On Thursday, March 19th, we, the Microsoft Teams for Government team, hosted our first Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) of 2020 on the Public Sector Tech Community. Various team members across the US participated and eagerly answered questions that were posted in the Government AMA space. You can find a list of the team members that participated in this AMA at the end of the blog so you can start following them.
We were excited to see so many of you participating asking questions, reviewing answers and connecting with our team and your community!
Below are some of the questions we received and answered during the one-hour AMA. We did not modify these questions and answers; we only removed greetings like “Hello” and “Thank you”:
Q: Can we please have an End user training resources for GCC? There are a lot of information in the end user training but some features are not available for GCC . Users are getting excited when what they just saw a feature in the training site and getting disappointed when it is not available in GCC.
A: This is a great question! Here are some great resources to get your end users started... https://aka.ms/GovernmentAdoption
Q: Are there limitations to development in Teams in GCC High? i.e. the ability to pull in proprietary organization applications?
A: Today it is not available! The reason is so that we ensure product compliance with apps. Remember that the Website tab is available in GCC High so if there are any custom or 3rd party apps with a web presence, you can pin into a Team using the Website tab as well.
Q: When can we see a better version of Planner? The capabilities right now for GCC are just a lite version.
A: You're correct that not all the features of teams has been delivered for the GCC environment, the current list of capabilities is listed on the Planner service description page here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Planner-for-Office-365-US-Government-585f3d44-17a7-4bb8-959... It is our intention to bring all possible features and capabilities that we've delivered to commercial to our GCC environment that comply with our compliance commitments for the environment. If there are a few critical features that you're looking for in Planner that have not yet been delivered please let us know and we'll provide that feedback to our Planner product team.
Q: When will Private Channels officially be available for GCC?
A: Private Channels in GCC is going through final QA validation now. It should be launched by the end of March.
Q: Are there any GCC specific resources that we can share with our users? They have been Googling and watching videos to become disappointed that they are unable to use the functionality. Does Microsoft plan on having learning resources specifically for the GCC? There is a high demand for this especially with COVID-19
A: This is a great question! Here are some great resources to get your end users started...
Q: Any roadmap for allowing Teams rooms in GCC High?
A: Planned for release later this year. More details to follow.
Q: Is Project for the web available to .edu customers? And we can integrate with Teams?
I have a Project icon on my O365 waffle, but it goes to Project Online.
A: We recommend that you pin any Project Online content using the Website Tab in Teams
Q: When can we look to record Teams sessions into Stream for GCC-High?
A: Two pieces to this - both planned for Q4CY20 (end of this calendar year) on Teams Recording and Stream availability.
Please see roadmap as well here for those items: https://transform.microsoft.com/resources/topics-industry/industry-for-government?tab=roadmap
Q: Are there still plans for pop-out chat windows?
A: Pop-Out chat windows are something that is still being worked on and has not been GA'd yet even for our Commercial customers. Once it deploys in Commercial, we will have a better timeline as to when it will be coming out to our US Gov Clouds.
Q: Hello, we are planning to move from O365 commercial to GCC High this year. Is there a resource that will show the feature differences between the commercial and GCC High versions of Teams?
A: For the latest update on feature availability and roadmap, you can check out the Microsoft 365 roadmap page and filter for Teams and GCC High. Here is a link with preset filters for Teams in GCC, GCC High and DoD. You can also checkout this technical documentation page as you plan for deployment in GCC High.
Q: I know DLP for Teams isn't available in GCC, but my understanding is that disabling peer to peer file sharing is possible. Are there instructions for enabling?
A: I would take a look at Conditional Access to see if that could help solve the need: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/control-access-from-unmanaged-devices
Q: When can we expect channel email addresses?
A: Channel email address are not coming to Teams in GCC, GCC High or DOD but we are looking into enabling some of the newer Outlook integrations, much like what we announced at Ignite last year.
Q: We have some organizations we work with that have developed their own document solution outside of SharePoint. Is integration with other document systems possible.?
