In a session recorded at Microsoft Ignite 2019, Tony Redmond discusses the question of will Microsoft Teams take over from email. The session covers the strengths and weaknesses of both technologies and makes recommendations for how organizations can take full advantage of Teams and email.
Teams is all about open communication, but sometimes you just want to make a statement and not have a conversation. You can do this by restricting replies to a topic, in which case only the original author and channel moderators can reply. And if moderation isn’t used for a channel, team owners take that role.
The Teams desktop and browser clients now offer the ability to filter personal chats and channels. Filtering is a useful feature, but it does draw the attention to the lack of precision in the Teams search function that really needs a revamp if Teams is to be taken seriously as a “hub for teamwork.”
The Teams desktop and browser clients now boasts the ability to report per-team and cross-team analytics. The information is interesting (at least the first time you look at it), but some doubts remain about its accuracy when the different methods of reporting are checked against each other. I’m sure it’s nothing more than timing, synchronization, or something else getting in the way.
The ability for a Teams user to contriol the notifications they see for channel conversations is being expanded with a new option to mute specific conversations. This is useful when you’ve contributed to a conversation that becomes very chatty and floods your activity feed with updates. Direct @mentions and reactions to your replies still get notified even when a conversation is muted.
Microsoft Teams now supports the ability for users to pin their most important channels to the top of the teams list in the desktop and browser clients. Pinning channels is a good way of tracking what’s happening in critical channels, especially when you belong to some chatty channels whose conversations might swamp your activity feed.
Being able to generate a report of mailbox activity is nice, but being able to filter the report to find potentially inactive mailboxes and post that information to Teams is even better. A recent Petri.com article explains how to generate the report; in this post we explain how to extract information from the report to and post updates about inactive users to Teams.
Microsoft is rolling out the ability for Teams clients to define a secondary ringer for inbound voice calls. The new feature will start appearing in Office 365 tenants from mid-September and the roll-out will complete in mid-October. Having the ability to signal inbound calls on multiple devices is a big thing for some organizations; in others, people don’t know about secondary ringers and the new feature will pass by without any notice.
Stream now boasts fast access to the video files captured for recordings of Teams meetings. This is a good step because it can be hard to find a specific recording among a mass of other videos. At least, it can be if you manage many videos, which perhaps isn’t the case for the average Office 365 user.
The new Teams Calendar app gets a new feature called Meet Now to create on-demand or ad-hoc meetings that don’t need to be scheduled in anyone’s calendar. There doesn’t seem to be any reason not to allow users to use Meet Now, but if you need to block the feature, you can edit a Teams meeting policy and assign it to the unfortunate users.
Teams is now included in Office ProPlus installations for Office 365 users. However, not everyone wants or needs to use Teams. Here’s how to stop Teams being installed or starting automatically each time a PC boots. You don’t need this information if you’re one of the 19 million people who use Teams, but you might just not be in that category…
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.
The topic of Teams tenant-to-tenant migration generated a lot of reaction after an article published last week. This lead to a chat with AvePoint, who have a product similar to BitTitan. What was interesting is that AvePoint use the same API to backup Teams. Although the backup isn’t as functional as you want and definitely not designed for backups, you do end up with data backed up that can be restored. The solution is imperfect, but it is available now.
Microsoft has released new OneDrive file viewers that are turning up in Teams clients. The new viewers are more intelligent and make it easier to work with files, especially Office documents. However, even intelligent viewers can only function when a solid network connection is available and often a local synchronized copy of Teams files is the way to work.
Teams App Permissions policies allow Office 365 tenants to exert a fine degree of control over the apps users are allowed to install. You can amend the default policy or create new policies and assign the policies to user accounts through the Teams Admin Center or with PowerShell.
If you run a WordPress site, you might like to install the Share to Microsoft Teams plugin, an extension written by MVP Joao Ferreira to post content from the site to a targeted channel in a team. You must be logged into Teams before the post succeeds, but if you are, it’s a really easy way to share great content with team members.
Teams allows users to decide how they receive notifications about new messages posted in a channel. You can opt for notifications to appear in the activity feed or as a “banner” pop-up. And for busy channels, you might decide not to have any notifications at all.
Microsoft is rolling out a change to make presence changes within Teams happen in “real-time.” The update will come as a relief to users who have been exasperated at the slowness of some presence changes today, especially if they’ve come from Skype for Business Online where presence updates happen promptly.
