fundamentals MS Teams Tips & Tricks

Microsoft 365 / Microsoft Teams Governance and Provisioning – Q&A With Michal Pisarek and Peter Carson

Erica Hakonson September 23, 2020

4 MIN READ

Governance and provisioning in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams is a hot topic these days, with more than 75 million active users leveraging Microsoft Teams every day.

Given this, we spoke to Orchestry’s CEO, Michal Pisarek, and Extranet User Manager’s President, Peter Carson, to uncover their insights on governance and provisioning for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.

How can Microsoft Teams be Used Effectively Within an Organization?

Peter Carson: This year, a number of organizations have rapidly deployed Microsoft Teams to allow their employees to collaborate effectively whilst working from home. Now the dust has settled, it’s time to really look at how to use Teams and Channels effectively in your organization. 

As an organization, you need to decide what are your core business objectives and how Teams and Channels can be structured effectively to support this. For example, you could structure your teams by department, project, initiative, event or partners.

The great thing about having conversations in Channels is that it provides a space for ‘working out loud’. Even if team members in the channel aren’t directly involved in the conversation, they can still follow along with the decision making processes, keeping them in the loop as choices are made.

Michal Pisarek: We have just been through this process ourselves at Orchestry. Our Microsoft Teams structure is based on having a number of internal Teams that are broken down by department. For example, we have different Teams for sales, product design and marketing. Within each of these teams, there are different Channels.

On top of these internal Teams, we also have an External Team for partners. We could have approached this in a couple of different ways. For example, we could have had one core Team for partners, and then an individual private channel for each partner. However, this approach has scalability issues as you are only allowed a certain number of private Channels per Team. 

Instead, we decided that each Partner would have its own Team. This means that within each Partner Team we can have different Channels for marketing, sales and product conversations. The other thing that we implemented was a way to ensure every Partner had a central source of core documents. So, we created a read-only Team and invited all partners as a way of sharing all the required information.

Is Out-Of-The-Box Self Provisioning a Good Idea?

Peter Carson: In my opinion, it’s not a good idea. You should really think about how you want to roll teams out in your organization from an Information Architecture perspective. It’s not a good idea to just let people create new Teams on an ad-hoc basis as it’ll become increasingly difficult to control. It’s important to get ahead of this or you’ll end up with an extensive graveyard of unused teams that’ll make it confusing for your end-users to find information and communicate effectively. 

Michal Pisarek: From our experience, it doesn’t work just putting Microsoft Teams out there and letting end-users figure it out for themselves. Even if you provide your end-users with training, Microsoft Teams isn’t a simple product as it relies so heavily on the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. This means it presents a lot of questions about what to use and when

How Can You Implement Effective Governance in Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365?

Peter Carson: Governance doesn’t mean locking down and not letting anyone do anything. Users will be much less resistant to following guidelines if they are still able to do things themselves but following easy to use templates and suggestions that prevent Microsoft Teams or other Microsoft 365 applications from becoming sprawling, unorganized and difficult to use.

Michal Pisarek: Users just want a solution to their problems in the easiest way possible. Governance is all about providing users with best practices and templates to make it as easy as possible for them to use Microsoft Teams. Templating is equally important in SharePoint and across other Microsoft 365 applications.

What's the Best Way to Approach Approvals in Microsoft Teams & Microsoft 365?

Peter Carson: When it comes to approvals, everyone has different opinions. Some people believe there shouldn’t be any approvals anywhere, others believe that everything should require approval. I sit somewhere in the middle of the two! 

We use Power Automate or Logic Apps as workflow tools to build sophisticated, automated approvals and make the process as easy as possible for users.

Michal Pisarek: I think one of the reasons many people have issues with approvals as often they just take way too long to go through. For example, if someone needs a new SharePoint site urgently, and it takes 5 days for approval, they are likely to find a workaround and go about things a different way which is definitely not what you want. As long as approvals are done in a timely manner, people don’t really mind.

Why Are Naming Conventions Important for Microsoft Teams Governance?

Peter Carson: Naming conventions are a great way to provide structure within Microsoft Teams. When approaching naming conventions, it’s important to pre-define what people can and can’t use when naming new Teams. For example, not anyone should be able to create a team titled ‘human resources’ – that should be reserved for your HR team.

Michal Pisarek: Naming conventions are really important. It’s the only out-of-the-box way to add any form of metadata to Teams which can be helpful as Microsoft Teams has such a flat structure. So, using a suffix at the start of your names in Microsoft Teams can be a clear way of immediately showing what a team is about. But, the out-of-the-box naming restrictions in Microsoft Teams in terms of group naming doesn’t provide many options so it will need to be done on a more granular basis.

