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 Upgrades File Sharing to be Consistent with Office 365

Teams is adopting the common file sharing mechanism used by Office 365 applications. The change is now going on and should be deployed worldwide by the end of September. 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.

When a Teams Retention Policy Goes Bad and Data Disappears

A change made to an Office 365 retention policy for Teams personal chats in the KPMG tenant removed data for 145,000 users. That’s unfortunate, and it underlines the need for admins to understand how retention policies work. Maybe the people involve did and it was a simple slip that could happen to anyone, but perhaps it will cause tenant admins to reflect on how they make changes to organization configurations.

Sorting Out Teams, Conversations, Topics, and Replies

Teams channel conversations are composed of threads formed by base topics and replies. Unfortunately, the Teams client UI makes it easy for users to add topics when they should post replies. The good news is that the Teams development VP at Microsoft has admitted that something needs to be done. That, and a positive response to a User Voice request, makes us think that something will happen soon.

Come in Internet Explorer – Your Time is Up

Office 365 Tenants need to stop people using Internet Explorer. On November 30, Teams stops support for IE11; nine months later, the rest of the Microsoft 365 apps cease support. According to Microsoft, the only browser in town is the new Edge (which has an IE mode), but most will keep on using Chrome, Firefox, Brave, or Safari as they do today.

Teams Improves its Fit and Finish

Some recent small changes in Teams will make users happy because the product’s fit and finish is improving. Speaker attribution for live captions makes conversations easier to follow and faster updates from Exchange mean that out of office notifications and change in presence states are picked up faster. These aren’t earthshattering changes, but they do make Teams more pleasant to use.

Teams Makes Background Effects Persistent Across Meetings

In a surprise update, Microsoft announced that Teams meetings now use persistent background effects. Once you choose an effect, Teams will use it in meetings when video is enabled. It’s a small but nice change that will help users. We need more of this kind of update across Office 365.

Teams Meeting Policy Restricts Automatic Meeting Joins to Organizers

Microsoft has updated the Teams meeting policy to restrict automatic meeting joining (aka lobby bypass) to organizers. This is likely to be most popular with schools, but enterprirse will see value in being able to force participants to pass through the meeting lobby before joining in some circumstances. And remember, a meeting organizer can always change the settings before the meeting begins.

Petri GET-IT for Teams Virtual Conference

Petri.com is running a free 1-day virtual conference on the topic of Microsoft Teams on August 12. All are welcome to attend. The jokes will be awful, the timing lousy, and the information insightful. That’s a pretty explosive mixture, delivered by experts (well, except me) packed full of knowledge. So much so that their heads swell on an ongoing basis…

Language-Aware Spellchecking in Teams

The Windows desktop client for Teams monitors text as users type chat and channel messages to detect if they switch language. And if they do, Teams can change language for spell checking. The code runs on the client and no data is transmitted back to base. It’s all very intelligent, but you should warn users that it might happen.

How to Bulk Assign Policies to Teams Users in Batch Jobs

Teams supports the ability to assign policies to up to 5,000 users with background jobs. This makes it much easier to assign new policies to large groups of users. Unless you like writing your own PowerShell scripts to handle Teams policy assignment, this is definitely something that all Teams administrators need to know about.

How to Disable Chat in Microsoft Teams

You can disable Chat for Teams users, but is this a good idea? Chat is an integral part of Teams and disabling it seems like a bad idea for many reasons, not least being compliance as all you’ll do is drive users to find another way to communicate – like WhatsApp.

How to Archive Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams with PowerShell

Once Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams reach the end of their useful life, it’s good to archive them so that their data stays online and available for eDiscovery. A recent request looked for help to archive 600 Groups at the end of the academic year. The script described here might help solve the problem.

Microsoft Extends Increase for Attendees in Live Events to June 2021

Microsoft has extended the temporary increase in the limit for Live Events participants from 10,000 to 20,000 until June 30, 2021. The extended limit reflects the popularity of online events during the Covid-19 pandemic. After this point, you’ll need a Teams advanced communications license to organize a live event for more than 10,000 participants.

Improving Searches for Teams Channel Conversations and Chats

The standard Teams search function can unearth a lot of information in chats and channels. Using filters, precision searches, and contextual searches makes it easier to find what you need, even if you might have to learn some new tricks. But life is full of new experiences, and so is search.

Teams Moves Its System Messages to Channel Information Pane

The new information pane available in Teams desktop and browser clients gives information about recent contributors and is the relocated home for system messages. You can certainly debate what makes someone a recent contributor as some of those listed don’t seem to be too active. Maybe it’s one of those AI algorithms that will be tweaked over time…

How to Download Participant Report from a Teams Meetings

Teams meeting organizers can download a participant report to note who attends a meeting and when they were present. If you forget to download a report while the meeting is active, you’ll have to make up the attendance roster, and that would be a bad thing.

