Featured

Stop Drowning in Notifications

There is a new feature rolling out to Teams to allow you to mute most Teams notifications when you are in a meeting or on a call.

You can either switch it on for all meetings on on a meeting by meeting basis.

To mute for all meetings and calls go to Settings, choose Notifications then click the Edit button next to Meetings and Calls, you will then see the screen below where you need to switch the toggle to on for Mute notifications during meetings and calls

Meeting and Calls notifications screen showing the toggle to mute notifications

To mute notifications in a single meeting, open the menu from the … on the meeting toolbar and choose Mute notifications.

Meeting menu with Mute notifications option highlighted

As I regularly work as a guest in different tenants, and when training mostly need meeting notifications on, I have found the per meeting option the best for me.

All notification settings are per organisation, so if you do find yourself switching tenants (organisations) a lot you should either use the per meeting setting or change the notification settings in each organisation.

Another tactic to consider is muting individual chats. This can be especially helpful when in a large meeting with an active meeting chat. To mute the one chat, go to the Chat app in Teams and locate the meeting chat then click the … on that conversation and choose Mute from the chat menu, as shown below.

Showing the chat menu with Mute option highlighted

If you haven’t already had a look at the notification settings in Teams, please do. Especially if you are downing in notifications a few simple changes could make them a lot more useful.

Start with the main settings menu from the … on the Teams app title bar and then choose Notifications.

Teams Settings dialog on the notifications screen

Next consider customising notifications in channels within each Team. For example, you could change the settings so that you receive notification from important channels for all activity and on busy channels for only items where you are mentioned.

To edit notification settings for a single channel, from the … menu for the channel choose channel notifications and Customised then edit the settings. Or instead of Customised you could choose All Activity (for notifications of all activity) or Off (for no notification except direct replies and mentions using your name)

Showing channel … menu with Channel notifications selected to display sub menu options of All Activity, Off and Customised
Customised channel notifications dialog box showing options to switch on or off all notifications for all new posts, plus tick box to include replies. Second setting in this box is Channel mentions with options to notify via banner and feed selected.

For accessibility, I have included descriptive image captions in this article, rather than alt text. I hope to make the image descriptors available to all in this way. However I do not use a screen reader. If you do, please let me know if this works well or not.

Featured

Cameras On!

As we approach 2 years of intensive virtual meetings, the debate about cameras on or cameras off still rages on. This is especially true with virtual training and I’ve had numerous debates about requiring cameras for attendees.

As a trainer, I can give a better delivery if I can ‘feed’ off those attending the course. This includes questions and debates but also facial expressions and body language. One of the most challenging things in the virtual training world is training a group of “circles” where everyone had their cameras off, as you loose that visual feedback.

Yet, when you look at it from the other perspective, it can be even more draining to be on camera all day, especially when you have to look at yourself too and are aware that the other course attendees are watching you too. Plus those other attendees can be very distracting when you want to focus on the presenter.

Fortunately Microsoft Teams has several new features coming which will help improve the situation for all parties.

Hide your own camera

Unless you enjoy looking at yourself, seeing your own camera feed in meetings can be very draining and distracting. This update, due Jan, will allow you to hide your video. The only issue may be that you forget you are on camera, so look out for the visual indicator (a cropped part of your own video image) which will show that your camera is on which will roll out with this new feature.

Manage what attendees see

This update is due January 2022 and, although full details are to be confirmed, should allow us to limit attendees to viewing specified presenters and shared content. Hopefully presenters will still be able to see anyone who is allowed to share their camera.

I am concerned this feature will not go far enough and I would like the ability to set meeting options to hide all attendee cameras but not disable them. Hence I added this feedback item

Virtual Reality Meeting and Avatars

Microsoft Mesh will bring virtual reality meetings and avatars to Microsoft Teams. You can read more about it in this article.

I think the avatars, especially, will be very helpful in the virtual training space. For the days when you do not want to be camera ready, your avatar will mimic your movements and facial expressions. Whilst this wont give the same visual feedback as a proper video it is better than no faces and will help remove some of the pressure and anxiety being on camera continuously can cause.

If you are an iPad or iPhone user, try out the Memoji video messages to get an idea of how avatars can reflect a person’s reactions and expressions. More info on Memojis is in this help guide.

Featured

Teams Display Portrait Mode

As of 8th December 2021 update the Teams Display supports portrait mode for Meetings and calls, as shown in the extract from Message Center post below.

Message Center post 302457 stating Teams Displays support Portrait mode in Calling & Meeting Screens

You will note that this is only for Calling and Meeting screens. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this release, so I thought I needed to try this out, as the camera position in the Teams Display is a weak point for me. Even though it is situated on a shelf on my desk, the camera is till a little low.

As my display does not support screen shots, I’ve used photos of the device. I’m not a photographer.

Conclusion: Nearly solves the limitations of the smaller Teams Display device, but really needs to be for all areas, not just meeting & calling.

After doing the update you will notice that most screens do not work in portrait mode, this includes the calendar, home screen, chat, teams.

Device in portrait orientation with calendar screen displaying in landscape mode

However as soon as you join or start a meeting/call with the device in portrait orientation, the device detects the orientation and rotates the screen automatically. Portrait mode is not really supported on the join screen, but it is still useable in either orientation.

Once in the meeting both Landscape & Portrait mode work well.

Featured

The Disappearing Presence Mystery

A little while ago people kept saying to me “I still can’t see your presence”.  For some reason my Teams online presence was not showing for people outside my organisation, no matter how many time I reset it, whilst it was still visible to my colleagues.  I then did a bit of testing and discovered that no user in my tenant was sharing their presence externally.

After much head scratching and research I came across this article Terence Luk: Enabling privacy mode for Microsoft Teams to hide presence information for external federated contacts.

To find out if this was the cause of my problem (and indeed if those Skype commands were still available), I used Get-CSPrivacyConfiguration to obtain the privacy settings in my tenant. 

And there was the issue.  The Privacy Mode was enabled, which Terence’s article indicated would block presence for external users when we were communicating in Teams.

Now to verify if setting it to False (turning off Privacy Mode) made the presence of users in my tenant reappear for our external partners.

Using the Set-CSPrivacyConfiguration -EnablePrivacyMode $false command I changed the settings and checked this had taken effect using the Get-CSPrivacyConfiguration again.

Then a bit more testing was in order, however before I could up pops the message: “You fixed it, I can see if you are online now”.  Success!

But now I always need to remember to change my presence. I can highly recommend using the Duration setting to change your presence manually for a fixed period so you do not forget to set it back either

The other finding from this is that enabling Privacy mode does hide presence from external contacts as per Terence’s article

Featured

Setting Up Viva Insights With Per User Plan

Purchase Licences & assign to users

The set up is done from https://workplaceanalytics.office.com/en-us/AnalystSettings/Onboarding, however mine took 2-3 days to activate before the page was available, so I’ll come back to this later. Officially the guidance is that “Licenses can take from 24 up to 72 hours to activate after you purchase licenses. Until licenses are provisioned, unlicensed users will get a 500 error when opening Workplace Analytics”

PREPARATION: Whilst you are awaiting for the onboarding page to activate you may want to read the docs guide on getting set up Workplace Analytics setup | Microsoft Docs.  I would recommend reading the user roles guide User roles in Workplace Analytics | Microsoft Docs and deciding upon the user who will need roles assigning.  Once you have reviewed the role guidance and decided on the roles required for users, you can assign these in advance of the licence activation.

Assign Roles

Working as a Privileged Role Administrator, sign in to the AAD admin center.

Navigate to Enterprise Applications

Choose All Applications in the Application Type box

Search for Viva Insights (currently I can only find Workplace Analytics, not Viva Insights as the transition takes place, so check for both if you have issues)

On the Overview page under Getting Started, choose Assign users and groups

Choose Add user/group

Select a user or group by clicking the None Selected link under users and groups, then search for the required user(s) and/or group(s)

Then select the role.  I recommend you start with the Administrator.  You need at least 1 Administrator and 1 Analyst.  Whilst you can assign the same user multiple roles, they need to be added as separate assignments

Whilst you can assign the same user multiple roles, they need to be added as separate assignments.  If you do assign multiple roles to the same users you will see something like the following:

Users assigned roles will received an email informing them.  This is the Administrator Email

Configure Workplace Analytics

The next step in your preparation you can do whilst waiting for your licences to activate is to prepare your organisational data.  See Prepare organizational data in Workplace Analytics | Microsoft Docs.  I built mine in Excel and then saved as a a UTF-8 CSV file.

It is important to include ALL licensed users, but you can include unlicensed users as well.

Your organisational data MUST include the following columns:

  • PersonID (the log on email of the user)
  • EffectiveDate (start date for the information about the user contained in this file)
  • Organization (the internal organisation the user belongs to)
  • ManagerID (the log on email of the user’s manager)

The file format is important, so be sure to pick the correct CSV file format.

Once your licences have activated you will find the Onboarding page at https://workplaceanalytics.office.com/.  You should see the number of Analysts and Program Managers you assigned permissions to.

Confirm the correct number of roles are recognised by ticking the box and clicking Next

Next set your system defaults.  These will apply to ALL users.

Before clicking Next expand the Exclusions section to add any required exclusions.  Also note the minimum group size can be increased to help preserve the anonymity of users within your organisation.  5 is the smallest group for metrics.

A warning will appear to confirm you cannot change these settings until after the first data load has been completed.  However once the Organisational data has been processed then you will be able to adjust the settings, as required.

Next you will upload your org data file prepared earlier.  There is also an opportunity to download a template at this point, which is shown below.  I prepared my file earlier based on the Docs article

Upload your file, name and describe it, then click Next.  The name and description will be useful as time goes on and you need to adjust or add to your organisational data.

You will then be asked to confirm the column matching to expected fields to ensure the analytics tool has correctly identified the columns in your organisational data file.

Your file will be uploaded and validated, with the following progress dialog box being displayed whilst this happens

Finally you’ll see the confirmation page that your organisational data file was validated and that the set up is in progress.

And now you must wait again.  The notifications appear to indicate this is processed over the weekend.

With my set up, I experienced an error.

Though after a day, it switched back to progressing.  Though this was as far as I got with 1 license in the organisation.

 It’s a learning curve.  It turned out that with a single license the process could not completed.  A minimum of 5 licensed users is needed in the tenant and those 5 need to be included in your organisation data upload too.

Once that issue was resolved in my demo tenant and the weekend update had taken place, we had success!  The admin received email notification of such

And the https://workplaceanalytics.office.com/ page now shows the success message.  On that page you now need to click Exit to homepage link to continue.

A First Look

The workplace analytics home page shows the key insights that have been discovered for the licensed users.  Note that my users are light on activity and hence the majority of insights are empty.  Indeed with only 5 licensed users we will fall below the minimum group size for many metrics.

You should also now see the My Organisation and My Team appear in the Viva Insights app in Teams.  

If these do not appear, be sure to check permissions required and also verify the minimum group sizes are being met in the Leader & Manager Settings.

The organisation insights in Viva Insights have a series of different sections and provides a PowerPoint download option too.

The PowerPoint file includes sections which match the structure in the Viva Insights app.

Featured

Retention Policies for Microsoft Teams Private Channels

This blog was originally published on https://www.leadershipthroughdata.co.uk/category/blogs/

One of the challenges with Private Channels in Microsoft Teams since they first launched has been retention.  Now with the general availability of retention policies in for private channels, this is now in the past.

Before we look into the retention policies in more detail, let’s talk about what a private channel is and why it presented retention challenges.

A Microsoft Teams team is comprised of channels.  Every team has at least one channel, General, and you can add others to suit for different work streams, project phases, task types, etc etc.  All members of the team have equal access to all channels.  Private channels offer the opportunity to create a channel where only a subset of the Team members have access.

To facilitate this private channels use separate storage locations than the main team.  The messages are not stored in the group mailbox but in the mailboxes of the members of the private channel. 

Retention policies covering mailboxes and Teams channel messages do not include these private channel messages.  But now they have their own policies.