How Can You Protect External Users Data in Microsoft Teams Meetings?

Peter Carson: Microsoft Teams was built as an internal collaboration tool. Therefore, there are a number of complications when bringing external users into Microsoft Teams.

For example, if you use a Microsoft Teams meeting to host a live event or webinar, everyone’s personal information will be visible to everyone attending the event therefore there is no privacy. On the other hand, if you used a Microsoft Teams Live Event setup you lose some of the personal interaction elements as it’s much more intended for large scale events. This is something that Microsoft really needs to work on improving, so stay tuned for updates in the future!

Work Smarter in Microsoft Teams & Microsoft 365 with Orchestry

We hope you enjoyed this governance and provisioning Q&A with Michal Pisarek and Peter Carson. Governance and provisioning are extremely important to maintaining an effective and organized collaborative environment within Microsoft Teams and across Microsoft 365 applications. 

At Orchestry, our mission is to make work simple in Office 365, MS SharePoint and Microsoft Teams, by empowering IT Administrators and employees to define a winning Microsoft 365 adoption and change management strategy that provides a roadmap of what to use when, for what purpose. Orchestry increases usage and adoption while empowering through governance and simplifies through intelligent provisioning in Microsoft 365, organization-wide at a fraction of the cost, on a subscription basis. 

To see Orchestry in action, send us an email at hello@orchestry.com or start your free access now!

About the Author

Erica Hakonson Image

Erica Hakonson

Orchestry CMO, B2B Marketing Maven

The award-winning entrepreneur and B2B digital marketing maven brings a customer-first, maniacally results-driven focus, and digital expertise to Orchestry. Hakonson knows the struggles technology changes can bring to organizations and works to simplify the landscape through strengthening communication and education to enable better user adoption.

Outside of the office, a mother of two awesome tiny humans, a wife of a daily hero and an amateur banjo player, Hakonson’s passion for life extends far beyond the office and into the woods as an ultra-marathoner, backpacker and outdoor adventurist.

Introduction

This Privacy Policy explains what information Orchestry Software Inc. and its associated entities (collectively “Orchestry”) collect about you, why, what we do with that information, how we share it and how we handle the content you place in our products and services. It also explains the choices available to you regarding our use of your personal information and how you can access and update this information.

Privacy Policy Scope

Our Privacy Policy applies to the information we collect when you use one of our services, or when you otherwise engage with Orchestry Software, including, but not limited to:
when you visit our websites (“Websites“);
when you contact us for assistance;
when we connect with you as a prospective customer or as a customer;
when you attend customer or prospective customer events;
when you meet us at third party events, gatherings or meetups.
Orchestry is committed to protecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy applies to our websites (Websites), including www.orchestry.com, www.success.orchestry.com and www.app-dev.orchestry.com, owned and controlled by Orchestry.

This Privacy Policy governs our data collection, processing and usage practices. It also describes your choices regarding use, access and correction of your personal information. By using the Websites, you consent to the data practices described in this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with the data practices described in this Privacy Policy, you should not use the Websites.

Information We Collect

We collect personal data that you submit to us via our website or third-party tools including, for example, when applying for a job via our website or requesting support in relation to one of our services.
You are free to explore the Websites without providing any Personal Information about yourself. When you visit the Websites, we request that you provide Personal Information about yourself, and we collect Navigational Information.

Information Collection & Access

Orchestry acknowledges that you have the right to access your Personal Information. If requested to remove data we will respond within a reasonable timeframe.

We may transfer Personal Information to companies that help us provide our service, such as those organizations as part of our Global Partner Alliance. Transfers to subsequent third parties for the sole purpose of responding to requests from Websites in the appropriate geography service territory.

“Personal Information”
This refers to any information that you voluntarily submit to us and that identifies you personally, including contact information, such as your name, e-mail address, company name, address, phone number, and other information about yourself or your business. Personal Information can also include information that you enter into on the Websites, and information about you that is available on the internet, such as from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google, or publicly available information that we acquire from service providers.

“Navigational Information”
This refers to information about your computer and your visits to this website such as your IP address, geographical location, browser type, referral source, length of visit and pages viewed.

We use Navigational Information to operate and improve the Websites. We may also use Navigational Information alone or in combination with Personal Information to provide you with personalized information about Orchestry.

