April 07, 2020

Automated Lifecycle Management for Teams

This article explores how Teams lifecycle governance can be automated and managed using TeamsHub from Cyclotron

Introduction

Firstly, organizations and administrators should focus on three main aspects of the automated lifecycle management of Microsoft Teams to streamline governance.

  • Provisioning: Teams request, approval, and creation
  • Operations: Managing information access and containers
  • Information Lifecycle: Retain, expire and disposal of Teams

With this intention in mind, TeamsHub by Cyclotron provides automated lifecycle management. This eliminates tons of manual provisioning issues. Secondly, any administrator surely wants streamlined governance which includes

  • Avoiding teams or sites sprawl and duplication.
  • Avoiding Teams without owners or orphaned Teams
  • Deploying a consistent architecture for the tenant environment
  • Define naming policies for Teams based on custom attributes
  • Assigning correct roles and responsibilities to each Team member
  • Organize frequently used Teams together as “Hubs”
  • Providing an automated workflow for team site creation and approval
  • Implementing enhanced security controls

Now let us look at some of the scenarios below to automate the lifecycle management of Microsoft Teams using TeamsHub by Cyclotron.

Automate creating a new team or site

The lifecycle starts with creating a Team. So, an administrator can enable Site and Team creation, whereby users can request a Team or SharePoint Site and choose to make it either Public or Private. Users can search Teams marked Public easily and the user is free to join that team. Owners control access to Private Teams. A point to note – build a Team from scratch or by using an existing template.

In either case, TeamsHub by Cyclotron grabs essential details popping up a quick request form for the user to fill out. Along with defaults such as Title and Description, the request form also asks some additional metadata which can be specified by the administrator in the site provisioning settings.

On submission, the request goes for an administrator’s approval.

Automate site creation in Microsoft Teams by TeamsHub by Cyclotron

We take this a step further using governance automation which is described below.

Automate site provisioning

A key feature of TeamsHub by Cyclotron which allows

  • Self-service provisioning of Teams while managing approvals based on business processes through dynamic forms and external workflows.
  • Creating or restricting the creation of Teams to specific groups.
  • It also makes guest management and policy management easy along with refraining users to use certain keywords while naming their Teams.
Microsoft Teams - Automated Site Provisioning Settings by TeamsHub by Cyclotron
Teams Governance Settings

Automate classifying and tagging Teams

Easily create text-based classifications for Teams such as internal, personal, business, important, etc., depending upon their unique identity, strength or structure. A second level categorization of Teams is also available based on role, project or skill. Apply another tagging dimension to Teams to classify them by expertise or departments such as IT, marketing, product, sales, etc.

Unified tagging and classification expedite discoverability, as well as easing navigation.

Governance Automation for classification and tagging by TeamsHub by Cyclotron

Searching Teams

TeamsHub by Cyclotron, lets you find Teams by three search parameters viz. name, tags, classification. Additionally, we provide advanced search capabilities using Team name, visibility (Public or Private), members/owner, tag and classification to help administrators narrow down quickly to the desired information. Store this search result further or save it as a Hub based on organizational needs.

Automate Governance using Advanced Search by TeamsHub by Cyclotron

Manage Team owners and members

Add new participants as owners or members to the selected Team in the search. Also, existing owners or members can be deleted from the Team. Moreover, with a user-friendly interface and convenient tile-view, the roles of owners or members can be swapped without hassle or complex scripting.

Microsoft Team Settings using Automated Governance from TeamsHub by Cyclotron
Team Details

Automate expiration policy for inactive Teams

After serving their purpose, many Teams tend to be inactive after the end of a project, initiative or for any other reason. To avoid Team sprawl and have active content as well as usage, TeamsHub by Cyclotron provides the auto archival of Teams by setting an expiration policy.

An expiration policy triggers a crawl through the database to uncover Teams that cross the inactivity threshold. This crawler seeks the last activity generated by users of that particular team. This is closely related to the Daily Activity Usage as defined by Microsoft. Some of the criteria include chats, and conversations, emails being sent, and files shared within a Team or group.

Expiration Policies

A few policies can be set to ensure no Team is deleted by accident

  • Owner Policy: A set of rules that require owners to review and determine the next course of action. TeamsHub by Cyclotron sends periodic notifications ( in days) to Team owners to review the Teams they own. Actions that an owner might take are – deleting a member of the Team or deleting the entire Team if it has already served its purpose. Owners can revoke access for important files or documents that are shared within the Team or externally. Flexibility to modify the review deadline as per their choice.
  • Inactive Team Policy: Notify Team owners by email if no activity is detected in the specified time period. The email contents can be structured and customized as per needs. The owner can then decide based on the response, whether to mark a Team inactive.
  • Archive Team Policy: Send email notifications to inactive teams. The automatic email notification contains the Team name, description, members list, and last date of an activity. Additionally, it provides a link to archive it with a confirmation. If owner fails to act, Team is archived automatically after sending a few reminders.
  • Team Deletion Policy: Similar to Archive Team Policy, except that if the owner of the Team fails to take any action, TeamsHub by Cyclotron doesn’t delete the Team automatically.
Automated Lifecycle management of Teams from TeamsHub by Cyclotron

Summary

So in summary, we can manage Microsoft Teams better and experience easy and convenient lifecycle management. TeamsHub by Cyclotron enables you to work with clean, accurate and relevant information at all times saving you from inadvertent and costly mistakes while ensuring that you share updated content always. We promise you an effortless and happy administration and streamlined governance!

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About Cyclotron

Cyclotron was proudly founded in San Francisco in 2014 with the sole intent of accelerating the success of our clients by solving mission-critical business and technology challenges, through a proven network of industry-specific frameworks. We’re a trusted strategic partner to many innovative organizations in the financial, health and life sciences, public, retail, and technology sectors. Our solutions combined with your investment with us boosts productivity, enhances collaboration, and integrates intelligence across your entire enterprise.

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