The Push for Private Channels in Microsoft Teams

March 2019 CollabTalk TweetJamMicrosoft Teams has been a resounding success, further extending Microsoft’s lead in personal and team productivity solutions within the enterprise, and providing a much needed UX that also appeals to small to medium-sized businesses. With its success, there has also been a push for additional features, as you would expect. One of the most requested features with more than 18,500 upvotes in UserVoice has been Private Channels. The idea is to allow Team members to create a secure channel for discussion and sharing that can only be seen by the channel owner and invited members, even excluding the original Team owner. What is clearly a response to Slack, and viewed by some as a necessary feature to put a sleeper hold on this competitor — it is viewed by others as unnecessary, and the opening of a can of worms around governance and administration.  Some view the entire topic as overrated, while others see it as a needed addition. And while there has been months of discussion out on the Microsoft Tech Community, we’ll delve into the topic on Thursday, March 28th  at 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern  in the next #CollabTalk TweetJam when the community comes together to discuss “Do We Need Private Channels in Microsoft Teams?” with a panel of partners, RD’s and MVPs, solution providers, and community influencers who will join us online, and will include those who attended Ignite in-person, as well as those of us who watched the antics online.

You can join the community discussion using Twitter and the #CollabTalk hashtag, leverage the dedicated CollabTalk TweetJam page, or your favorite Twitter platform. You do not need to be an “expert” to participate in the online conversation, and can ask questions, comment on the questions posed, or just “lurk” in the background. These online discussions are open to anyone — you do not have to be on the panel to participate.

This month’s tweetjam and our amazing stats are once again being sponsored by our friends at tyGraph.

If you have never participated in one of these tweetjams, it’s pretty simple: anyone can jump in and share their thoughts, or just lurk in the wings and absorb the wisdom of the crowd. Either way, it’ll be a TON of content to consume in a single hour. You can follow the live session using the Twitter UI of your choice (Twitter.com, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Twubs, whatever). How it works is that I’ll post a series of questions every few minutes, and people will respond to Q1, Q2, Q3 and so forth with A1, A2, A3, always including the #CollabTalk hashtag with their answers. Feel free to reply as often (or as little) as you’d like, ask your own follow up questions, share relevant links, re-tweet others, and engage with the audience.

The questions we will discuss during the session include:

  1. Are private channels in Microsoft Teams a good idea? Why, or why not?
  2. Do private channels in Microsoft Teams go against the product’s otherwise simple/flat collaboration model?
  3. What are the business justifications for private channels in Microsoft Teams?
  4. Are there acceptable workarounds for private channels in Microsoft Teams today?
  5. What are the administration and compliance risks with private channels in Microsoft Teams?
  6. What will be the impact of Microsoft Teams private channels to adoption?
  7. If you led the Microsoft Teams product team, what 3 new features would be your top priority?

As always, there will be side-questions, side-conversations, and wise-cracking throughout. This is open to the public, so please join in the discussion! The dialog is usually thought-provoking but also fun.

Participating on this panel (so far):

  •  Adam Deltinger (@deltanr1), modern workplace consultant with Stratiteq
  • Jessica Ostrow (@jessicaostrow), director of planning & strategy for Microsoft Teams at Microsoft
  • Heather Severino (@Hfitz11), Office Apps & Services MVP, MCT Regional Lead, MOS Master, MCP, MT and owner at TeachUTech
  • Max Fritz (@TheCloudSherpa), identity management, Office 365, AzureAD, and SharePoint expert at Now Micro
  • Alistair Pugin (@alistairpugin), Office Apps & Services MVP and head of cloud services at Tangent Solutions
  • Melanie Hohertz (@hohertz3), Microsoft MVP, digital productivity lead at Cargill
  • Daniel Cohen-Dumani (@dcohendumani), partner at WithumSmith+Brown
  • Benjamin Niaulin (@bniaulin), Microsoft RD & MVP, and evangelist at ShareGate
  • Loni French (@lonyadfrench), Office Apps & Services MVP, digital internal communications manager at Guardian Life
  • Raphael Koellner (@ra_koellner), Office Servers & Services MVP, consultant at Bechtle IT-Systemhouse Cologne
  • Maarten Visser (@mvisser), founder and product manager at Meetroo, business architect at Connected Services
  • Jethro Seghers (@jseghers), Microsoft MVP and program director at SkySync
  • Michal Sobotkiewicz (@michalsobot), founder and ceo of ObjectConnect and KanBo
  • Dean Swann (@sdeanswann), Office Apps & Services MVP, social collaborator, growth hacker and product manager for UnlimitedViz
  • Martina Grom (@magrom), co-founder of atwork.at, Office 365 MVP and Microsoft Regional Director
  • Hal Hostetler (@TVWizard), Microsoft MVP and senior field engineer and social media coordinator for Roland, Schorr & Tower
  • Fabian Williams (@fabianwilliams), Microsoft @OfficeDev @VisualStudio & @XamarinHQ MVP
  • Adam Ball (@AdamCBall), co-founder of COUCUG, Teams and Skype for Business MVP
  • Eric Overfield (@ericoverfield), Microsoft Regional Director, SharePoint MVP, and founder of PixelMill
  • David Drever (@DavidMDrever), SharePoint MVP and SharePoint services lead at Solvera Solutions
  • Nicki Borell (@NickiBorell), Microsoft MVP & RD, evangelist & consultant for SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure
  • Adam Levithan (@collabadam), Office 365 MVP and principal product manager at Withum
  • Ed Senez (@edsenez), president at UnlimitedViz and TyGraph
  • Sean McDonough (@spmcdonough), SharePoint MVP and chief technology officer at BitStream Foundry LLC
  • Stacy Deere-Strole (@sldeere), SharePoint MVP and owner of Focal Point Solutions
  • Ryan Schouten (@ShrPntKnight) Office Servers & Services MVP, senior systems engineer at Blizzard Entertainment
  • Laura Rogers (@WonderLaura), SharePoint MVP, consultant, and owner of IW Mentor
  • and your host, Christian Buckley (@buckleyplanet), Microsoft MVP & RD, founder & ceo of CollabTalk LLC, cmo of revealit.io

If you would like to join our panel, please drop me a line. If you have questions, please connect with me via @buckleyplanet. And thank you again to tyGraph for your support of these CollabTalk tweetjams! And finally, if you are interested in being a sponsor of a future tweetjam, please contact me at CollabTalk

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP, the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and fractional-CMO for revealit.io, tyGraph, and Extranet User Manager.