To create a retention policy for private channels:

  1. Navigate to the compliance center https://compliance.microsoft.com
  2. Under Solutions select Information governance
  3. Choose Retention Policies
  4. Click/tap New retention policy
  1. Give your new policy a Name and a Description
  1. Click Next
  2. In Locations, choose Teams private channel messages
  3. Select users to includes or exclude from the policy
    Note
    : when choose items to include or exclude, the options are only users, as private channel messages are held in the mailboxes of the members of the private channel, so you choose which users you wish to retain private channel messages for, NOT which channels.
  1. Click Next
  2. On the Retention settings page choose the time messages should be retained for.  These options are the same as for standard channel messages.
  1. Click Next
  2. Review the summary of the setting you have chosen on the Review and finish page then click Submit
  1. Wait for the submission to complete.  NOTE: As shown on the submitting screen below, the policy can take up to 24hrs to come into effect.
  1. Once the policy has been created and saved click Done on the confirmation screen.  The submission process can take several minutes, so be patient!

For more details on Private channels see Private channels in Microsoft Teams – Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Docs

You may also be interested in our upcoming blog about eDiscovery for private channels too.

Featured

Microsoft Viva: A Plain Speaking Overview

This blog post accompanies the session delivered at Collabdays Lisbon on 13th November 2021.

Agenda

  • What is Viva & how does it fit with what we already have?
  • Licensing the Viva tools
  • Getting Started – Deploying the Viva tools
  • Recent Updates Announced

What is Viva

Microsoft launched Viva as a product to enhance the employee experience, but what does that actually mean without the marketing speak? In overview, Viva is a brand name that pulls together tools whose aim is to make it easier to be productive and maximise the investments we have already made in Microsoft 365, delivery in the tools we use everyday, primarily Teams.  The aim is that pulling together the apps, content & communication you reduce the amount of jumping between applications needed to do the job.

Each Viva module does have its own focus and is based upon existing or previously announced features, with the normal feature development and continuous change that is part of the cloud.

The Microsoft Viva platform is made up of 4 modules (currently)

Viva Connections bring the SharePoint intranet into Teams and makes it accessible to mobile users too. It also surfaces Yammer content and can be extended to help provide access to custom tools as as well as standard tools such as Approvals & Shifts. The key word there was Amplify. Connections makes it easier to interact with the (SharePoint Online) intranet you already have.

Viva Insights builds on the analytics and reminders that My Analytics and Cortana emails were already bringing us. But with additional features to help balance work/life and productivity. For me, I find the some features more useful than others. I personally use love the Stay Connected reminders about tasks/requests I may have missed.

Viva Topics is about making the most of the information stored in Microsoft 365. Capturing the knowledge locked away in all those documents and making it useful, but letting the AI do the heavy lifting.

Viva Learning is aiming to bring continuous learning into the daily flow of work. If you work with the cloud you are familiar with continuous change and continuous learning, Most workers struggle with this and how to even find the learning opportunities and that is where Viva Learning comes in.

How does Viva integrate with Microsoft 365?

Microsoft Viva tools are built on the email, appointments, chat, meetings and files already in Microsoft 365 and integrate with those tools. With Topics & Insights there are some integrations which are not yet rolled out, such as being able to see topic cards from message and document content and delay chat message based on recipients working hours, but these are on the way.

Does this replace SharePoint?

First, let’s be clear, all Microsoft 365 file storage is based on SharePoint which turned 20 this year (27th March 2021) – see SharePoint twenty 20 years young SharePoint’s twentieth birthday 20th (microsoft.com) So no, this does not replace SharePoint, though it may mean your users spend less time navigating to SharePoint pages in their browser and use Viva Connections instead.

Viva Insights

Today

The virtual commute feature helps close out the working day. Personally I find it a bit much every day, but on busy days it is helpful.

Stay Connected is the same information as the Cortana daily email and My Analytics Trend pane (both now rebranded Microsoft Viva).

Protect time allows you to book focus time to avoid your colleagues filling your diary.

Getting Started

For the free version of Viva Insights, simply turn on the features from the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. In https://admin.microsoft.com/ choose Settings then Org Settings followed by Services and Microsoft Viva Insights (formerly My Analytics). Tick on the required features and click Save.

For details on setting up Viva Insights per user plan see https://teamsqueen.com/2021/11/13/setting-up-viva-insights-with-per-user-plan/

With Workplace Analytics or an Add-on License

Adding a license for Viva Insights bring in the Workplace Analytics features. I’ll be posting a blog on the set up experience separately to this one detailing onboarding with Viva Insights per user licenses. With the per user license you add extra features.

For more inform on the license differences see also https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-viva/insights#office-SKUChooser-hoitthx for license comparison.

For larger organizations and to allow for customized analytics & reporting there is also a per organisation Microsoft Viva Insights Capacity license https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-viva/buy-insights-capacity?activetab=pivot%3aoverviewtab

The My Team insights page:

The My Org insights page:

Viva Connections

Today

Connections bring your SharePoint based Intranet into Teams and with use of the SharePoint Global Nav Bar, can bring the whole of your SharePoint into Teams and simplify the navigation process for users.  With the use of the cards you can bring other apps and tools into Teams too, such as tasks, holiday booking apps, etc, etc.

Getting Started

To implement Viva Connections you need to:

  1. Have an intranet in SharePoint
  2. Make your Intranet site the “Home Site” Set a site as your home site – SharePoint in Microsoft 365 | Microsoft Docs
  3. Set up SharePoint Global Navigation Use the new SharePoint app bar and set up global navigation – SharePoint in Microsoft 365 | Microsoft Docs
  4. Deploy the Viva Connections App into Teams for your users  (via Teams Admin Center)

What you get out of Viva Connections depends upon the use made of SharePoint intranet and Yammer.  To bring Yammer into Viva Connections we use the Viva Connections Feed or Yammer web parts on your SharePoint Home Site. For details on creating a Home Site for use with Viva Connections see this article.

Getting More from Viva Connections

To get the most from Viva Connections you should

  1. Add a dashboard as that’s where your mobile users land. Include at least a website card pointing to the intranet here.
  2. Add the Dashboard webpart to your Home Site, so desktop users get the advantage of the dashboard cards too.
  3. Add the Viva Connections feed web part to your home site to bring News and Yammer Conversations in. This could replace the News webpart.
  4. Consider mobile users. Always check the mobile experience and make sure your mobile only users have easy access to the required tools.

Viva Topics

Topics itself is not very exciting looking a site. But that’s NOT the main benefit. Topics is there to help your organisation make more of the knowledge trapped inside your Microsoft 365 environment.

Viva Topics is not suitable for all organisations, there is a minimum amount of data and activity that you need before it can work as designed. However any organisation that meets these can benefit. My tenant has one main user (though 5 in total) and topics is still benefiting me, saving me a lot of searching and rewriting. This will only improve with the items on the roadmap (such as managed metadata integration plus messaging & content links to topics).

Getting Started

Deployed from the M365 Admin Center – see https://teamsqueen.com/2021/11/07/getting-started-with-viva-topics/

Very simple to set up, but it does take 3 days to 2 weeks before topics really start to appear. You then need to review and publish your topics before the links in content start to work. Currently only SharePoint pages will surface the topic links, so be sure to test there first.

Viva Learning

Today

Viva Learning is all about collaborative learning, it isn’t a LMS, but many of the tools that can surface learning their learning materials via Viva Learning have their own LMS built in.

With the free license you only get integration with

  • Microsoft Learn
  • LinkedIn Learning Free or Enterprise Subscriptions
  • Microsoft 365 Training
  • Your Own SharePoint based Content

Currently the paid license adds (with * indicating some content shown without subscription to that service):

  • Cornerstone OnDemand
  • Coursera *
  • edX *
  • Go1
  • Infosec *
  • Josh Bersin Academy *
  • Pluralsight *
  • Saba Cloud
  • Skillsoft
  • SAP SucessFactors
  • Udemy

Get Started

For Admins see Here comes Viva Learning – The Teams Queen Blog

For users see First Steps Using Viva Learning – The Teams Queen Blog

Licenses

Some of the features of each module are included in Microsoft 365 licenses, except Viva Topics. You can license the modules separately or (announced at Ignite on 2nd November 2021) via a suite license. Currently the suite license is discounted from £12 to £6.80.

All prices quoted are UK cloud direct pricing. Please check with your licensing organisation for exact pricing.

Coming Soon

All Viva module updates are detailed on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap. This link directs you to the roadmap filtered for only Microsoft Viva updates.

One thing that is missing is the Viva Topics App in Teams, which keeps showing up in many marketing images, hopefully that will come when Teams supports showing topics cards from messaging content.

Another key announcement from Ignite which was trailed when the deal to purchase Ally.io was signed is that Ally will be the 5th Viva module.

Ally is a Targets and Goal management tool to help align organisation objectives & mission with individuals targets and key performance indicators. See announcement of purchase for more info on the tool.

References

Employee Experience Platform Overview | Microsoft Viva

Viva Insights app – Overview | Microsoft Docs

Microsoft Viva Topics overview | Microsoft Docs

Microsoft Viva – Microsoft Tech Community

Microsoft Viva Connections to start rollout to general availability – Microsoft Tech Community

Announcing Viva Learning public preview coming in April – Microsoft Tech Community

Viva on the M365 Roadmap

Viva Topics on Learn

aka.ms/Viva/Partner/Resources

Thank You’s

No conference, virtual or in-person happens without sponsorship, so thank you to the Collabdays Lisbon 2021 Sponsors!

And the organizers too. It was a great pleasure to be selected to speak at your event. Maybe next time I’ll even get to come to Lisbon!

Featured

Using eDiscovery to find Teams Data

This blog was a guest post originally featured on https://www.leadershipthroughdata.co.uk/category/blogs/

eDiscovery is used to conduct content investigations in Microsoft 365.   There are 3 eDiscovery solutions with slightly features.  All 3 can be used to discover Teams data, though not ALL Teams data is discoverable.

Discoverable Teams information and where it is stored for compliance purposes such as eDiscovery is shown in the table below.

ContentStored inNotes
Chat MessagesUser MailboxThis includes emojis, gifs, stickers and inline images as well as content displayed in ‘cards’
Files Shared in Chat MessagesOneDriveIt is also possible to set retention so the version of the file shared is discoverable (see Ignite 2021 updates in Further reading)
Teams Channel MessagesGroup MailboxThis includes emojis, gifs, stickers and inline images as well as content displayed in ‘cards’
Files shared in channel chat messagesSharePointIt is also possible to set retention so the version of the file shared is discoverable (see Ignite 2021 updates in Further reading)
Edited Chat & Channel MessagesUser/Group MailboxFor users/groups on hold, then the previous version of the messages are also available to eDiscovery
Meeting Chat (Private Meetings)User Mailbox 
Files shared in Meeting Chat (Private Meetings)OneDriveIt is also possible to set retention so the version of the file shared is discoverable (see Ignite 2021 updates in Further reading)
Meeting Chat (Channel Meetings)Group Mailbox 
Files shared in Channel Meeting ChatSharePointIt is also possible to set retention so the version of the file shared is discoverable (see Ignite 2021 updates in Further reading)
Meeting & Call MetadataUser MailboxThis includes start/end time of meeting & join/leave time for each participant
Meeting Recordings / Transcripts (Private Meetings)OneDriveStored in OneDrive of user who starts the recording/transcript.  Recordings can only be

The following content is NOT discoverable using eDiscovery:

  • Audio recordings
  • Code snippets
  • Channel name
  • Reactions
  • Feed notifications

The storage location shown above is important for two reasons:

  1. To help choose locations to include in the eDiscovery search
  2. To understand where the data show up when exporting the results.  Anything stored in a mailbox will be exported into a pst file, while OneDrive & SharePoint content is exported in file folders.

In the walk through we are going to use the Content Search functionality as we are focusing on the search and export functionality.  Core eDiscovery and Advanced eDiscovery can both be used to find the Teams information and have different additional functionality to the Core Search.

The features of the different eDiscovery solutions are summarised in the following table which is sourced from the Microsoft Docs article on eDiscovery (see further reading at the end of this article)

Content SearchCore eDiscovery (additional to Content Search)Advanced eDiscovery (additional to Core)
Search for data/content Keyword queries and search conditions Export search results Role based permissions to useCase management Legal holdCustodian Management Legal hold notifications Advanced indexing Review sets incl filtering OCR Conversation Threading Collection Statistics & Reporting Tagging Analytics Predictive coding models Error Remediation Computed document metadata Transparency of long running jobs Export to Azure storage location

Content Search Walk Through for Teams Data

In this walk through we are conducting a search to check for content related to a new project.  This content has been spread across multiple Teams, including private channels and in direct 1:1 chat with files having been created and saved in various locations.

