Thursday, August 15, 2019

Private channels are coming to Microsoft Teams, and this is what you might want to prepare

A couple of weeks ago, admins of Office 365 were notified of the coming of private channels to Microsoft Teams. 

We don't know much about what it is going to look like, or how it's going to be implemented yet. But it has been an anticipated feature, and the community is excited to see how this will work.

The message doesn't really say when to expect the new feature, but it does say "Action required by 23. Aug 2019". And why is that, and what actions may we take?

There isn't much documentation out yet, but there is a link in the message. The link (link) will take you to the "Manage teams policies in Microsoft Teams", and is for now the best way to control who can create Private channels or not.

The documentation explains how to find the policy, how to change the policy, and how to create custom policies and apply policies to the organization. Some organizations might want to prevent everyone from creating private channels in the beginning, and maybe limit this to a couple of champions. Then, after the documentation has been released, and user training have been updated. More and more user can have this feature rolled out.

The steps are rather quick to complete. Simply log into the Teams Admin portal, and locate the Teams policies as shown in this screen dump. Then choose to edit the global policy, or "Add" your own.

There are two setting to adjust. One is on creating new Channels, and the other one on how users may or may not discover such channels. It's all well documented in the article provided.

If you edit the global policy, it will apply to everyone. But if you create a custom policy, you need to assign this to users. Assigning policies to users can be preformed in at least three ways.
1) On the Teams Policy page, select the policy and manage users
2) On a users page, edit the policies assigned to the user
3) If you want to assign to multiple users, based on a group, you may use power-shell.
All of these steps are also detailed in the article.

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