Shared channels in Microsoft Teams create collaboration spaces for people inside and outside your team or organisation. They offer a seamless and improved version of collaboration with those inside and outside of the NHSmail central tenant, helping to extend teamwork effectively and efficiently across organisational boundaries.
This article is intended to provide answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to the Teams shared channels functionality for NHSmail Local Administrators. For more information, please refer to the additional guidance for Local Administrators.
If you are a user wishing to take advantage of the Teams shared channels functionality to better collaborate with users from an external organisation, please contact your Local Administrator to discuss your requirements. For more information, please refer to the guidance for Users.
Teams Shared Channels Overview
The Teams shared channels functionality will provide the ability to directly invite a user from an external partner organisation to a channel. Once the user’s account has been added to the shared channel, they can collaborate in the channel without the need to switch tenants. For further information, please refer to the Teams Shared Channels Overview article.
A Teams shared channels should be used when there is a need to collaborate with a user from an external partner organisation. People outside of the NHSmail tenant will be able to participate in a shared channel without switching profiles. For further information, please refer to the Teams Shared Channels Overview article.
Teams Shared Channels Onboarding
Currently, the process to request the enablement of shared channels with a new or existing external organisation (domain) is administered via the Helpdesk Self-Service (HSS) route. Teams shared channel policies are applied to the requested all user ODS security groups via the request process. This means all users within the onboarded organisations requested by the Local Administrator as part of the process will be granted all permissions. It is the responsibility of the organisations to assess this position and accept the associated risk before proceeding.
From 2024 Q1, Local Administrators will be able to apply shared channel policies at user level via the NHSmail Portal allowing for immediate collaboration with the onboarded domains found here.
For further details, please refer to the Teams Shared Channels LA Guide.
Teams Shared Channels Cross-Tenant Configuration Requests
The ‘Create’ request found here can be used by NHSmail organisations looking to configure a new external domain, that is not yet listed here, for B2B Direct Connect. For further details regarding how to configure a new external domain and the required actions for Local Administrators, please refer to the Teams Shared Channels LA Guide.
The ‘Edit’ request found here can be raised by NHSmail organisations on behalf of a third party domain looking to modify an existing configuration. Edit requests must be submitted by an NHSmail organisation on behalf of the third party looking to modify an existing configuration. For further details regarding how to edit an external domain and the required actions for Local Administrators, please refer to the Teams Shared Channels LA Guide.
The ‘Delete’ request found here can be used by NHSmail organisations looking to remove the B2B Direct Connect configuration for an nhs.net organisation. For further details regarding the deletion of an external domain and the required actions for Local Administrators, please refer to the Teams Shared Channels LA Guide.
Teams Shared Channels Management
For full details and step by step instructions on how to set up a Teams shared channel, please refer to the Using Teams Shared Channels article.
In order to invite a user to a shared channel, shared channel members need to be shared channel Owners. Shared channel members cannot invite external users even if they are configured with a shared channel policy to invite external users, they must be an Owner. Teams members cannot invite external users even if they are configured with a shared channel policy to invite external users, they must be a Teams Owner. For further information on how to add members to a Teams shared channel, please refer to the Using Teams Shared Channels article.
It is the responsibility of Teams shared channel Owners to manage access for Joiners, Movers and Leavers (JML), as is reflective of the existing JML processes in place for Teams across NHSmail. Shared channel Owners need to add joiners, remove users that have transferred to another organisation, and remove users that have left NHSmail. Users are not automatically added or removed from the Team shared channel membership and will need to be managed by Team shared channel Owners.
Any shared channels you are a member of will appear in your Teams client. You can access the shared channels as you would in any other Teams channels, by clicking the name of the channel. For information on how to access Teams shared channels, please refer to the Using Teams Shared Channels article.
For full details and step by step instructions on how you can communicate in a Teams shared channel, please refer to the Using Teams Shared Channels article.
For full details and step by step instructions on how to manage in a Teams shared channel, please refer to the Using Teams Shared Channels article.
Incidents related to Teams shared channels can be raised via the Raise an Incident form for the Portal on the Helpdesk Self-Service (HSS) platform.
