Tech Talk – Microsoft Teams Templates

Klarinet Solutions virtually hosts monthly Tech Talks for our clients and partners, covering various topics around Microsoft 365, SharePoint, and the modern digital workplace. In our January 2021 Tech Talk, Samantha Willard, Digital Workplace Consultant, led a quick overview of all the Microsoft 365 Updates. Meanwhile, Justan Haddox, Digital Workplace Support Representative at Klarinet Solutions, led the main discussion on Microsoft Teams Templates. In this article, we will summarize what Justan presented on Microsoft Teams Templates. Let us get started:

Microsoft Teams Templates

Microsoft Teams enable your organization to quickly and effectively provision teams based on set parameters. These tools are not automation in the purest sense but instead are a tool that provides consistent, well-defined teams with less admin/users input than what would otherwise be needed. When creating a Microsoft Teams Template, you have two sources of templates you can choose from Defined Template Files (pre-built templates from Microsoft) and Existing Teams Templates (admin created templates that are saved). Ideally, these two sources allow you to call upon existing team and channel designs to regularly avoid the manual processes of starting from scratch.

The advantage of using existing Teams templates is that you can modify, add, delete, or hide certain features. With these templates, you can customize team structure with a set of channels, tabs, and apps. Additionally, you can develop a template that helps you create the most efficient and collaborative workspace. In a sense, you can have an evolutionary development of your various team’s core necessities: what they can do, who they will work with, and the features they have access to. Meanwhile, Microsft’s defined templates currently restrict the amount of editing and adding you can do. Therefore, existing team templates can be better leveraged when creating new teams and defining each team’s function. Our tech talk goal is to teach organizations how to take responsibility for planning, deploying, and managing multiple teams across your organization. If you would like to create a Teams template, reach out, and we will send you our Microsoft Teams Templates demo recording: Watch Recording Now

Benefits of Microsoft Teams Templates

The properties that can be defined in Microsoft Teams Templates are very beneficial for admin users and designers. The following items can be defined and deployed by a template:

  • Team Names and Team Descriptions – Allow you to define each template by its name, unique function, corresponding industry, department, group, etc. 
  • Team Visibility – Allow you to pin your favorite or most important channels. By default, many channels will be hidden or unseen. Administrators can now prioritize the design of templates accordingly.
  • Team Settings – Allow you to set up which members and guests have access to a team and who can be @mentioned on a channel. 
  • App Installation – Your favorite apps can be easily preconfigured, integrated, and installed within your teams and channels.

Limitations of Microsoft Teams Templates

Nonetheless, there are several limitations that Microsoft Teams template designers or administrators need to take into account. 

  • Templates cannot make private channels – You cannot automate team templates for private channels. Any private channel that you want to make for any team you will have to do manually. Microsoft has acknowledged this limitation and will roll out an update in the near future. 
  • Templates channel configuration is not carried over – Channel settings do not copy over. However, the hidden benefit of this feature is that there is a great deal of built-in security. You do not need to worry about a channel configuration being copied and other users accessing classified information.
  • Team Member /Channel Settings /Files and Content – Most properties in a team are included and supported by templates. But there are a few properties and features that aren’t currently supported. 

Are You Taking Advantage of Microsoft Teams Templates?

Teams templates are pre-built definitions of a team’s structure designed around a business need or project. You have the option to use pre-built templates or create your own template. The power is in your hands. Also, Teams templates allow you to seamlessly create powerful collaboration spaces with channels for different topics and preinstall apps (e.g., Power Apps, Power Automate, Lists, etc.) to pull in mission-critical content and services. For small & medium businesses, templates can be compelling, as they help administrators deploy Teams across their organization quickly. 

Klarinet Solutions specialize in optimizing your Microsoft Teams integration, implementing policies to secure your data, and developing an automated process that empowers business executives. If you want to know the best digital workplace plans, insightful hacks, or ways to leverage Microsoft Teams, contact us now.

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