Enterprises have benefited from a lot of exciting tech innovation in recent years, but the way custom templates for MS Office are deployed in global organizations has hardly changed in the past decade. Conversations I’ve had with IT-Pros at conferences and roadshows lately have made me realize how archaic and frustrated the thinking is around this area. There is a better way to deploy custom templates.

Of course, as Templafy's CTO I'm compelled to say that, but the enthusiasm and positive feedback I've received when presenting our solution, from the IT people working with this stuff every day, has encouraged me to try to spread our message further. This blog post is primarily for those people: infrastructure partners working in global organizations and IT administrators responsible for client deployment. It will also no doubt be useful for a broader IT audience too. Let me show you how you can simplify template deployment for yourselves and deliver better results for your clients.

Template deployment evolution

Trusted IT partners of various global organizations are used to configuring different solutions and are familiar with accommodating a multitude of requests. Some clients want only customized or branded templates to load as options in PowerPoint or Word, others need to ensure that templates appear in the correct language for every national office, others still are very particular about how and when updates are managed. More and more, clients are wanting the exact same templates offered on desktops to be available on various devices for employees working remotely.

Previously, you would copy the templates locally to the end user with XCOPY or place them on a file share as workgroup templates and use SCCM for add-in deployment. But this makes it very hard to maintain and monitor if every end user has access to the latest and best templates and Office add-ins. It's also a method that's far from foolproof. Chances are various frustrating bugs will appear post-deployment, and getting the templates to work consistently across all platforms, devices and locations is obviously not as simple as clients like to think.

Automating as much of the template deployment process as possible is the ideal solution, and is precisely what Templafy does.

The benefits

Complementing your client support with Templafy's cloud-based model results in easier deployment, zero IT administration and happier end users. Our solution does all the integration and accessibility work for you, leaving just a simple set-up to get all the features needed on any device.

With Templafy you:

  • Save time during implementation and eliminate the need for day-to-day template administration in IT.
  • Remove distribution challenges, ensuring templates are always available to all users on their preferred office platform and device.
  • Deploy a scalable and customizable system that automatically supports multiple countries, languages, brand structures and personalizes templates for every employee.
  • Automate enterprise template management, reducing the risk of errors or glitches you need to attend to.
  • Improve company file creation, storage and sharing processes, and increase compliance rates of employee-produced files.
  • Increase user adoption of cost and time-saving cloud technologies.

How it works

As template management experts, we can configure Templafy to your client's requirements and needs. Once the client has provided all the relevant company assets (templates, logos, images, videos, text snips, etc.), we add the content and build the solution. As the trusted client partner, we'll work with you to set-up and test the necessary authentication so only the right users can access Templafy, and help you integrate the solution to existing systems and office platforms.

Templafy is secure and scalable, with Single sign-on against Microsoft Azure Active Directory allowing us to integrate into the user management, making user provisioning and on-boarding simple. It’s all managed in one intuitive interface and as the platform evolves, we evolve with it.

Speaking of evolution, in the ideal world (when you're ready for it), you would aim to set-up the New World of Deployment, meaning that the Office client deployment would be handled by Office 365 Pro Plus, leading to automatic deployment of new Office versions and features. Combining with Templafy would remove the need for complex deployment of Office templates and, finally, the Office add-ins would be updated from a cloud-based repository via the Templafy File Updater, removing the need to push out new Office add-ins by SCCM.

In the near future, Templafy will also provide Office Add-ins for the Office Store, supporting the new easy add-in deployment model Microsoft introduced at the Microsoft Build 2016 conference.

Better, right?

Tons of documents and presentations are produced by enterprise staff every day. Templafy keeps them on-brand, legally compliant and accessible on all platforms and devices. We simplify how companies create, handle and share document templates and personalize them for every employee.

As a spin-off from template management consultancy SkabelonDesign, our experts have worked with more than 700 companies globally for more than 10 years to deliver template deployment solutions. And as a certified Microsoft partner, we're in the vanguard of innovation and development of Office suite solutions.