Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business thoughts and news

Insights from the Microsoft Teams October 2017 ‘Ask Me Anything’

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The Microsoft Teams product group did an “Ask Me Anything” on the Tech Communities today. For those not Familiar with an AMA, it’s basically an opportunity to ask any question.

There were some great questions, some interesting information shared. I’ve gathered some random insights here, some have been edited slightly for context, you can check all the original comments on the Tech Community

Admin and Dev

  • O365 Analytics for Admins are coming later this quarter. We’re also working on Team based analytics within the teams app.
  • We are actually quite close to shipping a rich set of PowerShell cmdlets for team/channel provisioning, plus GraphAPI support (which the cmdlets are based on). Should be out in the next several weeks.
  • We’re working on more Graph API support for message content; there are some
    permissions challenges to work through. Would love to hear more about the
    scenario in our user feedback system.
  • Site classification appear on the top right hand side of the Windows App:
    Currently team level, but we’d need to do channel-level for private channels,
    and possibly per-channel for any channel in the future. The classification is
    manually specified by the team owner, which is drawn from a set of
    classification policies specified by the IT admin
  • Re a Connector for Planner: We are working closely with Planner right now on
    that specific ask! You should expect that in the near future
  • We’re working on team templates. We’re also currently working on a feature
    which would allow you to use an existing team as template and allow you to use
    the channel structure and team info for a new team without bringing in any of
    the content or conversations over
  • Creating Teams via Code/API: We’re very close to shipping a set of PowerShell cmdlets and Graph APIs for creating/provisioning teams and channels. That will include adding a team to an existing group. Support for the education team types are on the roadmap, but not in the first drop of cmdlets.
  • At Ignite it was announced that Teams usage metrics were being released Mid-October in Admin Center. Do you have an updated release time? It should be out in the next month or so. Please watch the release notes! Thank you for checking in
  • Our Team is working on adding a comprehensive set of Graph APIs for team and channel management. There are some available today in Beta: https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/graph/graph-explorer# (Click Show Samples and See Microsoft Teams (beta))
  • If an Office 365 Group is deleted, we will sync that to Teams and the team will get soft deleted and then, hard deleted. We will be launching Retention Policies soon, in Q1 CY2018, and you can manage retention policies for Teams Chats, Channel Messages and Files in SCC. The archival story is documented here: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Teams-Blog/Top-Features-of-Microsoft-Teams-amp-Information-Protection-in/ba-p/63046
  • We are actively working with the ProPlus installer and SCCM to get Teams included in the installer packages and infrastructure. We need to make sure we can maintain a healthy update frequency for Teams so it requires some additional work
  • The absence of a Linux Client is a major roadblock to implementing Teams across our company. Can you share any progress on this? Thanks for raising this Barry. This is under review, we are evaluating it
  • When can we expect a Universal Windows app for Microsoft Teams? We are actively working on this. Please stay tuned!
  • When the last owner of a Team gets terminated can you use the OneDrive termination logic to ask their manager what they want to do with their Teams? We are working with the O365 Groups team on the right logic there. One option is the OneDrive model, another is elevating members to owners on a first-come/first-served basis. My preferred option is to flag to IT or manager (if in the address book) to solve. We will also need to solve this for private channels.

Guest Access

    • Guest Access: MSA Support – We are working on this and it will be coming
      soon in this year
    • Guest access for MSA users (any non-AAD email address) is coming in the next
      couple months. That will enable those users to be invited to a team, and then
      use that account to login to Teams.
    • Guest Access: We do want to allow people to have “multiple logins” in the
      same client instance – without the current tenant switching experience. Requires
      some extra work and also need to coordinate w/federation. Actively working on
      it.