Navigate to the compliance center https://compliance.microsoft.com and choose Content Search.  Although Content Search is an eDiscovery function it is not included in the eDiscovery sub menu.

Click New search, then complete the Name and Description for the search you want to perform.

Click Next then choose the locations to be searched.  To cover all Teams locations you will need to include mailboxes for all Teams users including guests and all SharePoint sites for the Teams. 

There are potential issues with the example here, in that we have included all mailboxes and all SharePoint sites.  The results will include all discoverable Teams content but also emails and files in other SharePoint sites.  This may not be detrimental but you should be aware that the result will include more than Teams data.

Click Next and then create your search using combination of keywords and conditions such as creation date, sender, etc.

Click Next and review the summary of the setting you have specified before clicking Submit to start the search.

Next you will see confirmation that the search has been created and is in progress.  Click Done.  How long it take till the results are available will depend on the volume of content being searched. 

When you click Done you will return to the Content Search page and will be able to see the status of your new search

Note that an alert has been sent to all Global Admins that an eDiscovery Search has been started.  This is the default behavior.

Once the search is showing as completed, click onto the search name to load the results.

You can see the search statistics, showing how many items have been found.

Click Review sample to check the information which has been found to verify your search worked as expected.

You can then export the results or a report on the results from the Actions menu.

If you choose to export the results then you will be presented with options of how you want to export the discovered data.

Don’t forget to scroll before clicking the Export button as there are further options, which never seem to fit on the one screen.

Your export will be prepared and once ready will be found under Export on the main Content Search screen.  Click on the name of the search you want to export data from.

You will need the Export Key, so be sure to copy it!  Click Download results to start the download of the exported results. 

You should see a pop up asking to open the file.  This is the specific tool used for eDiscovery, called the eDiscovery Export Tool

Install the application.

The next prompt will ask for that Export key and the location you want to save the exported pst and file folders to.

Once extracted you will be able to open the file folder and add the PST files to Outlook to review.  Remember teams messages will be in the PST files in Teams Chat folder.

Further Reading

Updates from Microsoft Ignite (Nov 2021) on governing data in Microsoft Teams: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/security-compliance-and-identity/microsoft-information-governance-new-ways-to-govern-your-data-in/ba-p/2815238?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/compliance/ediscovery?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/ediscovery-investigation – overview?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/location-of-data-in-teams?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583

https://docs.microsoft.com/microsoft-365/compliance/export-search-results?view=o365-worldwide&WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/compliance/configure-edge-to-export-search-results?view=o365-worldwide&WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583

Featured

First Steps Using Viva Learning

If you are an admin have a look at Here comes Viva Learning – The Teams Queen Blog for information on setting up Viva Learning for your organisation.

Finding Viva Learning

Once your organisation has given you have access to Viva Learning, you will find it on the app under the … on the side rail and searching for Viva Learning.

Searching for Viva Learning from ... menu on Teams side rail

On first run, you will see tips on Home, My Learning and Settings links, as shown below.

Viva Learning home page showing tool tip pointing to Home link which states there are over 10,000 items to browse
Home page tool tip "In Home, you can browse and discover from a library of 10,000+ courses"
My Learning page tool tip "In My Learning you can find your due courses and personally curated content"
... menu tool tip "Select Show me around here to access this tour again."

The … menu will allow you to run these tool tips again using Show me around

... menu which includes About, Show me around, Learn More, Give Feedback and Settings.

On the home page you see featured content, which is controlled by Microsoft, followed by a guide to help get you started. 

Below that you can browse all available learning content grouped by your Interests, the Providers, or course Duration.

extract from Viva Learning home page showing the 3 groupings under the Browse Courses heading.

On the My Learning page you can view learning you have Bookmarked, which has been Recommended to you by colleagues or your manager/employer, those you have Recently viewed and also those you have previously Completed.

My Learning page with headings as described above

Personalise Your Viva Learning

It is recommended that you start by picking your interests

Home page on first run experience with interests to pick

Next make sure you are getting all the content you are entitled to by checking sign in/permissions for your available content sources from the menu and choosing Settings.

Content sources in the settings menu showing LinkedIn Learning Premium with sign in button

Please note that the LinkedIn Learning premium option only works with LinkedIn Learning organisational accounts but not personal premium LinkedIn accounts.

Under Permissions you can check that you have access to the SharePoint site which populates the list of resources from your own organisation.

Clicking the Check access button will open the SharePoint list which is used to publish the information into Viva Learning.  You will most likely have read only access to this.  If you do not have the required permissions you will see a Request Access page when you click on the Check access button.

Permissions screen in the settings menu showing SharePoint with check access button

You are now ready to get started using Viva Learning.

Finding and Bookmarking Content

To find learning content you can use the Browse courses section of the home page or use the search box to search for specific terms.

Search box with Viva as search tern and results from LinkedIn, Microsoft Learn and Microsoft Learning sources

 When you click onto the learning topic, from search or browse, you can see a summary of the content plus you have the ability to Bookmark the content to find it again more quickly from the My Learning page.

Course details page with course summary, open button, share button, bookmark button and related courses

You can also bookmark directly from the browse courses page.

course card on home page with bookmark flag highlighted

Share Content with Colleagues

Both the course detail and browse courses pages, also include the ability to share learning content with colleagues via Teams Message or by copying the link to share in a different messaging tool, such as email.

course card on home page with share button selected showing Teams and copy link options available

You can learn more about Viva Learning with Microsoft’s official support guide Viva Learning (microsoft.com)

Featured

Here comes Viva Learning

Viva Learning free is rolling out. For end user guidance please see my other blog post https://teamsqueen.com/2021/11/01/first-steps-using-viva-learning/

Setting up Viva Learning for your organisation

Microsoft 365 Admin Center

The process for setting up the free version of Viva Learning for your organisation starts in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center  https://admin.microsoft.com/

Navigate to Settings then choose Org Settings and Services where you will find Viva Learning

M365 Admin Center highlighting navigation links to access Viva Learning settings

In the Viva Learning blade, check the items you want to make available to your users, including inputting the address of the SharePoint site which will host the Learning App Content.  (more on this in a little bit), then click Save.

Viva Learning settings interface with all options ticked and SharePoint URL entered

If you add any number of Viva Learning paid licenses to your tenant, you will see additional options within the settings screen, but they do require their own subscriptions, as does LinkedIn Learning premium.

SharePoint

The link on the dialog to get more information about setting up SharePoint site for use with Viva Learning points to https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/learning/configure-sharepoint-content-source?view=o365-worldwide&WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583.

Whilst this is a new system and we all need to build up expertise, it appears best at this time to create a new site for this.  This should simplify permissions and support for Multi-Geo organisations.  You can only have one nominated site per organisation and all Viva Learning users will need read access to the list, though you can modify item permissions if needed to limit visibility. If users do not have access to the linked resources they will still see the folder & what files (learning resources) are in it, but not access those files.

The site used can be changed but you will need to recreate the list if you do change sites.  Please do read the guidance before picking & setting your site.

In this walk through I created a new site and gave everyone in the organisation read only access to the site.

Once declared as the site for Viva Learning the Learning App Content Repository list is added to the site which will hold the list of other folders/libraries in SharePoint that contain learning materials.

Content is added to Viva Learning by creating an entry in the list to the folder containing the learning content.  Remember that everyone who has access to the site will see the folders you add, including file details but only be able to access content they have permissions to.  Newly added folders take up to 24hrs to appear in Viva Learning.

To add a filer or folder to the list of resources, locate the file/folder and choose copy link from the …

Be sure the link is for people with existing access

Copy link dialog box with recommended permission highlighted

And copy the link then paste into a new entry in the Learning App Content Repository list

create new item dialog in the content list showing title and folder url

Teams Admin Center

To make the app available in Teams for your users you need to set up the Viva Learning App in Teams Admin Center https://admin.teams.microsoft.com/

First under Manage Apps in Teams apps section, locate the Viva Learning app

Teams admin center showing navigation as to Viva Learning app under Manage Apps

Ensure the app is set as Allowed

Viva Learning App detail page shows the app status toggle set to Allowed.

Next ensure the users are allowed to use the app in the App permission policies.  Depending on your Apps permission policy settings you may need to enable Viva Learning in each policy.  Viva Learning is a Microsoft app, so will automatically be available for your user if you allow all apps in that section.

App permission policy in Teams admin center showing a policy with allow all apps selected for Microsoft apps

To add to the side rail for all users automatically you need to install the app using one or more app set up policies.  To add the app, click Add apps under the Pinned apps section

App set up policy with the add apps button highlighted to show position on page

Search for Viva Learning and click Add

Add pinned apps blade with Viva Learning located in the app search box to show the Add button

Save the policy and navigate to Teams to check if it is available.  This may take a little time and you will need to restart Teams desktop app or log in fresh to Teams web app to check availability.

Viva Learning home page for illustration of successful provisioning when app loads inside Teams.
Featured

A Busylight with Microsoft Teams

Recently I was asked if I knew of any busy lights for Mcirosoft Teams.    Remember those days when you would walk down the office to see a colleague rather then check their Teams presence? With hybrid working the presence indicator in Teams is still important but its needs extending into our physical spaces too.

Personally I am still working from home full time and still using the manual Do Not Disturb light I created in my blog Using Flic and Hue to build a Do Not Disturb light – Sara Fennah’s Blog (m365train.co.uk)  Though I now control it from my Stream Deck most of the time.  I have buttons on my Stream deck that sets all my lighting, with different settings for attending or delivering and bright/dark environments.  If I’m attending a course/meeting I set my Do Not Disturb light to yellow and my streaming lights low whilst for a training delivery the Do Not Disturb light goes to red and my streaming lights are brighter.  If its dark then I also switch on the room lights which are also using Hue bulbs.

But my personal solution doesn’t work for the hybrid office scenario, plus for a largescale roll out, we want quick and simple.  After a bit of research I decided to give the plenom Omega and Alpha busy lights a go and was fortunate enough to secure a sample of each to try.  These are not new products and there was confusion around how they worked with Teams, and many vendor sites being unclear if you needed additional hardware etc.

Well, I can report that they work perfectly.  I tested both lights with Windows and Mac and both were just as simple:

  1. Plug light into a USB port on your computer
  2. Download the driver
  3. Change your status in Teams to watch the light change

My phone was not great for photographing the light, but I did manage to capture a video of the light changing with Teams.

With just the driver software you still a fair amount of customisation:

You can also control the way the light behaves and set additional features using the kuandoHUB software.  If you do I can STRONGLY recommend first backing up your priorities before customising.

Troubleshooting

If you use the Duration option in Teams to set your status for a period then revert to automatic, I have had the light get stuck on the manual status once, but a quick reboot of Teams fixed that.

If your light does not pick up Teams status but another app, check that Teams is set to your default chat app.  If its still not working then you need the  kuandoHUB software to change the priorities and sources.

One of my biggest challenges working from home is that my office is downstairs and anyone coming to the house walks past the window I am sat next to, so they often try to engage me or even bang on the window.  I can’t exactly jump up in the middle of a course delivery and answer them, it’s just not very professional.  So I now have the perfect use for one of my busy lights:

Whilst the other has been adopted by my teenage son using the kuandoHUB software to indicate if his parents are allowed into his room! The light is pure red, the two tone effect is only in the photo

Featured

Organisation Wide Backgrounds

With background effects coming to Teams for the web, providing your users with organisation standardised backgrounds is going to be even more useful.  If like me you’ve been looking in vain for the organisation wide backgrounds in Microsoft Teams, then you too have probably been looking in the wrong place.

The articles I read all said to go to Meeting Policies and add your images, so I have been looking in the actual policies, but could see nowhere to add background images.  Then today I spotted the Customize Meeting Images button on the top right of the screen!

Organisation wide background images require users to be assigned the Advanced Communications licence to benefit to view and apply.

To add images for use by your organisation, in the Teams Admin Center, expand Meetings and choose Meeting Policies, then at the top right click Customize Meeting Images  button.

Image showing Teams Admin Center with the meeting policies menu option selected and customize meeting images button highlighted to assist with navigation.

You now need to turn On the custom backgrounds and add your images

Image showing the customize meeting images screen to illustrate position of the Custom backgrounds on toggle and add button.

You can add up to 50 images in the Managing Backgrounds space.  Images can be in JPG or PNG format and must be between 360x360px and 3840x2160px.

Image showing the managing backgrounds screen with 6 images added.  The managing backgrounds screen also states "Select up to 50 images that you'd like to add.  These images will appear on users' interfaces in order of upload.  Only users with an advanced comms SKU will see these images."

