In one of our previous articles, we covered in detail what out-of-the-box and more custom workspace (Microsoft Teams, Groups, SharePoint, and Communication sites) provisioning options exist.
In a nutshell, out-of-the-box, IT admins can either open the floodgates and let users create what they want, when they want to, or restrict creation, thus taking on a huge burden of processing and provisioning workspace requests.
Although more complex provisioning options exist, for example, workspace request and approval workflows using Power Automate, they do require in-depth technical knowledge, and lots of time and effort to set up and configure. The user interface is far from easy to follow or delightful to use, and neither is the IT Admin side of the interface.
In our article, we would like to introduce you to one of the core functionalities of Orchestry – Workspace Provisioning, as well as give you a brief overview of other features that are essential to effective Microsoft 365 governance, content lifecycle management, and cross-organizational adoption of Microsoft 365 tools.
Orchestry's Workspace Templates
One of the root causes of the slow adoption of new technology tools (especially Microsoft 365) is the fact that end-users often lack the training and the deep technical knowledge of the tools, therefore they are uncertain what to use when which tool is right for the job and what set of solutions will meet their unique business and project needs.
In the case of Microsoft Teams, Groups, SharePoint, or Communications sites, they either end up creating a lot of “test” workspaces which end up abandoned days or weeks later or become plagued by Analysis Paralysis and come to the IT teams with questions, or requests to give them the right tools. In worst-case scenarios, they turn to third-party solutions which do not meet the security and privacy standards of your organization – this is called Shadow IT.
A great way to solve this problem is to develop a set of templates for workspaces, which are centered around common specific business needs and are pre-configured with all the right tools and resources. This makes it ridiculously easy for the end-users to find and request templates that can fulfill their needs and start using them effectively from day 1.
Orchestry’s comprehensive library of business scenario templates created by M365 MVPs and validated by 1000s of real users, along with the intuitive and user-friendly Workspace Template creation features let IT admins meet the unique needs of every team and department, without having to write a single line of code.
Using existing, creating new templates, or turning some of your existing workspaces into templates will help you standardize common business processes including employee onboarding and offboarding, inter-departmental communication & collaboration, project management, and more.
Save hours and even days of coding and configuration of templates with Orchestry’s custom web parts that fill common M365 gaps, including advanced tasks and the People web part.
Want to learn more about Orchestry’s Workspace Templates and how they can save you more than 2 hours of customizations per workspace?
Once you have prepared your first template, you can immediately make it available for provisioning to the end users.
Orchestry's Workspace Provisioning
Different workspace templates require different approaches. Some workspaces can be provisioned to the end user without any delay (especially if your templates are configured very well). Others, depending on their type and sensitivity level may need to go through approval before provisioning. The added approval steps also help reduce Microsoft 365 sprawl – after all, if a workspace has been approved before being provisioned, the likelihood of it needing to be archived or it being abandoned later on is much reduced.
In Orchestry’s exquisite Workspace Provisioning interface, IT admins can create an endless number of workspace provisioning workflows of any complexity. Simpler workflows, that engage specific individuals to review workspace requests can be built with a couple of clicks of a button. For example, any workspace that is part of the marketing department can be assigned to the manager of the marketing team for the initial review, and a secondary review and final approval can be assigned to the IT team. You can add as many steps as required, and customize the message that the approvers will receive when a new workspace is being requested by the end user, and you can easily associate existing templates with the approval workflows.
You can also create more complex workflows, that require automation using Power Automate. You would simply create a new approval workflow, and generate a “dummy account” as an approver in that workflow. You would then proceed to set up your Power Automate approval workflow and set up a unique trigger for the automation to begin – a message which will be automatically sent by Orchestry when a new workspace with the approval workflow is being requested by the end user.
Once the approval is done on the Power Automate end, it will send a message back to Orchestry, which will then take care of the provisioning of the workspace.
Power Automate allows you to set up workflows of any complexity, like the example we have below.
Orchestry coupled with Power Automate gives you the ability to:
- Manage approval workflows
- Associate workflows with templates, existing and new workspaces
- Review & respond to workspace requests, all in a single beautifully designed interface built with Microsoft 365 and UX best practices in mind.
