New in ShareGate: Provisioning and Cloud copy

With this release, you get two new ways to manage Teams while reducing tickets and increasing productivity. Our new Teams provisioning templates allow you to help end users create the teams they want, with your guardrails in place. And Cloud copy gives you the flexibility to move Teams content whenever, wherever, with the convenience of web access.

It can be tough to stay on top of all your organization’s teams. Knowing who creates them, how they’re created, what security measures they’re created with, and how to continuously manage them in an always-changing environment isn’t easy.

When you try to do it all manually, it can take up a lot of resources, such as your time, people, skills, and budget. The more resources you spend manually monitoring and firefighting, the fewer resources you have for creating and maintaining a governance strategy based on best practices and other value-add projects.

Instead, you end up addressing issues as they come up, responding to endless tickets, and maybe even creating bottlenecks that reduce productivity for end users.

So, you can manage these things on your own, but why should you if you don’t have to?

In our continued effort to ramp up ShareGate’s Microsoft 365 management offerings, we’re excited to release our new Provisioning and Cloud copy features to help with Teams management from creation through transformation and beyond.

Introducing Teams provisioning with ShareGate

Microsoft has been encouraging IT admins to enable self-serve because it encourages collaboration, adoption, and agility, and at ShareGate, we agree.

Unfortunately, self-serve can also pose security risks, such as when end users create Teams with sensitive content and then allow guest access or external sharing. There are also some possible organizational challenges, like end users creating more resources than they need and not being able to find what they’re looking for in the clutter.

That’s why provisioning templates are so important because they help you guide your end users to create the teams they want the way you want them to.

But not all provisioning solutions are created equally. Microsoft’s out-of-the-box Teams provisioning solution isn’t customizable, and most organizations find that they need more flexibility.

Of course, you can customize templates using PowerShell and Power Automate, but these tools can be time-consuming and extremely complex.

As a result, you might decide to turn off self-serve, but this can negatively impact productivity—both for end users and the members of your IT team. End users might get frustrated that they can’t use the tools they want, when they want, and instead opt for shadow IT. And your IT team will spend their time dealing with tickets to create and approve new teams, rather than managing Microsoft Teams as a whole.

What if there’s a way to have the flexibility you need and to get self-serve on your side? Enter ShareGate.

Easily customize the templates you need

ShareGate’s Teams provisioning feature offers a simple experience for IT to create Teams provisioning templates that allow end users to create what they need, when they need it. All IT admins who have access to ShareGate can create and edit teams provisioning templates, which helps increase productivity across your whole IT team.

First, you’ll need to consent to a new set of permissions through the Microsoft Teams admin center. Then you can open up ShareGate and navigate to Provisioning and get started by clicking the Create Template button.

Sharegate Provisioning - Create Template

First, name your template and add a description if you’d like.

Sharegate Provisioning - Create Template Name

Once you click Next, you can define the rules of the template. This includes:

  • Number of owners required
  • Whether the team will be public or private
Sharegate Provisioning - Create Template Rules

Then you define the team’s channels. For every team created, there will always be a default “General channel.” Then you can choose to create additional channels in the template. For all of these channels you decide:

  • Channel name
  • Channel description
  • Whether it’s public or private
Sharegate Provisioning - Create Template Channels

Once you click Create Template, you’ll be brought back to the Provisioning home page where you can see your new template. You’ll see all its details—the name, description, minimum number of owners, and the number of channels in your team.

Sharegate Provisioning Home

Your end users will be able to see it there, too. Once you create a template, it becomes automatically available for your end users, so they can hit the ground running instantly.

And if you decide later you want to change the template based on end-user feedback, you can modify it anytime.

And that’s it! It’s incredibly simple for you, and for your end users!

Help end users create teams that follow your organization’s policies

Now that you’ve created your templates, you have to make sure that end users can access them easily and quickly. Here comes one of the most exciting aspects of our new provisioning feature: the introduction of the ShareGate end-user app.

The ShareGate end-user app is a workspace for your end users to create and manage their own Microsoft teams from start to finish, provide additional information when prompted, and resolve teams-related issues so you can spend more time making informed decisions that keep your tenant secure and organized.

Your IT team has probably been feeling the pressure of all the end-user requests, not to mention the frustration of chasing down end users to get missing information from them about the teams they own. The ShareGate end-user app allows you to collaborate with end users to solve problems and help them help themselves.

It’s integrated in Teams, so when your end users open Teams, they’ll be able to access the ShareGate end-user app in the navigation bar.

Sharegate End User App in Microsoft Teams

The first time your end users access the app, they’ll have the chance to do a short onboarding to better understand how to use it.

Then they’ll be shown their teams directory, so they can see the teams they own and the teams they’re a member of. They can see more details on all of these teams, such as the owners, members, and channels.

Sharegate End User App - Teams Directory

They can also create a team from the homepage. When they click the Create a team button in the top right corner, your end users will have the option to choose from the team provisioning templates that you and your IT team have created for them.

They can view the details of each template, such as the privacy setting, channels, and the number of owners required.

Sharegate End User App - Teams - Provisioning Templates

End users can click Use template, and then jump into the process of creating a new team!

