Teams Tailors Compliance Records for eDiscovery

The format of the Teams compliance records generated for personal and group chats and stored in Exchange Online mailboxes is changing. Microsoft is removing a bunch of unnecessary attributes from the records to reduce the processing load on the service to retrieve the attributes from Azure AD. The change is unlikely to affect most tenants. Compliance records for older chats are not affected.

Skype for Business Online Connector Retires in February 2021

Microsoft will retire the Skype for Business Online (PowerShell) Connector on February 15, 2021. Office 365 tenants need to check scripts to replace the connector with the Teams PowerShell module, which contains the necessary cmdlets to connect to the policy management endpoint. Once connected, scripts can interact with objects like Teams messaging and meeting policies.

Teams Meet Now Feature Available in Mobile Clients

The Microsoft Teams Meet Now feature is now available in mobile clients and can be used to start impromptu meetings from a user’s calendar or in a channel. Tenants can control the ability of users to schedule Meet Now meetings with a Teams meeting policy where settings are available to control meetings scheduled from the calendar or a channel.

How to Use Forms to Poll Participants in a Teams Meeting

Organizers and presenters of Teams meetings can add simple polls created with Microsoft Forms to collect feedback and information during meetings. It’s a small but useful improvement which will add value to many meetings in the education and other sectors.

Better Membership Synchronization Between Azure AD and Teams

A new Graph API and the Teams AadSync process improve how Teams synchronizes group membership information with Azure AD. The older background sync process was tied to the Teams client and didn’t work so well in practice, especially when scaled up. Things look good for the new mechanism.

Teams Drives SharePoint Online Growth to 200 Million Active Users

Microsoft says that SharePoint Online now has 200 million monthly active users. Teams is the major influence driving SharePoint growth with an increasing number of touchpoints between the two Microsoft 365 workloads.

Change in Guest Access for Teams: No Effect on Tenants Already Using Teams

Microsoft is changing the default setting for guest access to Teams from Off to On. This won’t affect tenants already using Teams, but it’s a good opportunity to review how guest access is used in tenants and consider whether existing guest accounts are needed or can be removed. This post offers some ideas about using policies to control guests and how to check what these accounts are used for.

Why Recurring Teams Meetings Share the Same Online Workspace

A recurring meeting is a series of events. For Teams, each event might be different, but all events share the same online workspace. The advantage for this approach is that the participants see resources shared for all meetings; the downside is exactly the same because some people might not want this to happen.

Make Sure Users Can Continue Recording Teams (1:1) Calls

In mid-March 2021 Microsoft will switch control over Teams 1:1 meeting recording from meeting to calling policies. By default, this stops users recording 1:1 meetings, meaning that tenant admins will have to update the default calling policy and any custom calling policy to allow recordings to continue. Of course, you might think it a bad idea to allow people to record 1:1 calls, in which case you don’t need to do anything.

How to Make Teams Public Preview Features Available to Users

Teams supports the ability to allow selected users to enable Public Preview features in the desktop and browser clients for an early view of functionality. You’ll need to create a new update policy in the Teams admin center and assign it to the people you want to access public preview. It’s all very easy and very useful, which is nice.

New Access Rules for Teams Meeting Chat Membership

Participants in Teams meetings can use the meeting chat to discuss topics, post pointers, and so on. The access rules are changing for some added to a meeting to make sure that people don’t get too much access to meeting resources (like chat) once the meeting finishes. It’s a small but important point for Teams administrators to understand.

Outlook’s Groups Menu Bar Now Includes Teams

Outlook for Windows has a Groups menu bar which is displayed when conversations in a Microsoft 365 group are accessed. A new Teams button is available to bring users to the General channel of team-enabled groups. It’s an interesting decision by Microsoft to add the button because I am not quite sure if any need exists for such a facility.

How Noise Suppression Works in Teams Meetings

An update to the Teams Windows client introduces automatic noise suppression for Teams meetings. You can tune suppression up or down to reflect your environment. The feature works by analyzing the audio feed from the microphone used in a meeting and removing unwanted noise. The more suppression is done, the more resources are used, so this is something to keep an eye on.

