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 set out the steps required to enable 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.
How to set up shared channels for my organisation?
To enable shared channels with a new or existing external organisation, you will need to submit a cross-tenant configuration request via the Helpdesk Self-Service (HSS).
There are 3 HSS request types to allow Local Administrators to submit cross-tenant configuration request for Teams shared channels.
Local Administrators can request to:
- Add a configuration for their NHSmail organisation to collaborate with an external partner organisation’s tenant
- Modify an existing configuration between their NHSmail and the external partner organisation’s tenants
- Remove a configuration for their NHSmail organisation
Once available, NHSmail organisations looking to collaborate with third party domains already configured with the shared tenant may do so through the assignment of the Teams shared channel policies – raising an HSS request is not required.
There are 6 policy options, each representing varied levels of sharing, inviting and joining permissions which Local Administrators can assign to users via the NHSmail Portal. For more information about Teams shared channel policies and permissions, please refer to this section of the Teams Shared Channels LA Guide article.
The HSS request forms will continue to operate for requesting new domains, updating the outbound groups for existing domains as well as editions and deletions.
Users assigned with Teams shared channel policies will be able to communicate and collaborate with all external domains configured for shared channels.
How to submit cross-tenant configuration requests for Teams shared channels?
This section sets out the required steps for an NHSmail Local Administrator to request, edit or delete a third party domain configuration for Teams shared channels.
Three Helpdesk Self-Service (HSS) request types are available for shared channels, the details of which can be seen below.
|Create||This request can be used by NHSmail organisations looking to configure a new external domain for shared channels (via Azure B2B Direct Connect).This request can also be used by NHSmail organisations looking to add their all user ODS security group for outbound traffic with a pre-configured domain (i.e. an organisation wanting to allow their users to be added to a shared channel hosted by a specific third party).|
|Edit||This request can be raised by NHSmail organisations on behalf of a third party domain looking to modify an existing shared channels configuration, e.g., adding a new security group ID to be configured for inbound traffic as supplied by the third party.|
|Delete||This request can be used by NHSmail organisations looking to remove an existing shared channels configuration for an NHSmail organisation, e.g., disallowing NHSmail outbound groups. Note that other NHSmail organisations may be collaborating with an external partner. In this case, only the outbound configuration for the specified groups will be removed. If the requesting NHSmail organisation is the only organisation configured with the external partner, then the entire configuration (via Azure B2B Direct Connect) will be removed (i.e. both inbound and outbound).|
How to submit a ‘Create’ request?
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 Azure B2B Direct Connect. To submit this type of request, Local Administrators should follow the steps below.
- Local Administrators should submit an HSS request form providing the required external domain information and contact details.
- The request form will ask for the list of NHSmail central tenant ODS codes the Local Administrator is looking to onboard, the permissions of which will be assessed against the NHSmail Portal mapping. These codes will be added to a nested security group configured to limit outbound traffic.
- Local Administrators will be required to accept the data sharing consent checkbox acknowledging associated data risk of using Teams shared channels, Federation, and B2B Guest Access.
- Local Administrators from the requesting NHSmail organisation will need to provide evidence (email) that the Partner Blueprint document has been shared with the external organisation and that they acknowledge/accept the configuration of their domain with the central tenant, or, that they accept the new NHSmail organisation will be added to the security group configured for outbound traffic with their domain.
- The requesting organisation is required to meet the DCB1596 secure email standards and/or ISO27001 certification standards and/or evidenced via an entry on the publicly available lists.
Once all pre-requisites have been validated, the NHSmail Service Desk will add the NHSmail side configuration and share the details with the requestor. It is responsibility of the local organisation to manage communication with the third party to ensure external configuration is added.
How to submit an ‘Edit’ request?
The ‘Edit’ request found here can be raised by NHSmail organisations on behalf of a third party domain looking to modify an existing configuration.
Once an external domain has been configured for shared channels, there may be a requirement to update the group ID previously supplied by the third party on initial set up. Edit requests must be submitted by an NHSmail organisation on behalf of the third party.
How to submit a ‘Delete’ request?
The ‘Delete’ request found here can be used by NHSmail organisations looking to remove the B2B Direct Connect configuration for a NHSmail organisation.
Only the configuration for the requesting NHSmail organisation and the external organisation will be removed to provide ongoing collaboration for other organisations.
The entire removal of an external organisation may occur when one of the following happens:
- The requesting NHSmail organisation is the only organisation configured with the external organisation.
- When the external organisation is no longer authorised for shared channels or falls outside of the mandated accreditation standards, by direction of NHS England and in coordination with the configured NHSmail organisations, reviewed on a monthly basis
What else do I need to know about submitting cross-tenant configuration requests for Teams shared channels?
Users assigned with Teams shared channel policies will be able to communicate and collaborate with all external domains configured for Azure B2B Direct Connect.
User level controls can be applied for the Teams shared channel policies via the NHSmail Portal when available in 2024 Q1. For more information, please refer to this section of the Teams Shared Channels LA Guide article.
The NHSmail tenant has no control over the third party configuration settings for outbound/ inbound traffic.
How to assign Teams shared channel policies?
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.
From 2024 Q1, new functionality will be delivered via the NHSmail Portal allowing Local Administrators to apply Team shared channel policies for users in their organisations. There are 6 policy options, each representing a different level of permissions which Local Administrators can assign to users via the NHSmail Portal.
The following policies are supported.
|Name||Description||Create Private Channels||Create Shared Channels||Invite External Users||Join External Channels|
|Global||The default for all users, Shared Channels disabled||On||Off||Off||Off|
|All Shared Channel Features
(all users configured for shared channels until Q1 2024)
|Create and participate in shared channels on both sides and able to invite external users into shared channels||On||On||On||On|
|Shared Channel Inviter||Able to create and add users to shared channels, but cannot participate in external shared channels.||On||On||On||Off|
|Join Externally Hosted Shared Channels||Able to participate in external shared channels only||On||Off||Off||On|
|Inviter Only||Invite only, not able to join external channels||On||Off||On||Off|
|Invite and Join Only||Invite and join shared channels||On||Off||On||On|
To assign policies, Local Administrators must navigate to the ‘Admin’ area of the NHSmail Portal, select ‘User Policy’ and choose the shared channel policies to be assigned to users.
Assigning users with the shared channel policy will allow them to collaborate with the approved external domains seen here to the extent their permissions allow.
The HSS request forms will continue to operate for requesting new domains, updating the outbound groups for existing domains as well as editions and deletions
Where can I find out more about Teams shared channels?
For more information, please refer to the additional guidance for Users and the guidance for Local Administrators. For more information about how to use Teams shared channels, please refer to the Using Teams Shared Channels article.
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||17/10/2023|