Orchestry's Workspace Request Wizard
Every workspace template in Orchestry’s library, as well as those you have built from scratch, can be made available for requests by end-users. Since Orchestry was built for IT Administrators, with end users in mind, we put a lot of effort into making the workspace request process absolutely seamless and truly intuitive for the end users.
End users can access the Orchestry app within their Teams app. Once in the requests section, they will be taken through an easy step-by-step process to request a new workspace which requires zero technical knowledge to complete.
The entire process only has 5 steps, which include selecting the right template for their needs, customizing it with features and documents, adding details about their workspace, configuring channels and permissions, and submitting it for either direct provision (when approval is not required) or review.
The Workspace Provisioning Wizard has an automatic duplicate content scan, so when a user is trying to request a workspace that is similar to one that already exists, they will be notified and provided with links to view or request access to the similar content. This feature greatly reduces potential Microsoft 365 sprawl.
If you are interested in learning more about Workspace Provisioning Wizard and what the experience of requesting workspaces looks like for the end users, read our comprehensive blog.
Orchestry's Workspace Governance
The magic of Orchestry is in the fact that it’s a complete solution that takes care of every aspect of Microsoft 365 environment administration, and lets you manage it all within a single interface. Microsoft 365 governance is no exception. In Orchestry, IT admins are able to set up default governance configurations for the tenant including:
- Configure default access and permissions
- Apply sensitivity labels
- Associate approval workflows
- Generate and apply naming policies
- Create and enable new metadata fields, for example, department, location, division
- Configure Microsoft 365 behavior including Guest access, allow or disable external emailing to the group, and more
- Configure SharePoint site behavior including external sharing options, default link types and permissions, and more
When it comes to workspaces and templates, you can apply tenant default governance configurations, or override them and apply configurations unique to the individual workspace.
We have put together a comprehensive blog which covers Microsoft 365 Governance made easy with Orchestry. Have a read to learn more!
Orchestry's Workspace Lifecycle Management
Every workspace in Microsoft 365 has a shelf life. To avoid hundreds of abandoned and inactive workspaces cluttering up your tenant, it is considered best practice to provision workspaces with the end game in mind. Orchestry lets you define lifecycle policies and apply them to individual workspace templates which are then made available to be requested by end users. As soon as the workspace is provisioned, the lifecycle policy will come into effect and the countdown will begin.
Your lifecycle policies can be based on a specific timeframe – for example, a project usually takes 3 months to complete, so upon reaching the presumed end of the project, the workspace owners will be automatically notified to either archive or renew the workspace.
Other policies may be based on inactivity. Once the workspace has been inactive for a certain number of days, the workspace owners will receive a notification to review the workspace in question and, once again, renew or archive it.
As you can see, Orchestry is a complete Microsoft 365 self-service Provisioning solution that is bound to delight the end-users and Microsoft 365 admins alike. It lets you:
- Go beyond out-of-the-box MS Teams templates with support for preconfigured Channels, Tabs, Apps, and more.
- Build or modify Orchestry’s pre-built business-first Workspace templates and embed them with security, governance guardrails, and adoption resources.
- Drive adoption by letting the users create & customize Workspaces in Orchestry’s intuitive Workspace Request Wizard with control, but without the endless bottlenecks.
- Provide feedback, approve, and govern Workspace requests in a single interface.
Orchestry users save on average 30 minutes provisioning a single Team, Group, SharePoint, or Communication site
Want to see Orchestry in action?
Orchestry offers a free full-experience trial for 28 days.
- Trusted by thousands of IT admins, and leading Microsoft 365 partners worldwide
- Fully secure application attested by SOC2 Security certification
- Full features, zero commitment
- No credit card required
- Orchestry apps installation takes less than 15 minutes
- No obligation – if Orchestry is not your cup of tea, simply delete the apps at the end of the trial and all the content you created using Orchestry will remain
Book your demo today to chat with one of our Microsoft 365 experts about the opportunities you can unlock with Orchestry and see it in action.
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