It can take up to 24 hours for them to appear, but your users will be able to use the organisational background just the same as any others, better yet, they appear at the top of the list of available backgrounds.

Image shows the Teams meeting join screen with the 6 organisational background images shown after no background and blur but before the stock images.
Featured

MS-700 Useful PowerShell – Part 1

PowerShell is very powerful (no pun intended) but if you don’t know what you are doing it can be dangerous, making big changes to your environment without prompting for confirmation.  If you run ANY PowerShell scripts against your Office 365 tenant you alone are fully responsible for the actions undertaken, so please ensure you are fully confident in the source of your information.

I would recommend having a look at the Microsoft Learn module as a first step.  It should only take approx 1h to complete. Introduction to PowerShell – Learn | Microsoft Docs

Then review the guidance on managing Microsoft Teams using PowerShell from Microsoft Microsoft Teams PowerShell Overview – Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Docs

If you are looking at scripts for Microsoft Teams from a blog (like this one) I would recommend checking  them against MicrosoftTeamsPowerShell Module | Microsoft Docs.  This helps you learn more about the scripts but also lets you check the cmdlets (commands) you intend to use are still valid.

ALWAYS close your PowerShell Windows when you are not actively using them.  This closes the connection and logs you out, helping to keep your environment secure. Or even better disconnect then close the window.

Finally remember that Teams runs on Microsoft 365 groups, includes SharePoint features and shares some configuration with Skype for Business Online.  This means you may also need to use PowerShell cmdlets for Azure AD Power, Exchange Online, SharePoint and Skype for Business too, though the Skype for Business Online cmdlets are included in the Teams PowerShell module, they are still referenced separately in Docs.

This blog series is designed to support those studying for the MS-700 exam to appreciate how to do many of the tasks in the course using PowerShell.  As such I have divided it down into the course modules, which also help other trainers when they are delivering.

In this blog I have used <aaa> to indicate where you should change parts of the script to apply to your requirements.  Replace the <> as well as the words, but not any ” ” so <email> would become someone@email.com and “<email>” would become “someone@email.com”

REMEMBER: Any scripts here are run at your own risk, though I have tested them, I offer no guarantees or warrantees.

Overview

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/microsoftteams/teams-powershell-overview

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/skype/intro?view=skype-ps

Install, Connect & Upgrade Teams PowerShell

  1. Open Powershell in Windows with Admin – right click on your start button and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin)
  2. Install Teams Powershell by running this script (see Install Microsoft Teams PowerShell – Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Docs)

Install-Module -Name MicrosoftTeams

  1. Import the newly installed module into the open PowerShell window

Import-Module MicrosoftTeams

  1. Log in to Microsoft Teams 

Connect-MicrosoftTeams

  1. You are now ready to manage Teams using PowerShell

When you are installing PowerShell Modules, you will always be prompted to confirm download from the repository, as shown below.  You should only confirm one repository at a time using Y response.

Once set up you can then log in future by:

  1. Open Powershell in Windows with Admin – right click on your start button and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin)
  2. Import the Teams module into the open PowerShell window

Import-Module MicrosoftTeams

  1. Log in to Microsoft Teams 

Connect-MicrosoftTeams

To Update Teams Powershell

  1. Open Powershell in Windows with Admin – right click on your start button and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin)
  2. Run the Update Script

Update-Module MicrosoftTeams

  1. Import the Teams module into the open PowerShell window

Import-Module MicrosoftTeams

  1. Log in to Microsoft Teams 

Connect-MicrosoftTeams

Learn more about the Teams PowerShell Module

The commands in this section are not needed for the MS-700, but they do help to understand the Teams PowerShell module.

List Available Versions of Teams PowerShell Module

Get-Module -Name MicrosoftTeams* -ListAvailable | select Name,Version,Path

What is included in the Teams PowerShell Module

These cmdlets will let you explore what is availalbe in the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module

List all cmdlets

Get-Command -CommandType Cmdlet -Module MicrosoftTeams

List all commands

Get-Command -Module MicrosoftTeams

List all commands which use ‘Get’

Get-Command -Module MicrosoftTeams -Verb Get

List all commands which use ‘set’

Get-Command -Module MicrosoftTeams -Verb Set

List all commands which use ‘New’

Get-Command -Module MicrosoftTeams -Verb New

List all commands which act on a ‘Team’

Get-Command -Module MicrosoftTeams -Noun Teams

List all commands which act on a ‘Channel’

Get-Command -Module MicrosoftTeams -Noun TeamChannel

How Many commands are included in the Teams PowerShell Module

Get-Command -Module MicrosoftTeams |Measure-Object

Get help about with the New-Team PowerShell cmdlet

Get-Help New-Team

You can replace the New-Team cmdlet in this script with any cmdlet.  However this returns the help in the PowerShell window so you may prefer to open the help file in a separate window or even online using:

Get-Help New-Team -ShowWindow

Or

Get-Help New-Team -Online

Disconnect

You do not need to disconnect from Teams in PowerShell but it is a good idea to do so before closing your PowerShell window using:

Disconnect-MicrosoftTeams

Assign Teams Admin Role via PowerShell

See Assign roles to Microsoft 365 user accounts with PowerShell – Microsoft 365 Enterprise | Microsoft Docs

You need to use the Azure AD PowerShell Module for this.

  1. Open Powershell in Windows with Admin – right click on your start button and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin)
  2. Install AzureAD Powershell by running this script (see Connect to Microsoft 365 with PowerShell – Microsoft 365 Enterprise | Microsoft Docs)  You should also be prompted to confirm NuGet and PSGallery access during the install of this module

Install-Module MSOnline

  1. Log in to Azure AD

Connect-MsolService

  1. Check names of roles which can be assigned using
    Get-MsolRole | Sort Name | Select Name,Description

The teams admin roles are:

  • Teams Administrator
  • Teams Communications Administrator
  • Teams Communications Support Engineer
  • Teams Communications Support Specialist 
  • Teams Devices Administrator     
  1. Copy the script below and replace <email> with login email address of user to be assigned the role and <role> with the role to be assigned.

$upnName="<email>"

$roleName="<role>"

Add-MsolRoleMember -RoleMemberEmailAddress $upnName -RoleName $roleName

Finding out about your tenant

You can also find quite a lot of information about your Teams tenant using PowerShell.  The cmdlets are all from the Teams module.

Get a list of all Teams in the tenant using:

Get-Team

Find What Details You Can Display About a Team using:

Get-Team |Get-Member

Get details of a Single Team using:

Get-Team -DisplayName <TeamName>

Get a list of all archived teams using:

Get-Team -Archived $true

Get List of all Team Users using:

Get-Team |Get-TeamUser

Get list of Unique Teams Users (each user listed once) using:

Get-Team |Get-TeamUser |Sort UserID -Unique

Get list of team members and role for one team using

$Team=Get-Team -DisplayName <TeamName>

Get-TeamUser -GroupID $Team.GroupID | Select User, Role

Get a list of all Guest users in all Teams using:

You will need all the lines below:

$Teams = Get-Team

foreach ($Team in $Teams) { Get-TeamUser -GroupId $Team.GroupID | where {$_.Role -eq "Guest"} | Select User, Role, @{n='TeamName' ;e={$Team.DisplayName}}}

For large environments, displaying the info in the PowerShell Window is messy, so create a csv export of owners and members of each Team using:

$AllTeams = (Get-Team).GroupID

$TeamList = @()

Foreach ($Team in $AllTeams)

{      

        $TeamGUID = $Team.ToString()

        $TeamName = (Get-Team | ?{$_.GroupID -eq $Team}).DisplayName

        $TeamOwner = (Get-TeamUser -GroupId $Team | ?{$_.Role -eq 'Owner'}).Name

        $TeamMember = (Get-TeamUser -GroupId $Team | ?{$_.Role -eq 'Member'}).Name

        $TeamList = $TeamList + [PSCustomObject]@{TeamName = $TeamName; TeamObjectID = $TeamGUID; TeamOwners = $TeamOwner -join ', '; TeamMembers = $TeamMember -join ', '}

}

$TeamList | export-csv c:\temp\TeamsData.csv -NoTypeInformation

Create a Team Using PowerShell and add a member & channel

New-Team (MicrosoftTeamsPowerShell) | Microsoft Docs

This script creates a new private team, sets the owner of the team and disables the ability for members to create or update channels. It then goes on to add a user to the team and create a new channel.

$group = New-Team -DisplayName "<TeamName>" -Description "<Description>" -Visibility Private  -Owner "<OwnerUPN/Email>" -AllowCreateUpdateChannels $False

Add-TeamUser -GroupId $group.GroupId -User "<MemberEmail/UPN>"

New-TeamChannel -GroupId $group.GroupId -DisplayName "<ChannelName>"

Once created you can unhide the group from Outlook via Set-UnifiedGroup (ExchangePowerShell) | Microsoft Docs  But first you need to install the Exchange Online PowerShell Module (see Connect to Exchange Online PowerShell | Microsoft Docs)

  1. Import-Module ExchangeOnlineManagement
  2. Connect-ExchangeOnline

Once installed you can then use the following script to make Team mailbox visible and also autosubscribe new members.

Set-UnifiedGroup -Identity "<TeamName>" -HiddenFromExchangeClientsEnabled:$false -AutoSubscribeNewMembers

You can also manage Teams Channels and Membership from PowerShell.  Some examples which all use the Teams PowerShell module.

Add a specific channel to all Teams

$Teams = Get-Team

foreach ($Team in $Teams) { New-TeamChannel -GroupId $Team.GroupID -DisplayName "<ChannelName>"}

Add a specific user to all Teams

$Teams = Get-Team

foreach ($Team in $Teams) { Add-TeamUser -GroupId $Team.GroupID -User <UserEmail/UPN> -Role Member}

Remove a specific channel from all Teams

$Teams = Get-Team

foreach ($Team in $Teams) { Remove-TeamChannel -GroupId $Team.GroupID -DisplayName "<ChannelName>"}

Remove a specific user from all Teams

$Teams = Get-Team

foreach ($Team in $Teams) { Remove-TeamUser -GroupId $Team.GroupID -User <UserEmail/UPN> -Role Member}

Download

Here is a text file with all the above scripts in that I used for testing purposes in preparing this blog. As always, please check before running as the responsibility is yours.

Other References

Whilst beyond what you need for MS-700 you may find these links useful:

Featured

External People in Group Chat in Teams

Group chats in Teams can now include external people.  It’s as simple as creating any group chat in Teams.  First, just make sure you can message the external people to be included in the group.  In other words send them a Teams chat message.  Then simply create a new group or add them to an existing group.

Start a New Chat

Click the new chat icon.

Enter the name of the person. 
To send a message to someone in a different organisation use their full email address rather than just their name.

Compose your message

Click Send

Start a New Group Chat

Click the new chat icon

Enter the name of the first person, enter names of other people

Compose your message, use

 to send a longer message.

Click Send

Add People to Chat

In the chat, click

Enter the name or email of person to be added

Choose the amount of chat history to be shared with new members

Click Add

Rename a Group Chat

Select the group chat

Next to names click pencil icon

Enter new name

Click Save

Featured

My First Custom Together Mode Scene

To accompany Build 2021, there is a new Teams blog with enhancements for developers.  Have a read at https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-teams-blog/microsoft-teams-announces-new-developer-features-build-2021/ba-p/2352558

What caught my eye was the Together Mode custom scenes and it is surprisingly simple.  Here’s the official guide https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/platform/apps-in-teams-meetings/teams-together-mode

To create your own to test, navigate to https://dev.teams.microsoft.com/scenes and sign in with your Microsoft 365 identity.

Choose Create a new Scene

You now need to add images as layers. 

Start with your main background image.  It is recommended that images are in PNG format, no more than 5MB in size and max 1920 by 1080.

I’m using the Imperial Star Destroyer Bridge from https://www.starwars.com/news/star-wars-backgrounds, which is actually a jpg file and still works.

Add the number of participants, by clicking the + Participants button and change the scroll to the number of people to have and click the Add button.

I added 10 here and you can see them all along the bottom of my image.

I can now drag the participants around my scene and position the placeholders.  You can also resize the placeholders, align them and adjust the x/y position in the image, which can be useful to align participant placeholders with others in the scene.

Given my meeting organiser deserves pride of place in my scene, I decided to reserve one placeholder for the organiser by assigning the image.

