Cloud Productivity Optimized, With Managed Services

Microsoft 365 brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility & Security, to deliver robust services for the Modern Workplace in the Cloud.  A critical part of any businesses journey to the Cloud, is also ensuring Cloud operations are optimized, secured and well managed. There is a host of factors, from organizational and operational readiness in determining if your business can manage the services in the Cloud natively or if it is better to go through a Managed Services Provider.

Managed Services Providers, deal with the daily IT management for your cloud-based IT environment and technical support on behalf of your business. Managed Services include areas that cover Monitoring and Managing Cloud-Based Services, Security and Permissions, Remote User Support, MS Exchange Management, Anti-Virus and SPAM management, along with needed alerts, notifications to ensure your business continuity.

Within Microsoft 365, the Microsoft 365 Admin Center focuses on simplifying IT managed services by unifying management across users, devices, apps and services. It is a fundamental tool for IT admins to utilize all the management capabilities and is organized in an efficient, easy to use task approach with the data you work with every day. At ACTS, we use the Admin Center for management of everything from the top level down. Especially, user management which includes adding/removing users, password re-sets and overall troubleshooting of devices.

Within the Admin Center console view there are configurable cards, so you can pin most used information right up front and a way to group them into common themes you define. License management features, readily allow you to add, remove and configure licenses. Overall friendly navigation systems have settings at your fingertips to help you complete common tasks quickly and efficiently.

Microsoft has been investing in Admin Center as part of on-going support and in November, released a new Microsoft 365 admin center built for IT teams with critical new security and reporting features and capabilities.

This is especially important, given today’s business environment with a bring your own device approach (BYOD) and need to support mobile users. Using Intune and EMS, it allows IT to bring everything into one area and one focus. Moreover, it is customizable to best fit a companies’ IT and governance policies

The reporting aspects are highly valuable to consider the trends and analytics of user’s behavior along with an understanding of areas for the most productivity benefits to be gained. The out of the box templates provide the best way for reporting insights. In future releases we anticipate more customization options will be available for reporting as they grow their current offering from customer feedback.

Many customers, like River Region Human Services, while considering how best to migrate to the cloud, were examining their capabilities and the ROI of managing the new Cloud environment themselves. After looking at deploying in a hybrid Cloud state with the needed infrastructure upgrades, new services deployment, license management and infrastructure; the TCO didn’t make sense to do it themselves. Working with my team, with the help of Microsoft 365 Admin Center, we were able to successfully bring them into a managed services environment. We were able to keep costs lower while providing the right level of services all customized for their specific environment.

Bernard Malinis

Manager, Cloud Managed Services

Top down view of a desk with multiple laptops, books, and tablets
Women working together in a meeting room