June 6, 2022
5
min read

Office 365 Onboarding and Offboarding Best Practices

Onboarding and offboarding employees are major portions of the IT workload within any large organization. And they are essential to get right for the sake of productivity, compliance, and cost management.

Oftentimes, onboarding appears to be little more than creating a user and assigning that user a license, but as we’ll explore below, there is often far more involved with the full process – particularly in the case of complex M365 deployments, such as hybrid deployments, or those in which one portion of the environment lives on-premises and the rest resides in the cloud.

In much the same vein, the complexity of the office 365 offboarding process – while simpler than onboarding in many ways – can easily be underestimated, which can amount to significant costs to an organization that could otherwise have been avoided.

CoreView’s CoreSuite makes it simple to carry out these business-critical tasks by providing a unified interface through which IT teams can perform all required onboarding and offboarding actions from a single location, dramatically reducing IT complexity, and with it, your bottom line.

At the same time, reduced complexity means fewer mistakes are likely to be made, which makes staying compliant that much easier and maximizing efficiency in managing M365 licensing an easy win for total cost optimization.

Moreover, CoreView’s perfect permissions approach to Office 365 identity and access management (IAM) will allow your central IT staff to delegate onboarding and offboarding tasks to department leads who are directly responsible for managing the teams being affected, while also ensuring that employees are granted just the right permissions to allow them to be efficient and successful, while also mitigating risk by limiting those permissions precisely.

What makes Office 365 onboarding so complex?

The first step in the IT onboarding process is creating a user and storing that user’s credentials, so he or she can access your M365 environment. However, this is far from the final step in the process, which can become quite involved, depending on the configuration of your specific M365 deployment.

Onboarding isn’t complete until a user not only has credentials in the system to log in with, which can potentially be stored in any variety of complex, and cost-driving configurations, but until IT has also granted that user the specific permissions required to access the elements of your M365 environment he or she needs. In the case of hybrid environments, in particular, this generally means defining a user on-prem and defining his or her roles explicitly in the cloud.

And while Microsoft only offers 15 pre-defined role-based access control (RBAC) user definitions, which can very easily amount to “best-guess permissions,” there are 35+ native M365 admin interfaces, many of which your IT team will need to interact with in order to fully onboard a new employee, which means there is a significant amount of knowledge and expertise required for the effective management of IAM within the system.

CoreView’s Solution to Onboarding Complexity

Whether your M365 deployment is hosted entirely in the cloud, or if portions of it live in your on-premises datacenter, CoreView makes it simple to create and manage users exclusively in the cloud, as CoreView’s Hybrid Agent facilitates continual, two-way syncing of data between all of the components of your M365 architecture.

M365 group membership management controls are included in this same interface, so delineating which resources a given user can access is controlled via this same UI. This makes it simple and efficient to fully onboard a user into the system because your IT team can utilize group membership to assign permissions to users rather than having to set them manually each time they onboard someone.

Optimize Office 365 Offboarding to Rightsize License Pools and Reduce Spend

Inactive licenses cannot be reassigned until they have been reclaimed into a pool of unassigned licenses. If not managed well, this can amount to an ever-increasing number of licenses that you are paying for, but that cannot be put to use, which can amount to significant waste.

CoreView makes it simple to monitor who is actually using a license, and to reclaim Office 365 licenses that are currently assigned to inactive users. In large organizations, this can amount to truly significant savings, which can be applied much more meaningfully to the organization's business goals and targeted outcomes.

Effectively Manage Users Throughout their Tenure Too

User management doesn’t stop when a user has a password. Employees regularly gain responsibilities, change teams, and the like. This means that they will likely need changes to their permissions in M365 more often than they will need a set of credentials created or deprovisioned. CoreView can help here too.

CoreView simplifies access for IT by collecting everything within a “single pane of glass.” Additionally, because the built-in options for user controls are so granular, user updates often don’t require custom PowerShell scripting. However, for those cases in which custom scripting is required, CoreView also supports the creation of custom actions that are driven by PowerShell script, which means that CoreView acts as a centralized base for your IT resources, both in terms of how and where IT interacts with your M365 tenant, and in terms of where the resources they require are stored.

Takeaways

Onboarding and offboarding are regular features of a modern IT landscape. Still, there is enormous value to be realized by reducing friction in the onboarding and offboarding of employees throughout your organization. With CoreView’s streamlined and simplified user interface, IT teams can much more efficiently supply new users with credentials and apply M365 group membership rules that will get these users to access the tools they need. Moreover, when employees are offboarded, CoreView makes it simple and efficient to reclaim that user’s license, so that it can be recycled and assigned to another user who needs it immediately, rather than sitting on a shelf, so to speak, and ultimately amounting to significant waste.

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