     

    Voice

    • CCE is for on-premises deployments. Bringing your trunks to teams will be a direct connect. Specific architecture details to come later.
    • PSTN Calling in Microsoft Teams is planned to roll out this quarter (4Q of 2017). By phone system — if you mean integration with hybrid/ existing phone systems, that is planned for the second quarter in 2018
    • We expect basic Calling plan support this quarter. Advanced Phone System features on on the roadmap for end of Q2 2018

    Misc

    • Microsoft Teams is available to all Office 365 Enterprise Plans (E1,E3,E4 and E5), Education plans and non-profit organisations. Government licensing is not currently supported, but are being investigated for future support.
    • Regarding Office 365 Groups having an expiry Policy: We’re (Microsoft) working with the Groups team to update the reminders to call out the impact on Teams. And we are building a renewal experience inside the Teams app directly.
    • Is there a mechanism for archiving team spaces when they are no longer needed? We (Microsoft) agree that archiving is important. We are working on this feature and will add this to Microsoft Teams in the future
    • We are actually working with Outlook/Exchange on the right way to show the group calendar – a pretty popular request.
    • We’re actively working on Private Channels. It’s a priority on our roadmap.
    • Private Channels: Cannot commit on a timeline but we are working on it Stay Tuned … definitely some time early next year.
    • Cloud Recording will be in Q2 for CY2018
    • We have some enhancements in the works for Presence to pull activity/ calendar information – planned for Q1 in 2018.
    • Both do not disturb and quiet hours are on the roadmap for mobile. Totally understand the pain point right now :(
    • Per-channel notification settings is at the top of our list of improvements for notifications. We 100% feel your pain where mentions can be abused in some channels/teams and you want a way to configure it at a more granular level. We also want to have a specific “mute conversation” behaviour but that will take a bit more time (still on our roadmap though).
    • Ability to copy or move channels between teams Conversation Options? That’s a great use case. We don’t have it in our roadmap yet but feedback taken!
    • We definitely plan to add analytics for team owners as well as tenant owners (tenant owners is actually going to be shipping soon). We don’t currently have anything committed in the roadmap in terms of dates but it is definitely something we are going to invest in.
    • In Skype we are able to set our location. Will this functionality come to Microsoft Teams? This is a feature that we have on our backlog to deliver but at this point don’t have any exact timeline to communicate.
    • Hey, a while back I was part of some Surveys to get feedback on UI overhaul such as less wasted whitespace, smaller fonts compressing things down a bit? Hi Christopher. It is coming soon and we are excited about it! Thanks for your feedback!
    • For convergence into Skype for Business, a lot of it is an integration exercise and not as much of new features being developed. There is an existing Skype team which are an integral part of and work on Teams features is on it’s way as usual.
    • We typically do not talk about internal staffing but if you think about SfB features are being added by SfB resources versus Team features it gives you a good idea of our ability to execute
    • There are currently no plans for sub-channels. We’re going with two level of hierarchy. Access Controlled channels are basically private channels which we’re currently working on. We’re also planning for Read-Only channels and would be working on that too
    • Recording with post-meeting transcription is coming by end of Q2 calendar year 2018 (e.g. by end of next June). Real-time transcription and translation is coming after that point.
    • Private channels and shared channels are related architecturally and we are working on both at the same time, but I expect private channels to come out before shared channels. End of next year is way later than we are thinking for either.
    • VDI is a known requirement. Currently the team is evaluating the timing and resources. When we have more information we will add to the roadmap
    • The ‘Mute All Participants’ feature is coming this quarter.
    • The plan to move from SfBO to Teams is based upon where the customer is in their journey. If you are primarily an IM customer – you should start now. Meetings customers should be actively using it and evaluating if the features available are there for them. Voice customers will be able to start testing shortly and enterprise PBX features should be landing by the end of Q2-CY18. We are not talking about a transition or EOL date. We want customers to be actively exploring today.
    • It’s our best practice to organize based on people’s work not necessarily their department.  We want to ensure cross organizational collaboration and the best experience for users.  So, organizing around projects, services or initiatives that people are working on is best.
    • Give/take control for screen sharing is coming later this quarter (next 2 months).
    • Because the Surface Hub can only run Windows Store apps, the current incarnation of the Teams app cannot be used on Surface Hub.  Is there a Store version of the Teams client coming? This is on our roadmap and likely to be available by end of Q2 of 2018

    About the author

    Tom Arbuthnot

    Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Unified Communications specialist Modality Systems. He is a Microsoft Certified Master and MVP, blogger, has a regular podcast with UCToday at tomtalks.show and is a regular speaker at events including Microsoft TechEd and Ignite. He co-runs The Microsoft UC User Group London.

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    Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business thoughts and news