Teams Gets New Calendar App

Microsoft Teams is getting a new calendar app to replace the cheap-and-cheerful meetings apps used up to now. Although the calendar app boasts new views and actions, it’s not the same or as powerful as the Outlook calendar. That being said, for many people, the new Teams calendar will be quite sufficient.

Microsoft Refreshes Teams Files Channel Tab to Expose More SharePoint Features

Microsoft has refreshed the Files channel tab to expose more functionality for Teams users when working with SharePoint Online document libraries.Office 365 commercial tenants should see the new UI in June 2019. The new Files channel tab is almost at feature parity with the functionality available through the SharePoint browser UI, but it still lacks the ability to expose and edit document properties.

Add Teams Channel as an Exchange Mail Contact

Teams allows users to send email to channels via special email addresses. Those addresses aren’t very user-friendly, but you can add them as mail contacts so that channel addresses show up in the Exchange GAL. It’s easy to do and makes it much easier for people to email Teams channels. That is, until someone removes the channel email address…

Planner Posts Notifications to Teams Activity Feed

If you’ve integrated Planner into Teams by creating channel tabs for plans, users are now notified when they are assigned new tasks.The notifications turn up in the Teams activity feed. Why? Well, the Planner bot sends messages to people about new tasks, so its chats as treated like new messages in a personal chat.

Teams Increases Group Chat Limit to 100 Participants and Improves Shareable File Links

Two Office 365 Message Center notifications bring news about an increase in the number of participants for a Teams group chat to 100 and improvements in shareable links for files. Moving the limit from 50 to 100 for a group chat makes these conversations more flexible. Adding permissions to the sharing links used by Teams gives users more control over how they share information with others.

Adding a Teams Chat Link to Your Email Signature

Teams deep links are probably not something you chat about a lot, but they can be used to start off a personal chat. In this post, we discuss how to insert a deep link in an Outlook or OWA signature so that recipients can contact you to follow up a topic started in email. It’s a quirky detail about Teams that might be interesting for you.

The Side-effects of Using Address Book Policies to Limit Teams Search

You can use Exchange Address Book Policies (ABPs) to limit the ability of Teams users to chat with each other. Everything works as expected until you look for some new teams to join only to find that Teams can’t suggest any teams to you. The problem seems to be with filtering the set of teams returned by the Microsoft Graph to take account of the scope applied to the user. At least, that’s what I think is going on.

Teams Hides Underused Clutter From User View

Office 365 notification MC177587 tells us that Teams will soon start to move underused teams to the More section of the teams gallery, letting users concentrate on the set of teams that they really use. Background agents do the work of detecting teams that haven’t been accessed in 45 days or so and users get the chance to reverse the process. But it’s a good idea to let users know what’s coming, just in case they panic when they can’t find a moved team.

Teams Admin Center Adds Delete and Archive Capabilities

The Teams Admin Center now boasts the ability to delete teams and (if you don’t want to get rid of them altogether) archive teams. And unarchive teams back into use. All is good, even if Microsoft is making slow progress at building out Teams management functionality. Some of the slowness is due to dependencies, some because of other factors.

Using Teams External Access for Federated Chats

Teams supports federated chat with other users in Office 365 tenants using a feature called external access. It’s similar to the way that Skype for Business federated chat works, except that you can’t use emojis. Generally things work very well, which is nice when you want to reach out and communicate with someone externally.

Teams Usage Hits Half Million Organizations

At the Enterprise Connect conference, Microsoft announced that Teams is now used by 500,000 organizations. That’s a jump of 80,000 since the last data given in January. They also said that 150 organizations have more than 10,000 users and that Teams is used by 91 of the Fortune 100. All in all, some impressive numbers.

The End of Teams Following and Favorites

Microsoft announced that the era of favorites and following is over for Teams. The new way is to show or hide teams and configure notifications for channels. Apparently, people found the old terminology confusing. Hopefully the new world of Show/Hide and Channel notifications will be more reassuring.

