Microsoft Teams is a communication and collaboration tool for groups to create content and share the information they need to work together. As part of the Microsoft 365 suite of tools, Teams makes it easy to have conversations, host meetings, share files and collaborate with teams within your unit (faculty, school, department, etc.) and across the university. Teams lets you work in a natural, conversational way, with everything you need in one place.
- Use interactive chat
- Synchronous editing and secure collaboration on files
- Host meetings online with options to record and desktop sharing
- Connect from anywhere via desktop, mobile, or web browser
Chat and meeting functionality is available by default to all users. Team sites are spaces created for collaboration and can be requested by employees only. Owners of Team sites are responsible for adding members to the Team, including faculty, staff, students and external guests. A request for a Team site for unit-level collaboration should involve a signing authority for the unit.
To request a Teams site, please ensure you are familiar with the information on this page as well as the Microsoft 365 , and complete the Request a team site form.
Install Microsoft Teams desktop app
Windows users can download the Microsoft Teams desktop app through the Windows Software Center from a Memorial-managed device.
Mac users can go to the Microsoft Teams download webpage, click on Download for desktop, and install.
Note: when Teams is installed, Windows may display a Windows Security Alert to let you know that Windows Defender Firewall has blocked some features of Teams. You can ignore this message by closing or canceling the window, and Teams will work fine.
- Multi-factor authentication is required. Set up Microsoft 365 sign-in for multi-factor authentication.
- Upload file size limit is 250GB and maximum Teams site storage limit is 1TB. Researchers can request an increase in the Teams site storage limit.
- Most built-in Teams apps are currently disabled by default.
- Access to Teams will end when a user no longer meets the eligibility requirements defined above.
- Memorial’s Microsoft 365 Terms and Conditions of Use apply to all services including Teams.
Managing information in Teams
- Teams should not be used as an archival records repository for the long-term storage of university records. When collaboration is completed on a Teams record, site owners should ensure it is saved in an alternative long-term records repository such as the shared drive. This is beneficial for a number of reasons including storage space considerations, the efficient discovery of materials responsive to a legal or ATIPP request, and to ensure there is a secure backup of files in case the site becomes inactive or is deleted. It is important to note that file backups are not created in Teams.
- Formal decisions should not be made using a Teams chat. If it is anticipated that a chat will involve making a decision, it is advised to move to another method to document formal decisions such as email or in meeting minutes. This is to ensure that business decisions are captured and that everyone on the team has access to those conversations.
- MUNCLASS records retention schedules can assist you to define appropriate retention requirements for university records. When in doubt, contact Information Management & Protection.
- Files moved to a Team’s Recycling Bin are permanently purged after 93 days.
- Chat retention:
- 1:1 or 1:many private chats outside of a Team site are retained for 29 days. Files shared within private chat messages are stored in the individual’s OneDrive account.
- Posts within a Team site are retained as long as the team exists. Files shared within channel “Posts” are stored in the Teams site.
- Meeting chats during all meetings (started from within or outside a Team site) are retained for 29 days.
- Meeting recordings retention:
- Recordings of all meetings (started from within or outside a Team site) are saved for 365 days. If recordings need to be kept for longer, they should be downloaded and stored in an alternate location.
- Inactive Teams sites are deleted after one year of inactivity with a warning to the Primary and Secondary Owners at 9 months. Users are responsible to move files based on MUNCLASS or their research requirements before a team is deleted.
- All content in Teams, including chats and recorded meetings are subject to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act 2015, SNL 2015 c. A-1.2 (‘ATIPPA, 2015’), the Management of Information Act, other applicable legislation and university policies, therefore, the same level of care regarding the content should be taken as with other university records and correspondence. Please note – exclusions do apply in the areas of research and teaching materials.
- Closing a team:
- When a Teams site or Channel is no longer active, transfer all relevant records to a central long-term recordkeeping repository such as the shared drive and then delete the Teams site or Channel.
- Examples of records that should be transferred prior to deletion of a Teams site or Channel are contracts, committee minutes, final reports, final versions of project deliverables, policies and guidelines and any other records that document university activities or business decisions.
- The use of private channels is not enabled at this time as it presents a number of challenges for both users and administrators. Alternatively, it is recommended to create additional Teams sites instead of creating private channels. Challenges with the use of private channels include:
- Feature shortcomings of a private channel as compared to a regular Teams site: Private channels do not support many of the apps that are available in a Teams site including Planner, Stream or Forms.
- Orphaned channels: It would be difficult to locate the owner if that employee departs, and if the owner leaves the organization the other channel members are automatically promoted to channel owners.
- Teams administration: in the event of a legal hold, ATIPP request or discovery request, it may be difficult to locate and secure documents in private channels.
A Teams site has 1TB of storage space by default. Researchers can request an increase to a Teams site storage limit when they are approaching 1TB by contacting the ITS Service Desk and providing the following information:
- How much space do you require? Keep in mind raw, processed, and analysed data
- How long do you need the additional storage space?
- What will you do with the data after the active portion of the project is complete? Note that Teams is not for storing research data in the long-term. Inactive Teams sites will be deleted after one year of inactivity with a warning to Teams site owners.
- Who is responsible for the data and how will you manage changes in responsibilities (e.g., a change of Primary Investigator)?