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Customizing Microsoft Teams to Fit Your Organization

Out of the box, Microsoft Teams is a flexible application that allows for many customizations. However, these different configurations all come at a price, and IT is generally the one that pays. It’s important to be aware of the pros and cons of the features and functionalities you can turn on and off in Teams, as well as how different business units are utilizing these features, in order to properly plan and prepare the tenant.

Microsoft Teams settings are configured at the tenant level, giving your IT team the ultimate control over the security, access and information provided in the platform. IT maintains control of team owners and members, and which users in your organization can create teams in Teams. These settings are inherited from Office 365 Groups. The default is that every user can create a team or group, so be sure to amend these settings if you want your users to have different rights.

Join our webinar on May 2 to learn the best ways to manage data, user access and security features in Microsoft Teams.

Even with advanced customization options, it’s important to remember that the basic principles of IT still exist: making sure your team maintains control, porting tools in place and consistently educating users on security best practices.

Let’s take a look at some of the more specific settings you can control for your organization.

Call, meeting and messaging settings

Settings for calls and meetings can also be configured by IT. You can choose whether to allow scheduling for private meetings and channel meetings, whether to allow video or screen sharing within meetings, and if you want to allow users to make private calls through Teams.

Not only is Teams a hub for communication and collaboration, but it also has some personality, too. As an admin, you can choose whether to allow users to add gifs, memes and stickers to conversations. There are different content rating settings that enable you to restrict the type of images displayed in conversations. You can also allow users to edit and delete their own messages, as well as for a team owner to delete all messages in a channel.

Email settings

Apps settings

Cloud storage settings

When this feature is enabled, users can send emails to particular channels within a team using a custom email address. Once an email address has been created for a channel, any team member can access it by hitting the ellipses in the menu.

Note that you can restrict certain sender domains so that only allowed SMTP domains can email the Teams channels.

Part of the feature strength of Teams is that you can bring together various sources of information through app connectors. Using Apps, you can integrate the tools your end users need while still remaining in control of their security.

You have the option to allow external apps so that users can add tabs and bots, and even allow sideloading of external apps so they can enable custom ones.

Content storage in Teams is built on SharePoint, but some organizations and users may find it necessary to enable third-party cloud storage options, as well.

The ones currently available in Teams include Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and ShareFile, and as an Admin, you can easily switch on and off these options.

General settings

Some of the high-level settings you can control are whether an organizational chart shows in a personal profile, whether Teams users can contact others via Skype for Business when those people don’t have Teams enabled, and whether you want T-Bot to proactively offer assistance to end users (more about why you do here).

Guest access is turned off by default at the tenant level, where user policies and permissions can also be controlled. It can be turned on to enable your end users to effectively work with those outside of your organization. These guest settings are set in Azure Active Directory and can take 2-24 hours for the changes to be effective.

Some restrictions to watch out for

While there are many ways to customize Teams to enhance productivity, there are some technical restrictions to make sure your team is aware of when you’re launching and managing Teams.

(This list is current as of our publishing date, but be sure to always check with technical documentation for most updated numbers.)

  • Max number of teams in tenant: 500,000
  • Max number of owners of a team: 100
  • Max number of channels in a team: 100
  • Max number of teams per user: 250
  • Max number of teams per Global Admin: Unlimited (up to tenant max)
  • Max number of members per team: 999
  • Ability to search for private teams: No
  • Max number of users in a chat: 20 for private chats
  • Max number of users in a meeting: 80
  • Max number of users joining a public team: 2500

Want to learn more?

Ultimately, what remains important when evaluating each of these settings is understanding what kind of impact they have not only on your end users, but on your IT staff. Connect with us today to learn more about how we can help make sure your Microsoft Teams experience is secure and your end users remain productive.

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