Information About Children

The Websites are not intended for or targeted at children under 13, and we do not knowingly or intentionally collect information about children under 13. If you believe that we have collected information about a child under 13, please contact us at hello@orchestry.com, so that we may delete the information.

Information Usage

We use the information we collect only in compliance with this Privacy Policy.

In addition to the uses identified elsewhere in this Privacy Policy, we may use your Personal Information to: (a) improve your browsing experience by personalizing the Websites; (b) send information to you which we think may be of interest to you by post, email, or other means; (c) send you marketing communications relating to our business.

We will never sell your Personal Information to any third party. However, we may share or disclose your Personal Information as follows:
we may provide your information to our business partners, vendors or service providers who perform functions on our behalf;
in connection with, or during negotiations of, any merger, sale of company assets, financing, or acquisition of all or a portion of our business to another company;
as required by law, government officials, or other third parties pursuant to a subpoena, court order, or other legal process or requirement applicable to our Company;
when we believe, in our sole discretion, that the disclosure of personal information is necessary to prevent physical harm or financial loss;
to report suspected illegal activity or to investigate violations of our agreements.

Reviewing, Correcting and Removing Your Personal Information
Upon request, Orchestry will provide you with information about whether we hold any of your Personal Information. If you provide us with your Personal Information, you have the following rights with respect to that information:
To review the user information that you have supplied to us.
To request that we correct any errors, outdated information, or omissions in user information that you have supplied to us.
To request that your user information not be used to contact you.
To request that your user information be removed from any solicitation list that we use.
To request that your user information be deleted from our records.
To opt out of being solicited by Orchestry or third parties.

To exercise any of these rights, please contact us at hello@orchestry.com or by mail to Orchestry Software Inc., 422 Richards St, Suite 170, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Z4, Attn: Privacy. We will respond to your request to change, correct, or delete your information within a reasonable timeframe and notify you of the action we have taken.

Retention of Personal Information

We retain Personal Information that you provide us as long as we consider it potentially useful in contacting you our services, or as needed to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes and enforce our agreements, and then we securely delete the information. We will delete this information from the servers at an earlier date if you so request, as described in “Unsubscribe from Communication” below.

Customer Testimonials and Comments

We post customer testimonials and comments on our Websites, which may contain Personal Information. We obtain each customer’s consent via email prior to posting the customer’s name and testimonial.

Security of your Personal Information

We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your Personal Information from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. We secure the Personal Information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use or disclosure.

Social Media Features

Our Websites include Social Media Features, such as the Facebook Like button and Widgets, such as the Share This button or interactive mini-programs that run on our sites. These features may collect your IP address, which page you are visiting on our sites, and may set a cookie to enable the feature to function properly. Social Media Features and Widgets are either hosted by a third party or hosted directly on our Websites. This Privacy Policy does not apply to these features.  Your interactions with these features are governed by the privacy policy and other policies of the companies providing them.

External Websites

Our Websites provide links to other websites. We do not control, and are not responsible for, the content or practices of these other websites. Our provision of such links does not constitute our endorsement of these other websites, their content, their owners, or their practices. This Privacy Policy does not apply to these other websites, which are subject to any privacy and other policies they may have.

Public Forums

We offer publicly accessible blogs, message boards and community forums. Please keep in mind that if you directly disclose any information through our public message boards, blogs, or forums, this information may be collected and used by others. We will correct or delete any information you have posted on the Websites if you so request, as described in “Opting Out and Unsubscribing” below.

International Transfer of Information

To facilitate our global operations, we may transfer and access Personal Information from around the world, including the United States. This Privacy Policy shall apply even if we transfer Personal Information to other countries.

Corporate Events

If we (or our assets) are acquired by another company, whether by merger, acquisition, bankruptcy or otherwise, that company would receive all information gathered by Orchestry on the Websites. In this event, you will be notified via email and/or a prominent notice on our website, of any change in ownership, uses of your Personal Information, and choices you may have regarding your Personal Information.

Cookies & Similar Technologies

Orchestry uses cookies or similar technologies to analyze trends, administer the website, track users’ movements around the website, and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole.

