In this release, we’ve made it easier for you to clean up inactive teams and Microsoft 365 groups in your tenant by collaborating with owners via the ShareGate chatbot—so you can keep Teams organized and up-to-date.
If you’re like us here at ShareGate, you’ve recently or will soon be celebrating your first anniversary of remote work. This has undoubtedly shifted the way many of us have been working and collaborating both internally and externally.
Your Microsoft Teams usage has probably gone through the roof. In fact, we’ve noticed that our customers’ Teams environments have grown on average by more than 50% in the last year. Now is a good time to do some clean up! What we’ve seen is that approximately 20% of our customers’ teams are inactive. Those are duplicated teams or project-based teams that have served their purpose and are left idle in your tenant. So, if you do nothing, that number will just keep growing.
Being able to locate and view all your inactive teams and groups in one place is easier said than done. In fact, it requires you to either manually pull out multiple reports or run PowerShell scripts every time you want an updated list of inactive teams.
That’s why we created the inactive group detection policy in ShareGate, to help you find and declutter inactive teams. And now we’re making it even easier for you to clean up your tenant with our new Teams chatbot.
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Introducing ‘Teams chatbot for Inactive teams’ in ShareGate
ShareGate now allows you to contact owners of inactive teams and groups directly in Microsoft Teams so they can take action, using ShareGate’s chatbot.
This means that once a team or group is no longer active, the chatbot will automatically message the respective owner(s) directly in Teams to see what should be done. That way you have the flexibility to choose the method that you think will work best for your organization: via email or chatbot.
Manage inactive teams and groups using the inactive detection policy
Whether you recently started using ShareGate or you’re an OG user, you might be asking yourself: ‘Wait a minute, what’s the inactive detection policy again?’ Don’t worry, we got you!
Essentially, this policy allows you to easily and quickly clean up your old teams and get rid of resources your users no longer use. It’s simple. You set a threshold of a specific number of days, after which a team is flagged as inactive if no activity has been detected.
You only need to set your inactivity threshold once, and we automatically let you know when a team is no longer active. In order to identify them, we crawl through your teams, associated SharePoint site collections, and Outlook inboxes for user-generated activity.
For example, Brian and Linh both created a ‘Marketing’ team when Microsoft Teams was first rolled out. Once they realized there were two teams for the department, they decided to keep using Linh’s. This means that Brian’s ‘Marketing’ team has been unused since then. In order words, it’s been inactive in your tenant since last year, and once it meets your default inactivity threshold, it’ll automatically be flagged as inactive.
This wouldn’t be a problem if it was a one-off, but chances are, they aren’t the only ones who have created multiple teams for the same purpose and decided to keep on moving forward. The duplication of teams means you have multiple teams with associated SharePoint sites that are inactive and creating clutter in your tenant.
How can you see that Brian’s team is no longer active once it’s been flagged? Easy. In ShareGate, go under the Manage tab, and filter to see your inactive teams or groups. You’ll also be able to see the last time any activity was detected for each of them.
You can take immediate action yourself right from this dashboard and either keep, delete, or archive inactive teams. If there are several teams or groups that you want to take action on, you can do it in bulk. All you have to do is select the teams or groups, and choose the option you want to proceed with.
Head to our support documentation for more details on how to set up the inactive detection policy.
Collaborate automatically with owners to clean up inactive teams and groups
In the case of Brian’s ‘Marketing’ team, you can see under the Manage tab that it’s no longer active. Now what are the chances that you’ll know whether it should be kept, archived, or deleted? Of course, you can directly reach out to him and ask, but imagine having to do that for every inactive team.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t collaborate with owners. In fact, we believe that team owners are in the best position to know what to do once their team is inactive.
That’s why ShareGate allows you to collaborate with entrusted owners via email, asking them what should be done with their team once it’s no longer active. However, we know that emails might not be the preferred method for all since they can be missed or get lost in the owner’s mailbox.
It’s for that reason that we’ve recently introduced the option to collaborate with owners directly in a tool they use daily, Microsoft Teams. By choosing to contact them via ShareGate’s chatbot, owners will automatically be poked directly in Teams, and asked whether they want to keep, archive, or delete their inactive team.
Integrating this decision-making process seamlessly with users’ day-to-day workflow can increase response rates while making them accountable for their team and empowering them to help keep your tenant clutter-free.
How it works
If you’ve already entrusted a team or a group to an owner, you can simply select the ‘Microsoft Teams chatbot’ option in the Policies section from the Settings page. Otherwise, the default will be notifications via email.
On the other hand, if you haven’t yet entrusted a team or a group to an owner, when you do, you’ll be asked to select your preferred method of communication with owners.
Whether you want to keep using emails or switch to the chatbot, one thing’s for sure—you no longer have to guess or chase after owners like Brian to figure out what should be done with inactive teams. You can learn more about how we do it in our documentation.
Coming up next on the product roadmap
We’re excited for all that’s coming up on the product roadmap! Our next release will add extra capabilities to our ShareGate chatbot that’ll allow you to identify and individually contact owners of specific teams and groups, both new and current ones, for additional details.
This on-demand collaboration with owners will cover all our policies, from group purpose all the way to the review of externally shared files. For instance, if you have six teams that need their externally shared links reviewed, you’ll be able to contact the respective owners via the chatbot to review them. The ability to contact owners for specific information or confirmation, whenever you need it, will allow you to get answers that you need to make the right decisions about the organization and security of your Teams.
ShareGate is easy to setup and even easier to manage—no clunky interface, no coding, and no Azure AD premium subscription required.
If you’re a ShareGate customer, then we have great news! Your subscription now gives you full access to ShareGate at no extra charge! Activate your ShareGate account by signing in here. Make sure to have your ShareGate license key handy—you’ll need it complete your activation.
If you’re ready start categorizing your groups and teams according to business purpose, take a look at our group sensitivity support documentation to learn how to set it up!