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Microsoft Teams gets Private

Flavia Fontana | 24 November 2019

Microsoft Teams gets Private

Microsoft has now put the “˜i’ in Teams. Users can now create Private Channels within their Team or Teams.

This feature was made possible as it was the most requested feature on “UserVoice”, Microsoft’s user feedback site. The purpose of a private channel is to create a secure space for documents and conversations.

Ideal for large teams, smaller groups or segments of that team can:

  • Share sensitive information that is not relevant for the whole group to access
  • Collaborate on a project or task without disrupting the entire group. For instance, developing a proof of concept to be presented back to the larger team

Setting up Private Channels is easy; any team member can do this. It is a good idea to have at least two owners (as with any Team that is created!) as they control membership. Guests can’t set up a Private Channel; instead, they can be added to gain access to the information.

Team owners can see all Private Channels in their Team (they are depicted by a lock icon) and they have the security to delete them if deemed necessary. If they are not a member of the Private Channel though, they can’t see any files or conversations.

Ben Granger-Holcombe welcomes this new feature to Teams, “it has been a long-requested feature by our clients. It is designed to make life easier for segments of users in a Team. Like any new feature, I foresee challenges, particularly around governance.”

“I do recommend Team owners and administrators start to incorporate clear naming conventions to Channels and Private Channels for structure and ease of usability. If there is no clear policy around Private Channel set-up then I foresee usability and governance issues.”

“Now is the time for admins of Teams to start planning on how Private Channels can be incorporated into Teams and make the decisions around whether restricting who can create Private Channels is the way to go.”

Want to find out more about getting the most out of collaboration tools of Microsoft 365 and developing policies around the use of Private Channels in Teams? Then reach out to us.