access Office 365 services. Office 365 is compatible with Office 2007 and Office 2010 desktop applications. If you are already using one of these editions of Microsoft Office at your organization, you or your users can configure these desktop applications to work with your Office 365 email and team sites.
For more information about which Microsoft Office desktop applications are compatible with Office 365, see Software requirements for Office 365.

Migrate email and set up coexistence

Email migration involves moving any existing mailboxes to Office 365. You can perform your migration all at once or in phases, depending on the size of your mailboxes or the type of environment that you’re using.
On the Admin Overview page, in the left navigation pane under Setup, click Custom Planto launch a short wizard that will create a custom pilot or deployment plan to help you configure Office 365 services. Following are the different migration options.

POP migration

Companies with existing POP mailboxes or an Internet mail service with POP3 services enabled can migrate existing users’ mailbox content to Exchange Online by using Connected Accounts in Outlook Web App. The Connected Accounts feature allows users to access both POP and Office 365 mailboxes from Outlook Web App and to move Inbox content from one account to another.
For more information, see Learn About Connected Accounts.

IMAP migration

If your organization uses an existing IMAP server or is running Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 or Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, you can use the Email Migration tool in the Exchange Control Panel to migrate the contents of user mailboxes to Office 365.

On-premises Exchange Server migration

Companies with an on-premises Exchange Server 2003, Exchange Server 2007, or Exchange Server 2010 can use the Email Migration tool in the Exchange Control Panel to migrate mailbox content to Office 365. When you run the tool, all mailbox content from your on-premises mail servers are migrated to Office 365.

Email coexistence

If you’re currently running Exchange Server 2003, Exchange Server 2007, or Exchange Server 2010 on premises, you can synchronize your on-premises environment and Office 365 mail in a state of email coexistence. With email coexistence, you can begin using Office 365 with no impact on your existing, on-premises email system. Some of your users can use Office 365 mail as their primary email system, while other users continue to use your on-premises Exchange Server environment.
For more information, see Prepare for email migration or coexistence.

Get help and support

When you have a question about Office 365, there are several ways to get help:
  • Search Office 365 Help and Community: The most common questions and tasks are covered in the Help topics. If you can’t find the information that you need in the Help topics, you may find what you need in the Office 365 Community. To search these sources, on theSupport Overview page, in the Help and community section, type a question or phrase in the search box.
  • Read and post in the community forum: The community forum is a place where anyone who uses Office 365 can post a question and others can answer. Before you add your question, look to see if someone else has already asked it.
  • Enter a service request: As an Office 365 administrator, if you can’t find the answer you need in the Help topics or in the community forum, you can enter a service request for technical issues. See Contact Support for a technical issue.
  • Contact billing and subscription support: Support is also available for billing and subscription issues. See Contact Support for a billing or subscription issue.


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