Read Only or special access on documents in Teams with Linked libraries – a workaround.

Imagine you want your guests in a Teams Group to only read your documents, not edit. Or you want specific permissions for your Team Group Members on your subfolders.

A combination of the default Teams groups library, an extra library (or even an extra Team Group with it’s own site) and the “add cloud storage”-option, make this possible!

The Basics

With “add cloud storage” we can add a subfolder to our Files section in a Team Group Channel linked to another SharePoint library.

This “another library” has its own permission setup which will be honored when opened and shown in the Channel Files section.

We will add the users that are part of the Team Members Group to our other library with direct library permission settings via the SharePoint site.

When opening the linked folder in Teams we will get the full second library with all it’s subfolders(if present).

When a Team member has no permissions at all on a certain item/subfolder, this item/subfolder will not even be visible to that user! Great, right!

The Steps

Step 1 is to decide if want the extra library on our Teams Group Site, use an existing SharePoint library or create a new library (or even a specific site plus library).

Step 2 making sure all your users exist in your tenant. For guest users it makes it easy if they are first invited to your Team Group.

Step 3 is adding the specific Team members including the guests to our chosen library as desired. Check if you want to stop the permission inheritance, so you can add the users solely to the library. Similar for your subfolders. Grant permissions to your needs.

I personally work always with the advanced permissions settings mode, as well on site, library, folder and item level for more

Note: Be careful with adding users to the default SharePoint groups because the groups stay the same in content wherever they are used on that site collection.

More on this and SharePoint permission management logic in my next post, stay tuned.

Step 4 is to use in your original Teams Group channel the “add cloud storage” feature. Take the “from SharePoint” option and find your library via the browse option or provide the url.

The Result

Here we are, we have a folder in our Teams channel acting like other normal subfolders, but with adapted permissions settings on its content.

Pros and Cons

Pro

– Dedicated permission management on documents in combination with working within Team Channels.

– working on libraries from other Teams from within your own channels.

– working from within Team Channels on classic SharePoint libraries

Cons

– Permission management on multiple locations.

– Permissions setup less transparent.

– At this moment only full libraries can be added as folders.

Other option

You can also add the extra library as TAB to your channel. Now you can show a specific subfolder level by adding the specific url.

Disadvantage is that there is a separate TAB outside the Files panel and you loose the nice integrated listing and organisation.

Hope that this workaround gave you some ideas on solving your dedicated permissions challenge.

Have fun!

Teams Member vs Guest vs External user

A summary to the concept of Team members vs Team Guests vs External users with focus on direct communication and the most important differences.

Microsoft created a wonderful communication app with Teams (imho) but specially in the area on who is who and who can do what there can be a lot of confusion due to the complexity of options and considerations.

With this post I will give a summary to the concept of Team members vs Team Guests vs External users with focus on direct communication and the most important differences. Full overviews are linked in the text and in the links section at the bottom of the post.

A full Teams user

A full Teams user is someone who is part of a licensed Office365 setup or a free Teams account and can:

  • Chat or Call (1:1 or Group) to any other user that is part of the same organisation;
  • Chat or Call 1:1 to any External user, either with full capabilities (both you and the user are on Teams Only mode) or with restricted capabilities (one of you is not on Teams Only mode);
  • Chat or Call (1:1 or Group) with Team Groups Guests registered within your organisation (users from outside your organisation who are added to any Team Group);
  • Setup Meetings and invite other users from the same organisation, External Users and Team Group Guests (Note: Meetings creation is excluded from the free Teams plan);
  • be a Team Group Member and have Channel Conversations and Meetings with the other Team Group Members and Team Group Guests;
  • be a Team Group owner and act as Team Member with extra Group management rights;

An External user

External users are people from outside your organisation from a licensed domain using Skype for Business or Teams and who you contact from within Teams by adding their e-mail address for a 1:1 Chat or Meeting and selecting the option “… search externally” when presented.

External users are marked with a “External”-label behind their e-mail address. This works also the other way around where you will also be marked as External at your external contacts Chat and Contact lists.

Example External Label

IMPORTANT:

  1. External users receive Chats and Activity Notifications in their own organisations Teams panel. (No switch organisation opposite to being a Guest) !!!
  2. You can contact Guest users on their Guest user labelled e-mail address NEXT TO this same user External labelled contact address in case this also exist among your contacts list;
  3. Communication features between External contacts are restricted compared to users within your organisation or Guests.
  4. External access has to be allowed and configured for your and your contacts domain.
  5. Native Chat experience only between external users that are both on Teams Only mode!
  6. External users can share and get a desktop shared but can not get control from a shared desktop from another user.

