Microsoft Teams and Channels | What you need to know

Microsoft Teams and Channels | What you need to know

Microsoft Teams and Channels. What are they all about? Some best practice guidelines for setting up your business’s teams and channels.

Microsoft Teams and Channels explained.

First let us talk about Microsoft Teams and the intention of what Microsoft means by team. A team basically is a group of people who come together to collaborate. Go back just a few years and this may have been in meeting rooms with perhaps a set of manilla folders or copies of files and reports circulated between team members.

Nowadays it is easy to collaborate using Teams for one-off projects or internal departments such as accounts, sales, operations, admin, HR etc.

Teams can be created to be public or private and cover a large range of communications needs both inside and outside your business. The “team” you have created becomes a centralised place to share files, store information and chat. Microsoft have built a powerful search engine into the product to assist with finding files etc. There is no longer the need to hunt for information that may be on a co-workers computer or in a filing cabinet.

Information held in Microsoft Teams can easily be backed up outside of Microsoft’s infrastructure using our 365 backup service.

Advantages of Microsoft Teams for business:

• Private teams and channels can be created so that they are only accessible to invited members.
• Teams can be open and public and anyone within the business (10,000 limit) can join.
• Teams are great for one-off projects collaborating with both external and internal contributors.
• Teams can be setup to include people from both your business and external members.


What are Channels?
Teams is a way to group people together and there are no hard and fast rules. Channels are the segments within each team.

Channels within Microsoft Teams are segments in which to organise conversations, documents, projects planners, etc. For example the Sales team might be working on a large project and need to collaborate on specific documents and research for that project.
The structure would probably look like Teams-Sales-Project name. All related project documents, worksheets, planners etc. would be available for team collaboration inside “project name”

Types of Channels within Teams:
• Standard channels are available for all members of the team.
• Private channels are only available to selected team members.
• Shared channels are for both inside and external team members.

Files that are shared in a channel, are saved in Microsoft Sharepoint.
To learn more about how OneDrive for Business interacts with Sharepoint follow the link below.
Sharepoint Introduction - A Microsoft Site

Private Channels.
With private channels, the channel owner is able to remove and add members, add tabs for the entire private channel and generally manage the channel.

Shared Channels.
A shared channel is a collaboration space where you are able to invite people who are not part of the team. The channel only allows access to invited people. Some knowledge and thought about setting up the channel is important. Used correctly this is a powerful collaboration tool. You can even have one channel that lives in different teams.

How To Create and Manage Microsoft Teams.

Setting up a team is too easy. This can lead to a tangled convoluted mess if you are not careful. Best practice is to spend some time with a business analysis, thinking about the structure of your teams in respect of the business’s needs before charging off and maybe creating a mess. Perhaps a traditional team structure like Admin, Sales, Customers, Suppliers, Projects, Directors etc. might be appropriate. You may also need to consider the workflow in the business and who will be accessing each of the teams. We can help if needed.

Technology improvement projects are not just there to create change. They are there to provide increased productivity and improvement, which can be a wonderful thing for many businesses.

Creating a Team:
Creating your team is easy. Just go to the left hand side of Microsoft Teams, click teams and at the bottom, click join or create a team, and then create your team. Give it a simple name like “sales”.
Note: for various reasons related to SharePoint, we totally suggest you resist the temptation to give it a long name like “Sales and Marketing for Acme Widgets Incorporated”.

Once you have created your team then invite people to join. It's very easy!

Creating channels inside your team.
Goto your team, click on more options, then add channel. You could also click on manage team and then add a channel from there.

Again keep the channel name short and sweet.

In Conclusion:

Microsoft Teams and Channels are theoretically very simple, but it can be hard to understand and execute in a manner that works for your particular business.

CT Business Solutions and our IT Alliance colleagues are familiar with assisting clients to implement Microsoft Teams in the modern workplace. Please do not hesitate to Contact Us - CT is your local IT Alliance Member if you need help setting up your teams and channels. (If you are reading this and we are not near your location then there is a list of our ITA colleagues and their NZ wide locations just below at the end of this article)

IT Alliance Members:

CT Business Solutions | Hamilton | Morrinsville | Matamata-Piako | North Waikato
@Computer | Northland | Kerikeri | Whangarei
IT Live | Auckland
Technology Partners | Tauranga
Vision Lab | Te Puke
AdvancedIT | Rotorua | South Waikato
BlackSANZ | New Plymouth | Taranaki
GTB | Wellington | Kapiti
Decision1 IT Solutions | Dunedin | Otago
IT Centre | Wanaka | South Otago
Voicecom | Invercargill | Southland

Related Services:
Video Conferencing

Related Blog Articles:
Are you sharing sensitive data on Microsoft Teams
Why you need to backup your Microsoft 365 data
Empowering your business with Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams vs. Zoom
Microsoft Teams - More than just Video Conferencing

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