The Office 365 admin console for Small Business is simplified to help the not-so-technical, perform common tasks. In simplifying admin for the Small Business, the full control panel for Exchange Online and Lync Online is hidden. I’ve seen a number of posts at where Small Business subscribers ask “How do I manage my spam settings?”Furthermore, when you read the Exchange Online service description, Archiving and Retention is a feature included with Small Business. But in the simplified admin console, there isn’t anywhere for Archiving and Retention to be configured.

This appears to be by design. If the full Exchange Control Panel (or Exchange Admin Centre) was visible to Small Business subscribers, incorrect changes could be made, resulting in more support calls. There seems to be a mixed message in hiding the Exchange Control Panel. On one hand, Microsoft have worked very hard to create and provide configuration guides, help articles and training, to help businesses set up Office 365 themselves. On the other hand, the Small Business tools are perhaps too simplified and don’t give Small Business subscribers clear and easy access to configure features included in their subscription.

Access the Exchange Control Panel using this URL –
Access the Lync Control Panel using this URL –

I haven’t found a link to access the SharePoint Admin Centre in the Small Business subscription.

You may be a Microsoft Partner supporting Small Business customers or you have been given this link on the support forums at My point is, the Exchange Control Panel should be more accessible in the Office 365 Small Business admin center. The Medium and Enterprise subscriptions have admin centers for Exchange, SharePoint and Lync, accessible from the blue “master menu” at the top of the page. They also have the Service Settings menu that lists common admin tasks for quick access to each of the online services.


It wouldn’t be too much effort to display a link to the admin consoles at the bottom of the simplified configuration pages in the Small Business subscriptions, like the Medium and Enterprise subscriptions.


For now, those in the know can use the links mentioned above.



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