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The right way to Take Management of your Microsoft Groups Information

2020 has forced many organizations to issue new remote work mandates with little to no planning time. learn the ropes as they went. As part of this process, companies using Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams collaboration platform have determined that their use to be remote or Enabling distributed work, a special meaning, had a major impact on the creation of new types of records.

Between conversations on different channels and the sharing of files, teams create exponentially new records, which can make managing those records an overwhelming task.

The best place to start is to understand what tools are immediately available and what technology can be added to standardize the standard management of records in the Microsoft 365 environment.

Integrated tools for managing Microsoft Teams records

The Microsoft 365 Compliance Manager has a wide range of tools for managing your information. Not just for teams, but for the entire app suite. These give records managers the ability to protect, govern, and mitigate risks and much more.

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<p> <span data-contrast= Almost every data record generated in the Microsoft 365 environment can be subject to retention rules that can be appropriately marked by a data record or compliance manager with “retention labels”, which are usually only referred to as labels. These labels are then assigned to different locations in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, from teams to groups, SharePoint, Outlook or Exchange, where emails are located. Maintaining and updating these labels on a regular basis serves as a critical connection point between the content and your actual retention rules and guidelines.

By default, these retention plans can be set based on the creation date, the label date, and the last modified date. Microsoft 365 also supports event-based retention, which can be triggered by metadata or another event via the compliance center. And with event-based retention capabilities, you can add other data that can affect the record, like you might see in the event of an asset sale, employee termination, etc.

When a disposition occurs on these files, a review process is performed in the Compliance Center in the same section of Microsoft 365. The Disposition tab shows all the categories of records that you track, manage, and manage. As items become available, they will be listed under each of the appropriate storage categories. This process can and should vary from organization to organization as it depends largely on the specific level of compliance required by your jurisdiction or industry.

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<p> <span data-contrast= One of the great things about the Microsoft retention plan is that you can adjust it to the exact size you want. You can set up security so that different people can view different categories of records and participate in this approval. If you want to choose a number of these and approve all of them at the same time, then you can. All of this is then automatically tracked by Microsoft 365.

Microsoft Teams records and retention plans

Microsoft Teams is one of the newer additions to the Microsoft suite and is known as the "team collaboration hub" of the platform that integrates people, content and tools in one place.

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<p> <span data-contrast= The cooperation in teams takes place in one of three places:

  • Channels – messages are visible to all other team members
  • Private channels – messages are visible to a defined subgroup of team members.
  • Chats / group chats – Conversations are conducted on an ad hoc basis with colleagues or groups of colleagues (regardless of whether these colleagues are part of your team or not).

By default, team chat, channel and file data are saved indefinitely.

If necessary, users with Microsoft 365 can also apply a label retrospectively. A Records Manager or Compliance Officer with access to the Compliance Center can publish the label and have it applied automatically.

That way, you can go back to the proliferation of Teams in your organization and actually apply compliance. This label is automatically applied to records created after this point in time.

The ability to retain or mark content for disposition with teams is not perfect. There are some restrictions on the retention policy within teams, including:

  • Teams need their own retention policy – Teams are not affected by organization-wide retention policies.
  • Private channel messages cannot be saved. Currently, private messages between individuals or groups in an organization outside of a public channel are not stored.
  • Teams have fewer retention settings than other aspects of Microsoft 365 – For example, unlike other more accessible apps, it's impossible to apply a policy to content that contains keywords or sensitive information.
  • There is a time delay for the disposition – depending on the service load, it can take up to seven days before the chat and channel are finally deleted from the backend storage and the team app all compliance tools can be searched until they have been permanently deleted.

When Microsoft's built-in tools are not enough

The main drawback of Microsoft's retention policy is easy to spot – they are only useful for records that are generated or retained on the platform. This means that the Compliance Center is just one more place where retention policies need to be updated to be consistent and compliant across your information management system.

Given the frequency with which these laws and regulations change, it can be difficult to keep your retention schedule in compliance – Microsoft 365 is just another place to manage it. For this reason, many companies choose to hire an outside partner who can manage their retention policies regardless of the medium wherever company information is stored. Avoiding duplication of data and reducing the chance of errors and the frequency with which data must be entered is key.

The best solution is to update your retention plan once and move it to several different custodians. Solutions like Virgo can provide a "command center" where you can ensure that you have a compliant schedule for keeping records that is then transferred to Microsoft 365 and cloud platforms how Box can be documented. other EPM systems as well as your external physical storage.

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<p> <span data-contrast= This way, all of your updates can be done only once in Virgo and from there set up to be automatically published to those different zones where your recordings are stored. The solution can also help determine when a copy of a copy of a copy is moving around an organization to remove duplicate communications once it begins. When something needs to be deleted, you can be sure that it will be marked.

You can affix labels over a number of different options, including lists or folders. The folders are organizational features that can represent locations. more specific ones like decor, floor, space, aisle, and rack when you have a lot of physical records.


Microsoft last said it had 44 million active users in March and 75 million users in April of this year. While there have been no additional usage reports since then, the total number of users could easily exceed 100 million at this point.

The beauty of Microsoft 365's built-in retention plan is that organizations can retrospectively go through their team ecosystem and decide how to apply policies to the information it contains.

Now that things have calmed down, at least slightly, it is time to stop and look back at the changes that were made at the start of the pandemic and move on to a broader retention plan that is not just for teams, but types apply to all records.

Customers in complex, highly regulated industries rely on Virgo to track compliance requirements specific to their operations, ranging from oil and gas / energy to healthcare, manufacturing, insurance and more.

Find out why our customers choose Virgo by signing up for the free 90-day starter kit today.

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