A: Best way to tackle this is by using the Website tab and pinning that other ECM solution into a Team.
Q: When will inviting guest users or chatting with external organizations through teams be enabled in GCC High? At this time we are still unable to add guest users in Azure.
A: GCC High can federate for chat with external users in GCC and Commercial today. Guest Access is not available yet but is coming soon!
Q: One big question I have in relation to GCC High is can Streams be accelerated given the teleworking going on. Being to record Teams meetings and have the ability to have live events streamed to a lot of users is key now given the recent events. Is there anyway this can be moved up in the priority stack?
A: Thanks for the question. Our Stream team is working on all the engineering for our compliance commitments to bring Stream to the GCC High environment. Current roadmap for GCC High environment is Q4CY20. There are no current plans to be able to accelerate these dates, but we'll continue to share any timelines via the public roadmap once we're closer to launch at www.microsoft365.com/roadmap
Q: In addition to the audio license cost, is there a cost for using the dial-in number from the audio conference or making calls using Teams to other Teams members?
A: #1. Teams calls to/from one person using the Teams client to another person using the Teams client is included in the service.
#2. Teams calls to/from one person using the Teams client to another person using a regular phone requires the addition of Microsoft Phone System + either a Microsoft Calling Plan or Direct Routing.
#3. Teams Meetings are free for people using either the Teams client or joining via a browser. The addition of Audio Conferencing allows for people to dial into a meeting with a regular phone.
Q: With the recent events, adoption rate has sped up considerably since rolling Teams out at our City on February 2nd. I know Private Channels was suppose to be available in the GCC by March 1st, but has yet to arrive. When can expect for Private Channels to be available? Also, we are trying to now get emails into Teams, and right now need to copy and paste the email into a Post. Is there a timetable to have the email to channel feature in the GCC?
A: The feature team is working through final QA validation now. It is launching to GCC later than we wanted. But the team wants to make sure we get it right, and provide a positive experience. We're working hard to get it rolled out by the end of the month
Q: Is this a possibility today (doesn't seem to be possible in commercial)? If not when will it be possible to display a gov consent banner in teams? Let's say you receive an invite today to join a government conference/meeting. Prior to being admitted to the lobby you will be prompted to accept a "US Department of Defense Warning Statement". This doesn't look possible to implement in Teams today, or is it possible and I'm missing it? If its not, will it be, and when?
A: I would highly suggest submitting this feature into the Teams User Voice (https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/). We take User Voice very seriously so be sure that this submission will be reviewed. Thank you!
Q: B2B / Guest Access between Government (National Cloud) and Commercial Cloud timeline. I heard that this is coming to GCC high / DoD. Based on documentation, currently b2b/guest access is only supported for national cloud to national cloud, right? When will it be possible to inter-operate between gov and commercial tenants via Guess Access / B2B in Teams?
A: The rollout for Azure B2B for Azure Government/GCC High is a multi-phased approach.
Phase 1- We have recently rolled out Azure B2B for some GCC High tenants. This allows for two GCC High B2B enabled tenants to configure identity federation. We will eventually enable it for all GCC High tenants. When enabled it will allow for guest access/Teams collaboration between two GCC High tenants.
Phase 2- We are developing the capability to enable GCC High tenants to enable B2B identity federation for the sharing of web docs (ODfB/SPO) to Commercial tenants and vice versa.
Phase 3- We are developing the capability to enable GCC High tenants to enable B2B identity federation with Commercial tenants for the Teams client. This will enable external collaboration via Teams.
The timelines for these phases are NDA so please connect privately with me or your account team.
Here is the public documentation regarding Azure B2B for Azure Government:
The following features have known limitations in Azure Government:
Q: We need to share links with all users in the organization, for example links to Microsoft training. What would be the best way to do it from within Teams? We have 10,000+ GCCH users, so org-wide teams are not an option.
