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Office 365 Teams: Use and Manage Microsoft Teams for Collaboration. Do you need help configuring your organization’s Office 365 (Microsoft) Teams? We wrote this article to simplify the process.

Article starts with a quick introduction to Microsoft chat and collaboration tool.  However, if you’re familiar with this product, please start from our section on its licensing requirements. To ensure your account has the prerequisite license to configure Teams.

At the end of the article, it discusses 3 essential settings to get your Office 365 Teams ready.

It uses “Microsoft Teams” and ” Office 365 Teams ” to refer to the same product.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams functions as an instant messaging tool. However, beyond messaging, Teams is a collaboration app for real time chat, meetings, and file and app sharing in one place.

Teams leverages Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) identities infrastructure since it is part of the Microsoft 365 architecture. Additionally, it seamlessly works with Microsoft 365 groups, SharePoint and Exchange Online.

Create an Office 365 team from Microsoft 365 groups or the Microsoft Teams portal.

When you create a team from a Microsoft 365 group, it inherits the group’s membership, SharePoint and Exchange Online mailbox settings.

Conversely, creating a team from the portal automatically creates a new Microsoft 365 group. Additionally, this sets up a new SharePoint Online site and document library to store the team files.

Moreover,  the process also creates an Exchange Online shared mailbox and calendar.

Office 365 Teams Licensing Options

All Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise licenses include Microsoft Teams. So, if you have any “Microsoft 365” Business, Premium, or E3 licenses, your subscription includes this collaboration tool.

However, this product can be purchased in other ways. 

Alternatively, you opt for a free Teams account to access the basic features. To use the free version, sign up for a Microsoft account.

After creating a free Microsoft account, sign up for free Microsoft Teams.

To perform the tasks in the remaining part of this article, you must sign in to the Microsoft Teams portal. You can do this by opening admin.teams.microsoft.com

Alternatively, sign in to admin.microsoft.com. Navigate the menu, click “Show all,” and scroll to the “Admin centers”. 

Finally, click “Teams.”

1. Configure Teams, Channels, and Teams Policies

This section explores settings in the ‘Teams’ menu of the Microsoft Teams admin portal. The first 2 subsections explain how to create teams from the Teams and Microsoft 365 portals

In addition, we discuss configuration and management of team settings, policies, and the settings for upgrading from Skype for Business to Teams. Furthermore, the screenshot below highlights the specific settings explored in this section.

Now, let’s explain some essential concepts, starting with “Teams.” A Team is a grouping of users, tools, and content that targets a project or deliverable in an organization. 

Teams are created as public team that can accommodate up to 10,000 members. 

Alternatively, you create a private team that allows only invited members to join. 

Another vital Teams concept is “Channels.” They are created within Teams to focus on specific topics, projects, or deliverables.

The purpose of channels is to foster team cohesion and collaboration on different subjects or sub-projects.

Create Teams (Option 1): from Microsoft Teams Admin Center

1. Sign in to the Microsoft Teams admin portal via admin.teams.microsoft.com
2. Expand Teams and click “Manage teams.”

The “Manage teams” section displays existing teams. It also has the option to create new ones.

To create a new team, click the “+ Add.” Then, enter the details and click the “Apply”. 

Create Teams (Option 2): from Microsoft 365 Groups

1. Sign in to admin.microsoft.com, expand the “Teams & groups” menu, then, click “Active teams & groups.”

2. Once the “Active teams & groups” opens, click “Add a group”. 

3. On the first page of the workflow, select “Microsoft 365” as the group type. Then, name the group and provide an optional description. 

Additionally, add group owners (required) and members (optional). When the new group workflow gets to the Settings page, set the group’s email address and privacy (public or private). 

Also, the settings page has a “Create a team for this group” checkbox. This checkbox is checked by default. 

Uncheck the checkbox if you do not want to create a team for the Microsoft 365 group. I uncheck it for my demo group to explain how to add teams to an existing group later. 

4. Create an Office 365 team from the group by opening an existing Microsoft 365 group. I use the group I created earlier.

5. Once the group opens, click “Add Teams” on the General tab. Finally, click “Add Teams” on the pop-up.

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Add Members, Channels and Edit Team Settings

While creating a team from a Microsoft 365 group or the Teams portal, you add team members. However, neither option permits adding a Channel to the team during the creation process.

Therefore, adding a channel to a team is done after the team has been created. Furthermore, you are provided with the option to modify the team’s settings.

Now, let’s explain the procedures of adding members and channels to a team and modifying its settings.

1. From the Office 365 Teams portal, expand Teams and click “Manage teams.” Once the page opens, click the team you want to edit. 

