Picture this: your team desperately needs a new SharePoint project site, but the request process takes a day – filled with emails, approvals, and manual IT intervention. Sounds frustrating, right? That is exactly what Gardiner & Theobald, a leading business, faced before implementing automated SharePoint provisioning.

This article explores how Gardiner & Theobald (G&T) slashed site creation time from a day to under an hour, empowering users and freeing up IT resources – all thanks to the power of automation.

The Pain Points

  • Manual Request Process: G&T received constant requests for new SharePoint project sites. Each request involved user contact, team discussions, email confirmations, and manual site creation – a process taking roughly a day per site!
  • Inconsistent Branding: Ensuring every SharePoint site adhered to G&T's branding guidelines proved difficult with manual site creation.
  • IT Bottleneck: IT personnel were bogged down by repetitive site creation tasks, hindering their ability to focus on strategic initiatives.
"So, the lifecycle of it would be: an end user would contact us, then have a team discussion to talk about their requirement, and then ask for a follow-up email to confirm everything that was discussed."

The SharePoint provisioning solution - Automate365

  • Empowering End-Users: G&T implemented Automate365, replacing manual requests of SharePoint sites with a user-friendly form-driven process.
  • Streamlined Approvals: Thanks to Automate365 integrations and extensibility, G&T were able to define a process flow with built-in approvals. This gave them greater SharePoint governance and control.
  • Automated Site Creation: Once approved, the form triggers an automated workflow that creates the site in under an hour!
  • Templatized Workspaces: G&T standardized site creation with pre-configured site templates/examples that ensure the fast creation of different types of team sites, consistent branding, security settings, and functionalities across all sites.
"We found out that by giving the power back to the end user, standardizing and templatizing all these requirements, the end user can just ask for the site to be created and then automatically set it up."
Luke Collings, Senior Associate at Gardinier & Theobald

The Benefits

  • Reduced Costs and Time: Site creation time shrunk from a day to less than an hour, freeing IT resources, reducing labor costs and speeding up project initiation.
  • Improved User Adoption: Thanks to the SharePoint site examples, the user-friendly form system boosted SharePoint adoption with employees actively requesting and utilizing new sites.
  • Increased Productivity: By reusing their own SharePoint templates, faster site creation and reduced IT involvement allowed G&T to streamline operations and improve overall efficiency.

Looking Forward

G&T's journey with automation doesn't stop here. They're exploring the integration of Power BI with Automate365.

"The next step for us is looking at Power BI and how we can utilize that with automation for our end users to show them that SharePoint is not just a document-driven site, and you can use it for a bunch of other things."
Luke Collings, Senior Associate at Gardinier & Theobald

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