Teams Federation Guidance

The following article provides guidance for organisations to enable external communication with NHSmail’s Microsoft Teams service from their own Teams platform.

Please visit our guidance on external communication for more details.

Process for a new organisation to become federated

Organisations wishing to become federated with the NHSmail Microsoft Teams service must adhere to the process outlined in the guidance below.

For organisations seeking to become federated with NHSmail, the process starts by raising an Azure B2B allow list request for the domain that an organisation requires federating.

Azure B2B allow list requests can be raised via the NHSmail portal if the organisation already has an existing NHSmail presence. Guidance on how to raise a request can be found here: Create a Teams federation allow list request

NOTE

Please ensure that “Teams federation” is clearly stated in the business justification field on the Azure B2B request form before the allow list request is submitted on the NHSmail portal.

If an organisation does not have an NHSmail presence and wishes to federate, please contact feedback@nhs.net to ask for an Azure B2B allow list request to be raised on your organisation’s behalf.

If the domain listed in the Azure B2B allow list request meets the initial review criteria, the NHSmail Feedback team will respond with the Federation Partnering Agreement (FPA) and information regarding the minimum information security criteria (DCB1596 secure email standard) required for organisations who wish to federate with NHSmail.

The FPA must be completed and signed by a Director-level signatory for your organisation before being returned to feedback@nhs.net along with evidence that your organisation meets the minimum information security criteria.

Important

If your organisation’s domain has not been accredited to the DCB1596 secure email standard, please contact the NHSmail Feedback team directly to discuss equivalent standards.

Once returned, the completed FPA and compliance evidence will be reviewed and, if approved, submitted to the NHSmail technical team for the federation to be fully enabled.

Note

The domain listed on the Azure B2B allow list request will be approved at this stage. This is the first stage in the enablement process and does not mean that federation has been enabled for your organisation.

As part of the enablement process, an NHSmail technical contact will liaise with the technical contact listed in the FPA to ensure that the correct settings (detailed in the technical guidance section) have been applied and perform testing to ensure the service is operational.

Once fully enabled, confirmation that the federation process has been completed will be sent to your organisation by the NHSmail Feedback team.

Federation process

Full details of the Teams federation process can be found here: Introduction to team federation process and capabilities

Guidance for technical contacts

This section provides the steps for technical contacts at federated organisations to follow to ensure their platform is correctly configured for external communication with NHSmail users.

You will find steps below for organisations Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams guidance: 

1. Login to the Microsoft Teams Admin Centre.

2. In the left navigation, go to: Org-wide settings > External access

3. Ensure the “Users can communicate with other Skype for Business and Teams users” setting is turned on.

4. If you restrict external access to specific organisations, ensure “nhs.net”domain name is listed in the domains list (click on add a domain and add “nhs.net” as an allowed domain).

  1. Click ‘Save’

Refer to this article for additional support.

Support and troubleshooting

If issues are experienced with external communication between NHSmail and a federated organisation (e.g. a user is unable to instant message an NHSmail user), in the first instance the external user must contact their organisation’s IT support team.

If your organisation’s local IT support team are unable to resolve the issue, the single point of contact (SPOC) identified in the Federation Partnering Agreement can raise a ticket with the NHSmail Helpdesk for the issue to be investigated further.

Important Note

The NHSmail Helpdesk are only able to investigate issues related to the NHSmail side of the connection.

If there is a change in SPOC at the federated organisation, it is that organisation’s responsibility to notify NHSmail of this change.

Only the identified contacts within the FPA are authorised to request information or support from NHSmail.

 

Updated on 11/10/2021

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