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What’s new in Office 365 administration—April roundup

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April was a busy and exciting month for the Office 365 admin center team. We started to roll out a variety of new features in the new admin center, including new reporting capabilities, customization options and user management improvements.

Since we started our work to rebuild the admin center in September 2015, our goal—to build a more intuitive management solution that provides additional functionality while making it easier, faster and more efficient for you to manage Office 365—hasn’t changed.

It’s great to see it all come together as admins around the world start using the new admin center.

We could not have done it without you! We can’t thank you often enough for the detailed and highly valuable feedback that you share with us every day. Your feedback continues to help us prioritize our work, fix bugs and improve the overall experience and performance of the new admin center. Please keep it coming!

Here’s a summary of the April updates:

Updates for the new Office 365 admin center

Customize your dashboard—We understand you use some features more regularly than others. You can now customize your admin center dashboard to make it a truly personal experience:

  • You can now drag the tiles to put the ones you care about right at your fingertips.
  • By default, the dashboard shows the Users, Billing, What’s new and Discover and Learn tiles. To add additional tiles, such as Service health, Message center or Reports, click Add.
    Note: If you’ve installed Windows Azure Active Directory Sync Tool (DirSync), you’ll also see the DirSync tile.
  • Remove tiles you don’t need.

We’ll keep working on customization, so you’ll see additional functionality soon—including shortcuts to the admin centers for SharePoint, Exchange, Lync and others. Click Feedback in the admin center to let us know if there’s something you’d like us to add.

Customize the Office 365 experience for your end users—The new admin center now allows you to change the look and feel of Office 365 for your end users. You can include your company logo, adjust background images and align colors to have them better match your company brand. Customizing the end user experience will help your end users identify closer with your company and also reduce the chances of a phishing attack as your users can easily identify that they are on an official company site. To access this feature, click Settings and then Organization Profile.

Quickly get help with improved search—In addition to users, groups, tasks, settings and pages, you can now use the search at the top of the home dashboard to search for help topics. Simply type the topic you need help with in the search bar to quickly get more information.

Access additional usage reports while complying with compliance requirements—In April, we completed the rollout of new usage reports for SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business and Yammer, which gives IT greater visibility into usage across these services in Office 365 down to the individual user level. We continue our work to include more reports in the new admin center, including mailbox storage, SharePoint activity and OneDrive activity, to provide you with a complete picture of how your organization is using Office 365.

If your organization policies don’t allow visibility into user-level details at this granularity, or if you want to share the data with other stakeholders, you can now anonymize the user-level information. This option is available under the Settings menu.

Edit more user details simultaneously—The new admin center now provides you with ability to edit more user details simultaneously for a group of people, including contact details, user roles, domains and sign-in status. For example, if your organization’s address changes, you can update this information for all your users with just a few simple clicks. On the Active users page, simply check the boxes of the users that you want to edit and then select the information you want to make changes to in the fly-out window.

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Quickly forward a user’s email—Forwarding email messages of a user to another co-worker is often a time critical action. In the new admin center, you can now enable mail forwarding directly from the user card. On the Active users page, simply click on the user whose email you want to forward and then click Edit email forwarding.

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If the new admin center is not your default experience yet, you can directly sign in at the admin center portal. Or you can click the Try it today link at the top of the old admin center.

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

Let us know what you think!

Please try the new features and provide feedback using the feedback widget in the lower right corner of the admin center. If you’re missing a feature, please take a look at the “What’s new” page that is linked to directly from the dashboard. Are you missing a feature? Please send us a note using the feedback widget. 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

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