In this first article of our new Product Spotlight blog series, we’ll discuss ShareGate’s Archive team content feature and how it empowers IT admins to do their best work in managing the data lifecycle in their tenants.
Archiving is crucial to lifecycle management in Microsoft 365. It’s not just about reducing clutter and sprawl. It’s also about storing content in a secure location and restoring it when needed. If a project is revived or a new one can benefit from data shared in the past, you might be sorry if you ever let that old content go away.
ShareGate users don’t need to worry about that any longer.
👋 Say hello to our Archive team content feature, which allows you to archive conversations, channel structures, and more, giving you greater peace of mind to enforce your governance strategy.
Welcome to the debut of our new Product Spotlight series! Let’s dive in.
Table of contents
Why lifecycle management is important in a governance strategy
Any data—files, documents, channels, user profiles, conversations, you name it—goes through a lifecycle from its beginning (when it’s created or acquired) to its end (when it’s no longer needed and is destroyed).
That also applies to Microsoft Teams. Teams are usually created with specific goals, like bringing a project to life, a group of people together, or facilitating conversation around a topic. Once you achieve this or priorities shift elsewhere, this team won’t have any use, so you’ll need to decide what to do with it.
Lifecycle management is an organization’s approach to handling this process. It involves storing, organizing, processing, and eventually deleting or archiving data, ensuring its integrity and usefulness over time.
Lifecycle management is essential to any governance strategy in Microsoft 365.
If you overlook it, your tenant might be impacted in undesired ways.
Having outdated content kicking around your environment can confuse end users, generate clutter and sprawl, create security and compliance risks, and hamper productivity. That’s why, in many cases, you’d choose to delete this information outright and never think about it again.
However, some data could be valuable if a similar project comes up, if that old project comes back to life, or—as it happens in many industries that deal with sensitive personal information, like health and financial services—you need to store that data for regulatory purposes. In that case, archiving is your best option: just set that data aside until needed.
Planning lifecycle management
Here are some common ways to make lifecycle management tasks easier and more efficient. We won’t go into detail about them: remember that good governance enables people to do their jobs efficiently while everything’s secure and compliant, and you can’t get there without planning lifecycle management thoroughly.
- Create group expiration policies to clean up unused teams automatically
- Leverage Microsoft Purview and its Data Lifecycle Management feature
- Use ShareGate to automate the identification and resolution of inactive teams and create policies based on real-time data
ShareGate’s new feature: Archive team content
As easy to use and comprehensive as it is, ShareGate used to have a few limitations in terms of Teams archiving. Up to now, all that was archived with ShareGate were Teams files and folders: elements like conversations and channel structure were lost when users went with that option.
That changes now.
To deliver more lifecycle management value to users, ShareGate is adding new capabilities to its Teams archiving, empowering you to store more relevant content than ever with full efficiency.
Here’s what you can do with this new feature:
- Teams archiving now includes conversations, channel structures, tabs, and apps
- The SharePoint content associated with that team will also be archived
- Files and folders are still archived (and retrievable) as they were before
- Restore Teams channels and their conversations to an existing team (one at a time)
- Fully restore your team, just as it was before, up to 30 days after archiving
If you’re unfamiliar with archiving with ShareGate, we got you covered: check out this document about how to manually archive teams and groups. It couldn’t be easier. Also, here’s our Archiving overview document, with all you need to know about archiving with ShareGate.
How archiving team content helps users
Imagine you work in a technology company (just like us at ShareGate!) where different teams are collaborating to develop a new interface for one of your products. Here are a few realistic scenarios where Archive team content would come in handy:
- If this new interface job involves the same teams and follows the same processes as a similar project from two years ago, restore the channels and content structure from the Archived team—so you don’t need to create a new team from scratch.
- If your UX/UI team recalls that key insights about usability testing were shared on a Teams chat in that old project and they want to go back to it now, you can restore those conversations from the archives into the new interface project team.
- Once this project is over, just archive its Teams content so you preserve all relevant information, either from the latest project or from the restored old one.
How to get started with Archive team content
Ready to start archiving with ShareGate? Well, before you jump into that, you’ll want to check some relevant information first:
- To archive with ShareGate and start storing your data, you need to set up an Azure storage account. You can use the default ShareGate Azure for free or your own Azure storage for your archived content.
- To enable Archive team content, you must consent to new permissions. You’ll be prompted to do it at the top of the Archive page and in the Archive popup. If you don’t grant the permissions, end users can still archive from the bot and emails (if they’ve given their consent previously), but admins won’t be able to archive from the management application.
A couple of caveats about Archive team content
- You can’t download or upload a channel to OneDrive like you do with files.
- You can’t download a team locally on your computer.
- For now, you can’t archive Planner plans.
Good Microsoft 365 governance = Peace of mind
As mentioned, governance means enabling people to do their jobs efficiently while keeping your environments uncluttered, secure, and compliant. At the end of the day, that means peace of mind for everyone in the organization—and to get there, lifecycle management is crucial.
So, make sure you’re fully leveraging the solutions at your disposal, such as ShareGate, exploring automation to review your governance policies, monitoring your tenant in real-time, and enabling end users to do the best work possible.
What do you think about Archive team content? Let us know by leaving a comment! We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.