Make a call from Outlook to teams
On February 9, Microsoft announced that the Share to Teams feature would be updated. The update dutifully appeared on schedule in the last week of March. This feature is covered by Microsoft 365 roadmap items 71265, 70598, and 68909 because it is available in Outlook for Windows (Microsoft 365 Enterprise Apps – March Monthly Channel), OWA, and Outlook for Mac (Preview). The feature is not yet available for Outlook mobile.
The idea behind Share to Teams is simple. People get a lot of email that they would like to discuss with colleagues. They could have the discussion by email with the familiar drawbacks of endless sets of back-and-forth replies, not all of which could be spread among the same people. By bringing the discussion to Teams, the focus is maintained and ensures that everyone sees the discussion develop and can contribute if necessary.
Share with team target destinations
The Share with Teams feature is included in the Teams add-in for Outlook. Share to Teams, launched in 2020, uses the same email connector infrastructure used to support the ability to send email to a channel. This is a cloud-only connector that uses mailboxes to accept incoming email addressed to channels and deliver it to Teams. In the case of Share to Teams, the recipient may be
- A person (the message is delivered in a personal chat). The sender should be able to send a message to the person (information barrier policy may prevent people from communicating via chat).
- A group chat: If you share a message from Outlook with multiple users, Teams delivers the message to the group chat that those users are involved in (if any) or creates a new group chat in another way.
- Any channel that the sender has access to, including private channels. You cannot share with multiple channels at once.
In all cases, messages with attachments can be sent.
Figure 1 shows a typical example. In this case, we share a message from Outlook with a Teams channel.
Figure 2 shows what the shared message looks like in Teams. As you can see, it looks like any other base note for a conversation. Comments can be posted as normal. The only shocking comment is that Teams doesn’t emphasize the topic of the conversation to make the topic stand out in a list of topics.
Capture message copies in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business
Apart from messages delivered to target destinations, such as email sent to channels, a copy of the shared message (including attachments) is captured in the Email Messages folder in the channel folder in the SharePoint Online team site document library. This is the way the email connector behaved until February 2021. Now, messages sent to a channel go to a folder named for the month, such as EmailMessages_4_2021 for messages sent in April 2021. The change in the target folder annoyed many people because it broke some Flows, and inconsistency like this drives people against the wall in Teams is maddening.
Copies of messages shared with individuals or group chats are in the Microsoft Teams Chat Files folder of the sender’s OneDrive for Business account.
No secure email
You can’t select share with teams option for messages protected by sensitivity labels, outlook-only or non-forwarding default options, or S/MIME. This is because the connector cannot delete the encryption that protects these messages.
When you share an Outlook message with Teams, the add-in checks for the presence of the Teams desktop client. If available, the add-on uses single sign-on (SSO) to open a new window in the Teams client to create the message details to share. This is the big difference between the old method and the new one. Creating a window in an already connected Teams client is faster and creates less overhead than the alternative, which is that Outlook does the work to connect to Teams and send the message.
Microsoft says Share to Teams is controllable “by selectively enabling or disabling this add-in for individual users through PowerShell Cmdlet. Admin documentation will be published soon. ” Although Microsoft promises that a cmdlet will be available, I’m not sure many tenants want to disable Share to Teams. It’s not a feature I’ve used many times, but I’m grateful he’s there when I need it. I suspect most other organisations will fall into the same category.