Microsoft Teams gets Private Channels in September 2019

Microsoft plans to roll out private channel in Microsoft Teams in September 2019. This is one of the most requested features in Teams.

Finally, this enables to manage and control access to channels in Teams. So only defined users can access a Teams channel within a specific Team.

Source: https://admin.microsoft.com/AdminPortal/Home#/MessageCenter

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I’m looking forward to this feature update because this brings more manageability for team owners within a [Teams] team, if required. Especially, if you have a project team with external guests you might want to have an internal project-related conversation or data exchange, too. So, by secure private channels you have [soon] the option to define such “internal” channels for a project team within a [Teams] team. There’ll be no need to create an extra Team for this use case, just as one possible use case, e.g. you do not need to create two project Teams for [internal] and [external] collaboration. Instead you can utilize secure private channels and avoid creating duplicate Teams due to access-control needs for project contents and collaboration.

Right now ( 8th August 2019) I’m not aware of plans if the feature will come to existing [Teams] teams or only to newly created ones. I hope that it will apply to existing [Teams] teams but we’ll see in September 2019.

Additional resources

Manage discover of private Teams

Microsoft rolls out a new feature which allows to manage the discovery of private Teams.

Source: Microsoft 365 Roadmap (August 2019)

Conclusion, opinion and summary

To manage the discovery of private Teams allows that Teams are listed and searchable like public Teams. However, an user cannot directly join a Team he/she need to get approved by a Team owner in order to join.

You’ll be able to manage this per-Team either via PowerShell or in the Teams GUI.

Addition resources

Skype for Business Online End of Service 2021

In this post I like to highlight a very special date, the 31st of July 2021. The date marks the end of an era of the communication and collaboration with Skype for Business Online.

Microsoft officially announced the retirement of Skype for Business Online by 31st of July 2021.

Source: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2016/07/28/23/39/cottage-1550083_960_720.jpg

Conclusion, opinion and summary

We had a great time Skype for Business Online. Thanks. However, time changes and so do people, technology and work. Therefore, Microsoft Teams enables ways of modern communication and collaboration which Skype for Business (Online) did not. The retirement date is not that close. So, you’ve got a time frame which should provide sufficient time to plan and migrate to Microsoft Teams.

Additional resources

Microsoft Teams Video Interoperability

In this post I give an overview on video interoperability with Microsoft Teams. It highlights options to connect (legacy) video conferencing systems and Microsoft Teams.

erik365 – What’s video interop?

Video interoperability enables different video endpoints and infrastructure to communicate with each other to overcome non-standardized or unequal video and media communication meetings or conferences.

erik365 – Why video interop?

Mostly, companies implement solutions for video interoperability to keep existing investments in dedicated video conferencing infrastructure and connect it to newer communication and collaboration infrastructure. For instance, if you have a dedicated Cisco, Lifesize or Poly video infrastructure you might want to join Teams online meetings with the Cisco/Lifesize/Poly video rooms, too.

erik365 – How does video interop work?

Basically, a video interop solution helps to bring together both, a dedicated video infrastructure or endpoint and Microsoft Teams.

erik365 – What options are there?

Today, there are three certified cloud video interop services for Microsoft Teams available. I.e. BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams, Poly RealConnect for Microsoft Teams, Pexip Cloud Video Interoperability for Microsoft Teams.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

Video interop services can help you to keep existing video infrastructure investments and connect it with Microsoft’s modern teamwork services, Teams. If you cannot just rip and replace all your video room systems and infrastructure with Surface Hubs or Teams Room Devices, it’s a viable approach and solution to add video interoperability services as needed. Finally, it brings (legacy) video conferencing to Teams online meetings.

Additional Resources

Microsoft Teams Tenant-to-Tenant Migration?

In the past I wrote a post regarding migrating a single capability, Teams telephony workloads, from a source to a target Office 365 tenant. In this post I like to emphasize a new third party service and its capability which can help to accomplish a complete Teams Tenant-to-Tenant migration.

[erik365] Migrate Office 365 Tenant-to-Tenant

BitTitan, a third party service provider for service automation, announced their new service to migrate Teams from a source to a target tenant. It enables companies who need to merge or split Teams into or off another Office 365 tenant.

