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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