Microsoft’s Office 365
Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud-based Office suite offering free SkyDrive storage space to users to encourage them save their documents online, and hence enable them to have access to their files from any machine having an Office setup. Microsoft stresses on cloud usage for document storage, updates and troubleshooting.
365 Command: Cloud Management Tool
To manage cloud activities of Office 365, a cloud management tool entitled 365 Command is getting much popular with Microsoft’s channel partners. Since January 2013, the clients of 365 Command has increased up to 65 per cent with now having about 1000 customers and partners across the world. At the same time, Office 365 seems to attract variety of third party management, observing and reporting tools that can make Microsoft’s cloud catch fire with ISVs and channel partners.
In January 2013, 365 Command was developed by MessageOps, which is now widely used by cloud consumers and associates to effectively manage more than 520,000 mailboxes worldwide ― raised from 365,000 mailboxes, just two months ago.
The CEO of Champion Solutions Group that owns MessageOps, Chris Pyle claims, “Admins from all industries and companies of all sizes are taking advantage of 365 Command to gain control of their Office 365 environment”. He also said, “365 Command brings unprecedented ease of use to the Office 365 platform with the stringent security controls that deliver the performance, security and management ease that world-class business email requires.”
365 Command as used in Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud offers to the channel partners’ three major services, specifically wrapped around Office 365: administration, reporting and partner scalability.
- Administration: Assists to manage and facilitate desk staff carry out regular tasks which otherwise need Windows PowerShell scripting knowledge to execute.
- Reporting: To illustrate information related to the size of mailboxes, archives, allocation usages and many more, this service helps channel partners to generate reports.
- Partner Scalability: From a unique single login, it enables channel partners to manage their entire Office 365 clients.
Although 365 Command automates some management tasks of Office 365, there are substitutes also available in the market. For example, Level Platforms is a Managed Workplace platform that lets MSPs to virtually check and administer on-site systems as well as cloud systems similar to Office 365.
The director of partner community at Level Platforms, Dave Sobel said that the channel partners desire to have a unique control panel for end-to-end system and network supervision, say from customer office to the cloud.
Reporting Tools & Office 365
Temporarily in Office 365 cloud market, reporting tools are also entering the cloud space like Cogmotive, which offers reporting services on:
- Size of mailbox, resource usage and trending
- Recent logon activity and dates
- Mobile apps and Active Synchronization (ActiveSync) statistics
- Licenses applied for each user
- Maintenance policy fulfillment and much more
For existing and potential partners of Office 365 , it is good news that a network of management, monitoring and reporting tools has happened to materialize as through this, Office 365 can greatly attract the support of developers, and make its operation quite easy.