If there is one thing to know about Microsoft these days it is the fact that they no longer stand still when it comes to iterating their product and services offerings.
It used to be that you could wait a year to see the latest updates from the Redmond company but now we see updates rolling out almost daily for some of their services.
As IT Pros that aspect of things can be a bit disconcerting because stability is something you are looking for when it comes to keeping your users working and not spending time dealing with growing pains around a new version of a product or service.
Microsoft is also not just focusing on updates to the public facing items though as they are also constantly working on new versions of their admin tools and backend interfaces that you use each day.
Take for instance the new Office 365 Admin Portal that was announced this week which they have been working on since last September and incorporating user feedback along the way.
As Microsoft's Office 365 team says in the announcement article, these updates are happening almost daily and finding those items can be a challenge - just like educating your users about new features in the latest app or OS update.
So the new portal that will be rolling out to global users over the next few weeks makes surfacing those new features, and the ones you already know about, easier to find.
You can expect to find improvements in these areas according to Microsoft:
- Simplification and discoverability—When you access the admin center, you don’t want to spend more time in there than necessary. You want to get your work done quickly and be able to focus on all the other tasks on your long list. The new admin center allows you to manage Office 365 quickly and efficiently by showing frequent tasks directly on the dashboard and by simplifying the experience. For many tasks, you won’t even have to leave the dashboard. It’s all there at your fingertips.
- Search—We added a new search bar at the top of the admin center to help you quickly find the feature you want to use. Today, you can search for users and groups to look up details and make edits. In the near future, search will extend to other features as well.
- Reporting—We are currently rolling out significant improvements to Office 365 reporting. Many of you already have access to a variety of new reports that provide consistent insights across all workloads and deliver details down to the individual user level. You can see how users are adopting Office 365 at the subscription level as well as for each specific workload. Reports currently available include active Office 365 users, email traffic and Office activations. In the coming months, we’ll add reports for OneDrive, SharePoint, Yammer and Skype for Business activity as well as on user interaction with Office 365, such as which operating systems users are on when they access the service.
Of course, it would not be the new Microsoft if it was not a continual improvement process so expect further enhancements down the road around customization of the portal and contextual help.
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