As you work, it’s probably a good idea to Save. Before you save you need to input a scene name.

If you click on participants you can add/remove participant placeholders

To try it out click the View in Teams button

Review the information and click Preview in Teams

Allow Teams to Open and then click Add  to add your new app

To Test create a meeting and invite enough attendees to test your scene. Once they join, switch to together mode and change the scene

Select your scene and click Apply.  I think I may need to adjust the image sizes in my scene, but it works for me and others in the same meeting, EVEN external people joining the meeting via the web.

Featured

Busy on Busy Options – Teams Calling

New options for call handling when a user is busy are availalbe and can be set now using PowerShell.  The option will eventually also be availalbe via the Teams Admin Center in Calling Policy.

Call handling when a user is already in a call is called Busy on Busy and by default is off in the Global Calling policy.

Previously we could set this to on or off.  When on callers got a busy signal and when off, the call just rang.  Going forward we also have an Unanswered option which means when the user is busy the setting for unanswered calls is used. 

Users configure their unanswered call handling themselves from Settings within Teams.

Users have the option to direct their unanswered calls including to their voicemail or alternative contact, including their own mobile phone if stored in their profile.

To set busy on busy option in the Global calling policy to use the users unanswered calls setting run this script

Set-CsTeamsCallingPolicy -Identity Global -BusyOnBusyEnabledType "Unanswered"

Note that the Teams Admin Center will currently show busy on busy as off once you have done this until the updated control is available.

As with all PowerShell scripts, you run them at your own risk.  So I’d always recommedn checking the official documentation before running any script you get from a blog (like this one).  The cmdlet used here is Set-CsTeamsCallingPolicy (SkypeForBusiness) | Microsoft Docs

For more on the Admin settings for this feature, please see https://docs.microsoft.com/microsoftteams/teams-calling-policy#busy-on-busy-is-available-while-in-a-call

For more on user settings, please visit https://support.microsoft.com/office/manage-your-call-settings-in-teams-456cb611-3477-496f-b31a-6ab752a7595f

Featured

Enable Stretchy Meetings & Webinars

OK, so Microsoft don’t call them Stretchy Meetings.  Officially they are meetings with view-only attendees but a meeting that can grow to accommodate more users to my mind is stretchy.  But that’s enough about the title of this blog.

In two recent message center posts Microsoft announced the rollout of webinars and view only attendees in Teams Meetings when the meeting exceeds 300 attendees (aka stretchy Meetings). Both are included at the end of this article for reference.

As they offer two solutions to larger meetings, I wanted to address how you can enable these for your users.

Both posts include guidance for admins on configuring the features using the meeting policy. At the time of writing this article the settings are not available in the meeting policy via Teams Admin Center but is available to set via PowerShell.

You should note that by default view-only attendee mode is disabled.  Webinars are on and though the documentation says default is Everyone can register but in my test tenants the default was to allow only people in your organisation to register.  So its worth checking.

For more info on the Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy cmdlet see Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy (SkypeForBusiness) | Microsoft Docs and for the Get-CSTeamsMeetingPolicy cmdlet see Get-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy (SkypeForBusiness) | Microsoft Docs

The limits as at 17th May is 1000 active participants in a meeting or webinar increasing to 20k with view only attendees enabled. This limit will drop back to 10k at the end of the year. For more details in limits see https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/microsoftteams/limits-specifications-teams#meetings-and-calls and View-only meeting experience – Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Docs

To check and change the settings

As both of these features are policy controlled you can configure different settings for each meeting policy. In the examples here I’ve shown managing both settings in the global policy.

To check/change other policies replace the word Global in these scripts with the name of the policy you want to change/look at.

Steps 6 to 10 give you options on the different settings, you should run the step(s) for the settings you wish to change from the default.  

  1. Open Powershell in Windows with Admin – right click on your start button and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin)
  2. Import the Teams module into the open PowerShell window
    Import-Module MicrosoftTeams
  3. Log in to Microsoft Teams 
    Connect-MicrosoftTeams
  4. Confirm the features are available in your tenant by loading the current settings of the Global meeting policy and verifying that -StreamingAttendeeMode and -WhoCanRegister are available
    Get-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity Global
  5. Check the default settings for these two features.  You are looking for StreamingAttendeeMode for the view-only attendee options and AllowMeetingRegistration plus WhoCanRegister for the webinars.  You should also check the setting for AllowEngagementReport if you want to see attendee data from webinars.
  6. To allow view-only attendees when a meeting exceeds 300 attendees run
    Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity Global -StreamingAttendeeMode "Enabled"
  7. To disable view-only attendees and limit meetings to 300 active participants
    Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity Global -StreamingAttendeeMode "Disabled"
  8. To disable webinars
    Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity Global -AllowMeetingRegistration $False
  9. To enable webinars for internal attendees only
    Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity Global -AllowMeetingRegistration $True -WhoCanRegister "EveryoneInCompany" -AllowEngagementReport "Enabled"
  10. To enable webinars for external attendees
    Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity Global -AllowMeetingRegistration $True -WhoCanRegister "Everyone" -AllowEngagementReport "Enabled"
    You will also need to ensure AnonymousJoin is enabled to allow external users to join your webinars.  This is a tenant wide setting which applies to ALL meetings not just webinars and can be set from the Team Admin Center under Meeting Settings or with this script
    Set-CsTeamsMeetingConfiguration -DisableAnonymousJoin $false -Identity Global

Picture for each step

Step 1: Open PowerShell
Step 2: Import Teams Module
Step 3: Connect & Sign In
Step 3/4: Signed in Confirmation & running script to get current settings
Step 5: Check current setting on Global policy
Step 6: allow view only attendees
Step 7: Block view only attendees
Step 8: Disable Webinars
Step 9: Enable Webinars with Internal Only Attendees
Step 10 Part 1: Allow Webinars with External Attendees
Step 10 Part 2: Allow Anonymous Users to Connect to Meetings & Webinars

Message Center Posts

Microsoft Teams: webinars plus new meeting registration options

MC250958

Plan for change

Published date: April 16, 2021

Affected services

Microsoft Teams

Tag

MAJOR UPDATE

ADMIN IMPACT

NEW FEATURE

USER IMPACT

We are excited to announce the forthcoming availability of Teams webinar capabilities, beginning rollout at the end of April 2021, completing in May 2021.

Associated features that apply to webinars and meetings, include:

  • Registration page creation with email confirmation for registrants.
  • Reporting for registration and attendance.

These capabilities will be available to users with the following licenses: Office 365 or Microsoft 365 E3/E5/A3/A5/Business Standard/Business Premium. For the rest of 2021, we are offering temporary availability to Teams users to try the features with their existing commercial subscription.

Note: We will honor any existing meeting settings enabled within your organization. 

Key points

  • Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 800996595266459, and 66586
  • Timing: end of April through end of May
  • Control type: user control / admin control / admin UI
  • Action: review and assess 

How this will affect your organization

When scheduling a meeting, your users will see the Webinar option on the Calendar drop down menu in Teams (desktop/web).

Additionally, users will be able to add registrations for meetings and webinars for people in your organization and outside of your organization.

The registration feature will be on by default For everyone. In order to view who attended the webinars, we recommended setting the “AllowEngagementReport” policy to true.

Note: We will honor any existing meeting policies enabled within your organization:

  • If allow scheduling private meetings is turned off, then users will not be able to schedule webinars.
  • When anonymous join is disabled for the tenant, users can schedule a public webinar but it will fail on join.
  • SharePoint lists are required in order to set up webinars. To set this up, learn more here: Control settings for Microsoft Lists

What you need to do to prepare

By default, all users within your tenant will be able to schedule webinars unless current policy configuration prohibits it.

Should you wish to restrict who who can host a webinar that requires registration for everyone, change the WhoCanRegister policy accessed in the Teams admin center.

  • You can disable this policy tenant-wide
  • You can enable this policy for specific users

You can manage the registration feature in the Teams admin center or with PowerShell commands. There are three options for admin management.

  • Turn off registration for the entire tenant
  • Turn off registration for external attendees, the For everyone option
  • Give select users the ability to create a registration page that supports external attendees. All other users would be able create a registration page for people inside the tenant.

These policies are managed via PowerShell.

You might want to notify your users about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate. 

Teams meetings to support view-only attendees

MC250956

Stay informed

Published date: April 16, 2021

Affected services

Microsoft Teams

Tag

ADMIN IMPACT

NEW FEATURE

USER IMPACT

We originally communicated this in MC240169 (Feb ’21). Currently, Teams meetings are limited to 300 users. If someone tries to join a meeting after it reaches capacity, they are unable to do so. With this update, meeting organizers who are assigned an appropriate license will be able to host a Teams meeting that has overflow capacity.

Up to 20,000 view-only attendees may join a meeting from late February through the end of June in order to accommodate heightened remote work scenarios. After July 1, 2021 we will support only 10,000 view only attendees.

Note: This capability will be available to users with the following licenses: Office 365 or Microsoft 365 E3/E5/A3/A5/Business Standard/Business Premium. For the rest of 2021, we are offering temporary availability to Teams users to try the features with their existing commercial subscription.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID: 65952.

When this will happen

We have started to roll this out and expect to complete by end of April.

How this will affect your organization

When a tenant enables this overflow feature:

  • After a meeting reaches capacity (300 users), people will be able to join as view-only attendees, with the maximum number limited by the phase.
  • Organizers cannot remove view-only attendees from a meeting.
  • View-only attendees will not impact the normal interaction available for regular attendees (those who joined before the meeting reached capacity).
  • Once the view-only attendee limit is reached, no additional view-only attendees will be able to join.
  • View-only attendees will follow all lobby and security policy mechanisms.
  • View-only attendees will have limited access to meeting features. For example, view-only attendees will be able to listen to all audio and view a screen or window shared during the meeting. However, they will be unable to share audio or video, and they will be unable to see chat or other applications that are shared during the meeting.
  • Meeting organizers will not see view-only participants in attendee counts or reports; this feature does not support the e-discovery of data

What you need to do to prepare

This feature is OFF by default for your users.

You may use PowerShell to enable this feature for your entire tenant while you prepare to assign the licenses.

  • Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity Global -StreamingAttendeeMode Enabled

Note: The view-only attendance feature is provided using Teams streaming services.

Learn more

Featured

Get Started with Teams PowerShell

PowerShell is very powerful (no pun intended) but if you don’t know what you are doing it can be dangerous, making big changes to your environment without prompting for confirmation.  If you run ANY PowerShell scripts against your Office 365 tenant you alone are fully responsible for the actions undertaken, so please ensure you are fully confident in the source of your information.

I would recommend having a look at the Microsoft Learn module as a first step.  It should only take approx 1h to complete. Introduction to PowerShell – Learn | Microsoft Docs

Then review the guidance on managing Microsoft Teams using PowerShell from Microsoft Microsoft Teams PowerShell Overview – Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Docs

If you are looking at scripts for Microsoft Teams from a blog (like this one) I would recommend checking  them against MicrosoftTeamsPowerShell Module | Microsoft Docs.  This helps you learn more about the scripts but also lets you check the cmdlets (commands) you intend to use are still valid.

Finally, ALWAYS close your PowerShell Windows when you are not actively using them.  This closes the connection and logs you out, helping to keep your environment secure.

That said, here is how I would recommend setting up Teams PowerShell.  Note I do not use a variable for the credential as the official blog suggests but wait for the log in prompt instead.  In my opinion this works better with MFA.

  1. Open Powershell in Windows with Admin – right click on your start button and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin)
  2. Install Teams Powershell by running this script (see Install Microsoft Teams PowerShell – Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Docs)
Install-Module -Name MicrosoftTeams
  1. Import the newly installed module into the open PowerShell window
Import-Module MicrosoftTeams
  1. Log in to Microsoft Teams 
Connect-MicrosoftTeams
  1. You are now ready to manage Teams using PowerShell

When you are installing PowerShell Modules, you will always be prompted to confirm download from the repository, as shown below.  You should only confirm one repository at a time using Y response.

Once set up you can then log in future by:

  1. Open Powershell in Windows with Admin – right click on your start button and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin)
  2. Import the Teams module into the open PowerShell window
Import-Module MicrosoftTeams
  1. Log in to Microsoft Teams 
Connect-MicrosoftTeams

To Update Teams Powershell

  1. Open Powershell in Windows with Admin – right click on your start button and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin)
  2. Run the Update Script
Update-Module MicrosoftTeams
  1. Import the Teams module into the open PowerShell window
Import-Module MicrosoftTeams
  1. Log in to Microsoft Teams 
Connect-MicrosoftTeams
Featured

Capturing Screen Shots from a Teams Phone

It is possible to capture screen images from a Teams phone using a web browser page.   Please note you do need the phone admin login to use this.

