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Records Management with Microsoft Teams

Updated: Sep 6

Some of the files shared in Teams will be records that needs to be retained and protected. When you create Teams, a SharePoint Online site is automatically created for storing the Teams channel files. The key to managing records in Office 365 is not SharePoint Online, but retention and record labels.

How good is this? Let me give you two examples.

  • One of our global clients operating in a highly regulated industry with almost 40,000 users assessed several of the leading content management systems for the best approach to manage documents and records in M365 and beyond. SharePoint Online with record labels was the clear winner as it was native and the most integrated of all the solutions. This allows for “compliance by design” to embed compliance into the Microsoft cloud platform. Users continue to work with information (e.g. tag a file as an NDA, business workflows), and retention policies with record labels provides compliance by applying the right retention and disposition automatically. This automates records management with SharePoint Online and record labels.

  • Another global client highly with over 80,000 users has already come to this conclusion. M365 is the new corporate content and records management system. They have now replaced both OpenText and HP with M365 – which has improved access and significantly reduced their operating costs. As an example, the annual cost of a leading content management system for 2,000 staff often costs more than M365 E5 Information Protection & Governance add-on license for 20,000 staff.


How should records management with Microsoft Teams be set up? We often set this up one of the following ways for large clients:

  • Teams provisioning service - users will have to request new Teams with channels that are created by a central team, and the team publishes the relevant record labels to the SharePoint site created for the Teams (see option 3 in this previous blog post). Users do not see the labels in Teams, which means the Teams owner is required to manually label records in the corresponding SharePoint site. Users are required to share files in Teams channels, not private chats.

  • Self-service Team creation and site configuration - Users are empowered to create Teams with channels, and the setup process require the Teams creator to set default metadata on the corresponding SharePoint site (see below image and option 4 in this previous blog post). Users can now see SharePoint metadata directly in Teams client, and can manage the document lifecycle status by changing associated metadata, e.g. set document type (e.g. HR file) and change document status (draft vs final) to auto-apply the correct record label for automating records management with SharePoint Online.

To learn more about ensuring compliance for Microsoft Teams check out this previous blog post.

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