Some useful tips for managing the Microsoft Teams Admin Center

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Datum

14-1-2021

Reading time

4 minutes

As an admin you may need to update the Teams that your organization is using for collaboration on a regular basis or perhaps you need to automate actions to manage the teams used in your organization through PowerShell or the Microsoft Teams Admin Center. In this blog I'd like to show a few management capabilities to help govern your Admin Center. You can reach the Teams Admin Center through the Microsoft 365 Admin Portal or by going to https://admin.teams.microsoft.com.

Messaging Policies

What are messaging Policies? Messaging policies are used to control which chat and channel messaging experiences are available to owners and members. Many small and mid-sized organizations are using the global (org-wide default) policy that’s created automatically for them. I personally always recommend creating a custom policy and not using the global policy. In general, you create a custom policy if, for example, there is a specific business requirement or if, for example, a number of settings have to be slightly different for a certain group of users. By default every user in your organization will automatically inherit the default global policy (org-wide default) unless you create and assign a custom policy. You can:

  • Edit the settings in the global policy
  • Create/edit and assign custom policies
  • Delete custom policies

Here are a few options that you can enable for your owners and members.

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You can also create a new messaging policy with PowerShell. You can use the New-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy command to create a new policy. You can click here for the Microsoft documentation.

Manage Apps

When you are going to manage apps for your organization, you are controlling what apps are available to users in your organization’s app store. You can use any of the apps that is available. But always ask yourself the question: do all these applications have to be available in the store? I personally always start with a limited number of applications and as the organization becomes more mature in the use of Microsoft Teams, more apps are made available.

If you go to the Microsoft Teams Admin Center you can allow or block apps. You can scroll through the list of apps, but it is also possible to search by name.

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As with the messaging policy, it is possible to use the default policy (org-wide default), but I recommend to create a custom policy. In the policy you can decide which apps you are going to make available to Teams users in your organization. Options that you can configure in the policy are:

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It is also possible to customize the app store. For example you can change the options below:

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When you are done with the changes, you can preview these changes before pushing the changes to production.

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Team Templates

Microsoft Teams templates are pre-built definitions of a Team’s structure designed around a business need or project. You can use Teams templates to quickly create rich collaboration spaces with channels for different topics and pre-install apps to pull in mission-critical content and services.

People who are new to Teams often need structure to get started. So, having consistency in places like channels makes the user experience and user adoption a lot better. How and where do you configure these templates in the Microsoft Teams Admin Center?

  1. Under the Teams Admin Center click on Teams and choose Team templates. Here you can add, edit or duplicate a template. In the context of this blog, I choose to create a new template. Click "Add" and choose the "Create a brand new template".
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2. Provide a name, long and short description, and the locale. The locale is used to track the language the template is authored in.

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3. Here you can add channels, tabs and apps that you want to make available to the team.

It can sometimes take a while before new templates are available in Microsoft Teams. In general, it should take a few minutes.

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External Access

From the "org-wide settings" option in the Microsoft Teams Admin Center you can enable/disable External access. With this option you have control over if internal Teams and Skype for Business users can communicate with other users outside the organization.

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External access lets your Teams and Skype for Business users communicate with other users that are outside of your organization. By default, your organization can communicate with all external domains. If you add blocked domains, all other domains will be allowed but if you add allowed domains, all other domains will be blocked.

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Guest Access

Guest access in Teams lets people outside your organization access teams and channels. When you turn on Guest Access, you can turn on or off features guest users can or can't use. You may not want to allow guests in a Team. By setting "Allow guest access to Teams" to "Off, you prevent external users from joining a team as guests.

There are of course many more options available to configure in the Microsoft Teams Admin Center. Hopefully these basic settings will help you on the right track. Start using a test environment and get started with the many possibilities within the Microsoft Teams Admin Center.

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