New in ShareGate: Microsoft 356 workspace provisioning

With this release, you get a new way to manage Teams while reducing tickets and increasing productivity. Our Teams provisioning templates allow you to help end users create the teams they want, with your guardrails in place.

Staying on top of your organization’s teams can be tough. 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 to help with Teams management from creation through transformation.

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.

Up next on the management roadmap

ShareGate is always moving forward, always making improvements. We’re really excited about Provisioning, 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? 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, 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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