A Guest

Guests are users from other organisations that are added as members to one or more Team Groups (aka Team Group Guest Members).

The same way you can be a guest in Team Groups belonging to other organisations then your own.

Guest members are basically visiting, in digital person so to say, your online organisation like they would in the physical world by visiting your office and can collaborate as such within your Team Groups they are member of. Therefor Guests need to switch to your organisation within the Teams app and can (with some restrictions, see point 4 below):

  • collaborate in Team Group Channels;
  • contact other users in your organisation via chats and calls;
  • attend meetings
  • NOT create meetings from within the org they are guest of. (Calendar feature is part of your orgs Office and can not be accessed (yet) from within an other org view)

IMPORTANT:

  1. Guest users receive Chats and Activity Notifications in the OTHER organisations Teams panel. SWITCH organisation is needed within Teams to work as Guest !!!
  2. You can contact External users on their external user labelled e-mail address NEXT TO this same user Guest labelled contact address in case this also exist when this user is also any Team Group Guest;
  3. Guest members have some restrictions compared to full Team members;
  4. Some settings for Guest users can be managed per Team by Team owners and some org-wide settings can be managed by org-admins;
  5. As a Guest user you can leave an organization on your own free will (account need to be enabled on both the home and the guest tenant) but an organizations admin has to fully remove your profile from the specific guest tenant.

Further reading on the full explanation and info provided by Microsoft:

For All Team Users

For Admins

I hope this post made your journey on communicating and possible home work with #MicrosoftTeams during this time of Corona easier and more productive.

Feel free to contact me or leave any comment if you have remarks or suggestions.

Stay safe and see you online!

Martinus

Fun, fun and fun with Office 365

I recently came across a great video called “The Importance of Fun in the Workplace”, by Holly Cummins, and was totally pleased (I had fun) to realize this is what we need as a statement also for working with Office 365!

We need to have fun to work with tools in the cloud!

The idea of allowing yourself, your team and your organization does not stop with enjoying the company around you and the time at the coffee corner. As nicely pointed out in Holly her talk, having fun is also about what tools you use and how.

So what is important is that we allow ourselves and the people we interact with to experience working with Office 365 as a fun adventure.

My idea how to support yourself on having more fun…

Find out “what’s in it for me“.

I can not say this enough.

Do see a new application or the complete platform as an opportunity and find out what needs you have that can be improved with using some of the available apps and features. Be happy with these improvements, even if they are small and notice how this improves your daily work.

And if it does not, look for better apps and features. Let go of the idea “I always have been doing it like this, so I should keep doing it in this way”, especially when you are switching from file management on a file server and your local device to working with files in the cloud and on a local synced OneDrive. Embrace the freedom of auto-discovery and search with Delve, your SharePoint personal dashboard, the News features and the Search option where ever you are!

Microsoft Graph is doing a great job presenting you your work on a lot of locations.

Also the recent section in your desktop apps and the ability to pin your important files. Build your favorites dashboard in Delve (documents) or the SharePoint app (Sites).

So allow yourself the time to discover and look around and feel free to use what you need.

Start step by step.

There is no need to start working with all the apps and features at once. As is pointed out on several other blogs already, Office 365 is like a Swiss army knife. A lot of features to solve a lot of problems.

Focus first on where can you gain most out of using new tools.

Get some etiquette- aka rules of the game

Having a lot of apps and features can also mean the things get chaotic. So instead of panicking, we best start deploying some rules of the game on how we work best within our organization with certain apps.

A great example is a recently released post “Everyday Etiquette in Microsoft Teams” by Matt Wade (AtBot / AvePoint). These etiquette rules of engagement will make working with Teams much more fun because they will avoid irritation moments by aligning everyone’s interaction where anyone gets what is expected.

Matt’s etiquette for Teams I would surely recommend as a starting point and template for other applications too. Adapt to your business needs if required for your fun!

Adapt, do not get desperate

If things are not going as you like, open your mouth and talk about it. Ask around for solutions and changes. Look around within Office 365 for better apps/solutions for your situation. The time you will invest will pay itself back by all the productivity improvements you encounter after your change.

Getting back your fun will improve your life and directly reflect the quality of your work in a positive way.

Be honest with yourself

A great friend, also a consultant, told me that he will only accept a job if he believes he will have fun doing it. And when it turns out the fun, for whatever reason, is being blocked by external factors, he steps out of the game.

