Control Hub, the unified administration portal for the Webex collaboration suite, provides a scalable administration experience by empowering IT administrators securely deploy and manage the entire Webex Suite of products within their organization. One of the key administrative tasks in Control Hub that administrators spend most of their time on is user configuration and management. Recently, a new enhancement has been built into Control Hub to simplify and automate user management workflows. IT administrators can now focus their time on more important business-critical things while running repetitive tasks on autopilot.
Administrators typically have two key considerations in terms of managing users – provisioning them with the right licenses and configuring them with the right set of policies that are in accordance with the company’s legal and compliance frameworks. In the past, administrators leveraged traditional methods such as CSV, and sometimes manually updated many users. These methodologies were not only error-prone, but also proved to be time-consuming and inefficient. With the new bulk license assignment and setting template capabilities, admins can set up licenses and settings one time and be assured every user in their organization is being provisioned consistently.
Let’s take a deeper look at these new enhancements.
Automated license assignment is a mechanism to assign licenses to either the entire organization or to a group of users using a pre-determined license template. Admins can specify what licenses they would like to award to either all the users in their organization or to a group of users. Every user that’s onboarded into that organization or group will get the licenses specified. In addition, they can also utilize the license assignment to modify the licenses for existing users of their organization or group by selecting ‘Existing Users’ as the scope of their modification. Admins can also remove licenses using this method. As always, if there is a special circumstance, the admin can continue to modify the licenses of an individual user through the UI or using the user CSV file.
Like automated license assignments, setting templates offers bulk management capabilities for settings and policies. Each service (meeting, messaging, and calling) has a setting template of its own the administrator can define and apply to a group of users.
For example, if there are some users that need recording and some users that don’t, simply create two setting templates; one with recording enabled, the other with recording disabled and assign the templates to the two groups.
Setting templates offers an extensive range of controls to equip administrators with the infrastructure they need to adequately manage all their users’ features and restrictions. For instance, the meeting setting template allows the administrator to control which users can join meetings conducted in their organizations, what the meeting policies are, and how a user must behave when they attend meetings in other organizations. This range of capabilities allows admins to meet their organization’s unique user policy requirements.
User groups allow administrators to logically organize their users based on different organizational profiles for the purposes of bulk administration. As discussed in the section above, an administrator can apply automated license and setting templates to user groups. Previously, the only mechanism to create groups in Control Hub was by synchronizing groups from an on-premises Active Directory through the Cisco Active Directory Connector. However, recently Webex has added API support for administrators to create groups natively in Control Hub. The group APIs are documented on developer.webex.com. In addition, over the next several months, Webex will expand the mechanisms for group creation and management through the Control Hub portal and through the Azure AD directory connector.
Along with bulk provisioning and improved tooling around groups, Webex has completely transformed the user management user interface through lean user experience techniques and modern workflows. The user list has been enhanced for easy perusal with better search and filtering capabilities.
In addition, the user details page has been enhanced into a full-page view with an easy-to-use tab structure to navigate across different components of a user’s details. Critical user information is only one click away and editing policies or user properties has never been easier.
Beyond these, Control Hub has also improved the activation email-sending mechanism with manual control and localization preferences. The Webex team is very excited about all the recent developments within the user management area and look forward to bringing more enhancements in the months to come. For additional resources, click here.