What’s new in Office 365 administration—August update

The new admin center is getting better and better every month. Many of you already use the new admin center as your main management tool, and it’s great to see your feedback on how it is improving your overall Office 365 management experience.

In July and August, we focused on continuing to enhance and automate the setup and configuration experience. This is one of the areas that we have completely redesigned as part of the new admin center.

Here is a summary of how the new admin center makes it easier for admins to get started with Office 365 and how it allows you to quickly onboard your users to the service by providing you with new configuration functionality, more control and additional guidance.

New setup and configuration experience in the new Office 365 admin center

Setup wizard—The new Office 365 setup wizard provides you with a smooth and automated experience that makes it easy for you to configure all aspects of the service and to get your users up and running quickly in three steps:

  1. Add a domain—Follow the step-by-step guidance to add and verify your domain, so that you can use your business domain name for email and other services.
  2. Add users and share sign-in credentials—Next, add your users and assign them with a license. Here you have three options to easily share the Office 365 sign-in credentials with your end users:
    • You can send your end users an automated welcome email that also helps them to get started with Office 365, as it contains useful information about how to access and use the service.
    • You can download the user list including their temporary passwords into a CSV file.
    • You can print the list.

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  1. DNS setup—In the last step, you set up your DNS records.

Support Integration—If you have problems with a specific step of the setup process, such as domain verification, the wizard points you to the available support options for you to quickly get help and solve the problem.

Setup banner on home page—If you haven’t finished the setup process, the admin center shows you a banner at the top of the home page that makes it easy for you to identify missing steps and to complete the setup.

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Setup banner for Visio and Project—If you have purchased Visio, Project or Office Pro Plus, a similar product-specific setup banner is displayed on your home page to help you get your users up and running in Visio, Project or Office Pro Plus.

New “domains” card on home page—Often admins want to update or modify their domain settings at a later point. In August, we started to roll out a new “domains” card to the home dashboard. The card gives you quick access to frequent domain tasks such as adding a domain, deleting a domain or checking the health of your domain directly from your dashboard. To add the domains card to your dashboard, click the edit icon at the top of the home page and then click Add card.

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Product setup guides—The deployment setup wizards are now available in the new admin center and you can access them straight from your home dashboard. These wizards are especially helpful for enterprise customers or customers with complex needs, as they provide you with detailed step-by-step guidance and help to get your organization up and running with the main Office 365 services, including Skype for Business, Azure Active Directory and SharePoint. To add the Setup Guides card to your home page, click the edit icon at the top of the home page and then click Add card.

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Connected sign-up and setup experience—When a customer purchases Office 365, they can now seamlessly start the setup process. At the end of the purchase process, they are redirected directly to the setup wizard. Of course, they also have the option to pause the setup process and to continue at any given point.

More management enhancements in August

New “Admin Centers” card on dashboard—In August, we started to roll out a new “Admin Centers” card that gives you quick access to product admin centers such as the SharePoint and the Exchange admin center directly from your home page. To add the Admins Centers card to your dashboard, simply click the edit icon at the top of the home page and then click Add card.

Support for partner managed customers—The new admin center is now available to partners as well as customers who are managed by partners, including Cloud Solution Providers and Syndication Partners.

Message Center personalization—The Message Center now allows you to filter notifications based on service and use machine translation to view information in your preferred language. Configure the notifications to your liking by clicking on Edit message center preferences in the top right corner of the Message Center, and set the language for messages using the drop down in the Message Center inbox. (Please note that the translation drop-down is only visible to non-English tenants, as defined by tenant settings.)

Let us know what you think!

In the coming month, we’ll be adding more reports, new admin roles and additional insights.

Try the new features and provide feedback using the feedback link in the lower right corner of the admin center. If you’re missing a feature, take a look at the “Recently Added” page that is linked to directly from the home page to see if it has been recently added. If not, then please send us a note using the feedback link. And don’t be surprised if we respond to your feedback. We truly read every piece of feedback that we receive to make sure the Office 365 administration experience meets your needs.

—Anne Michels @Anne_Michels, senior product marketing manager for the Office 365 Marketing team

Please note: the features mentioned in this blog post have started to roll out. If they are not available yet in your region, for your subscription or for your organization, please check back in a few weeks!