Microsoft Improves Teams Together Mode with New Background Scenes

Together Mode is a more immersive way to present participants in a Teams meeting. The original theater scene is being augmented with new scenes including boardrooms (suitable for small meetings) and amphitheaters (for large meetings). At the same time, the view used for Teams meeting recordings is changing from 2×2 to 3×3.

Teams Updates for Presence Duration and Meeting End Notifications

Two recent updates released for Microsoft Teams gives users the ability to set a duration for their presence status and five-minute end of meeting notifications. The notifications are just a nagging prompt that the meeting will end soon. It doesn’t mean that everyone will be forced out of the meeting when the five minutes expire, even if you’d like this to be the case.

How to Use the Teams Meeting Add-in for Outlook

The Teams Meeting add-in for Outlook schedules online private Teams meetings. A recent update for Outlook for Windows allows meeting settings to be changed. It’s a logical and useful update to allow people who prefer to work in Outlook to maintain their meetings without needing to go to the Teams calendar app.

Half of Active Office 365 Users Now Use Teams

Microsoft’s FY21 Q3 results told us that Teams now has 115 million users, a 53% uptick since April. Office 365 keeps on growing in numbers, revenue, and profit. While growth might be slowing, there’s still a ton of accounts to be moved to the cloud, where they’ll probably end up as Teams users.

Teams Notifications Updated for Native OS Support and Better Privacy

Teams notifications can now be handled by Windows and macOS, and you can get better privacy by disabling message preview in the notifications, including on Teams mobile clients. The privacy updates are available now and support for the native OS notifications in both Windows and macOS should be available in mid-November.

How to Update Teams to Send Meeting Invitations to All Members

Teams depends on Microsoft 365 groups. You can add groups as meeting attendees and expect that members of those groups will receive meeting invitations. But they won’t unless you update group settings to force Office 365 to send invitations to all members. The job is easily done with PowerShell, and we show how in this post.

How to Store Teams Meeting Recordings in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online

Teams gives Office 365 tenants the option to store meeting recordings in Stream or OneDrive for Business (including SharePoint Online). Now configurable through Teams meeting policies, new meeting recordings are dealt with like any other file, meaning that you can share recordings, apply labels, update metadata, and so on.

Teams Now Has Basic Offline Capabilities

In an update posted to Teams User Voice, Microsoft said that they had enabled offline capabilities for messaging with access to recent chats and channel conversations. This is good, but the problem is that Teams is much more than chats and offline access remains problematic for many of the components people access through Teams. Until all apps support offline access, functionality will remain limited.

Native ARM64 Version of Teams Now Available

Users of ARM64 devices like the Surface Pro X can now download a native ARM64 Teams desktop client. According to users, the native client is faster and more stable than running the Teams 32-bit client under emulation. It’s good news for people who like the battery life and mobile connectivity of ARM devices while also giving developers who might have ignored ARM on Windows up to now something to think about.

New Location for Teams Compliance Records Breaks Scripts

Without saying anything, Microsoft changed where Microsoft 365 stores Teams compliance records in user and group mailboxes. The logic behind the change is impeccable even if it will cause PowerShell scripts to break. In addition, any ISV claiming to backup Teams by copying compliance records has some work to do.

Teams Calendar Peek Gives Quick View to Upcoming Events

The latest build of the Microsoft Teams desktop and browser clients include the ability for users to see the essential details of calendar events through a “peek.” Single clicking on an event exposes the most commonly used information and some command buttons. It’s a quick and easy way to find out what you need to know about an event. Also, Teams has finally shipped two features announced in June and July, examples of how things sometimes get delayed for different reasons.

Managing Third-Party App Permissions in the Teams Admin Center

The latest update for the Teams admin center includes the ability to manage the permissions used by third-party apps to access data via the Microsoft Graph. The updates also include the ability to manage resource specific consent (RSC) for Teams apps. While third-party apps ate the obvious target, LOB apps created by tenants are managed in the same way.

