10 Policies to consider when implementing Microsoft Teams

If Microsoft Teams is just about turning it on and point people to the right location to get started then why are there so many policies to be configured in the Teams admin Center?

After a while of focusing my blog posts on the Power Automate and Power Apps, I would almost forget that I still do a lot of Microsoft Teams work as well. It is definitely time to get some Teams posts out again as there are so many new users picking up Teams.

Policies

As you walk through the admin center options you will find:

  • Teams Policies
  • Meeting Policies
  • Live event Policies
  • Messaging Policies
  • Permission Policies
  • Setup Policies
  • Emergency Policies
  • Call Park Policies
  • Calling Policies
  • Caller ID Policies

That is a lot of Policies to consider!

Did you consider not having a governance plan?

Teams Policies

The Teams Policies by default contain 1 policy. The Global policy lets people discover private teams and private channels. If you want to disable this globally you can change your global policy settings or even better you can disable this by creating a new policy.

Now that we created a policy what can we do with that? before looking at the other policy types I will first have a look at applying them.

Applying Policies

Policies are applied to users. In the Microsoft Teams Admin Center you will find the Users options. Then within the Policies Tab you can change the policy for each user.

Now we will see that the Teams policy that I created earlier is available to be applied.

Meeting Policies

The Meeting Policies will let administrators control many of the meeting behaviours. You can for example configure the availability of the meet now in channels.

There are also many other settings available and note that some of these are disabled by default (for the right reasons of course!). For example an external participant cannot give or request control. This might sound like an option that you always want to be like that, but what if you have an external team? Or you’re hosting teams for a client without you being involved in meetings. There may be moments where you want to create a custom Meetings policy.

Live event Policies

During the current Coronavirus crisis, many events have been cancelled. Organising live events has been helping a lot of event organisers around the world to keep their events going in a virtual manner through Microsoft Teams.

The policies for the Live Events include for example if recording is enabled or not.

Messaging Policies

The Messaging policies include option for many things. For example the translate option. Do you want your messages to be translated or not?

Do you allow Memes, Stickers or URLs previews? If not then you might want to review these settings. Before disabling all the fun though, also consider if any of these fun bits cause any real harm? Or are you just an administrator who only wants to see very clean conversations?

App Permission Policies

One of the strengths of Microsoft Teams is the ability to enable apps. This can be a Power Apps but also for example an SPFx app or maybe even 3rd party apps that you are interested in using.

In the permission apps you can select the apps that you want to allow or block.

App Setup Policies

The App Setup policies give you control about uploading and pinning apps. Have you ever wanted to reorder the apps in the left hand side of your Microsoft Teams Client App? This is the place where you can do that!

Emergency Policies

When Emergency calls are made you could configure for certain people to be notified.

Call Park Policies

Do you allow parking of calls? In the Microsoft Teams admin center you can configure the call park policies.

Calling Policies

In the Calling Policies settings you can configure if people can make private calls, If call forwarding is enabled and other settings that nobody ever can figure out when they have a traditional phone. How many times have you been hung up when you needed to be transferred to a different person?

Caller ID Policies

The last one of the policy settings is the Called ID policies where you can block incoming caller IDs or your can allow users to override this setting.

Policy Packages

That is a lot of policy configurations available. To make life just that little bit easier there are some Policy Packages configured. These policy packages can be applied to users as you may wish.

Concluding thoughts

Don’t immediately disable all features for users. It is important to consider each feature and the defaults are actually in a lot of situations good. However every organisation is different and different configuration may be used. I’m sure that in the spectrum between paranoia and totally open and relaxed there are many options available.

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Pieter Veenstra

Business Applications and Office Apps & Services Microsoft MVP working as a Microsoft Productivity Principal Consultant at HybrIT Services. You can contact me using contact@veenstra.me.uk.

View Comments

  • Thanks for the helpful overview!
    Unfortunately it shows too clearly how bad the administrability of teams and other O365 products has become. Here are a few policies and there are a few more and here are the next ones, but don't forget the ones there.
    @Microsoft: I would like to have a central possibility to set the policies.

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