2. After you open the team for editing, you have the ability to use the Members tab for adding or removing members. Similarly, utilize Channels to modify channels and the Settings tab to adjust its settings.

Alternatively, edit the Members and Channels and modify the settings by clicking the Edit button on the top right.  

Configure and Manage Teams Settings

The Teams settings page allows you to customize organization wide settings like email notifications and tagging. Additionally, modify storage and sharing options available in the “Files” tab of the user’s teams. 

To open the configuration page, navigate to “Teams -> Team settings.”

Set up Office 365 Teams Policies

Use team policies to determine what users do in teams and channels across your organization. To open teams policies, expand the Teams menu and select “Teams policies.”

Edit default policy, “Global (Org-wide default),” or create a custom policy. 

Whether you’re editing the default policy or creating a new one, use it to control whether users create private or shared channels. Additionally, the policy settings has options to allow or deny inviting external users to shared channels or join external shared channels. 

Configure Teams Skype for Business Upgrade Settings

Microsoft offers organizations the option to migrate from Skype for Business to Teams. If you manage this transition for your organization, utilize the “Teams upgrade settings” to configure the user experience.

To explore the options visit Microsoft’s Coexistence modes.

2. Manage Users, Guests, and External Access Settings

The “Manage users” menu displays Microsoft 365 users with Teams licenses. Within this section, you can edit settings like Audio Conferencing settings, policies, and phone numbers of existing users.

However, adding new users must be done from the Microsoft 365 admin portal.

Create and Manage Teams Users

Expand the “Users” menu and select “Manage users” to edit settings for existing team-enabled Microsoft 365 users. Then, click on the user you want to manage teams options for.

To modify the user’s settings, click the available tabs on the user’s features page. Some tabs let you view reports about the user’s activities on Teams.

For example, in the “Meetings & calls” tab view the user’s meetings and calls. Likewise, click the “Team devices” tab to view the devices the user has used to join team meetings.

Manage and Configure Office 365 Teams Guest Access

The “Guest access” settings page allows you to configure whether people in your organization can invite guests (people outside your organization) to join teams. To open guest access settings, navigate to “Users -> Guest access.” 

If Guest access is turned on (default), configure additional settings to control how guests collaborate with internal users. 

For instance, configure whether guest users can make private calls. Or to configure meetings and messaging features. 

Configure External Access Settings for Teams and Skype for Business

The “External access” settings let admins to configure how internal users interact with users outside the organization.

The first part of the “External access” configuration page determines how internal users are allowed to interact with external domains. 

The default is “Allow all external domains.” However, configure 3 more options to fit your organization’s policy. 

To change the setting, click the “Choose which external domains your users have access to:” drop-down. 

3. Control Teams Messaging Policies for Chat Settings

Microsoft Teams allows organizations to control the features available to users when they chat in Teams. These settings are managed from the “Messaging Policies” menu.

In this menu, Teams provides the option to create and edit policies that control chat and channel messaging features available to users.

To edit the “Global (Org-wide default)” messaging policy, click it. Once the policy opens for editing, modify it to meet your needs and save the changes. 

Alternatively, to create custom messaging policies, click the “+Add” button. 

Note that this article did not cover all the settings and configurations in Microsoft Teams. Rather, it discussed the essential settings to get teams working as soon as possible.

Please view this article as a part of your Teams set up resources. We strongly recommend configuring other settings we did not cover in this article. 

Office 365 Teams: Use and Manage Microsoft Teams for Collaboration Conclusion

Microsoft Teams is a powerful platform for collaboration and communication within the Office 365 ecosystem. By understanding the various features and licensing options available, users make the most out of Teams to enhance productivity and foster effective teamwork.

To assist organizations in setting up and utilizing Teams, this article provides an overview of the Microsoft collaboration tool and explains the available licensing options.

Next, the article focuses on 3 crucial configurations for getting Teams up and running quickly.

Firstly, it explored configuring Teams, Channels, and Teams Policies, aligning them with the organization’s collaboration needs. Secondly, it discussed managing users, guests, and external access settings.

Finally, the article explores the utilization of Teams Messaging Policies to manage chat settings. 

We hope that by following the steps in this article, you’ve setup and configured Teams successfully. 


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Victor Ashiedu

Victor Ashiedu

Victor is an IT pro based in Manchester, UK. With over 22 years of experience managing Windows Server, Active Directory, and Powershell, and 7 years of expertise in Azure AD and Office 365, he's a seasoned expert in his field. When he's not working, he loves spending time with his family - a wife and a 5-year-old. Victor is passionate about helping businesses succeed in today's fast-changing tech landscape.

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