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M365 Changelog: Microsoft Teams Connect shared channels public preview

Petri Staff

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MC334274 – Teams Connect shared channels will be rolling out to public preview in the coming weeks. Shared channels is a new channel type, in addition to the existing standard and private channel types. Shared channels enables users to collaborate seamlessly with internal and external partners beyond the boundaries of a team.

Invite individuals or entire teams to a shared channel. These can either be from your org or from an external Azure AD org. Once added to a shared channel external users can access the channel right from their Teams account without having to switch organizations. External collaboration is off by default.

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This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 70766

When this will happen:

Microsoft will begin rolling this out in late March and expect to complete by early April.

How this will affect your organization:

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Shared channels will be rolled out as part of Teams public preview program. Team owners who are enrolled in the Teams public preview program will see shared channels as an additional channel type while creating a channel. They will be able to share the channel with anyone in the tenant.

Create Shared channels
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You can learn more about shared channels at Seamless external collaboration with Teams Connect shared channels

Key callouts 

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  • Each shared channel is backed by a dedicated SharePoint site collection. Microsoft has improved the SharePoint admin experience to help you manage sites collections associated with shared and private channels better.
  • Shared channels support both meet now and scheduled meetings, making it easy to bring the team together. 
  • Shared channels support tabs and connectors. Support for bots, message extensions and LOB apps support in the works. 
  • Graph APIs and PowerShell cmdlets have been updated to support shared channels. 
  • Shared channels support full range of Microsoft 365 Information Protection capabilities – eDiscovery, Legal Hold, Information Barriers, Retention, DLP, Audit Logs, & Communication compliance. 

External collaboration in shared channels is powered by Azure AD B2B direct connect, a new way to collaborate with other Azure AD organizations. With B2B Direct connect, there’s no need to add the external user as a guest in your organization. Cross-tenant access policies let admins manage B2B direct connect for their organization. A shared channel can be shared with as many organizations that can be specified in the Azure AD cross-tenant access policy. External collaboration is off by default.

B2B Direct Connect
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What you need to do to prepare:

You can join shared channels public preview by enrolling in Teams public preview program

If you are already part of Teams public preview program you don’t need to do anything. You may consider updating your public preview user training; notifying your help desk; and updating your user level policy around shared channel creation.

You can manage shared channels and external collaboration for your organization via the policy managed through the Teams Admin Center or via PowerShell (New-CsTeamsChannelsPolicy)

  • Who can create shared channels (-AllowSharedChannelCreation)
  • Who can invite external users to a shared channel (–AllowChannelSharingToExternalUser)
  • Who can participate in an external shared channel (-AllowUserToParticipateInExternalSharedChannel)

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