To view the member list for a shared channel, navigate to the channel name, and select ‘More options’, then ‘Manage channel’. A list of members in the Owners and Members tab will be viable.
All the accessibility features currently supported by Microsoft Teams consist of the following: screen read (Windows Narrator), live captions, zoom (Windows OS feature), high contrast mode, and immersive reader. All of which are available when using a shared channel for collaboration.
Stream, Planner, and Forms features are currently unable to be hosted within a Teams shared channel. For further information regarding available features within Teams shared channels, please refer to the Using Teams Shared Channels article.
Please see below the table highlighting the limits associated with Teams shared channels.
|Number of members in a team||25,000||Includes all distinct users across the team and direct members in shared channels in the team.|
|Number of shared channels per team||200 (includes deleted channels)||Hosted and shred with the team|
|Number of teams a channel can be shared with||50||Excluding parent team
This is when a channel owner uses the “share with a Team” option rather than adding individual external users.
|Number of members in a shared channel||5,000 direct members, including up to 50 teams (and all team members)||Real-time updates are only available to 25,000 users at a time and only 25k distinct users can “show” the channel in the channel list.|
Teams Shared Channels Policies and Permissions
The Teams policies control which shared channels features are available to users. The permissions associated with the Teams shared channel policies that are applied will dictate the extent to which users can collaborate.
Users assigned with Teams shared channel policies will be able to communicate and collaborate with all external domains configured for Azure B2B Direct Connect.
For full details and step by step instructions on how to assign policies in a Teams shared channel, please refer to the Teams Shared Channels LA Guide.
If you are added to the shared channel, depending on your permissions, you will be able to access any of the files and folders attached. These permissions are replicated in the automatically created SharePoint.
The ownership of the data will remain with the hosting organisation, even if information has been uploaded by colleagues from other organisations.
For further information, please refer to the Teams Shared Channels LA Guide.
Each shared channel has its own SharePoint site. The separate site is to ensure access to shared channel files is restricted to only members of the shared channel. These sites are created with a document library by default, and can be easily enhanced to a full-featured site through the site management interface. For further information, please refer to the Using Teams Shared Channels article.
For an overview of the owner and member responsibilities for shared channels regarding the ownership of actions for channel management, please refer to the Teams Shared Channels LA Guide.
Teams Shared Channels Security Considerations
For shared channels hosted on the NHSmail tenant, data will remain stored within the tenant. Several types of data can be stored in as shared channel including Chat messages, Files, Meetings, and Meeting recordings. In all cases, this data is stored in the Teams instances of the tenant that is hosting the shared channel. For more information, please view the NHSmail Data Retention and Information Management Policy page.
Once an invitation has been accepted to join a shared channel, the below data will be visible to internal colleagues. The information shared is limited to:
- Email address
- First name
- Last name
The current forensic discovery process is support and for more information please refer to the current Forensic Discovery Request guidance process. However, if the data is stored on the external tenant, a forensic discovery request is not available. This would then need to be requested through the external organisation.
In the NHSmail tenant, Microsoft Teams shared channels will follow the existing global data retention policy, which can be found here. Any data stored outside of the NHSmail in the external partners’ shared channel will be subject to their retention policy. The retention policy and process for external partners cannot be managed by the NHSmail service team.
If a sensitivity label is applied to the Team hosting the shared channel, the shared channel will automatically inherit that label. All restrictions from that sensitivity label will be applied to the shared channel. As with Standard and Private channels, the sensitivity label is displayed on Posts tab as a reminder to users. A full list of the sensitivity labels currently available on NHSmail can be accessed here. For more information, please refer to the Sensitivity Labels Scope and Requirements overview page.
You can also refer to the following Microsoft guidance for more information:
- Create a shared channel in Microsoft Teams
- Share a channel with people in Microsoft Teams
- Share a channel with a team in Microsoft Teams
- Why use a shared channel versus other channel types in Teams?
- Guests and shared channels in Microsoft Teams
- Shared channel owner and member roles in Microsoft Teams
- Manage shared channels in Microsoft Teams
|Last Reviewed Date||16/10/2023|