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IT Service Providers looking to become more efficient with automated Command Blocks and Sets

What makes Command Blocks & Sets different from PowerShell?

What makes Command Blocks & Sets different from PowerShell?

2021-12-14 03:29:52 — 5 min read

There will always be tasks that take more time than they should.


As tenant numbers grow and Microsoft processes advance, Service Providers will always chase the need to find extra time. This goes for efficient ways of working too.


There are many useful Microsoft solutions to help support business with Windows admin tasks. One of the most appealing being PowerShell.


What is PowerShell?

PowerShell is a cross-platform task automation solution made up of a command-line shell, a scripting language, and a configuration management framework. PowerShell runs on Windows, Linux, and macOS.


Many MSPs and cloud service providers use it to automate various repetitive user tasks, for example, converting an inbox to a shared mailbox or adding someone to a Microsoft Teams channel.


The benefit of PowerShell


Specialists will no longer need to spend hours building and configuring Microsoft 365 environments manually. When used, technicians can automate repetitive setup tasks at scale.


However, challenges still arise when using PowerShell and scripts and they tend to appear when you manage a large volume of tenants.


How can you manage customer environments more efficiently?


This falls to the support of Command Blocks and Command Sets. This could be new to you as it’s specific Spinpanel terminology, but bear with us, we’ll touch on that soon.


Let’s start with an example.


A help desk team member has 20 tenants whose security policies need updating to meet the latest requirements. To facilitate this, they need to hop into each customer Portal to setup, which naturally will take them a lot of time – 20 times to be precise.


Of course, you can use PowerShell to set this up, but it isn’t a scalable service. So, how will you distribute those scripts or transfer the knowledge across the 20 user environments? It’s not a very efficient process.


Yes, whilst PowerShell and scripts make life a lot easier for Microsoft Partners, they still typically run inside each individual tenant. As scripts need to be kept up to date and tweaked when Microsoft configurations or settings change, switching from portal to portal to manage this becomes an inefficient way of working, and ultimately, will hold you back from scaling.


There are other disadvantages to PowerShell command-line shells and scripting language too:


  • Scripts are complex.
  • Require systems admin or some coding knowledge.
  • They often need updating and maintaining when settings change.
  • They are sometimes difficult for others to work with.
  • PowerShell is still very single tenant focused.
  • It can create potential security risks.


IT Service Provider’s lives could be made easier if you build your own scalable workflows that are:


 1. Easy to maintain.

2. Used for multiple tenants.

3. All managed from one portal.


There is a way. This can be managed with something we call a Command Block.


What are Spinpanel Command Blocks?


Behind every great Microsoft 365 deployment is a great workflow.


When using Spinpanel’s powerful Command Blocks functionality, Service Providers can easily create workflows and automate day-to-day tasks.


This nifty feature has been designed to streamline the more traditional PowerShell commands, and makes automated processes even easier. We’re talking adding multiple users to groups, creating numerous mailboxes and applying security settings effortlessly without the need to write a single line of code.


The big difference is you can control commands from a single pain of glass. No more scattered management and logging in and out of various solutions. Spinpanel’s Portal allows you to list all of your customers in one place and roll out commands widely to multiple-tenants.


As command blocks are standardized but still configurable, it means teams can take advantage of commands, and use them to manage Microsoft 365 and Azure deployments on repeat. This brings huge time saving advantages.


It doesn’t stop there. Let’s go one step further and talk about Command Sets.


What are Spinpanel Command Sets?


There are hundreds of Spinpanel command blocks to choose from. Our command set function lets you bundle multiple commands together, be flexible with their parameters and reuse them over and over.


Spinpanel’s Portal differs from other automation tools. It allows you to build your own solution that is specific to your end-customer or group of end customers. Having this capability means you can build your IP into command blocks and command sets.


Once you’ve incorporated your own unique approach, you can tailor commands and sets to the specific server environments you are configuring. For example, bundle a group of commands to set up multiple-users modern workplaces or security permissions. You can either create your own command sets or use ones that Portal has customized to easy roll-out.


Using Commands Blocks and Sets will help you scale.


You can rise to any Microsoft challenge when you use Commands. Workflows are the roadmap for modern success and Command Blocks and Command Sets can help you achieve this.


They allow IT Service Providers to advance from PowerShell and connect multiple-users and tenants to Microsoft setups quickly. Being able to manage customer environments from one interface allows help desk teams to spend less time on customer deployments, and more time to focus on scaling.


Command Blocks and Sets = Easy, accurate and efficient management. Less admin time needed – that’s what we call a winner!


Click on this link to hear our CTO, Vincent Mejan, discuss the technicalities of Command Blocks and Command Sets at the recent South Coast Summit.