Not everyone might be in the position to directly do it this way, anyhow we should strive to make our daily work, including working with Office 365 and all or some of it’s wonderful apps, a joyful – aka FUN – experience

Migration and Training

See for instance my posts Is it difficult to keep up with Office 365 continuous changes? , How to train internal users on Microsoft Teams and make them love it and Migration to Office365, to mention a few, and realize this is where the fun begins!

Fun should be part of the process and users should experience fun from the very beginning!

quote-business-leaders-take-things-far-too-seriously-and-forget-that-most-of-the-time-people-richard-branson-82-55-55

Have fun!

 

How to train internal users on Microsoft Teams and make them love it

A question popped up in the Microsoft Teams user group recently around how to run an internal Microsoft Teams Workshop and also what to cover. Here’s a longer version of what I answered.

Prepping

For all workshop setups,

  • I create a dedicated Training Team and add all participants beforehand.
  • I also send around the link to the Teams app and ask the participants to install the desktop app beforehand.
  • Next to that I hint that they can also install the smartphone app if they want too.
  • The manager gets the topics list of what will be covered (see the topics list below).

How to run the Workshop

So far I have run the workshops in 3 different setups:

  1. One on One remote training via a Teams private meeting with video call and screen sharing from my side
  2. Remote group training via Teams group meeting with video call and screen sharing from my side – this works well for a small group up to 5 people
  3. Remote group training via Webex conferencing meeting and screensharing with 1 pc beaming the session on a big screen at the receiving side, audio call in with Polycom table conferencing module and everyone individually with their own laptop/pc with the Teams app open. This is the better option for a group of 5 – 10 people with a training/meeting room available.

For option 1 and 2 the training meeting is setup in Teams, for option 3 the invitation is created via Webex (this could be any other conferencing tool that suits the needs of the participants situation / conferencing room).

Workshop Style

The Basic workshop scenario is that I go in a relaxed playing style with the users through the list of topics listed in the next section.

During the complete workshop I ask for help to do actions going randomly through the participants but trying to involve everyone equally and sometimes invite all to repeat the action I just showed.

For me it is crucial that you include enough time to allow the users during the workshop to interact and try the features for themselves and see what’s happening. This high level of interaction is (in my experience) the way the users have much more fun in the training and remember much more, which has the added benefit of boosting the adoption.

When users start playing around with emoji and gyphy or post other funny comments, integrate this ad-hoc into your story. Use it and manouver the story back on track.

Also use compliments when someone takes initiative out of the context and get everyone back on track. Encourage people to explore the options and click wherever they find the 3 dots “…”, that’s where more options and features are to be found.

Here’s what topics to cover during the Workshop

  • Position Teams within Office 365 => combined functionality into a digital war room with persistent chat and a lot of extra’s
  • Group chat layers: a Team > a Channel > a Conversation > a Reply
  • Team and Channel creation – show where
  • Group Chat example – demo + let everyone try
  • Focus New Conversation vs Reply – demo + let everyone try
  • @ mention option – demo + let everyone try
  • Activity usage – demo + let everyone try
    • Filter option – demo + let everyone try
    • set as unread option – demo + let everyone try
    • notifications functionality – show and explain
      • by closing program and have the users do actions and then reopen
      • by going to another team and have the users do actions in the demo team/channel
  • Like button – demo + let everyone try
    • use like instead of all the small replies like “ok” or “nice” etc.. > keep it clean / idea of some house rules for best practice – explain
  • To be the point and leave all the formalities/drama away (no: Hi Martin Hamers, may I ask you something …) > keep it clean – explain
  • Bookmark items – demo + let everyone try
  • Advanced edit screen – demo + let everyone try
    • Subject
    • Important
    • layouting
  • mention other options
    • when users start fooling around with giphy, emoji and stickers I include this/remark to this in a funny way and (try to) move on with the workshop
  • Send email to Teams demo – demo + let everyone try
  • Copy / Paste / Attachments – demo + let everyone try
  • Files in channel – demo + let everyone try
    • show also auto created email subfolder
  • Open in SharePoint, folder per channel setup – demo
  • Copy / move files around – demo + let everyone try
  • Save attachment file from Outlook to Team group and move to channel folder – demo
  • Tabs – demo + let everyone try
  • Get links to team, channel, tabs – demo + let everyone try
  • Search – demo + let everyone try
  • Meetings – demo
    • Invite individuals – no channel – demo
    • Meeting with channel selection (everyone gets an invite) – demo
  • Show Files option left menu – demo
  • Show Planner integration in TAB – demo
  • Explain where news, tips and tricks can be found, as well within the own organisation as well on the web.