Firstly you need to ensure that the device configuration permits screen capture.  To create and assign a device configuration profile, go to the Teams Admin Center and under Devices > IP phone choose Configuration profiles.

The setting you need to switch on is the Screen Capture setting

Once the config has been assigned you need the IP Address of the phone and put it into the link https://PhoneIP/screencapture

But how do you get the IP?  Well you can get it from the phone itself.  These screenshots are taken from Yealink TP55A.

Tap the profile picture on the home screen

Choose Settings

Select Device Settings

Choose About

Note the Device IP

Open your web browser and navigate to: https://PhoneIP/screencapture, replacing the words PhoneIP with the IP address of the phone.  You may need to use the advanced options to continue to the page, depending on your network configuration.

Sign in using the device Admin account.  The defaults are different by device and the password is controlled by the device configuration policy.  For my phone the username is admin (all lower case)

Once signed in use your preferred screen clipping tool to take screen shots from the web browser

To take my screenshots for this blog, I use an combination of the built in Windows snipping tool, ZoomIt https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/zoomit and Snagit https://www.techsmith.com/screen-capture.html

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Transcription for Super Users

Following on from the post for end users on transcriptions in Teams meetings, here is the extra you need to know as a Super User.

Privacy Concerns

Both close captions and transcripts can display the name of the speaker, though there is a setting to control this for privacy purposes if required.  This is a per user setting and is found in the Teams settings on both desktop and web apps and travels with the user wherever they sign into Teams.

As with meeting recordings agreement from attendees should always be sought.  Often, I will advise participants who do not want to be recorded or transcribed to use the meeting chat and keep their cameras off.  Those messages can be read/summarised for the recording/transcription if needed.

When Can I Use Transcription?

Transcription is disabled by default and so organisations need to enable it.  This setting is a policy setting and as such can be set on/off for different users or groups of users.

The availability of transcripts in a meeting depends on the meeting policy settings assigned to the user who set up the meeting.  The transcription can be started by any user in the same tenant as the meeting organiser, if they too have transcription features enabled in the meeting policy they are assigned.  Once started any meeting attendee can view the meeting if they too have transcription features enabled in the meeting policy they are assigned, including external users.

Prior to the release of the meeting Transcript in March 2021, the transcription setting only controlled whether meeting recordings would have live captions available on them, now this controls the transcript feature as well.

Transcription features are not available in Meet Now meetings at the time of writing, but it is a new feature so this may follow.

Transcription is a meeting only feature and not available for calls.

If your organisation uses a compliance call recording third party tool, then that tool may have different functionality.  This article relates only to the standard Teams Meeting transcription features.

Downloading and Reviewing the Transcript

If you’ve used the transcript generated in classic Stream from meeting recordings, the actual transcript file will look very similar regardless of whether you download it in vtt or Word format.

If you view the transcript via the Recording & Transcript tab in the meeting entry via the Teams calendar after the meeting you see the transcript in the same format as during the meeting, with user pictures and timestamps showing as time of day not meeting duration time.

If there is more than one transcript, e.g. if the transcription is stopped and restarted during the meeting, then you will see multiple transcripts.

Featured

Meeting Transcription

There are two ways of displaying in text format what is said during a Microsoft Teams Meeting; Live Captions and Transcript. 

Live captions are shown on screen (usually at the bottom of the meeting screen) and disappear as new captions are generated.  Live captions are visible only to users who switch them on. Live Captions can also be switched on when watching recordings, but only if transcription was enabled for the meeting organiser.

The transcript appears in the side pane (same as meeting chat) which users can scroll during the meeting and is saved for download after the meeting.  Transcripts are visible to all meeting participants, including guests using the Teams app on PC or Mac.  If accessing a meeting from the Teams web app you will only be able see the transcript after the meeting via the chat or meeting details.

Your Teams administrator can control if these features are available for you, so not everyone will have this functionality.  If you do not have these options and you need them, please discuss with your Teams administrator.

 To start the transcript, from the … Menu choose Start transcription

 You will see the banner confirming transcription has started.

Other participants will also get a notification.

 The transcript is visible in the side box

and can be displayed, hidden or stopped from the … menu 

If you then choose to record the meeting for sound & video as well as transcribe the meeting, the banner notification includes both transcript and recording information.  Here the recording was started after the transcript

 And you can still access the meeting recording from the chat, as normal.

 When stopping a recording yet still running the transcript you see the normal stop recording message

 Followed by the banner indicating the meeting is still being transcribed

And this banner shows the transcription has stopped but the recording continues.

 Once you stop transcribing the meeting you see a banner confirmation that it has stopped. 

 After the meeting is over, the recording and transcript are available from the meeting details in the Teams calendar

 and also under the Recordings & Transcripts tab

where you can also download the transcript, as a Word document or video text transcript (vtt) file.

 Using Transcripts with People from Other Organisations

 If people have transcripts feature enabled then you can use transcripts with users from other organisations too.  On the left in this image, you see the view for the meeting organiser and on the right the attendee from another organisation.  Only people from the same organisation as the person who set up the meeting can start the transcript but people from other organisations can view it, both during and after the meeting.

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My Favourite Virtual Background Sources

Apart from creating my own backgrounds in PowerPoint which I covered in an earlier post, these are my personal favourite sources for background images for virtual meetings. Create your own Teams backdrop using PowerPoint – The Teams Queen Blog

Ikea https://backgroundsbyikea.com/

Microsoft 

Warner Bros https://www.warnerbros.com/news/articles/2020/07/08/virtual-backgrounds-microsoft-teams-calls

Featured

Manage Teams Meeting Options

Teams meeting options are how you can control who can do what in your meeting.  In the Education sphere this control is essential but they are also very useful in many other scenarios.

Once you are into the meetings option screen let’s look at what the settings mean and which you should choose.

Lobby

The lobby settings allow you to protect your meeting from uninvited guests.  The Invited Users setting is probably the best in most scenarios, however at the time of writing this option is rolling out and not available to everyone yet, so  the second best is people in my organisation or Just Me.  After all you don’t want any ‘Zoom bombers’ invading your Teams meeting.

Callers are people who join via a phone call, if that feature is available to you, and you can also choose to put these dial-in users into the lobby too.

Presenters

Before diving into these options you do need to consider the 3 roles in a Teams Meeting (see https://bit.ly/3qgQ5Yj for full details).  To simplify, when you create a meeting you are the organiser and have full control of the meeting and all features, presenters can share content, their video and mute/unmute while attendees only have the ability to unmute if the organiser allows.

CapabilityOrganizerPresenterAttendee
Speak and share videoYYY
Participate in meeting chatYYY
Share contentYYN
Privately view a PowerPoint file shared by someone elseYYY
Take control of someone else’s PowerPoint presentationYYN
Mute other participantsYYN
Prevent attendees from unmuting themselvesYYN
Remove participantsYYN
Admit people from the lobbyYYN
Change the roles of other participantsYYN
Start or stop recordingYYN
Set Meeting OptionsYNN
View Attendance Report During MeetingYNN
Control Breakout RoomsYNN

Mute

Often attendees join with a lot of background noise.  If you are running a training or briefing style meeting this can be very disruptive, so it may be appropriate to mute attendees and block them from unmuting.  This option is also one that is often changed during a meeting.

Chat

Meeting chat is a useful addition to a meeting, but when it continues after a meeting or is abused by attendees then it can become a distractor.  Like the allow to unmute setting, this can be changed during a meeting at need.  Only allowing chat during the meeting, does not mean the chat disappears after the meeting, but that it becomes read only once the meeting ends.

Reactions

Reactions are visible feedback which show on screen and can be used to engage with the presenter.

Coming Soon – Video Availability settings to block attendees switching on their video is due to start rolling out in April 2021 (see Microsoft 365 Roadmap | Microsoft 365)

To access the meeting options before the meeting use option 1 or 2 below.  To access the meeting options during the meeting I prefer option 4 below as you don’t leave the meeting, but option 3 will take you to the same page as options 1 & 2, if you prefer.

  1. From Teams Calendar:
  1. From Meeting Invite:
  1. During the meeting
  1. During the meeting within the meeting interface
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Why Teams Queen? – The Impact of The Community

(acronyms listed at the end of the article)

I’ve called my new blog Teams Queen, after friends in the community started calling me their “Teams Queen” in recognition of the help I’ve given them with Microsoft Teams.

With today being the day of the 2021 Scottish Summit, a great example of what the community can do and next week it’s Microsoft Ignite where we will be celebrating certificated professionals.  It seemed a great time to put out launch my new blog with this post about the Microsoft Certified Trainer community.

I LOVE being an MCT and wanted to share with you all why if you are an MCT I strongly believe you should engage with the community. So this blog shares what being involved in the community has given me personally and professionally.

Microsoft 
#ProudToBeCertified 
aka. ms/ProudT03eCertified

I am an independent trainer and have been working as a full time freelance professional since 2005, focussing mainly on training and more recently consultancy too.  I’ve been in training and education in some form or other since gaining my PGCE in 1996 and have been an MCT since 2008, though I was a MOUS Master Instructor for nearly 2 years before I became an MCT, as in those days Office certifications had their own instructor program before it was merged with the MCT program.

Having left teaching after a fixed term contract and fallen into IT training by accident in 1998/9, the Office certifications and the ECDL were a gateway to knowledge and skills in my new profession and at the time were a HUGE step for me.  Computers were not really my friend at this point, but by working for these certifications I learnt and was soon hooked on IT.  But I passed the exams, applied to and was accepted into the MOUS Master Instructor program and my IT Training career was born.

Fast forward to 2017 and I was starting to wonder why I kept renewing my MCT.  It was starting to feel like a useless badge. If I’m honest, I kept renewing mainly for pride but it wasn’t really worth the cost and if I’m honest, I didn’t see any other benefits being an MCT.  Especially once the Office 365 licence benefit was withdrawn.

Then in 2017, I got an email from one of the UK regional leads about an event they were holding at the Microsoft Campus in Reading in the October.  Now I didn’t even know such things happened and hadn’t ever received such a message before so had no idea what a regional lead was, let alone that there was a whole community of MCTs.  I mainly went as I was interested in seeing the Reading offices and learning a bit more about this Azure thing that seemed to somehow link the Office 365 which I was now mainly training on.  Oh how naïve I was!

I’d been training Office365 since about 2013 (Aug 2013 was the first course I have delivered focused on Office 365 as a whole) , but it was that event in 2017 when I first became aware of the MCT community and realised just how much was going on and what other trainers were doing, as well as how little I actually knew about some parts of 365 and cloud, but also how much I knew about others areas.  That event was a catalyst for me to drive to the next level.  I wanted to be a certified 365 administrator and train the official courses.  I felt I was so close, though having no technical background it was a struggle.

After that UK event in 2017, and another in 2018 then the MCT Global Summit in Germany in Oct 2018 I gained the motivation (and confidence) to try for the Office 365 certifications. It took me a few more months after that to get my first Microsoft 365 certification, mainly as I ended up waiting for the role based certifications early in 2019.

By the time the European MCT Summit rolled around in September 2019, I had friends in the MCT community and even got up the courage to speak at the event to try and encourage others to follow in my footsteps.  Now, no-one’s first conference speech is an amazing success, but mine was well received, plus I got a lot of helpful comments and constructive feedback.  My biggest gain at that event though was that I really now understood what was going on.

After those two international events as well as friends in the community I had I had also gained a network of people who encouraged me, helped when I asked and referred work to me too.  In the space of 18 months I’d gone from being disillusioned with being an MCT to gaining professionally and personally from being a part of a community I had been missing out on.

As a result of getting involved in the MCT community I’ve been to more community events and conferences (not just those for MCTs), gained many more professional contacts, met more MCTs, am now delivering the MOC courses, helped others get started with their MCT benefits and generally got more involved in the MCT Community. But the biggest thing this community has given me from a professional perspective was the support and motivation to take the steps I wanted to enhance my career.  Without that one email in 2017 and that one event, none of that would have been possible.