The cookies we use on this website are broadly grouped into the following categories:

Essential: Some of the cookies on our website are essential for us to be able to provide you with a service you have requested. You may not be able to use our website effectively without these cookies.
Analytics: We use analytics cookies to help us understand how users engage with our website. An example of this is for counting the number of different people coming to our website, visiting a particular page or using a particular feature. Without this cookie, if you visited the website once each week for three weeks, we would count you as three separate users and this wouldn’t be a true representation. These cookies do not let us identify specific users as the information is aggregated.
Social sharing: We use cookies to allow you to share content directly to your social networking sites for example Facebook, Twitter and Google+ i.e. clicking Like on Facebook and Share on Twitter.
Interest-based advertising: You may have noticed that when you visit websites, you will be shown advertisements for products and services you may be interested in. Cookie information about certain pages you have visited on our website helps us be more relevant in our advertising. Having these cookies does not increase the number of adverts you will be shown on these specific sites. These ‘persistent’ cookies last no longer than 90 days, or until you clear them. These and the other cookies we use do NOT allow us to see what other sites you have been visiting, they simply act as a record of our web pages and advertisements that you may see.
Opt Out of Cookies
When you first visited the websites you will have been shown a status bar notifying you that this website uses cookies and inviting you to review this cookie policy. Once you have clicked to go further into our website, the cookie prompt will disappear, this confirms that you consent to us using the cookies detailed in this policy.
Please note that we can’t always control third party cookies (such as from social networks) stored on your machine from our website and where this is the case you will need to visit the relevant third party’s website directly to understand their cookies stored on your machine by them. Please see our ‘third party cookies’ section below.
If you want to reject cookies we use from this website you will need to:
Delete the cookies from your browser. Most browsers also allow you to prevent all or some cookies being stored on your machine in the future. For more information on how to delete or disable cookies from your browser please use the ‘help’ function within your browser, or alternatively visit www.allaboutcookies.org. By deleting our cookie preference cookie, the next time you visit our website the cookie status bar will appear again inviting you to again reconsider your preferences.
AND/OR: If you only want to reject the Internet Based Advertising cookies we store on your machine, you can opt-out of receiving these cookies at any time by going to the Internet Advertising Bureau website at http://www.youronlinechoices.com and following the opt-out instructions.
Please do be aware that disabling cookies may impact the functionality of this website.
Third Party Cookies
Some of the cookies described above are stored on your machine by third parties when you use our website. We have no control over these cookies of how the third party uses them. They are used to allow that third party to provide a service to us, for example website analytics. For more information on these cookies and how to disable them, please see:
Internet Advertising Bureau website at http://www.youronlinechoices.com/ where you will be able to opt-out of receiving Internet Based Advertising cookies from some of the third parties, such as Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
The use of cookies and web beacons by any tracking utility company is not covered by our Privacy Policy.

Log Files

We may collect demographic information, such as your region, preferences, interests and favorites using log files that are not associated with your name or other personal information. There is also information about your computer hardware and software that is automatically collected by us. This information can include: your IP address, browser type, domain names, internet service provider (ISP), the files viewed on our site (e.g., HTML pages, graphics, etc.), operating system, clickstream data, access times and referring website addresses. This information is used by Orchestry to provide general statistics regarding use of the Websites. For these purposes, we do link this automatically-collected data to Personal Information such as name, email address, address, and phone number.

Clear Gifs (Web Beacons/Web Bugs)

We employ a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons/Web Bugs), that help us better manage the Website by informing us what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of Web users.  In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a user’s computer hard drive, clear gifs are embedded invisibly on Web pages or in emails and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. We use clear gifs in our HTML-based emails to let us know which emails have been opened by recipients.  This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications and the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns. We tie the information gathered by clear gifs in emails to our customers’ Personal Information. If you would like to opt-out of these emails, please see “Opting Out and Unsubscribing”.

Advertising

We partner with a third-party ad network to either display advertising on our Web site or to manage our advertising on other sites. Our ad network partner uses cookies and Web beacons to collect non-personal information about your activities on this and other Web sites to provide you targeted advertising based upon your interests.  If you wish to not have this information used for the purpose of serving you targeted ads, you may opt-out by clicking here: http://preferences.truste.com/ (or if located in the European Union, by clicking here: http://www.youronlinechoices.eu/). Please note this does not opt you out of being served advertising.  You will continue to receive generic ads.

Unsubscribe from Communications

You may unsubscribe from our marketing communications by clicking on the “unsubscribe” link located on the bottom of our e-mails, or by sending us email us at hello@orchestry.com or by mail to Orchestry Software Inc., 422 Richards St, Suite 170, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Z4, Attn: Privacy.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or our treatment of the information you provide us, please write to us by email at hello@orchestry.com or by mail to Orchestry Software Inc., 422 Richards St, Suite 170, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Z4, Attn: Privacy.

Changes

We may amend this Privacy Policy from time to time. When there are changes to this Privacy Policy, we will update this page. The date on the bottom will always indicate when we last made changes.
Last Updated: July 28, 2020

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