The basics of provisioning Microsoft 365 workspaces and Microsoft Teams are fairly straightforward – rapidly deploy standardized, consistent workspaces across the enterprise. However, there are features in the BindTuning Automate 365 product that aren't obvious yet are critical during the provisioning process. In short, they are the provisioning features you need. In order to take a look at these “hidden features”, I sat down with Carlos Silva, BindTuning CTO to get some answers.

What are the features that users may not be aware of in Automate 365?

We do have new features that we recently rolled out for Automate 365. During the development process, we anticipate all sorts of scenarios and conditions while replicating SharePoint sites, Microsoft Teams, and other shared workspaces. But our customers play a strategic role in the development of this product, uncovering quite detailed requirements. Using our agile development methodologies and the beauty of a cloud-based app, we are able to quickly roll out new features to all of our products, providing immediate benefit to our customers.

Three powerful provisioning features you need:

  • Apply modern, pre-built page templates across SharePoint site collections
  • Simplify Site Permissions
  • Synchronize Azure Active Directory Groups with Group Sync

Apply modern, pre-built page templates across SharePoint site collections

Most of our customers are using modern SharePoint page templates and would like to apply them across not only new but existing site collections. So we provide that capability right in the template. Just as you would select the lists, folders, pages and site settings you can also include modern page templates, too. In fact, if the only thing you want to do is to apply modern page templates from one site to existing sites, with Automate 365 you can create a template that does just that. The options available to you are endless. Everything you want to include in a template from a source site is customizable to your needs, including page designs.

A consistent intranet experience can be easily attained, without starting from "scratch". Existing sites can be easily updated with consistent, modern page templates without disrupting the flow of work.

Simplify Site Permissions

The last thing anyone needs when creating new sites and teams is the tangle of owners, users, guests and visitors. Well, we have taken several steps in simplifying this process. In the app, users can take the existing Microsoft 365 Site Security settings (admin, owners, members, visitors...) from the source site and optionally include it in their template. A fast and convenient way to create sites and teams, "pre-loaded" with the proper members.

But sites and teams can be created and loaded with members without ever logging into Automate 365. Using the built-in, data-driven capabilities of Automate 365, sites and teams - including their permissions settings - can be deployed by a data-driven event in a SharePoint list, an Excel file, CSV or even a JSON file. Utilizing field mappings, owners, members, visitors, guests can all be customized during the deployment process.

Why is this important? We have many customers managing projects and/or trouble tickets for their clients. New sites and/or teams need to be quickly created based on a variety of membership options. Imagine completely automating this process so that sites and teams are created on-demand to the exact specifications you define. Not only that, you can manage it entirely outside of the Automate 365 application. This gives real power to end users, but fully governed by IT. Once the template settings are defined, users are able to generate new sites and teams in a few keystrokes in a data source. When you create a new template, you carry over personalized fields - including site permissions - to the new template, ensuring continuity of operations, right from the start. We have anticipated so many scenarios, that we keep building deployment automation features you need!

Synchronize Azure Active Directory Groups with Group Sync

I’d say Group Sync is a game-changer for our customers. We have many customers who are migrating from on-premises to online and Microsoft has tools to help integrate on-premises directories with Azure Active Directory. Using the Microsoft Azure Active Directory Connect, admins can easily leverage common identities and security groups from on-premises Active Directory to the cloud Azure Active Directory infrastructure.

But these same customers face an additional challenge: how to leverage these existing security groups for use in Microsoft Teams. Currently, you can only create a Microsoft Team with Microsoft 365 groups. For organizations that already have security groups in place, they are useless for creating Teams. So, we developed a feature in Automate 365 called Group Sync which not only allows admins to create Microsoft 365 groups based on Azure Active Directory security groups, but synchronize them regularly, so that they remain current. Organizations regularly add and remove users from security groups, so having a way to keep them current is essential.

Group Sync allows Microsoft 365 groups to sync with users from the Azure Active Directory security group. Users can be added to existing Microsoft 365 groups or you can create a new Microsoft 365 that mirrors the Azure Active Directory group. Realizing the impact of this tool, we also provide the option to run a sync report before scheduling, giving complete visibility before the sync starts. Group Sync can be set up to run daily, weekly, monthly or yearly.

Get to know Automate 365

The best way to understand the power of Automate 365 is to let us reveal to you all the Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams provisioning features you need with a quick demo. Schedule one today.

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