A: The best way would be to use the Website tab in Teams and using that to pin training resources. Make sure to check out some of our IT Admin Training at https://aka.ms/TeamsAcademy
The website tab is available in GCC High but must be manually enabled. Check out these articles on how to:
Q: We would like to limit discover-ability of chat logs in PRA requests (like we do with S4B at the moment). Even an option for 1 day persistence would work! Will there ever be an option to make chat not persistent?
A: The way Teams chats are stored are slightly different than S4B. And as you know, S4B did not have persistent chat, stored its conversation history in the user's mailbox and could be easily deleted by the user. Teams stores its chats in the user's or Group's mailbox but is hidden from the end user having the ability to delete them. This is now an admin controlled function. Today, the least amount of time a chat can be stored is 30 days. We are looking at lesser time options but don't have a definitive timeline yet. I would check back on the https://aka.ms/M365Roadmap in the future for more details as to when it will be available for US Gov Clouds.
Q: This touches on Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive. We need to work with external parties. Some are suppliers, others our government customers. We need to move files and have conversations. How do we best enable this collaboration within CMMC requirements using the tools within GCC-High?
A: This depends on the CMMC level. Level 3 (CUI) would require both access control policies (IAW NIST 800-171) and asset management (labeling of CUI and policies for handling). There are a few approaches to enabling access for external parties. Please contact me privately or your account team.
Q: I am actually puzzled by this one. Shifts is a Microsoft product. We get request on a weekly basis requesting for using of Shifts. I do not see Shifts on the roadmap or discussion of this being in the GCC. Is there a workaround since Shifts is not available?
A: We understand the frustration. As much as we have innovated to expedite the process to bring our products to the compliant boundaries of GCC, GCC High and DoD - in addition to the required engineering work, we are also dependent on internal and external audits to achieve the accreditation that we promise in these environments.
Please stay tuned and refer here for the latest dates on feature availability and roadmap..
Q: I am getting request for assistance from government agencies, but those are very difficult to answer because of the gap between my commercial developer tenant and the GCC/GCCH tenant. The challenges in particular are admin settings and programmatic access (PowerShell, Graph).Is there a way for consultants to get access to a GCC/GCCH developer tenant?
A: Most agencies go the route of getting a 2nd tenant in their cloud just for testing purposes. Microsoft does not offer MSDN dev accounts with trial tenants in GCC, GCCH or DOD.
Q: I use PnP for provisioning Teams in the commercial cloud, but this is not available in GCCH. What method(s) do you recommend in GCC High? In my case, we are talking about possibly hundreds of teams to start this month.
A: Recommendations for current since PnP is not available would be a few things:
Hopefully those can help save you some deployment efforts for mass team creations!
Q: What about Power Automate - When will that be an option to automatically create Teams?
A: No timeline I see on that yet, features continue to improve and add for functionality within Power Automate though. I can see some good future use cases there to automate some other input sources to then go and create Teams on demand.
Also, if you haven't seen this page for any info on Power Automate for US Government please check it out: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-automate/us-govt
Also, here for some planned features (could be some differences on what lands in Gov - so keep that in mind. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-platform-release-plan/2019wave2/power-automate/planned-featur...
Q: When can we look to record Teams sessions into Stream for GCC-High?
A: Two pieces to this - both planned coming soon on Teams Recording and Stream availability.
**Correction on public roadmap (but keep in mind these dates are reflective of commercial and need to be confirmed for some to GCC/GCCH/DOD): https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/roadmap?filters=
10 For Office 365 Government G1, G3, and F3, Targeted release and the Office 365 for business roadmap apply; however, there may be some differences or delays for specific
Please watch this Tech Community blog and follow our user accounts to keep updated on future AMAs:
We will continue hosting Ask Microsoft Anything sessions to give you the opportunity to ask your questions directly to the team and to allow the growing Public Sector Tech Community to connect with each other. We are looking forward to see you all again at the next AMA. Stay Tuned!
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