It’s been five years of G-Suite administration, and two years of Office 365 administration. As I look back on the journeys with both, and look forwards to how we manage both platforms on a day by day basis, I’m struck by the different approaches Microsoft and Google have taken in the area.
To summarise if you’re not going to read further. Google make it easy, Microsoft make it harder. And harder.
We found an example of this as we migrate our Mailboxes for staff from on-premise Exchange to Office365. With on-premise Exchange our engineers were able to perform any operation they needed to from the GUI. A common operation is providing an employee with full access to the mailbox for someone who’s recently left. For on premise, the Exchange Control Panel lets you do this. For some unknown reason, for Office 365, for exactly the same operation you have to use PowerShell!. So, engineers have to learn a whole new set of skills.
Google on the other hand, make everything available in the GUI, and rather sensibly, allow us to organise our users into Organisations, and then decide for each Organisation which services they can use. So we can enable mail to some users, and not others. Being a school, being able to disallow social network apps for younger users is important.
So why I ask myself, does Microsoft pitch Office 365 at schools with no easy methods to enable or disable services for groups of users (In the GUI this is. No doubt a few hours of research or $ spent with a consultant would let us achieve what we want).
But in schools where staff are time poor, please Microsoft, make it a bit easier.