Category: Microsoft 365

Shared Channels in Microsoft Teams – What do you need to start thinking about now?

Microsoft Teams Connect (Shared Channels) is about to being launched and many are impatiently waiting to use it. I think that Shared Channels will be very useful, and I clearly see its value as you do not have to be a guest in many organizations and change tenant as often as you need today. BUT here is some well-meaning advice in place. You who may think that it is only to activate the functionality and then everyone can use it (just as many did when Private Channels was launched) should stop a bit and think beforehand. If you want this to work well and not lose control (again), then you need to do proper homework with planning, configuration and training before you roll this out in the organization.

“With Microsoft Teams Connect we are making it easier to collaborate with anyone outside your organization. You can use Team’s full suite of collaboration capabilities with external partners in other Azure AD orgs the same way you use them with colleagues from your organization. Shared channels enables people from different orgs to work together as one team in a shared space for a more structured, deeper and longer-term collaboration.”

Source: Microsoft 365 Roadmap

Some examples of what you need to think about:

  • Just as with Private Channels, each Shared Channel gets its own SharePoint area. How should you have control over this?
  • Is the access for the external users affected if you implement (or have implemented) Conditional Access and MFA?
  • How do Shared Channels work in Teams that are blocked from inviting guests?
  • How to do with Sensitivity Labels? Does it work and when (and where) can you use it?
  • Is it enough that you just configure your organization’s tenant for it to work?
  • When should I use a team of guests, when should I use a Private Channel and when should I use a Shared Channel?
  • How are Shared Channels related to M365 Groups?
  • Do all Apps work the same way as in regular channels?
  • Should everyone be able to create Shared Channels or can I control this with a policy?

I am sure that more questions will arise over time, but these are good to start with finding the answers to.

Strategy, Planning, User adoption and Governance

If you do not do things the right way from the beginning, sooner or later you will have to pay for it afterwards.

To start using Shared Channels is no exception. As always, Strategy, User adoption and Governance are of great importance here too. This time do not make the same mistakes that many others have made by just rolling out new functionality without first familiarizing yourself with both opportunities and challenges. I have seen many examples of this when it comes to rapid implementation of Microsoft Teams and not least when it comes to Private Channels. You must ALWAYS plan for how new functionality will be implemented in the organization and not least how the new functionality will be received and embraced by your end users. What information should be communicated to them, how should you communicate the information and what training do they need to complete.

Even though we do our work in the cloud and Microsoft 365 is our plane, we can not rely on there being any magic cruise control. You actually need Governance on all services and features and Shared Channels in Microsoft Teams are no exception.

I’m really looking forward to the launch of Shared Channels and I will, without a doubt, use it. However, I will spend a lot of time in advance getting to know how it really works and how we will use it in our organization.

If you are curious to know more about Shared Channels, you can read more here:

Tony Redmond’s article “Diving into the Details of Microsoft Teams Shared Channels

AvePoint Blog article “6 Things You Need to Know About Microsoft Teams Connect (Shared Channels)” by Kevin Joy

Good luck and do not forget that with good planning you always get the best result!

/Magnus

Why archive inactive Teams and how?

Regular housekeeping and cleaning is important both privately and at work to have an environment you feel comfortable in and to avoid looking too much for things you need. When it comes to Microsoft Teams, you may find that you have too many Teams to keep track of and that the list of Teams is too long? Maybe some of them are no longer active? Then it is a good idea to archive the inactive teams.

When you archive a team, you keep it for reference, and it is also possible to activate it again in the future should the need arise. When archiving, the conversations / posts and files in the team becomes read-only. You will still be able to search through what you need and you can even keep the team as a favorite. (Worth knowing is that only team owners can archive and restore it. Here you can read about how team archiving works.

Source: support.microsoft.com

(Photo by Nana Smirnova on Unsplash)

Overwhelmed by alerts from Microsoft Teams?

Do you feel overwhelmed by alerts from Microsoft Teams?

That is easy to solve. The reason is, most likely, that you have not customized the alert settings to suit your needs. In the article “Manage notifications in Teams” you get the help you need to customize the settings so that you only get notifications about what you want/need (and also the way you receive notifications).

