Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Adding a Custom Messaging Policy to the Team

This blog is part of a series on Teams. For more articles, check back often. 

Written: 09/10/2019 | Updated: N/A

Messaging policies are used to control which chat and channel messaging features are available to users within Microsoft Teams. For example, a business may not feel at ease with the Team using GIF’s or Stickers in what they class as corporate communications (I.e. in Sales or Finance), whereas it may not want the Team to edit or delete posts for auditing and compliance reasons. A great thing about Teams is that it isn’t just a one size fits all policy in terms of Messaging – sure, the organisation starts out with a global org wide policy, and this overarching policy can be amended to make changes to all users if required – but custom messaging policies can be implemented for specific users/teams too. Regardless of the debate as to whether aspects of messaging policies such as GIF’s ought to be used, the ability to add custom policies gives organisations much needed choice and flexibility to how they want messaging in Teams to be used and by whom.

WHY WOULD WE DO IT?

  • To determine what chat and channel messaging features are available
  • For compliance reasons
  • For internal policy reasons

PREREQUISITES

The following permissions are required for the Administrator who needs access to the Teams Admin Centre

  • Teams Service Administrator or
  • Global Administrator

Users need to be licenced for Teams (usually via Office/Microsoft 365)

HOW

1. Login at https://login.microsoftonline.com

TeamsMP1.PNG

2. Select Admin

TeamsMP2

3. Select Show All in the left nav bar and then Teams to access the Teams Admin Centre

TeamsMP3

4.  Select Messaging Policies. To amend the global org wide default policy for all users this policy would simply be selected, amended and saved. However, in this blog a new custom policy will be added to selected users in the Team. Select Add

TeamsMP4

5. Define the Messaging Policy and set a Name and Description. In this example policy  the ability for users for delete or edit messages has been restricted. The ability to use GIF’s, memes and stickers has also been restricted. URL previews, translation, immersive reader and priority notifications has been left on as well as voice message creation allowed in chats and channels.

Once the policy has been defined, select Save

TeamsMP6

6. Ensure the policy has been saved

TeamsMP7

Adding this to users can be done in two ways.

The first, or the older approach, is to select Users in the left nav and select the user that the policy will be applied to

TeamsMP8

7. Select Policies then Edit

TeamsMP9

TeamsMP10

8. Change the Messaging Policy to the new policy – in this case New Messaging Policy and then select Apply

TeamsMP11

9.) The second way – or newer way – which also makes it infinitely easier to bulk add can be done via Messaging Polices and then Manage Users

TeamsMP7

10.) Add all the users required and then select Apply. Note – to search for users the search item needs to be three characters long

TeamsMP14

Our work here is done.

Once the users who the messaging policy has been applied to log back into Teams the policy will be applied – as evidenced that user Lidia (to whom the policy was applied) can no longer post GIF’s, Meme’s or Stickers

TeamsMP12

Or edit or delete posts

TeamsMP13

USING POWERSHELL

If Powershell is the preferred management tool, the Skype for Business Powershell Module is needed as – at the time of writing- the Teams module doesn’t contain it

Applying the Messaging Policy to single user is via command

Grant-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy  -Identity “[UPN]” -PolicyName “[Policy Name]”

Applying it in bulk can be done by using a CSV file or user attributes as outlined here in this excellent blog by MVP Steve Goodman. If using an attribute, for example, department, it really is as simple as Steve describes – 1.) Get the users with the attribute, 2.) Apply the policy and 3.) checking it has applied

  1. Get-CsOnlineUser -Filter {Department -eq ‘[Department]’} | Select UserPrincipalName
  2. Get-CsOnlineUser -Filter {Department -eq ‘[Department’} | Grant-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy -PolicyName “[Policy Name]”
  3. Get-CsOnlineUser -Filter {TeamsMessagingPolicy -eq ‘[Policy Name]’} | Select UserPrincipalName

A Custom Messaging Policy itself can be created via Set-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy which means the Teams Admin Centre is not even needed if you have a good grasp of shell commands