Teams User Count Outpaces Slack and Workplace

Teams and Slack competitive data

New data about the number of Slack and Workplace usage gives the chance to compare how Microsoft is doing with Teams. And the answer is that things seem to be going well, largely because Teams is growing off the huge Office 365 base. With 155 million users (the last figure) and 3 million more added monthly, Teams has a lot more to go after in the Office 365 installed base.

Analyzing the Teams Outage of 18 February 2019

Teams problem TM173756

Microsoft Teams suffered its first major worldwide outage on 18 February 2019. Users reported a failure to connect because Teams couldn’t authenticate them. The Post-Incident report for TM173756 revealed an issue with the Azure Key Vault. What’s more interesting is that the issue affected users in multiple Office 365 datacenter regions, which is not good.

Office 365 Captures Audit Records for Teams Compliance Items

Office 365 Audit Log Search

In one of those interesting (but possibly worthless) facts discovered about Office 365, we find that audit records are captured for Teams compliance records written into Exchange Online group mailboxes. The Search-UnifiedAuditLog cmdlet reveals details that we can interpret using some techniques explained in Chapter 21 of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.

Microsoft Keeps on Increasing the Teams Membership Limit

Microsoft revealed that Teams now supports a increase to 5,000 members per team. The new maximum will help large organizations like Accenture (the largest user of Teams). Even with the increased limit, Teams might not be the best choice for organization-wide communications for the largest companies. Yammer is still the Microsoft coillaboration scalability champ.

Teams Compliance Records Focused on by New Report

A new report commissioned by Microsoft explains how Exchange Online and the Security and Compliance Center meet the electronic records requirements of regulatory bodies like the SEC and FINRA. Within the report, there’s some news about changes to the way that Office 365 handles Teams compliance records stored in Exchange Online. And after all that, we consider how some backup vendors treat Teams compliance records as equivalent to the data stored in the Teams Azure services.

Teams Growth Accelerates to 420,000 Organizations

According to Microsoft’s FY19 Q2 results released on January 30, Teams is now used by 420,000 organizations. That’s a strong growth rate over the 329,000 number given at Ignite 2018. And with Office 365 still growing, there’s plenty of room for Teams to expand.

How to Include a Teams Channel in an Exchange Distribution List

Now that we know all about the different email addresses used by Office 365 Groups and Teams, the question arises of how to include a team channel as a member of a distribution group. As it turns out, there’s a simple way and a more complicated way.

Understanding the Email Addresses Used by Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams

Some recent questions in the Microsoft Technical Community show confusion about the email addresses used by Office 365 Groups and Teams. Here’s our attempt to clarify.

Teams Now Supports Dynamic Microsoft 365 Groups

The latest version of the Teams desktop and browser clients support the creation of dynamic teams based on dynamic Office 365 Groups. The functionality is welcome, as long as you can pay for it as every member who comes within the scope of a query used for a dynamic team needs an Azure AD P1 license.

Existing Guest Accounts and the Azure B2B Collaboration Policy

When you impose a block on certain domains, you’d like to think that applications like Teams will respect that block. As it turns out, if you have some lingering guests in your Azure Active Directory, the B2B collaboration policy might not be as effective as you’d hope.

Org-Wide Teams Don’t Need Azure AD P1 Licenses

The prospect of having to pay for many Azure AD Premium P1 licenses just because you use an org-wide team is horrible to contemplate. But don’t worry. You don’t have to because the Teams developers look after membership updates for you.

Microsoft Makes Org-Wide Teams Available to Office 365 Tenants

The latest version of Teams supports the ability to create org-wide teams, but only if your tenant has fewer than 1,000 accounts. It’s a neat idea, if you can use it, but if you have more than 1,000 accounts, there are other ways to foster company-wide communications.

How to use Background Blur in Microsoft Teams Meetings

Would background blurring make a real difference to your video meetings? If it does, then try it out in Teams meetings, but only if you have a recent PC that supports AVX2.