On July 30, Microsoft announced the retirement of Skype for Business Online with effect from July 31, 2021. Two years seems like a long time to prepare, but it’s amazing how time passes when you’ve got lots to do. Microsoft, ISVs, third-party consultants, and customers all have lots of work to do to prepare for the transition.
Office 365 Activity Alerts don’t seem to be working too well these days. At least, that’s what we found when we tried to create an alert for Teams creation events. Never mind, PowerShell will do the job as we can quickly whip up a PowerShell script to find audit records for team creations and put them into an email.
Teams has added the ability for moderation of channel conversations. If you moderate a channel, only team owners can post new conversations and you can restrict things even further by stopping members, bots, and connectors posting. It’s a feature that helps to control communication in channels intended to publish and share information.
The Teams Test Call feature calls up a bot to test your audio and camera settings in exactly the way that they’re heard and seen during a real meeting. It’s a very useful feature that emulates the Check Call Quality feature in Skype for Business Online. It won’t improve your looks, but Test Call will at least prove that you can be heard.
A July 11 Microsoft post brings the news that Teams has 13 million daily active users. That number surpasses the equivalent for Slack, so there’s much joy in the Teams camp. However, the number is lower than we expected based on the total number of organizations Microsoft reports to use Teams. It might just be the difference between active users and licensed users.
Teams now supports @-less mentions, meaning that the clients are intelligent enough to monitor user input for names of team members. If a name is found, Teams suggests making it a mention. The only thing you’ve got to remember is to capitalize the first letter of a name as otherwise Teams regards a name as just another word.
Do people read the notifications posted by Teams to the General channel of a team when someone joins or leaves the membership? Maybe they don’t take much notice, but these messages can tell you that someone has joined or left the company. If you think that Teams should have a setting to suppress “add member” messages for a team, consider supporting the User Voice suggestion on the topic.
A reader reports that the Teams Files channel tab is only able to display 300 items from a large SharePoint folder. Three hundred seemed like an arbitrary limit, but as it turns out, the new Files channel tab fixes the problem and all will be well once Office 365 completes the deployment to get the new Files Channel tab to all tenants.
Org-wide teams are great because they feature automatic membership management. But sometimes you don’t want new Office 365 accounts showing up in org-wide teams. The solution is to create the account with some dummy details to mask the identity of the real person and update the account after they join the company.
By the end of June, Office 365 tenants around the world will enjoy the chance to use the new announcement post type in Teams. I’m not altogether sure that the new post type will make our lives more productive, but it might brighten some of the boring announcements organizations are prone to make,
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.
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…
How best to add every team in your tenant to the Office 365 Groups Expiration Policy? Well, one way is to check all groups for Teams. Another is to use Get-Team to return the set of teams and process those. But then you should think about how to mark the teams that are in the policy in such a way that you don’t process them again. It’s easy to do this with one of the Exchange Online custom attributes.
Teams App Setup policies allow tenant administrators to modify the set of apps shown in the Teams navigation bar,. You can add your own apps and move apps around and then assign policies to select groups of users individually or using PowerShell. This is part of a set of features designed to make apps more manageable within enterprises. The next step will be Teams app permission policies (not yet available).
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.
The Groups section of the Azure Active Directory portal now includes a preview of a feature to configure the Office 365 Groups naming policy without going near PowerShell. Although those proficient with scripts and GUIDs will lament this sad reduction in standards, the normal administrator will welcome the chance to forget some obscure syntax.
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.
One of the great things about Teams is the way that it orchestrates Office 365 resources like SharePoint Online sites. The downside is that a tenant’s valuable SharePoint storage quota might be absorbed by a profusion of Teams. To offset the problem, you can apply lower limits to sites belonging to Teams and the best approach is to use PowerShell for the job.
Microsoft commissioned Forester Consulting to write a total economic impact study of Teams. As you’d expect, the report says that Teams is a good deal. But like any consulting report, you need to question the findings and assumptions to figure out where the truth lies. In some cases, I simply disagree with the underlying logic for a conclusion. In others, I think the authors are mistaken. It’s up to you to make your own assessment.
Outlook Mobile clients can now schedule Teams meetings, even if your tenant isn’t using the newer version of Outlook’s mobile connection architecture. The Office 365 tenant setting for Skype for Business Online co-existence mode has to be configured to use Teams, and once everything is in place Outlook is happy to schedule Teams meetings.
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.
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.