Acronyms in this post

MOUS –  Microsoft Office User Specialist (now MOS: Microsoft Office Specialist)

MCT – Microsoft Certified Trainer

PGCE –  Post Graduate Certificate in Education, a Teaching Certificate for UK schools open to those already having a degree

ECDL – European Computer Driving Licence

MOC Courses – Microsoft Official Curriculum Courses

Featured

Virtual Training – Elgato Stream Deck Mobile

A couple of days ago I posted a blog on my using a green screen, OBS Studio and Microsoft Teams. In it I mentioned Stream deck from Elgato as a possible alternative to needing 3 screen to use full screen projection in OBS Studio. The paragraph went

You could also use a scene switching piece of hardware for controlling the scenes. I tend to also open the meeting chat in the browser version of Teams on my control screen, though you could do that from a mobile phone or tablet rather than 3rd screen, if you went with the hardware based solution. Something for me to consider as a next step if the virtual training keeps going.

https://m365train.co.uk/2020/05/03/green-screen-teams-and-obs-studio/

Well it seems there is a software version which comes in much more cost effective.

Stream Deck Mobile is a mobile app that does the same thing as the hardware. Having found this I decided to test it out and this blog is what I found out and how you too can set it up. There is a subscription cost for the app but you can pay for 5+ years subscription for less than the physical device and you get the first month free to test it out. Or use both if you want to.

Getting Set up

Install the app on your mobile device – search or app store or go to https://www.elgato.com/en/gaming/stream-deck-mobile on your mobile device and follow the links. You will need to sign up for a subscription which will give you a one month trial.

Stream Deck subscription screen on iOS

The mobile app will prompt for a QR code, but you when activated, which you get from the desktop app, so you also need to install desktop software from https://www.elgato.com/en/gaming/downloads

Once installed, open Stream Deck on your PC & Phone and connect using a QR code. Follow the steps in the images below.

On the PC , pick Add Mobile Device… to display QR code
Switch to mobile device when you see the code
Scan QR code displayed in your PC from this screen. If the QR scan screen is not showing see next image to continue
IF QR scan code is not showing, tap the gear icon (bottom right)
Then tap Add Connection. You can also use Add Connection to connect to a different device.

You can now start customising the buttons on your deck. To do this find the item in the action list and drag to a button position. Rotate your phone to landscape to use otherwise the layout between PC and phone doesn’t line up!

The first thing I added was a scene from OBS Studio. I decided to keep the scenes in the same order I had them in OBS Studio and keep the same names.
Enter the title, then adjust display and font options on the title from the T button
Choose the scene you require
To customise the icon, you can upload an image or click Create New File to open the Key Creator website.
Create your own button using a web based tool by adding icons, text, images and then, click save key to download the compiled image. I recommend that you save the images in a folder just for these icons so they are all in the same place. This will make for easier backup/alteration etc.

Repeat until all the required scenes or other buttons are added to your Stream Deck.

Another great feature is the ability to launch a website or application on your PC from the deck. I regularly open the same set of web pages during training courses, so I created multi action button to open multiple web pages.

Add a multi action button, give it a name, then drag the required actions into the action.
Set the properties on each action in the group

In my blog about creating a Do Not Disturb light I was using a flic button, but you can also include switches for Hue bulbs in your Stream Deck.

First click on More Actions button at the bottom of the list of actions, search for and install Hue connections
I then created a muti action button which let me switch on and set the colour on my dedicated Do not Disturb light.

My Strem Deck as it stands, but I think it will evolve as I start using it.

I did leave the Welcome key in place for now, to access the welcome blog again if needed. The blog is:

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Using Flic and Hue to build a Do Not Disturb light

Its April 2020 and due to Covid-19 a lot of us are working from home, trying to find quiet nooks to hold conference calls without inappropriate interruption from family members.

There are some great articles out there on building your own automated “Do not Disturb” lights and also some great products, but I decided that I needed one that was a little more manual, but still a bit geeky.

Why?

  • I like technology so it needed to be a little geeky
  • I’m not a developer – firmly no code here if I can possibly get away with it
  • I’m working across 5 different Microsoft Teams Logins as a member of teams in 11 organisations – so which log in would I automate from? (One of the downsides to being a consultant)
  • We have multiple people in the same house who need to indicate their Do Not Disturb Status and not all of that is triggered by Teams

The solution I chose was to program a Flic button for each of us and set up a Hue light near the entrance to each persons work are to let each other know if we were available or not.

Our system now works like this. We are lucky enough to be able to each use a different room to work in, so we close the door to the room to indicate we are working and then set the light to red/green to indicate if we can be disturbed.

  • Closed door & red light = Do not enter, send me a text if its urgent
  • Closed door & green light = Busy, but you can come in
  • Open door (regardless of light status) = I’m happy to see you 🙂

Each Flic is programmed the same and we have them linked to a Flic hub, so they work even if our phones are out of range/off. (See https://flic.io/) The flic buttons are programmed from the mobile app. You also need a Philips Hue hub and colour change light. But Flic does integrate with other smart bulbs and IFTTT too, so there are quite a few options to recreate this. These are the steps assuming you already have a Philips Hue bridge and lights but are new to Flic.

  1. Buy your button
  2. Download the app
  3. Follow the instructions in the app to add your hub and/or button.
  4. Give the button a name once you have added it
  5. Tap the + beside the action and pick Philips Hue
  6. Follow the instructions to connect your Philips Hue bridge – you’ll need to be close to the bridge to do this as you’ll have to press the button on the top of the bridge.
  7. Pick the light and setting you require. Below is my button and the ‘Click’ setting to switch on the red light:
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Channel Notifications

Are you a member of a Team across more than 1 organisation/Office 365 Tenant? I use Channel Notifications to help me keep on top of the less well used teams.

NOTE: A Tenant used to refer to the part of the whole of Microsoft365 which you as an organisation rent. Many organisations have only 1 tenant but larger or more complex organisations may have more than one.

Currently (April 2020) the experience of being a member of a Team in another companies tenant can be challenging, especially if you are a member of quite a few teams across multiple organisations. Switching between tenants is much smoother than it used to be but can still be a challenge.

Keeping on top of what is going on can be a challenge. The are:

  • Have the other tenant open in different web browser profiles
  • Use a different device for each tenant (not practical/feasible for most people)
  • Use Notifications

In this blog I’ll concentrate on using notifications.

First – in you main tenant, check your general notification settings. If you have a very busy Teams environment make sure you are not going to be inundated with notifications with the settings you choose. My main tenant is quite light in Teams usage but any posts where I am tagged typically need my attention quickly, hence the once every 10 minutes setting on missed activity emails.

Secondly – if you use Teams on a mobile check those notification settings too. But remember the notification settings here are per device not per organisation.

Thirdly – In the tenants you dont normally work in check the tenant wide settings for notifications as per step 1.

Finally – In the tenant/org you are not normally working in, go to the important channel(s) and click …. next to channel name then choose channel notifications. Set it as appropriate for you.

At this time the world is struggling to cope with COVID-19 and the movement restrictions needed to fight the rapid spread of the virus. As more organisations turn to Microsoft Teams to help keep business and education going we all need to ensure we can see what is happening across our teams.

Yet when we go back to normal, these skills will still be useful. Just remember, you are an individual. What works for you may not work for others – if the settings I suggest don’t work for you, pick different ones, but at least now you know where to find them.

The Viva Realist

Did you attend the Microsoft 365 User Group on 8th December 2021? Lesley Crook (Twitter Linked In) & I presented “Microsoft Viva: The Pitch, The Use, The Config”.

Whilst Lesley is the Viva Visionary, I’m the Viva Realist, presenting the current state of the Viva tools as well as how to configure the Viva modules. You can get details of the Viva Vision (the pitch and purpose) from Lesley’s own blog here.

You’ll find more of my articles on Microsoft Viva, by clicking on the Viva link at the top of this page.

Viva Connections

Connections brings your SharePoint based Intranet into Teams. With the use of the SharePoint Global Nav Bar and Viva Connections Dashboard & Feed webparts it can bring the whole of your SharePoint into Teams whilst simplifying the navigation process for users and integrating Yammer as well as custom tools to give a holistic approach to communication.  The Viva Connections Feed combines SharePoint news with Yammer community announcements whilst the Dashboard uses cards to include other apps and tools, such as tasks, holiday booking apps, shift management, etc.

This is what Viva Connection in the desktop and web version of Teams looks like for me today:

Viva Connections with App icon highlighted in Teams side rail

Clicking onto the Viva Connections icon a second time brings up the SharePoint Global Navigation bar.

Global Navigation menu showing curated navigation, followed sites and news with Viva Connections app icon highlighted in Teams side rail

On mobile the first tab shown is the dashboard

Then you can pull up the feed, from the second tab

And the final tab give the resources or the SharePoint Global Navigation Bar

Setting up Viva Connections

To implement Viva Connections you need to:

1.Have an intranet in SharePoint

2.Make your Intranet site the “Home Site” Set a site as your home site – SharePoint in Microsoft 365 | Microsoft Docs

3.Set up SharePoint Global Navigation Use the new SharePoint app bar and set up global navigation – SharePoint in Microsoft 365 | Microsoft Docs

4.Deploy the Viva Connections App into Teams for your users  (via Teams Admin Center)

What you get out of Viva Connections depends upon the use made of SharePoint intranet and Yammer.  To bring Yammer into Viva Connections we use the Viva Connections Feed or Yammer web parts on your SharePoint Home Site. For details on creating a Home Site for use with Viva Connections use this article.

To make the most of Microsoft Viva you need to configure a dashboard, this is essential for your mobile users as they land on the dashboard first. You may also want to consider which cards go on the dashboard. We’ve added the SharePoint Intranet homepage as a card, so it’s available from the landing tab for mobile users. Your desktop users will also need the feed and dashboard so do add those as web parts to your home page.

Viva Connections is included in all Microsoft 365 plans which include SharePoint with no additional licensing requirements. At present there are no additional features available when purchasing the Viva suite but the suite will unlock integration between modules going forward.

With a brief step into the role of the Viva Visionary, the future promises more cards for the dashboard and further integrations with more of Office 365. Don’t forget you get the full visionary details from this presentation in Lesley’s own blog here.

Viva Topics

Viva Topics is about unlocking the knowledge trapped inside your Microsoft 365 silos. There must be millions of files which get created, used one and never see the light of day again, yet contain many gems of information. Viva topics is about using the power of AI plus human oversight to discover topics from this information and surface the knowledge to users in the natural flow of their work.

At present Viva topics ONLY surfaces in SharePoint pages.

The Topic Center, from where topics are managed is not the most exciting looking SharePoint site, but its the topic pages themselves which are most interesting. Click the thumbnail below to see a full topic page example from my tenant.

Topic Center
SharePoint Page showing highlighted topic & topic card

Viva Topics is not suitable for all organisations, there is a minimum amount of data and activity that you need before it can work as designed.

That said Viva topics is working in my tenant which is primarily a one user tenant, though it does have 20 years of training content in it and the files are in regular use including updating and reworking.

Set up Viva Topics

For more detailed information, view my blog on setting up Viva Topics.

Viva topics is not included in any Office or Microsoft 365 plan. Full details on Viva licensing is available here.

With a brief step into the role of the Viva Visionary, the future roadmap for Viva Topics is congested. Not just more places where topics will surface (Teams messages, Office documents and emails), but also controls for editing and creating topics, integration with SharePoint Managed Metadata, Sensitivity Labels and Yammer Q&A. Don’t forget you get the full visionary details from this presentation in Lesley’s own blog here.

Viva Learning

Viva Learning today is working nicely on desktop, mobile and web editions of Microsoft Teams and is properly the Viva module attracting the most attention today. Though it is worth while noting that Viva Learning on mobile is a simplified user experience compared to web and desktop.

Setting up Viva Learning without integrating your own resources, requires only verifying the options in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center under Settings -> Org Settings -> Services -> Viva Learning then approving & deploying the app from the Teams Admin Center. Remember you will need to approve the app in App Settings, then ensure the app is approved for your users from the App Permission Policies and finally add to the appropriate App Set Up Policies if you want to automatically add to teams for users.

If you are going to add your own content to Viva Learning then you need to determine where you want to host the list of content to be added to Viva Learning. This site must be accessible to ALL users on your tenant, with at least read permissions. The content does not need to be held in that same site. Currently only 1 SharePoint site per organisation is supported.

