Why Microsoft Teams Auto Provisioning Truly Is A Gamechanger


When I was provisioning a coordinator, I made lots of mistakes.

When I was a provisioning team leader, I made lots of mistakes.

When I was a provisioning manager, I made lots of mistakes.

When I moved to the sales and marketing side, other people made lots of mistakes.

Provisioning, of any solution, is prone to lots of errors. All these are down to manual input.

Over the last 15 years, I’ve done it all. Added the wrong license to a user, forgot to activate a tenant on time, missed a MAC address on a handset. The list really does go on.

The point here is not how bad I was at my job. It’s that when everything is left to human memory, human time in the day, and human’s not being tied up with some other issue they’re fighting leads to errors.

And errors lead to duplicated work. Which costs time.

Yet, in most organizations, both the cost and the process of enabling users in Microsoft Teams go overlooked. 

There are usually three reasons for this: 

  • Lack of budget to investigate 
  • In-house “always” equals low cost 
  • Project teams add value to BAU activities

Overall, we’ve worked out that businesses using Microsoft Teams can save ~$500,000 per year when they switch from manual data entry for every single new user and move, add, or change to auto-provisioning.

Number of Monthly Changes  Cost of Change Per Month  Cost of Change Per Year (ongoing) 
50  $1,969.42  $23,633.04 
100  $4,088.76   $49,065.12 
350  $16,037.14  $192,445.68 
500  $26,325.15  $315,901.8 
1000  $54,869.11  $658,429.32 


But now you can do something about it.

The case for auto-provisioning

Think about every time a new user (or group of users) joins your business.

The standard onboarding procedure looks like this:

  • HR submits a ticket requesting Microsoft Teams access
  • You create a new user with all the details
  • Either you nail it or you have to remedy the errors you made

There’s nothing unusual about this process. For run rate new users, this is routine. You do it by memory. You nail it nine times out of 10. The one rogue incident goes unnoticed because they didn’t have access before so it’s not caused a tangible problem.

But here’s what actually happens:

  • HR submits a ticket requesting Microsoft Teams access
  • You create a new user with all the details
  • The user requests more features that HR didn’t ask for
  • You don’t know if they are allowed those features
  • You go back and forth
  • You add those features
  • The user requests more features that HR didn’t ask for

There’s nothing unusual about this process, either. It’s what happens all the time. Then factor is the rogue one time when you mess up. Except…maybe that’s two times when you’re making constant tweaks because nobody actually knows what they want. 

The process of not knowing what people need and/or are allowed costs time. As does manual human error.

And time costs money.

But that’s not all…

Every time a user changes role, location, or anything that triggers a tweak to their Teams setup, you have to go through the motions once more.

For the sake of your and my sanity, I won’t make you read that again.

How does Microsoft Teams auto-provisioning help?

Teams auto-provisioning does exactly what it says on the tin.

By creating user persona templates upfront, every team has a defined set of policies and access. When a new user joins, assuming you’ve created the user in AzureAD, everything gets pulled and assigned automatically.
Teams AutoProvisioning
The same is true when users move departments or locations. You make one change and everything else gets done for you.

The end result?

You reduce manual errors and save a ton of money.

The script writes itself.

There are a ton of cool features for admins to get their teeth stuck into but I don’t want this blog post to become even remotely salesly.

Sure, I’m working with a company that sells auto-provisioning. But I’m also a provisioner of six years and a sufferer of provisioning mistakes for three years and a business consultant tasked with saving money for a year.

I didn’t like getting shouted at by salespeople. I didn’t like it when I was the one doing the shouting. I didn’t like when cost-saving meant reducing staff.

Auto-provisioning saves me from being unhappy in all these scenarios.

And it will save you a ton of money.

As a provisioner, I honestly don’t mind where you go and buy your auto-provisioning.

Just make sure that you do, eh?


About Author

Dominic is a freelance content marketer specializing in unified comms and collaboration. He combines 10 years of product work with 6 years of marketing experience to produce subject matter expert content that hits the top of Google every time.

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