BitTitan MigrationWiz Teams Tenant-to-Tenant Migration

MigrationWiz enables for migrating the following Team workloads:

  • Teams instance and the individual components
  • Teams
  • Channels
  • Conversations
  • Permissions
  • Files within that instance

On top the service offers a pre-migration assessment

  • to analyze the number of Teams to be migrated
  • to analyze the amount of data to be migrated
  • to analyze the number of users to be migrated

The above described service capabilities are subject to change at anytime. The described capabilities are just a high-level overview. I recommend to read the lastest service provider’s service specification etc. before.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I dealt with a few Microsoft Office 365 Tenant-to-Tenant migration due to different business requirements. However, it was very much to do and script. Now, MigrationWiz seems to really simplify the complete process for Office 365 Tenant-to-Tenant migrations regarding Microsoft Teams.

As of now [July 2019] there are only a few service providers out there offering a service to smoothly migrate Teams from Tenant-To-Tenant as far as I could see. So, BitTitan MigrationWiz is now an option to speed up, simplify and automate your T2T migration batches for Teams, too.

Additional Resources

Microsoft Teams Licensing Notes [Update July 2019]

There are many options for licensing Microsoft Teams depending on the capability requirements for users, devices and rooms. In this post I like to point out some “special” licensing options besides the normal ones for Teams in enterprises.

The hereinafter described license options might be subject to change. Moreover not all licenses or subscriptions are available in every country around the globe, especially calling plans and audio conferencing (shortened: Audioconf.).

Teams Licensing Basics

  • Microsoft Teams is just a single service of the massiv Microsoft 365 services stack which it tightly linked and integrated within this service stack.
  • Microsoft Teams is part of a “packaged” Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions by default.
  • Microsoft Teams replaces Skype for Business (Online). The Skype for Business Desktop Client within Office 365 ProPlus is also obsolete, meaning that new (full) Office 365 ProPlus installation will get a Teams instead of a Skype for Business Client.

The following slides and drawing are intended to provide you with an overview on licensing options. I also point out what you should take into account in case of Teams Direct Routing (TDR), in this post and following drawings I call a TDR scenario a “hybrid” scenario.

Telephony with Teams (for users)

Overview (May 2019)

Call Queues (CQ) and Auto Attendants (AA)

Resource accounts for CQ/AA need a license. Till 01.07.2019 you had to license these users with typical user licenses. Now you can buy and assign a free “Phone System Virtual User license”.

UPDATED JULY 2019 Call Queues (CQ) and Auto Attendants (AA)

At the bottom I’ll add a link to a well-written how-to post “Add a free licence to Call Queues and Auto Attendants (Microsoft Teams)” from ucgeek.com which describes how to buy and assign the license.

Teams Common Area Phone (CAP)

Teams Common Area Phone

Teams Meeting Room

Teams Meeting Room

Conclusion, opinion and summary

The above drawings quickly depict how you can license users, common area phones, meeting room devices and even call queues or auto attendants for Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft is working on an enhanced licensing model for applications like cloud CQ/AA [as you can read in “Manage resource accounts”]. Still, at present user licensing applies for cloud CQ/AA. [done]

Additional Resources

Microsoft Teams Federated Chat Experience Update 06-2019

In this post I like to highlight news about an long awaited feature for your federated chat experience.

Today (June 2019), if you have federated chat with external Team (only) users (no guest, no Teams Team, other tenant) it’s a limited chat experience because you can have plain chat, video and audio.

The item on the roadmap now tells us that we can expect a richer experience within federate chat between Teams-only users to be released in July 2019. What does this mean? Well, as it reads on the roadmap is seems that Microsoft will provide the same rich chat features as today available for internal Teams chat.

Source: Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 52394

Conclusion, opinion and summary

Yey, I’m looking forward to this update. I communicate with many different external users (suppliers, customers, partners) via Teams. However, not all the time communication and collaboration is required within online meetings or a dedicated Teams team/O365 group. That’s why I often tend to use the plain 1:1 chat or 1:n chat for a nice and easy communication.

I’m looking forward if the as-is federated chat experience will be enhanced with features and capabilities which are available for non-federated Teams chat today.

Additional Resources