They name their team, add a description, and add as many owners as required by their IT team.

Sharegate End User App - Teams - Create Team

After they click Create Team, they’ll be brought back to the home page of the ShareGate end-user app, and they’ll be able to see their new team there. There’s no wait time for end users since you don’t need to approve their new team, which means they can start collaborating right away.

This offers end users a great balance between freedom to create the resources they need and compliance with your policies. It’s a win-win! And if you want to take it up a notch, we recommend pinning the app to the navigation for easy access.

Introducing Cloud copy with ShareGate

We couldn’t help but notice that a lot of our ShareGate customers continue to use ShareGate’s migration tool long after their big migration project has been completed. It makes sense since content management is an ongoing administrative task for IT teams. 

Whether it’s for change management, typical Teams management, or a merger and acquisition, moving a few teams or even just a channel within or across tenants is a task that comes up regularly for IT teams. We wanted to make it easier and less time-consuming for you. 

With ShareGate’s new Cloud copy feature, you’ll have the flexibility to move Teams content whenever, wherever with the convenience of web access. 

Anyone on your team with access to ShareGate can easily access quick copy actions and get your tasks accomplished quicker. It should help reduce your ticket queue and free up more of your time for more valuable projects. 

Let’s see how it works!

Copy an entire team as a new team

When you open ShareGate, under the Migration tab there will be an option for Cloud copy.

Sharegate Migration - Cloud Copy

There will be a quick onboarding the first time you try it. Then you’ll arrive at the Cloud copy home page where you can see your recent copies. From here, you can click Start a copy.

Sharegate Migration - Start Copy

You can choose which type of copy you’d like to do, copy an entire team as a new team, or copy channels into an existing team.

Sharegate Migration - Copy Types

We’ll walk through what each of these looks like. First, we’ll start with copying a team as a new team.

First, you select your source tenant. You can connect as many tenants as you need by clicking Connect tenant.

If you haven’t already given permission to connect to new tenants through the ShareGate migration tool, you’ll need to give consent at this point. If you have, you’ll be able to connect your tenants and select your source tenant right away.

Sharegate Migration - Connect Tenants

Then you can select which team you want to copy by searching for its name.

Sharegate Migration - Select Team

Once you select your team, you select your destination tenant, which can be the same or different from the source tenant. Then you can choose the name of the new team.

You can also choose if you’d like to change the privacy status of the team in the destination. The default will be the privacy status of the source team, but it’s easy to switch if you need to.

Cloud Copy Privacy

Before starting the copy, you can review a summary of your selections—where the team will be copied from and to, what type of copy it will be and what your new team will look like.

Sharegate Migration - Team Selection Summary

Then you can click Start Copy. And that’s it, you’ll have copied a team to a new team quickly and easily! You’ll be able to see your copy results, including the number of successes, warnings, and errors. You can also download a copy report, go back to home, or start a new copy.

Sharegate Migration - Copy Completed

Copy channels into an existing team

Sometimes you don’t need to copy a whole team, just a few channels. So we made it simple to do just that.

With this feature, you can:

  • Copy channels within the same tenant or across different ones
  • See clashes in names with the destination and rename to ensure all channel names are unique
  • Decide whether users should be added or not when the channel is copied into a private team

To copy a channel, you navigate to the Migration tab and then click Cloud copy, just as when you copy a team.

Once you select Copy channels into an existing team and click Next, you’ll be asked to select the source tenant. As mentioned above, you’ll have the option to connect whatever tenants you’d like once consent has been given (in ShareGate Migration or during this step of Cloud copy).

Within the source tenant, you can search for the team that has the channels you want to copy.

Sharegate Migration - Copy Teams Channels

Once you select that team, you can select which of its channels you want to copy.

Feature Release Provisioning Cloud Copy Sharegate Migration Copy Channels

After you click Next, you’ll be asked to choose the destination tenant and team you want to copy the channels to. If the team you’re copying to has channels by the same name, you’ll be asked to rename the copied channels.

Sharegate Migration - Copy Options

The final step is reviewing a summary of your copy selections. This summary will tell you about the source tenant and team, destination tenant and team, the channels copied, and the channels that have been renamed. If it all checks out for you, you can click Start copy.

Sharegate Migration - Copy Selections Summary

And then that’s that! You’ve copied your channels to a new team, and you’ll get a report with all the details about that copy.

Sharegate Migration - Channel Copy Completed

It’s quick, easy, and painless. Oh, and you’ll always have the latest version of the tool since it’s in the cloud, so there’s no need to download anything to make sure everything runs smoothly!

Up next on the management roadmap

ShareGate is always moving forward, always making improvements. We’re really excited about Provisioning and Cloud copy, but we’re not stopping there. Up next, we’ll be adding new policies to Provisioning and exploring other opportunities—did someone say SharePoint provisioning?—and Cloud copy, including incremental copy. Not to mention the updates to Communication sites management and reporting.  

Most of our updates are based on feedback we get from our users, so make sure to let us know what would help make your life easier. Try out Provisioning and Cloud copy, then give us your feedback about what else you’d like to see in these features and for ShareGate more broadly.

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