That is it very roughly.

Depending on the articipants and timing there can be room for bots and connectors and setup for owners.

Aftermath

After the training:

  • the training TEAM stays so the participants can look back there and continue testing
  • the training is reviewed with the manager
  • I propose the manager to start using Teams with a pilot real life use case based on what is seen and learned that workshop. This is often a review with the complete participants team and they suggest themselves a proper use case.
  • first review of the pilot use case after a month.
  • based on the outcome of the pilot a demo / announcement on the success story to the larger organisation or a new use case.

 

Note: My article was first posted as a blog post on the Collab365 community portal earlier today

 

A starting point on where to place your documents in Office 365

With all the options of Apps in Office 365 it can be very confusing to decide what document to store where exactly. There is no strict rule on this, exactly because Office 365 is designed to be used as fits you best.

CloudFolderTo make your life as a user or administrator more easy you could start with the following concept and build onwards/adjust from there.

       OneDriveFull       |        TeamsFull       |        SharePointFull       |        YammerFull

I did not visually work it out (yet) but as a starting point I use the following “ruling”:

OneDrive

  • Personal documents with incidental sharing (HINT: point the Windows My Documents to the local OneDrive sync folders location)

Teams

  • Team collaboration “work in progress”/draft documents (The digital war room principle)

SharePoint Team sites

  • Document archive and publishing to a larger team/ department/group of people (SharePoint Team site)
  • “Public” documents (Intranet site) / News page related (published) documents
  • Documents with a minimal archiving period
  • Documents with specific version management
  • Documents with publishing approval

Yammer (in case Yammer is actively used as an inter company social platform)

  • Documents with social info / nonwork related data – not important who does or does not read or can access the document – no retention requirements

This is only a guide so you can start working with documents within some kind of boundary concept with the benefit of “all faces in the same direction” group work.

Review this working method/policy within your group and adapt based on your experience and needs.

 

Have filing fun!

Microsoft Teams – getting organized and avoid posts overload.

Getting organized in Microsoft Teams is important as it basically is in all your work but specially handy when communicating with people in different time zones or working in large teams.

Your unread activity list can build up quickly overnight or when you are offline for a while.

So what can we do about it?

The organization here is a Team effort I believe and starts with actually using some basic features and taking some responsibility when creating a new post/reply.

1. Use the title field and give the main answer/statement/summary as title like “I have chocolate cookies at my desk for free to take” in stead of “Anybody hungry?”. This way it is easier for anyone to decide the post is applicable or not.

2018-02-22 09_54_00-z. TEST CHANNEL (TEAM IT Global) _ Microsoft Teams.png Title use

2. Use the Important button and only when it is really important, but do use it when it is so others can give this preference.

2018-02-22 09_57_45-z. TEST CHANNEL (TEAM IT Global) _ Microsoft Teams Important

3. Do not @[user] when it is not really needed. Similar to do not CC people in email if they are not really involved.

4. Properly use the reply button when replying and only start a new conversation when it is a new conversation, this keeps the posts much more structurized

2018-02-22 09_59_22-z. TEST CHANNEL (TEAM IT Global) _ Microsoft Teams Reply vs New

5. Use the like button in stead of adding new replies like “thanks!”.

2018-02-22 10_10_22-Microsoft Edge LIKE

6. Use the “Stop following” options for channels that are not interesting to you. This works also for auto posts created by apps.

2018-02-22 10_01_55-z. TEST CHANNEL (TEAM IT Global) _ Microsoft Teams stop following

7. Use the “save this message” option to easily find back your pending threats or reference texts.

2018-02-22 10_09_01-Microsoft Edge SAVE

8. Use the manual Read/Unread option to mark your posts in the activity feed for later followup.

2018-02-22 10_01_55-z. TEST CHANNEL (TEAM IT Global) _ Microsoft Teams mark unread

It is a lot about etiquette and thinking also about the people that you want to read your post.

Working quick is nice but lets make it quick for everybody!

 

Enjoy and lets get organized!

 

 

 

Office365 Apps Adoption

Answering to the question I recently came upon asking for a “Teams Adoption presentation” the following came to my mind…
In my experience it is essential that there is some kind of “Real life use case Demo” included next to any presentation and best including the audience in this.

The DIY factor is very important.