If you, still after configuring this settings, feel that you are getting too many alerts that are not completely relevant, one solution may be to talk to and educate your colleagues who may “@-mention” you and/or the entire team, all too often, so they only do it when they really need your / their attention.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Additional reading: “Six things to know about notifications

The wonderful feeling that your toolbox is complete

Microsoft Ignite is in full swing with almost limitless amounts of information about news regarding improvements and new functionality we can soon expect to be served on our table.

I must say that it has never been so inspiring and exciting to work with collaboration solutions from Microsoft. The toolbox grows and grows and I can, with a clear conscience, say that now we probably have everything (or at least most) we need in Microsoft Teams. It has really and finally become a workspace where you can make all your tools and all your information available in the right context.

(Photo by CDC on Unsplash)
With a little planning of how to put the whole thing together, you and your colleagues can actually soon perform all your daily activities without having to leave the Microsoft Teams interface to open additional systems.

“Everything in one place!”

Here is a selection of some important building blocks that we can use to achieve this:

  • All tasks in one app (Tasks)
  • Build workflows with the new “Power Automate app” in Teams
  • Build your own company-specific apps with integrations with your business systems with Power Platform and make these
    apps available to your teams.
  • Use Power BI to visualize your data in dashboards and reports.
  • Use the new “Home Site App” app to link your Modern SharePoint Intranet to teams and get an overview of news, links, quality systems, handbooks, etc.
  • Use the Yammer app to integrate relevant Yammer networks into different Teams

(Photo by Barn Images on Unsplash)

The possibilities do not stop here. For me, however, this is the most relevant functionality (for the moment) I need in my toolbox to help companies and organizations work in a smooth and modern way.

If you are eager to learn more about the possibilities with the news in #MicrosoftTeams, please take a look at “What’s New in Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Ignite 2020

Attending Microsoft Ignite (Sep 22-24) this year?

While Ignite is going virtual this year, Microsoft are still conducting research sessions, virtually of course, and they want to hear from you! If your organization uses SharePoint and/ or OneDrive and you’re interested talking to the product team we have several sessions lined up, so please take the survey linked above to tell them about your preferences.

Link to survey

Join TeamsFest and learn more about securing your information in Microsoft Teams

 

One thing is for sure. There is not just one golden solution for securing the information you have in Microsoft Teams. If you want to be as secure as possible, you need to have a holistic perspective and secure various parts of your collaboration platform.

sebastiaan-stam-RChZT-JlI9g-unsplash
Photo by sebastiaan stam on Unsplash

It’s about the devices you use, it’s about the rules you have, it’s about the use of the various tools that your platform offers. Not least, it is about the attitude and knowledge of your employees.

Want to know more about the opportunities you have to secure your information in Microsoft Teams? I have the great honor and pleasure of being a speaker at TeamsFest for the third time now. TeamsFest is organized by The European Teams User Group and it is a great online event (just view the schedule here) that is also free so there is no reason to miss it.

Sign up for TeamsFest here and come and view/listen to my session “Here’s how to secure the information in Microsoft Teams“.

Here You can follow the European Teams User Group on Twitter to stay informed on future events and activities.

Easy use of Office Document templates in Microsoft Teams

I think most of us, at some point, have missed the opportunity to add and use document templates in Microsoft Teams. It would have been great if, in “Files”, you could just click “New” and then choose an Office template that you want to start from when creating a new document.

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For those of you who lacked this functionality, I can inform you that there is a solution for this. Continue reading “Easy use of Office Document templates in Microsoft Teams”

Updates that are now being rolled out in Microsoft 365

In addition to the Microsoft 365 Message Center (which is only available to those who are administrators of Microsoft 365), the Microsoft 365 Roadmap is the public primary source of information when you want to get an overview of the updates and features that are under development or rolling out in Microsoft 365 .

RoadMapAll

To avoid scrolling through the entire list (because it’s a long-running list), in the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, you can select the services you are interested in and filter by the status that is relevant.

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If you save the filtered views that are of most interest to you, you do not have to select and filter each time. The picture below shows how to do this in a very simple way. Continue reading “Updates that are now being rolled out in Microsoft 365”

Microsoft Teams + Edge Chromium? Here’s how to get rid of those annoying additional logins.

Are these login boxes familiar? Keep on reading!

They often show up if you are using Edge Chromium as your browser and, from the Microsoft Teams client, open a file in “Files”or if you try to open the Team SharePoint site. (and also sometimes when You open a tab that shows a file).

Continue reading “Microsoft Teams + Edge Chromium? Here’s how to get rid of those annoying additional logins.”