When you add the site to Viva Learning config in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center under Settings -> Org Settings -> Services -> Viva Learning then a new list is added to that site called Learning App Content Repository. To this list you add the URL of folders which contain the learning materials. Viva Learning users will see all content included in the list but only be able to access the content they have permissions to.

To find out more about Viva Learning for admins see Here comes Viva Learning – The Teams Queen Blog and for users see First Steps Using Viva Learning – The Teams Queen Blog

The basic edition of Viva Learning is included in every paid Office 365 plan which includes Microsoft Teams. However full functionality is only available with paid licenses.

You should also note that recommending learning is NOT the same as assigning learning. Assigned learning refers to a feature that is only available with LMS (learning Management System) integration and depends on the LMS supporting such integration.

With a brief step into the role of the Viva Visionary, please do note the future integrations available with the Viva Suite license. Microsoft are promising many more such integrations in the future which will only be available with the suite license, not the individual add-ons. Don’t forget you get the full visionary details from this presentation in Lesley’s own blog here.

Viva Insights

Viva Insights (personal) does not require much set up at all. It is, in fact, on by default within your tenant and the Teams app is approved and available by default too. You can configure the insights emails and Outlook add in in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center under Settings -> Org Settings -> Services -> Viva Insights.

Setting up the Manager & Organisation insights is a very different matter. This uses the Workplace Analytics functionality and is only available with the paid plan. For more details on setting up the paid plan see Setting Up Viva Insights With Per User Plan – The Teams Queen Blog

Privacy is a key principle to consider with Viva Insights and is hard coded into the product. The image below shows Viva Insights My Organisation view when the company is below 10 users. A minimum of 10 users are required in each category before the metrics are even populated! Personal insights are only available to the individual and very few metrics are available for managers of teams under 10 people. All to ensure the privacy of the individuals about whom the data is collected.

You can learn more about privacy in Viva Insights from these resources:

As already mentioned, Viva Insights has included and paid tiers. The ‘free’ version is included with paid plans that include Exchange Online. This version gives primarily personal insights. The Teams and Organisation insights are unlocked with the paid plan and so are “Premium Personal Insights”, which has not yet been fully defined by Microsoft.

With a brief step into the role of the Viva Visionary, personally I am looking forward to the delay delivery options for chat messages in Teams; Scheduling Quiet Time (like focus time currently) but muting all notification from the account on all devices and the extension of focus time to include productivity timers and music. Don’t forget you get the full visionary details from this presentation in Lesley’s own blog here.

Getting Started with Viva Topics

Did you catch the launch of Microsoft Viva? If not you might want to have a look at the Viva homepage and the Viva blog on Tech Community.

Viva Topics is the second product (after SharePoint Syntex) which has come out of Project Cortex and is available as a 30 day trial now from https://aka.ms/BuyVivaTopics.

Call me curious, but I wanted to have a go. According to comments in the Viva Tech community it takes 2 hours to 2 weeks before Viva Topics is ready to go. It did take 2 days before my first suggested topic showed up, and I’m still at just the one suggested topic. So I’m not quite able to write a blog about how it works yet. But I thought I’d share the set up experience.

Having signed up for a trial and assigned my admin user a licence, I started in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center under Settings – > Org Settings -> Services and captured the screens as I went. I’ve also shared the information links shown on these screens.

Microsoft 365 admin center 
Znrgy Ltd 
Connect people to knowledge 
Search 
Help people discover subjects of interest v,ithin Office apps, SharePoint, and search results by setting up Viva Topics. Yau 
control how it works, who can see and edit topics, and where they're shown. Viva Topics respects your existing privacy, 
security, and compliance settings. 
Pe 
Get started 
At a glance 
Started 
Suggested role: SharePoint admin 
Viva Topics status: Inactive 
Topic center address: Not yet available 
Related features 
Automate content understanding 
user impact 
Viva Topics highlights topics of interest to your users in Microsoft 365 content 
experiences in the context of their work and in search. 
Users can click an the highlights to display a topic card. Topic cards deliver 
summary information about subjects like projects and acronyms. Topic cards 
include links to topic pages with further details. 
Topic pages provide the full view of a topic. Users see additional details about a 
topic, including all of the connected people, files, sites and connected topics. 
Selected users can edit the topic details on topic pages. 
Users will also see topic suggestions to add to their profile to help others find 
them based on their skills, projects and expertise. 
For your users 
Learn more about Viva Topics 
J Dark mode 
About Viva Topics 
Viva Topics uses relationships among topics, content, and people to discover 
subjects of interest to your organization based on the sources that you select. It 
delivers Al-powered knowledge in the farm af topic cards and topic pages. 
Discovered topics are only visible to people who already have access to the files 
that the topics were discovered in. 
Your users can improve Viva Topics by adding new topics, editing discovered 
topics, and providing feedback about topics and connections, as they use them. 
Topic pages roll up into a Topic center, which delivers a view of relevant 
knowledge across your organization. 
All site content available in search is indexed by Viva Topics once activated. Learn 
haw to review site search settings

Learn about Viva Topics https://support.microsoft.com/office/53620e12-ae00-4523-87cf-e935ae77d541

Review site search settings https://docs.microsoft.com/en-GB/sharepoint/make-site-content-searchable

Automate content understanding – Links to another set up page in your tenant

Pe 
Microsoft 365 admin center 
Viva Topics > Setup 
Topic discovery 
Topic visibility 
Topic permissions 
Topic center 
Review 
P Search 
hoose how Viva To ics can find to ics 
Choose how topics will be sourced. Existing security, compliance, privacy, and search 
craw" settings are enforced. Learn more 
Select SharePoint topic sources 
To improve the quality of results, select sites mith mare files and pages. All sites are crewed, 
but only topics and associated content from selected sites displayed by Viva Topics. 
@ All sites (recommended) 
O All, except selected sites 
C) Only selected sites 
O No sites 
Exclude topics 
Topics which contain the names specified mill be excluded from discovery This setting 
prevents sensitive topics from being displayed by Viva Topics. Learn more about excluding 
topics in your organization. 
@ Dont exclude anytopics 
C) Exclude topics by name 
Cancel

Learn more https://docs.microsoft.com/en-GB/sharepoint/make-site-content-searchable

Learn about excluding topics https://docs.microsoft.com/en-GB/microsoft-365/knowledge/set-up-knowledge-network

Microsoft 365 admin center 
Viva Topics > Setup 
Topic discovery 
Topic visibility 
Topic permissions 
Topic center 
Review 
P Search 
ho can see to ics and where the can see them 
Who can see topics 
Topic details show on topic pages, in search results and when topics are highlighted in 
content like SharePoint pages. Users can only see discovered topics when they have 
access to the files and pages the topic was discovered in. 
Everyone in my organization 
C) Only selected people or security groups 
O No one 
Back 
Next 
Cancel
Microsoft 365 admin center 
Viva Topics > Setup 
Topic discovery 
Topic visibility 
Topic permissions 
Topic center 
Review 
p Search 
Permissions for to ic mana ement 
Who can create and edit topics 
Choose who can create new topics or update topic details such as the description, 
documents and connected people. 
Everyone in my organization 
C) Only selected people or security groups 
O No one 
Who can manage topics 
Choose who has access to the Topic management dashboard to review topics across the 
organization. These knowledge managers can perform actions such as confirm, reject 
and view feedback on topics. They can also view, create and edit topics. 
Everyone in my organization 
C) Only selected people or security groups 
(0) 
Back 
Next 
Cancel
Microsoft 365 admin center 
Viva Topics > Setup 
Topic discovery 
Topic visibility 
Topic permissions 
Topic center 
Review 
P Search 
Create topic center 
The topic center is a SharePoint site where users have a personalized view of 
relevant knowledge across your organization and knowledge managers can 
manage topics. Topic pages are hosted here. 
Site name* 
Topic Center 
Site address 
../sites/ 
v Topics 
https://fennah.sharepoint.com/sites/Topics 
Available 
Description 
Destination to learn more about topics in the organization and see a personalized view 
of topics associated to you 
Back 
Next 
Cancel
Pe 
Microsoft 365 admin center 
Viva Topics > Setup 
Topic discovery 
Topic visibility 
Topic permissions 
Topic center 
Review 
P Search 
Review and finish 
Review the settings for Viva Topics. Topic discover,' and topic center creation will begin 
immediately after applying the settings. 
Select SharePoint topic sources 
All sites (recommended) 
Edit 
Exclude topics 
Don't exclude any topics 
Edit 
Who can see topics 
Everyone in my organization 
Edit 
Who can create and edit topics 
Everyone in my organization 
Edit 
Who can manage topics 
Everyone in my organization 
Edit 
Topic center name 
Topic Center 
Edit 
Topic center address 
Topics 
Edit 
Back 
Cancel
Pe 
Microsoft 365 admin center 
Viva Topics > Setup 
Topic discovery 
Topic visibility 
Topic permissions 
Topic center 
Review 
P Search 
Review and finish 
Review the settings for Vive Topics. Topic discovery and topic center creation will begin 
immediately after applying the settings. 
Select SharePoint topic sources 
All sites (recommended) 
Edit 
Exclude topics 
Don't exclude any topics 
Edit 
Who can see topics 
Everyone in my orgenization 
Edit 
Who can create and edit topics 
Everyone in my orgenization 
Edit 
Who can manage topics 
Everyone in my orgenization 
Edit 
Topic center name 
Topic Center 
Edit 
Topic center address 
Topics 
Edit 
Back 
Applying settings 
Settings are applied and rnay take a few 
minutes. Please do not dose the window. 
Cancel
Pe 
Viva Topics > Setup 
Topic discovery 
Topic visibility 
Topic permissions 
Topic center 
Review 
Viva Topics activated 
With activation, you've applied the preferences, created the topic center and begun 
topic discovery. As Vive Topics discovers topics, people with access can view highlights 
and topic pages in the topic center. The number of topics available will increase over 
time. The mare content in the sources, the more topics will be found over time. 
Select SharePoint topic sources 
All sites (recommended) 
Exclude topics 
Dont exclude any topics 
Who can see topics 
Everyone in my organization 
Who can create and edit topics 
Everyone in my organization 
Who can manage topics 
Everyone in my organization 
Topic center name 
Topic Center 
Topic center address 
Topics
Microsoft 365 admin center 
Znrgy Ltd 
Connect people to knowledge 
P Search 
Help people discover subjects of interest v,ithin Office apps, SharePoint, and search results by setting up Viva Topics. Yau 
control how it works, who can see and edit topics, and where they're shown. Viva Topics respects your existing privacy, 
Pe 
security, and compliance settings. 
Completed 
At a glance 
Suggested role: SharePoint admin 
Viva Topics status: Active 
Topic center address: /sitesnapics 
Related features 
Automate content understanding 
user impact 
Viva Topics highlights topics of interest to your users in Microsoft 365 content 
experiences in the context of their work and in search. 
Users can click an the highlights to display a topic card. Topic cards deliver 
summary information about subjects like projects and acronyms. Topic cards 
include links to topic pages with further details. 
Topic pages provide the full view afa topic. Users see additional details about a 
topic, including all of the connected people, files, sites and connected topics. 
Selected users can edit the topic details on topic pages. 
Users will also see topic suggestions to add to their profile to help others find 
them based on their skills, projects and expertise. 
For your users 
Learn more about Viva Topics 
Manage this feature 
Viva Topics dashboard 
J Dark mode 
About Viva Topics 
Viva Topics uses relationships among topics, content, and people to discover 
subjects of interest to your organization based on the sources that you select. It 
delivers Al-powered knowledge in the farm af topic cards and topic pages. 
Discovered topics are only visible to people who already have access to the files 
that the topics were discovered in. 
Your users can improve Viva Topics by adding new topics, editing discovered 
topics, and providing feedback about topics and connections, as they use them. 
Topic pages roll up into a Topic center, which delivers a view of relevant 
knowledge across your organization. 
All site content available in search is indexed by Viva Topics once activated. Learn 
haw to review site search settings

When you first visit the Topics dashboard (i.e. the SharePoint site you created) it will be blank and you may think it hasn’t worked. Just leave it to do it’s thing for at least 2 hours and then you’ll see the Get Started page and Manage topics page populate with the webparts. Here’s the Get Started page and it’s links.

Learn about the 3 steps: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=2135146

Intro to Knowledge Network: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=2135200

Understanding Topic Discovery: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=2135147

Manage Topics: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=2134948

Eventually, your home page will start to show you recommended topics but these will take a bit longer to have more information in, so I’ll return with another post when I have more to see.