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New in ShareGate Apricot: Contact any owner, on-demand, to select a purpose and a sensitivity for their team

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In this release, we’ve made it possible for you to ask owners of specific teams or groups for a missing business purpose or level of sensitivity whenever you want.

Users are creating teams and groups and they’re also using them daily. That’s great! It’s exactly what you wanted when you first rolled out Microsoft Teams in your organization. But how much do you really know about what goes on in each of the different teams and groups that are created in your tenant? For example, do you know why a team was created or how it’s being used?

Ideally, you’d already have the answers at hand or be able to find them easily. But chances are, that isn’t the case. The information you need probably lies with the respective team or group owners. Not knowing this information impacts your ability to better understand why and how Microsoft Teams is being used. For example, if Sasha created a team called “Project Mandalorian” and didn’t select either a purpose or a sensitivity tag, it would be hard for you to make the right security decisions regarding her team.

In fact, you’ll most probably go through the gruelling process of manually contacting Sasha—either via direct messaging, email, or maybe even by phone—to get that missing piece of information. If you’re lucky, she’ll get back to you in a timely manner. If not, you might have to follow up several times before getting an answer, or you might never hear back.

So, how can you easily and accurately obtain any missing details about teams and groups, to make better informed decisions about the overall security of your Microsoft Teams?

By default, Microsoft’s out-of-the-box solution doesn’t require much information when an owner creates a new team, and the little detail that’s given isn’t consistent across teams. You can put a provisioning process in place, or invest in an Azure AD Premium P1 license to use sensitivity labels or set a group naming policy. However, they don’t provide insight into the team’s purpose or a straightforward and frictionless way to quickly gather info directly from owners whenever you want. That’s the problem we aim to tackle with our latest release.

Introducing ‘Ask owner(s)’ capability in ShareGate Apricot

At ShareGate, we want to help you get the missing information you need about your teams, directly from owners, whenever you want.

That’s why we’re excited to launch the ’Ask owner(s)’ capability in ShareGate Apricot, available for our categorization policies: group purpose and group sensitivity. This on-demand collaboration feature allows you to get hard-to-collect knowledge about your teams’ and groups’ purposes and sensitivities, directly from owners, with the help of our Microsoft Teams chatbot.

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Ask owners of any team on demand to select a purpose or sensitivity tag

You can now ask owners of teams missing a purpose or sensitivity to select the appropriate tags via our Teams chatbot, whenever you want. That way you get a better understanding of why the team was created and how sensitive the information contained in it is. This in turn allows you to make informed decisions to keep your Teams safe and secure.

For example, the “Project Mandalorian” team was created some months ago and has neither purpose nor sensitivity tags assigned to it. The team’s name doesn’t give you many clues about why it was created or how it’s being used. Instead of guessing, you can ask the ShareGate Apricot Teams chatbot to individually poke the owners of the team to select the appropriate tags.

In our example, Sasha, the sole owner of the team, will receive a notification in Teams asking her to select the tags that best reflect the business purpose and level of sensitivity of her team. Once the tags have been selected, the information will automatically be updated and relayed back to you in ShareGate Apricot.

Also, the security settings associated with the chosen sensitivity tag—which control privacy, guest access, and external sharing—will also automatically be applied to the team.

How it works

Whether it’s a team that was created before or after you activated ShareGate Apricot, you can still choose to individually contact its owners to provide the missing details. All you have to do is filter by “Teams without purpose” or “Teams without sensitivity”, from the Manage page, and click the “Ask owner(s)” button next to the team that you want the chatbot to reach. You can also select multiple teams you wish to contact, in bulk.

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You can monitor your requests’ status, and if no owner replies after 14 days, you can simply ask the chatbot to “Ask owner(s)” again.

Automatically ask all owners to select a purpose or sensitivity tag

Now you might be thinking “Great! This is convenient, but is there any way to make this even easier?”. That’s where the automation capability of this feature comes in. You can simplify this process even more by asking the chatbot to automatically contact owners of all teams and groups that don’t have a purpose or sensitivity tag to select the right ones.

How it works

In order to automate this process, you can either: 

  • Click on the gear icon located on the “Teams without purpose” or “Teams without sensitivity” filter on the Manage page, or 
  • Go directly to the Categorization section of the Settings page 
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And simply toggle-on “Automate categorization policies”.  

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By automating this process, you can spend more time making the decisions needed to keep Teams organized and secure, rather than chasing after information needed to make those decisions.

Coming soon: Ask owners to clean up their inactive team on demand

We know just how important it is for you to have the most up-to-date information about your teams and groups in order to make the right lifecycle management and security decisions for your Teams. That’s why you’ll soon be able to ask owners of specific inactive teams or groups whether they want to keep, delete, or archive them.

This means we’re working on making it easier for you to identify and clean out specific inactive teams and groups, whenever you want, with the help of owners. There’s no need to guess what needs to be done or chase after owners to act on their inactive teams. Simply choose to ask owner(s) with a single click, and we’ll take care of the rest.

We’re excited for what’s coming up on the roadmap!


ShareGate Apricot 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 Desktop customer, then we have great news! Your subscription now gives you full access to ShareGate Apricot at no extra charge! Activate your ShareGate Apricot account by signing in here. Make sure to have your ShareGate Desktop license key handy—you’ll need it complete your activation.

If you’re ready to gather the missing team purpose and level of sensitivity for all your teams directly from owners, take a look at our documentation to learn how to get started!

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