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Grow Your Business Technology

Guide to Microsoft 365's Business Admin Dashboard

Microsoft 365 Business Admin Dashboard
Credit: dennizn/Shutterstock

Microsoft 365 Business combines the best of the company's SaaS-based 365 programs into a complete business solution that allows your employees to access their dozens of applications from nearly any device. In this regard, it features a robust mobile device management (MDM) system that allows you to keep track of your applications, data and the devices that use them.

Users of Microsoft 365 Business Center get access to Windows 10 Pro, Office 365 apps, Dynamics 365 apps and plenty of extra features. Businesses will be able to do everything from email marketing services (thanks to Microsoft Connections) to advanced billing with Dynamics 365 for Sales. From an admin standpoint, that's a lot of software and data to keep in check. The admin dashboard's MDM grants you power to easily add and remove users, with multiple devices able to access the system.

Businesses save thousands of dollars with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies that allow employees to use their personal devices for work purposes; however, the safety of company data may be at risk. Microsoft 365 Business allows for efficient and secure management of work applications and data stored on employee devices, whether they're on PC, iOS or Android.

Microsoft 365 Business is best used with Windows 10 devices but can still be used on other mobile devices, including:

  • Windows 10 PCs
  • Windows 10 Phones and Tablets
  • iOS devices (Mobile apps only)
  • Android devices (Mobile apps only)

According to Microsoft, 365 Business's MDM interface was designed with small-to-medium businesses in mind, those that don't have a dedicated IT department or manager to handle user and device permissions on the network.

Everything can be done through one, designated console. While granting employees the freedom to access work applications and data easily, if an employee leaves the company, you need a solution that ensures that company data will be removed from that individual's devices.

The admin interface allows you to:

  • Add users. With up to 300 allowable users, adding and removing users is easy, and you start right from the home screen. All you need to do to add, select the new user card, fill out the user info, including the password, and then set their product license to Microsoft 365 Business. You can determine whether employees can set their own passwords or if you'll choose employee passwords.
  • Add user devices. For Windows 10 devices or below, the Microsoft 365 Business license will upgrade devices to Windows 10 Business. Any devices in question must first meet the system requirements of the operating system. Once a device is upgraded, it just needs to connect to your company's Azure Active Directory.

You can also use Windows AutoPilot to automatically onboard Windows 10 devices to your system with premade settings. For non-Windows mobile devices, employees simply sign into the Office apps they download from their respective app stores with their user information. This will keep the data that goes through this app protected. Android users must install an additional application called Intune Company Portal.

  • Set policies and permissions. You can change several security policies regarding applications and data as companywide standards for specified roles or individual devices. The security measures you can set include requiring a PIN or fingerprint to access applications, setting a number of login attempts before lockout, or setting an auto logout after being idle. 365 Business can also prevent users from copying data from Office apps into personal apps. You can restrict access to devices that are jailbroken or rooted.
  • Remove users and their data. Removing a user from the system is just as easy as adding them, which can be done in the same settings menu. However, once you remove a user, you won't have access to their Outlook and OneDrive data, so it's recommended you back up that data first before deactivating the profile.

To remove data from devices if an employee leaves the company or their device is lost or stolen, you can do this immediately by going to Device Actions and selecting Remove Company Data, then selecting the device from the list of connected computers or mobile devices. Other security measures include encrypting work data or only allowing it to be saved to OneDrive.

At $20 per month per user, Microsoft 365 Business packs together the best of Microsoft's business software with an easy-to-use admin dashboard that allows your employees the freedom to use their personal devices for work and keep your company's sensitive data secure.

It's certainly more affordable than buying work computers for your office and installing all that software on each one. It's only $7.50 per month more than Office 365 Business Premium, which doesn't include any of the MDM or security features that Microsoft 365 Business does.

Andreas Rivera

Andreas Rivera graduated from the University of Utah with a B.A. in Mass Communication and is now a staff writer for Business.com and Business News Daily. His background in journalism brings a critical eye to his reviews and features, helping business leaders make the best decisions for their companies.