Presentations on programs are boring till people can start clicking and trying themselves.
The same way as I decide to keep using an app on my mobile phone after I tried and tested it. The presentation of the app in the online store is mostly also just highlighting the basics/purpose of the app. I do not need 30 slides before trying it out.
A workshop with minimum of slides and maximum of actual role playing on a use case speaks more then a thousand words, so to say.
Find some early adopters/eager test users and include them in your use cases.
Quote from an article on adoption on the Avepoint blog puts it nicely together I think:

“Match up ideal use cases to teams that have also expressed a desire to work faster and in new ways. Capture success stories like the ones above and share them with the broader organization to drive more effective and lasting adoption. Making the journey of user adoption is as much art as it is science, so be flexible.”

Last but not least, make it a corporate event with full support from Top Management!

 

And because I am a lot into the Teams app here a 30 min. showcase video Microsoft Teams: Basics and beyond – that has a good wrap up of features you can include in your Teams Demo/Workshop.

 

Curious how your adoption is going to look like 🙂

 

Microsoft’s Information and feedback sites + special links for Microsoft Teams

This blog post will summarize some of the main sites provided by Microsoft towards end-users and administrators to find your way witin the Office 365 platform and its apps. This include the training and learning sites and feedback portals

So lets start the list. I included a dedicated section towards Microsoft Teams. My total vision on why Teams is the central future application I will do in a separate post but for now enough to say that Teams is combining several apps into a “persistent chat”-based central portal and gets an enormous focus from Microsoft and from the users and administrators community. The potential of this app is great and changing the way of working landscape.

Microsoft Teams

(Microsoft Teams by Microsoft)

“We’ve seen the impact that teamwork has had on our world, but what if teams could achieve even more? What if they had the space to be themselves, to share ideas freely and organically across geographies and generations?”

Microsoft Teams website

Microsoft Teams Interactive Demo – “Jump in and experience how teams collaborate when people, conversations, and content – along with the tools teams need – live together in one place.”

Microsoft Teams video training – “Using a chat-centered workspace”

Microsoft Teams YouTube video channel – “Getting Started with Microsoft Teams”

Microsoft Teams Tech Community – “Collaborate, share and learn from experts.”

Microsoft Teams UserVoice (Feedback) – “How can we make Microsoft Teams better?”

Microsoft Teams Documentation

Microsoft Teams Guest Access setup

and more on this excellent post of Matt Wade

 

Office 365 for the end-user

Periodic Table of Office 365 (TIP!)

Office Help & Training

Office 365 Training Center – “Learn how to get things done with Office. Find tutorials for all skill levels: beginner to advanced.”

Office 365 basics – video training – “Take your Office skills to new heights by getting back to basics. Create, edit, save online, and more.”

Tips for Office – “Discover tips to work smarter and get more out of your Office apps in the Office Training Center.”

Develop your skills – “Build your knowledge of Office with thousands of expert-led courses from LinkedIn Learning.”

Office Quick Starts – “Get up and running quickly with the basic info you need to be productive right away.”

What’s new in Office 365 – “As an Office 365 subscriber, you regularly get new and improved Office features. Take a look below to see what’s available to you today.”

Office 365 small business – training – “Training for small businesses and anyone new to Office 365”

User Voice – Customer Feedback for Microsoft Office 365 – “We love hearing from our customers. If you have suggestions for how we can improve, please share them with us here or at one of the related sites listed on the right. While we can’t respond to every suggestion, we are committed to reading every post.”

Microsoft Tech Community – “Collaborate, share and learn from experts.”

Office 365 Roadmap – “The  Office 365 Roadmap lists updates that are currently planned for applicable subscribers. Updates are at various stages from being in development to rolling-out to customers to being generally available for applicable customers world-wide.”

Microsoft Mechanics (YouTube) – Microsoft’s official new show to keep you up to date on our latest tech.”

GetStartedSharePoint (YouTube) – “SharePoint Online and Office 365 for enterprises as well as Office 365 for small businesses and professionals ”

 

Office 365 for Administrators and Power Users

TechNet – Office 365 for IT pros – “Office Tech Center”

FastTrack for Office 365 – “Make your rollout of Office 365 a success. Speed implementation, drive adoption, and help users get the most from the premier cloud productivity suite.”

Office Admin center – The Office 365 embedded admin portal

Office 365 small business – training – “Training for small businesses and anyone new to Office 365”

Office 365 is in the end a Do It Yourself platform. Meaning the end-user is encouraged to install, manage and use the available applications included in the platform, like the user is used to do on a personal smartphone. Either when using the corporate Office365 platform out of the box or with some or more customizations the applications interface and features are promoted by Microsoft towards the end-users interaction and so it is mandatory that the same user can find up to date information on these applications and features.

These links should give you a good starting point in finding your way around Office 365.

Enjoy!