Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams Secure Private Channels: How they Make Communications More Efficient For Your Business

What does the release of Microsoft Teams Private Channels mean for your business?


A long requested feature for Microsoft Teams reached the public in October 2019, and the team at SMB Suite was eager to kick the tires.


Private Channels in Microsoft Teams allows the ability to limit which team members can see a conversation and content within a particular channel.


“Until now, when somebody was invited to a Microsoft Team, they had the ability to access every channel in the team, even if it wasn’t relevant to them,” said SMB Suite Chief Operations Officer Monty Milliner. “Now, we can build confidential channels for specific groups of people within the same team environment.


Monty explained that the practical applications for this new feature are vast. For example, a company’s human resources department can build a channel for private salary information that’s still part of the company’s overall team but restricted to certain employees. Additionally, agencies appreciate the new feature because they can now allow clients access to private channels within their system. This wasn’t previously possible, because clients would have been able to see other clients’ information.


“Clients have been asking for a way to avoid creating tons of teams, and we weren’t able to provide a solution until Microsoft built the functionality out,” Monty said. “Now, rather than many teams, companies manage just one or two teams with lots of organized, private channels. Microsoft listened to the needs of businesses.”


The private channel feature is helping reduce “Team sprawl” by giving more granular audience visibility to content within a given team.


“Previously, teams had to be logged in and out of, and you had to keep track of who was in which team,” Monty said. “This frustrated a lot of our clients and wasted a lot of valuable time. Now, you have all of your conversations in one team. And it’s easy to see which individuals are members of each private channel.”


Creating Private Channels in Microsoft Teams:

Any team owner or team member can create a private channel. Simply:


  1. Create a new private channel
    1. In your team, click More options … > Add channel. You can also click Manage team and add a channel in the Channels tab.
  2. The system automatically asks who should have access.
    1. Add the appropriate members to the team.


Who Needs Private Channels in Microsoft Teams?

“Any business that relies on collaboration and inner communication within and outside its organization will find the private channels feature useful,” Monty said. “It’s particularly helpful for organizations that have remote employees. Teams has been a life saver for us at SMB Suite.

“Teams is an exceptional communications tool, and good communications is critical in business, for people to understand the context of the decision making that they’re involved in. Nobody should make decisions in a vacuum. “


Visit the Microsoft Docs Private Channel page to learn more about private channels, including a handy chart to help you determine when to create private channels.


Contact us to find out more or for assistance in implementing Microsoft Teams and other Office 365 applications for your organization.

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Steve’s been with SMB Suite since 1998 and has been involved with nearly every aspects of the Company’s business as a strategist, professional services executive, cloud solutions architect, and senior consultant. In his current role, Steve is responsible for SMB Suite’s revenue and oversees the execution of ERP, CRM and BI projects for customers across a broad range of industries. Steve combines his expertise in MS Dynamics GP, CRM and other Microsoft products with a strong foundation in accounting and business to identify gaps and streamline customers’ processes. Prior to co-founding SMB Suite, Steve was previously Corporate Controller for MEHLE Behr and, prior to that, Audit Senior for Ernst & Young. Steve holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Jeremy is responsible for SMB Suite’s technology vision, strategy and implementation and is the architect of the Company’s Dynamics Cloud Platform. Highly adept in every facet of managed services, ERP systems and e-commerce platforms, Jeremy’s expertise spans the implementation and support of business and financial software solutions, as well as the customization and integration of SMB Suite’s cloud ERP technology stack. He holds numerous Microsoft and industry-related certifications, and was primarily responsible for designing the Company’s progressive business services platform in the early days of the Cloud. Prior to SMB Suite, Jeremy served as the financial analyst, systems administrator, and information systems liaison for a $2 billion financial services corporation.

Monty is responsible for SMB Suite’s day-to-day operation and, most importantly, its customers. As a leader, motivator and mentor, Monty creates loyal high performance teams willing to “walk through walls” to accomplish their goals. Prior to SMB Suite, Monty served as President of The Bradshaw Group (TBG), a global distributor, manufacturer, and repair facility for digital printers. In this role, he was the Company’s ambassador to its most important domestic, European and Latin American customers and TBG achieved a best-in-class Net Promoter Score of 74 for its superb customer satisfaction. Prior to TBG, Monty served as the General Manager of Sam’s Clubs three highest grossing U.S. stores and was named Regional Operator of the Year in 1999. Monty holds a BBA in Marketing from Texas Tech University and is an active member of Business Navigators. He has been active in Vistage International, Executives in Action, the Dallas/Fort Worth Retail Executives Association, as well as, A.P.I.C.S., the leading professional association for supply chain and operations management. Monty also volunteers with Hunger Busters and ManeGait, a therapeutic horsemanship organization.

David is a proven financial and information technology professional with expertise in providing business accounting software and computing solutions. He began his career by starting and managing a successful independent consulting practice for several years. He then launched the local systems consulting unit of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Services Group, leading the office into the hi-tech consulting arena. After successfully developing the unit for Ernst & Young, David founded NextCorp (which became SMB Suite in 2013) to serve the business software needs of clients throughout the US. David has made SMB Suite one of the best cloud ERP providers in the industry. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur and leader, he is a software and technology specialist, holding certifications in various Microsoft and other technologies.