Teams is the Most Difficult Office 365 Application to Backup

Because it sits on top of so many Microsoft 365 components, Teams is easily the hardest Office 365 workload to backup. You can try to backup Teams by copying its compliance records stored in Exchange Online, but that’s only a partial (and bad) solution that utterly fails to take the full spectrum of Teams data into account.

How to Find Guests in Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams Where Guests are Prohibited

You can apply an Office 365 Sensitivity Label to control different aspects of Groups, Teams, and Sites. One of the settings controls whether guest users are allowed in group membership. We explain how to use PowerShell to search groups assigned a label to block guest access for existing guests, just in case you want to remove them.

Teams Removes System Messages from the General Channel

Teams is removing system messages from the General channel in teams. System messages tell users about events like new members, but they’re really not that interesting, unless you’re fond of tracking the comings and goings of members, much like a noisy neighbor behind a curtain. Uncluttering the General channel is no reason to let it degrade, so keep it for important stuff and force conversations into other channels.

Why Teams Can’t Schedule Meetings with (Some) Teams

You can use Microsoft 365 Groups and distribution lists to schedule meetings in the Teams calendar app, but sometimes you can’t schedule meetings with Teams. That sounds odd, but it’s because of the way that Teams selects groups from the Exchange Online GAL to show to users in the “picker” control to select meeting attendees. You can make changes to have Teams show up in the GAL, but that might not be enough if you want everyone in the team to receive meeting invitations.

Teams Meetings and Group Chat Limit Increased to 300

Microsoft is raising the limit for Teams meetings and group chats to 350 participants. The group chat limit was increased to 250 in early May. The new increase is temporary and Microsoft will review it in September to decide whether to keep it at 350. The update is already rolling out and should be available worldwide in mid June.

Limiting Who Can Present in Teams Meetings

A new setting available in Teams meeting policies allows Office 365 tenants to have per-user control over who can present at meetings. You might want to do this to stop guests presenting. or to limit some people from inviting others to present. I’m not quite sure what the use case is, but no doubt some people will find great value in the new setting.

Using Microsoft Whiteboard with Teams

Whiteboard is a digital canvas application that can be loaded into Teams meetings to allow participants to share and develop ideas. The app available in Teams isn’t the most functional way to interact with Whiteboard, what whatever version you use can draw and sketch ideas to share with team members and other people within an Office 365 tenant.

Using Teams Compliance Data for eDiscovery

For compliance purposes, the Microsoft 365 substrate captures copies of Teams messages in Exchange Online mailboxes. The compliance records are indexed and discoverable, which means that they can be found by content searches. However, Teams compliance records are imperfect copies of the real data, which is a fact that seems to have escaped many people.

Teams Improves Analytics in Desktop and Browser Clients

An item in the Teams release notes tells us that analytics are now available for channels. You can find out how many topics and replies are posted within a channel. You’ll probably know what channels are in heavy use anyway, but seeing how little traffic some channels get is a good way of knowing that maybe your teams don’t need those channels.

Teams Meeting Recording Fails Without Stream License

It’s very convenient to be able to record a Teams meeting and have the recording processed and stored in Stream. But what happens when the recording fails to be processed? Usually it’s because the account that starts the recording (the owner) doesn’t have a Stream license. Fortunately, the situation is easily rescued.

How to Control Teams Background Blur and Effects

Microsoft has updated the Teams meeting policy to introduce a new control over video filters in Teams meetings. The VideoFiltersMode setting controls if people can use background blur and background effects, including the ability to upload custom images. A client update is needed to respect the new setting. It will come at the end of May.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teams Users

Teams is a highly functional application that receives regular functionality upgrades. This post offers seven tips for making effective use of Teams from pinning important objects to making great video calls. All very practical and nothing too difficult to master.

Stream Loses Face Detection Feature

Microsoft has announced that Stream will no longer create a people timeline in new videos it processes after June 1 and that the feature will be retired. The people timeline feature works well for videos taped in controlled conditions, like studios. It is less successful (and useful) for recordings of Teams meetings, which is where a lot of work for Stream comes from currently.

Teams Chats Get Larger Limit

Microsoft announced on May 1 that the limit for Teams group chats is increasing from 100 to 250. The new limit will be available everywhere by mid-May. Nice as an expanded limit it, large group chats come with some notable decreases in functionality, like losing the ability to display user status messages or read receipts. In some cases, taking a conversation to a channel might be a better idea.

Teams Powers Office 365 Growth

Microsoft reported that Office 365 now has 258 million paid seats (not the same as active users) and Teams has reached 75 million daily active users. That’s impressive growth, with Office 365 adding 58 million extra seats in the last six months. Teams has done even better, sprinting from 20 million to 75 million. The Office 365 infrastructure sometimes shows the strain of handling all the extra users, but some new functionality delivered recently helps.