So, You’re Getting Ready to Launch Microsoft Teams
As you begin the exciting journey of launching Microsoft Teams in your organization, there are some elements we want to cover so your company-wide debut of this application is smooth and successful. By taking the time to understand each of these and how they affect your IT team and end users, you’ll create a secure, productive environment for all.
The new Teams client
First of all, let’s address the issue of the new Teams client. If your users can’t download applications from the web or run executables, this means they can’t use the Teams desktop client.
Not a problem – they can easily use the web-based version, or even the mobile version when they’re away from their computers. However, be prepared for some users to request the desktop version, especially when they may be prompted to download it when using the Teams web-based application. One of the great features of Microsoft Teams is that they offer a full fidelity client from the website application, so very few features will be unavailable. This provides all users with a simplified experience, no matter where or what device they’re on.
If you decide you do want to allow downloads to their desktop, there’s an easy solution. The preferred way is to use a management solution such as Microsoft Intune (part of Enterprise Mobility + Security), or group policy. You can also allow users to download from a specific location or provide them with an internal link from which they can install. Alternatively, you can also allow users to install the Teams desktop application on non-managed computers.
Users may be accustomed to opening their desktop applications, but that doesn’t mean that as part of your adoption strategy you can’t successfully refocus their habits to the browser-based product. Training videos may be especially helpful here, so they can see first-hand how easy it is to access Teams anywhere, anytime.
Currently, both Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams clients are designed to run in parallel. In fact, the Outlook client can even determine which client to use for which workload. We recommend keeping both clients to ensure full functionality until all features and workloads from Skype for Business are also available in Teams.
Did you know?
New reporting functionality is being rolled out to your Office 365 reporting dashboards
to allow you to see which clients employees are using to connect.
The new Teams URLs
While most users won’t notice or possibly even encounter this change, if you’re using any proxy or address filtering systems, be aware that certain functions of Teams URLs may differ from Skype for Business URLs.
For example, if you set up a meeting in Skype for Business, you may notice the URL of the meeting beings with https://meet.lync.com. Whereas, a meeting scheduled within Teams begins with https://teams.microsoft.com.
Make sure that you whitelist or adjust settings such as the Microsoft Teams URLs prior to launch so that end users can connect. Nothing will sink your adoption efforts like users not even being able to get to the application.
The new mobility factor
Teams brings a new degree of mobility to your organization with a plethora of opportunities to collaborate and communicate on any device, but this comes along with much greater potential for exposure of your data. The most important question to ask here is whether Teams complies with the security requirements of your organization. And if it doesn’t, how you can get them to work together.
Historically, many organizations simply took the approach of turning off services like email outside of the network, thinking, if users can’t access the service outside the network, the network is more secure, right?
Absolutely not, as many organizations have found out the hard way. Users will go to extreme lengths, creating risky workarounds such as forwarding emails to their personal accounts, copying data to removable media, and even taking pictures of their monitor with their camera phones.
A better way to manage security is to utilize technology to look at the posture of the machine connecting to the service: does it have antivirus software on it? Maybe that’s one of your internal requirements. Also, evaluate whether you want users to be able to authenticate outside of the network or only inside.
In fact, a more secure method would be to leverage conditional access and device management controls allowing you to control what data a user can access and what they can do with that data.
For example, a user connecting to a large spreadsheet from their company-managed device can copy and paste data between spreadsheets. However, that same user, accessing that same large spreadsheet may not be able to copy and paste (or even print or screen shot) that spreadsheet if they are using a non-managed personal device such as a mobile phone.
It’s important to look at the requirements of individual users in your company. If you’re in the financial sector, for example, you may have employees that should never be able to connect outside of the network, such as a bank teller. But others, such as mortgage brokers, may need a wider range of access due to different working hours and locations.
When launching and optimizing Teams, it’s critical to understand the needs of users and be able to customize your tenant to support these, while maintaining security and centralized control.
Are you prepared to launch Microsoft Teams?
Whether you choose to install the Teams application, run the web app, or offer a mix of both, creating new teams is easy – both for IT and end users. Securing Teams, creating a framework, and adhering to best practices is the challenge. We’re here to help you as you walk through the technical and end user requirements of Microsoft Teams.
Try out our managed service for Office 365 for 30 days by clicking here or fill out the form below and a local expert will be in touch with you soon.
Join our webinar on May 2 to learn the best ways to manage data, user access and security features in Microsoft Teams.