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An MSP setting up a users Microsoft workflow

10 workflows that make MSPs more efficient

10 workflows that make MSPs more efficient

2022-02-22 05:18:27 β€” 5 min read

It’s no secret that intelligent automation can make operational functions run smoother. However, as customer Microsoft environments become more sophisticated, even the most helpful solution could be more effective.  

Gone are the days where customers hire MSPs to β€˜just’ service Microsoft 365 needs. Pre-pandemic, tasks typically revolved around new client setups, migrations and updating existing Microsoft setups. It’s a different story now. MSPs are focusing their time on digital transformation, so more processes are needed to manage tenants.  

So, how can processes be more efficient? In short, with workflows.

What is a workflow?

A workflow is a sequence of programmed, connected steps that perform long-running tasks. They are:

  • A group of multiple tasks that trigger a process from start to finish.
  • Scalable and repeatable.
  • Customizable and specific to you.
  • As simple or complex as you need them to be.
  • Used for many situations.

A workflow’s purpose is to get work done quickly and efficiently with minimum input required. MSPs use them to:

  • Manage tasks at scale; and
  • Control multiple-tenant and user environments quickly and accurately.

Workflows VS scripts?

It’s a valid to think β€˜I already use scripts to make my life easier, so why should I use workflows?’

  • Many MSPs and cloud service providers use command-line
  • PowerShell scripts
  • to automate various repetitive user tasks. For example, converting an inbox to a shared mailbox or adding someone to a Microsoft Teams channel. However:
  • Scripts don’t always work on a trigger-basis.
  • They need to be kept up to date and tweaked when requirements change.
  • Teams need to switch from portal to portal to manage them.
  • They are harder to scale
  • Scripts are harder to apply to multiple environments, as each environment has a different underlying configuration

Yes, they do make life a lot easier for MSPs, but scripts are the command to complete a task. They are not the process teams take to complete it. This process would need to be completed manually, or via an automated workflow.  

But most importantly, MSPs should move away from complex ways to manage tasks and leave the hard work to the SaaS vendor. As teams don’t need technical knowledge to manage low-code and other visual software, it’s great to have in the MSP tech toolset. These platforms are also easier to learn and can promote business agility.

Workflows are the smarter way to work.

If you want to be a more efficient MSP, workflows are the way forward. Tasks are made easier if you build your own scalable flow that is:

1. Easy to maintain.

2. Used for multiple tenants.

3. Managed from one portal.

10 ways to streamline tenant setups using workflows

Imagine your new tenant has 500+ users to set up. You have the relevant command scripts but need an easy way to assign them to all users and groups. Service desks can:

  • Create a workflow that contains relevant command-line .
  • Trigger the workflow across multiple tenant environments.
  • The workflow will perform the necessary tasks.

The automated workflow will then manage the repetitive setup tasks at scale. For example:

1. Create new user environment

Add new user to group – add name – create email address - assign all or specific Microsoft 365 licenses to user

2. Set up and configure mailboxes

Inform Exchange to create a new shared mailbox – define an alias + add email address – manage & assign permissions to users or groups

3. Assign permissions to shared mailbox calendars

Assign Publishing Editor permissions to the Shared Mailbox – add user or group

4. Set up security policies

Define user group - assign user group rights – assign passwords, protections – apply access controls

5. Give user access to Microsoft Teams

Provide access to Microsoft Teams – add user to specific groups

6. Provide access to OneDrive

Setup a Microsoft Office 365 subscription – add OneDrive – adopt OneDrive – Install OneDrive on user device

7. Add users to specific Sharepoint folders

Select user group - assign file access – add user permissions

8. Offboard

Remove alias permission - reassign licences to new user environment

9. Give existing employee access to previous user’s mailbox

Remove full access permissions for shared mailbox – define new alias + add email address

10. Regularly monitor offboarded environment

Check permissions are in place – monitor live licenses – trigger email alerts – trigger security breaches

With automated workflows in place, specialists don’t need to spend hours building and configuring Microsoft 365 environments manually.

Spinpanel provides a single, comprehensive tool to empower MSPs and their customers to unlock the full potential of Microsoft 365. It integrates tightly with the Microsoft Ecosystem and has native integrations with Microsoft 365, Azure, Partner Center and Power Automate.
Find out how the end-to-end automation and Microsoft management tool connects with third party apps to advance workflows.