Administrative Roles in Office 365

Understanding administrative roles

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Office 365 can completely handle all your organizational communication needs, including email, instant messaging, shared storage, intranet sites, and more. And you're probably using Office 365 instead of provisioning your own on-premises communication infrastructure, but you still need to manage and perform frequent administration. This may relate to your subscription, your users, and to the configuration settings that your organization requires. In this video, we'll explore the options available to you and help you to understand the administrative roles within Office 365.

The administrator is the person that manages the subscription, users, and the configuration and keeps everything in order, just like with an on-premises installation. Thankfully, many tasks can be delegated to others, and there are several administrator roles that can be assigned. You can also have multiple administrators with the same role. For scenarios where there is no suitable internal administrator available due to product knowledge, time, or interest, you can even outsource all of your Office 365 administration to a Microsoft Partner.

Since having only one administrator would not scale very well, Office 365 allows you to have subordinate administrator roles for your tenant, including the global administrator, billing administrator, service administrator, password administrator, and the user management administrator. Let's review each of these administrator roles. The global administrator role is assigned to the user who initially purchases and sets up the Office 365 subscription. They have the most powerful role in the subscription and have access to all of the features within Office 365.

They are also the only admin that can assign other administration roles. You should try to limit the number of people within your organization who are assigned the global administrator role. The billing administrator can manage purchases, subscriptions, and your support tickets. They can also monitor the service health of Office 365. The password administrator manages the resetting of user passwords. They can manage service requests and monitor service health.

The password administrator can only reset passwords for users and not for other administrators. The service administrator is responsible for managing service requests with Microsoft relating to service issues. They also monitor the service dashboard and message center and can see important information in the Microsoft 365 admin center, such as the health of the service and change and release notifications. As a service administrator, they have view-only permissions on user configuration settings.

The user management administrator probably has the most work of all administrators. They will carry out daily tasks, which include resetting passwords, monitoring service health, adding and deleting user accounts, and manage service requests. They cannot delete or create new administrators. Depending on the actual Office 365 subscription or plan that you manage, you may also have additional administrator roles available. These can include the Exchange administrator, the Power Business Information, or Power BI administrator, the SharePoint administrator, and the Skype for Business administrator.

In the next movie, we will look at how to assign an administrator role to one of your users.

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For businesses with 150+ licenses Request Office 365 onboarding assistance from FastTrack

You can request remote and personalized assistance with onboarding. Our FastTrack engineers will help you plan your Office 365 project, assess your technical environment, provide remediation guidance, and provide user adoption assistance. For businesses with at least 500 licenses, Microsoft also provides personalized assistance to migrate data to Office 365.

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Tip: Businesses with 1-149 licenses still have access to FastTrack guidance via links in the Admin Center and also available at

Learn how to keep your users secure and up to date by configuring cloud identity and authentication with Azure AD and Office 365, and enterprise-level mobile device management with Intune. This course covers key topics related to the administration of these services, including users, groups, policies, and roles, and maps to the related domain of Microsoft's Cloud Fundamentals certification exam (98-369). It's ideal for IT professionals responsible for their company's cloud operations as well as those pursuing certification for the first time. Follow along with Andrew Bettany as he covers creating user groups within both Office 365 and Intune, assigning administrative roles, and configuring mobile device management.

Topics include:

  • Understanding cloud identity and authentication

  • Managing Office 365 users and groups

  • Assigning administrative roles

  • Configuring password expiration policy

  • Exploring Service Health for Office 365 and Intune

  • Managing users and devices in Intune

  • Deploying Intune clients

  • Setting up mobile device management

  • Managing Intune policies

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