Microsoft Teams Administration and Management Related Announcements From Ignite – And Why They Matter

Posted by Melissa Hubbard on October 11, 2018

Microsoft Teams Office 365 chat at 11.57.08 AM

Microsoft Teams is on a roll and it just got much easier to manage at the enterprise level! There were many announcements of new and exciting Microsoft Teams features at Ignite, Microsoft’s annual biggest conference. Administration and management features aren’t always as shiny and exciting as the collaboration and meetings features, but they are ultimately what drives Microsoft Teams success for organizations.

If you have been on the fence about Microsoft Teams because of a lack of administration features, now is definitely the time to reconsider! This post will focus on administration and management enhancements and improvements that were announced at Ignite.           

Managing Teams From the Admin Center   
A pain point in Microsoft teams administration in the past has been the lack of a centralized list of all the teams in a tenant. It was announced that this will become available from within the Teams & Skype for Business Admin Center. From the central list of teams you will be able to manage team membership, channels, and settings. For large organizations this feature is absolutely necessary, and this announcement removes a barrier for a Microsoft Teams roll out.   

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New Teams Administrator Roles
Coinciding with new teams management capabilities are new Teams specific Administrator roles which have been announced including Teams Service Administrator, Teams Communications Administrator, Teams Communications Support Engineer, and Teams Communication Support Specialist. Through the Azure Admin Portal users will be able to be assigned these roles. Before this announcement, the only role that could manage tenant level Microsoft Teams settings was the Office 365 Administrator. The ability to parse out the administration of Teams management duties to different roles with varying levels of access will make Microsoft Teams much more scalable and manageable. More about the specific capabilities of these new Teams administration roles can be found here.

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Support of Dynamic Groups
Team member management also just got a lot easier for Administrators as it was announced that teams will be able to be created from dynamic groups. Dynamic groups leverage Azure Active Directory (AAD) attributes meaning if anything changes in the attributes for a person they will automatically become part of the appropriate teams. This is a great stride in the right direction to help Admins govern Microsoft Teams because it will reduce the number of people in teams they don’t need to be in and provide a way for membership management to be a much more streamlined process.

Team Templates
Team templates are soon to be possible with the new Microsoft Graph API REST endpoint. This enables organizations to create a cohesive Teams experience by creating a team template that includes the desired channels, tabs, apps, and team settings. For larger organizations that need a lot of teams this will save a lot of time and effort provisioning and configuring teams. Also this will help with user adoption as it confuses and frustrates users when their experience is different from team to team.

Data Loss Prevention Policies
It will now be possible to set Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies for Microsoft Teams in the Security and Compliance Center so that organizations can protect their sensitive information such as social security and credit card numbers. The DLP policies will apply to messages and chat while files are protected with DLP policies set for SharePoint and OneDrive. If a user tries to send a message with protected information it will be blocked, but you can also configure a way for them to override it if it is a false positive and report it.

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This feature is very important for organizations handling sensitive data and those that have already adopted Office 365 are familiar with how to set DLP policies and have expected to be able to do this for Microsoft Teams. Considering the ease of collaboration and information sharing in Microsoft Teams and the fact that it connects with so many third-party services, being able to set DLP policies is critical. This is a great addition to the platform.

Our Withum Digital team is very excited about these new Microsoft Teams administration and management announcements. If you are interested in learning more about Microsoft Teams, please contact us for a free one-hour consultation.

Topics: microsoft teams

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Melissa Hubbard

Melissa is an Office 365 and SharePoint consultant at Withum who specializes in simplifying and automating business processes using Flow and SharePoint Designer. She is experienced in managing projects throughout the entire lifecycle as well as developing and implementing SharePoint and Office 365 solutions.

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