Teams Offline Status Allows Users to Appear Invisible

Teams is introducing a new Offline presence status this month to allow users to continue working while appearing unavailable and uncontactable to coworkers. The new status behaves differently to the Do Not Disturb presence, which gives coworkers some hope that you’ll soon be online and available.

How to Prevent Attendees Unmuting Themselves in Teams Meetings

Microsoft Teams allows meeting organizers to control if attendees can unmute themselves during meetings with a new control introduced in October 2020. The new control is likely to be more popular in education settings than in the corporate world, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to take control and stop someone speaking.

How to Create New Teams Using Customizable Templates

The ability to create new Teams using customizable templates is now rolling out to Office 365 tenants. Microsoft provides 13 out-of-the-box templates and tenants can add their own to meet their needs. Microsoft thinks that templates will help standardize the design of Teams and drive best practice. Time will tell.

Breakout Rooms in Teams Meetings Help People to Work Smarter

Microsoft announced that Teams meetings will support breakout rooms in Q4 2020 for commercial, education, and GCC Office 365 tenants. The new feature allows up to 50 sub-meetings (breakout rooms) to be created from a meeting. The meeting organizer can then assign people to rooms, which then host discussions. The rooms can be started and closed as needed, and participants in each room can share information with each other just like a regular Teams meeting.

Microsoft Launches V1.1.6 of PowerShell Module for Teams

Microsoft has launched version 1.1.6 of the PowerShell module for Teams (MicrosoftTeams). The new module makes the Skype for Business Online connector unnecessary because it contains the New-CsOnlineSession cmdlet needed to create a new session to use the cmdlets used to manage Teams policies.

Teams Badge Count Service Makes App Pill Counts More Reliable

We bet you never knew about the importance of app pill counts. Well, the badge counts shown by apps like Teams are guides for users to know when new information is available. It’s important enough for Teams to invest in a new Teams Badge Count service to improve the accuracy of the new item counts shown to users. Here’s what’s happening.

How to Monitor New Guest Accounts Added to Teams

You can easily add people from outside your Office 365 tenant to the membership of Teams, but some oversight of who those people are and what teams they join is probably needed. This PowerShell script shows how to find records in the Office 365 audit log and figure out if they relate to the creation of new guest accounts before sending email asking to justify the addition of the new account.

Preview of Teams Migration API Has Slack in Its Cross-Hairs

A preview of a new migration API for Teams is with ISVs. The API is to migrate data from other chat platforms (Slack is the obvious target) to Teams. There’s still no news about solid APIs for tenant to tenant migration or backup and restore for Teams. Microsoft is really interested in moving people off competitor platforms to Teams. It seems they are less interested in doing some of the heavy lifting involved in tenant management and restructuring.

Teams Rolls Out New Conversation Button

Adding a New conversation button to the Teams client user interface might seem like an insignificant UI tweak. However, keeping replies with their topics is important because it helps users find information and helps compliance searches assemble full conversations. Not many would think about how a UI change affects compliance and eDiscovery searches, but we do…

Creating Customized Badges for the Microsoft Teams Praise App

The Microsoft Teams Praise app is used to acknowledge the achievements of people. Different badges exist to highlight various ways people contribute to teams. Now you can create custom badges and publish them for use in the Praise app. All sorts of interesting ideas come to mind. How artistic can you be?

Teams Adopts Sharing Links for Files Shared in Chats and Channel Conversations

After a long delay to make adjustments, Teams is adopting the common file sharing mechanism used by Microsoft 365 applications. After being delayed, the roll-out starts in mid-March and should be complete in mid-April. 2021. With Teams in the fold, we can say that sharing is done consistently across Office 365, which can’t be a bad thing.

Teams Gets New Meeting Pre-Join Experience

Microsoft has spruced up the Teams meeting pre-join screen to gather all the settings that participants can use to configure their audio and video for a meeting. The browser interface is slightly different because browsers don’t support background effects. The new screens are better than before and are a good example of how to apply rationalization and simplification to UX design.