What is a “tenant” in Microsoft 365? Also explains how to integrate and migrate data

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Microsoft 365 enterprise licenses are managed in units called “tenants.”

By belonging to the same tenant, smooth collaboration within the organization can be realized.

If multiple tenants are side by side due to corporate mergers and consolidations, you will not be able to fully enjoy the benefits of Microsoft 365 as it is.

What is a “Tenant” in Microsoft 365?

An organizational account when using Microsoft 365 is called a “tenant”.

In Japan, the word “tenant” mainly refers to stores and offices located in buildings and shopping centers.

Microsoft 365’s “tenant” is also easy to understand if you think that your company rents a section of Microsoft’s service and uses it.

Even within the same building, the company’s own rules and policies are applied without being affected by other tenants.

Also, you cannot move back and forth between other tenants without permission.

Information Contained in Tenants

Unique information such as your own domain and subscription licenses purchased by your company are registered in the tenant.

  • organization name
  • Primary domain (initial domain xxx.onmicrosoft.com)
  • Custom domain (original domain)
  • Microsoft 365 license
  • user
  • group

A tenant is a place to associate this information with user groups within an organization.

For example, if you want to use an e-mail address with your own domain, you can use the e-mail address by creating a user within the tenant and assigning the user a Microsoft 365 license owned by the tenant.

Microsoft 365 can manage multiple tenants

Microsoft 365 tenants are not limited to one organization.

An organization can have multiple tenants, so they can be kept separate for administrative reasons.

For example, multiple tenants will be useful when you want to prepare a test environment separately from the production environment.

On the other hand, different tenants are subject to the following restrictions, so care must be taken when managing users in the same organization by dividing them into different tenants.

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Cannot use the same custom domain

In Microsoft 365, you cannot register your own domain to multiple tenants.

If you have separate tenants within your organization, you will not be able to align them to the same domain.

If you want to use the same domain for everyone due to a merger, etc., consider consolidating tenants.

In addition, it is possible to register multiple original domains in one tenant, so it is possible to group employees of group companies with different domains in the same tenant.

Users in another tenant are “external users”

Even within the same organization, users belonging to different tenants are treated as external users.

In Microsoft 365, it is easy to create groups and share calendars with users within the tenant, but inviting users outside the tenant requires settings on the administrator side.

Consolidating tenants is a good idea if there is frequent collaboration between tenants.

What are the benefits of consolidating Microsoft 365 tenants?

Benefits of using a Microsoft 365 subscription in your enterprise include smooth collaboration between users and more efficient management tasks for IT personnel.

These are things that can be achieved by managing users within an organization in the same tenant.

When multiple tenants exist due to organizational changes, mergers, etc., you can obtain various benefits by consolidating tenants.

(1) Speedy information coordination and communication

With Microsoft 365, users under the same tenant can use the following functions.

  • Teams chat
  • group creation
  • Teams meeting invitation
  • OneDrive for Business file sharing
  • Sharing a distribution list (mailing list)
  • Using a shared mailbox

With Microsoft 365, you can easily call users of the same tenant, so you can quickly invite members and share information.

In order to link with users in other tenants, it is necessary to manually enter email addresses and, in some cases, to obtain permission from administrators, which slows business speed.

②Improve visibility

In the Microsoft 365 admin center, you can list information such as usage status and service health on the dashboard, but in the case of multiple tenants, the information is distributed for each tenant, so the dashboard aggregates and visualizes the data. cannot take advantage of

By unifying tenants, it becomes possible to grasp the situation of the entire organization at a glance.

(3) Quality consistency can be ensured

Consistent security policies are required within the same organization, but if tenants are separated, unifying them manually would be extremely time-consuming.

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By consolidating tenants, the same policy can be applied to the whole, which also leads to quality assurance.

④Batch management of licenses and users

Since Microsoft 365 corporate plans collectively manage users and licenses in the management center, it is easy to add/delete access rights and change licenses within a tenant when transferring, retiring, or changing job descriptions. can be

On the other hand, users and licenses cannot be moved across tenants.

In order to take advantage of the convenience of Microsoft 365 user management, it would be desirable to consolidate them within a single tenant.

Flow of actual data migration

Let’s take a look at the work flow when consolidating Microsoft 365 tenants.

Since the scope of impact is large, it is necessary to accurately grasp the migration target and proceed with a solid plan.

Scheduling

First, let’s create a schedule for tenant consolidation.

Migrating content on the cloud can take several days to complete depending on the amount of data.

In addition, since Microsoft 365 tools are used on a daily basis, even the slightest change will place a heavy burden on users.

It is important to avoid busy periods to avoid work stoppages and user penalties.

Choosing a migration method

It is not impossible to manually integrate tenants and migrate data, but currently there are various migration support services and migration tools available, and it is common to use these.

Microsoft 365 resellers also provide support, so if you don’t know how to proceed or have any concerns, please consult with the vendor.

Inventory of owned licenses and settings

In Microsoft 365, the available features differ depending on the plan.

Let’s identify the licenses owned by the tenant before the migration and the tools they are using, and check if the same functions can be used after the migration and what will change.

In some cases, it may be necessary to change operations.

Communication with users

There may be some downtime associated with the tenant migration.

Microsoft 365 tools such as Office apps and Teams are heavily used for business, so let’s inform users as soon as the schedule is decided.

If the license type changes during the integration, it may cause user confusion, such as the tools that have been available so far can no longer be used or new applications will be added.

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Instead of proceeding unilaterally, proceed with sufficient communication with the user department.

Migration work

Tenant migrations may take several days to propagate on Microsoft’s service side.

Also, if you migrate data during business hours, your data may get lost or your Microsoft 365 service may slow down.

Avoid working during business hours, preferably at night or on holidays.

Large amounts of data may not be migrated at once. It is necessary to devise ways such as starting the work in advance or dividing it into multiple steps.

After the migration is completed, carefully check whether there are any processing omissions.

Article Summary

Tenants in Microsoft 365 are functions for collectively managing users and licenses within an organization.

Owning multiple tenants within the same organization has many administrative disadvantages, so if multiple tenants are in parallel due to mergers or acquisitions, it is recommended to merge them.

NEC Networks & System Integration provides a wide range of support, from Microsoft 365 implementation support to migration consulting.

If you are considering tenant integration or migration, please feel free to contact us.\