Turning off Teams cloud storage connectivity

I wrote an article recently about how Microsoft

Teams adds cloud storage connectivity

and I noted in there that the ability to connect Microsoft Teams to things like Dropbox and Google Drive was enabled by default, as it typically is.

Of course, there may be the need to disable this ability, which can be done. Let me show you how.


You’ll need to login to the Office 365 portal as an administrator with the rights to make the changes. You’ll then need to navigate to the Admin center as shown above.


In the search box on the right hand side of the page, type “service” and from the menu that appears select Service & add-ins settings.


Scroll down the page and select Microsoft Teams from the list.


Locate and select the option Custom Cloud Storage Options and expand it as shown above.

You can now unselect one or all of the storage services here.

After you have made your choice ensure you scroll to the bottom of the page and select the Save button to update your preferences.

Need to Know podcast–Episode 156

In this episode we talk to Tas Gray about the tools and processes he has developed to allow resellers to automate Office 365 billing. We discuss the solutions, how to set it up as well as the benefits of billing automation via CSP licensing.

Marc and I also give you the latest cloud news on Azure and Office 365 to help you stay up to date in this fast paced environment. Don’t forget to rate us and let us know your feedback.

Take a listen and let us know what you think – feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:


Subscribe via iTunes at:


The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:


Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.





Office 365 WHMCS


Azure news from Marc

Microsoft Build Australia

Amazon now a big Azure customer

Amazon vs WalMart

Microsoft Forms now available

Microsoft Stream

Microsoft Teams and Dropbox

New Azure VPN gateways

Storage service encryption for Azure managed disks

Increased Azure disk size

This episode brought to you by:


Teams adds cloud storage connectivity


if you go into the files area of any Microsoft Teams channel you’ll now see an option to Add cloud storage.


You can then add a connection to one of the services shown above.


In this case, I added a connection to Dropbox where my podcast recordings are located.

This means that you can now easily access your third party cloud storage locations directly from within Teams and you can effectively put a link to the location of your files directly into the appropriate location within a Microsoft Teams channel.


Even better than that, you can now easily go to the cloud storage location you have added and copy or move a file, all within the Microsoft Teams interface.


You can then copy the file to another location, not necessarily within the added cloud storage. What immediately sprang to my mind was the ability to copy/move from the added cloud storage directly into the Microsoft Teams files area.


This therefore makes it not only dead easy to migrate files from other cloud storage locations into Microsoft Teams but also dead easy to move them directly into a SharePoint Teams Site.



Thus, Microsoft Teams now has added an integrated ability to migrate files from other cloud storage services to Microsoft Teams. This is going to be very handy because I see a lot of customers who are already using something like Dropbox but want to move to Microsoft Teams. This new ability allows them to link the appropriate location quickly and easily within a channel and start using those files in their current location. Then over time, they can start migrating them to Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Teams Sites without additional assistance.


Once the location is linked it will also appear in the Files area of your Microsoft Teams interface as shown above.

I can see Microsoft Teams becoming more and more a central hub of not only Office 365 information but also cloud information. I also like how it is making it easier for people to get started using Office 365 by removing a lot of the complexity and allowing them just to get things done!

June webinar resources

We’ve now crossed the Rubicon of 12 months of CIAOPS Need to Know webinars with the June episode. You can now download the slides from:


If you are not a CIAOPS patron you want to view or download a full copy of the video from the session you can do so here:


I covered as much as I could on Rights Management and had some issues with buttons on the screen when sending emails but I hope that didn’t detract too much from the information presented. But, as always, there is so much more I could have done, so if you have questions let me know. Thanks everyone for attending

you can also now get access to all webinars via:


for a nominal fee.

See you next month.

When to use Internet Explorer with SharePoint Online

Although there are fewer people using Internet Explorer these days, there is still a reason to use it when it comes to SharePoint Online in Office 365.


That is because when you do you get one additional option you don’t get elsewhere – View in File Explorer as you see above. This option is only available (at the moment) when you browse to a Document Library in SharePoint Online using Internet Explorer.

Viewing in File Explorer effectively maps a location from your Windows file manager on your desktop directly to that Document Library in SharePoint Online. This comes in real handy if you need to bulk copy and move files from one location to another as it makes the Document Library just like any other folder on your computer.

I cover all the basics in the above video, so take a look and let me know what you think, and remember, for the time being at least, Internet Explorer still has its uses when it comes to SharePoint Online!

Need to Know podcast–Episode 155

We’ll apologise up front for the poor sound quality on this episode. The stars didn’t quite align for us. We’ll work to fix it for the next episode. In this episode we focus on bringing you up to date with the latest Cloud news from Microsoft. Plenty for events and updates to services like Azure and Office 365 that we cover for you. So tune in to stay up to date.

Take a listen and let us know what you think – feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:


Subscribe via iTunes at:


The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:


Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.




Azure news from Marc

Upcoming Microsoft Ignite session

Skype for Business PSTN calling in Germany and Belgium

New sharing experience for Onedrive for Business and SharePoint

Office 365 Saturday Australia

Azure AD conditional access now supports Microsoft Teams

System state backup for Azure file backup

Modern Flow Approvals

New Windows phone flow app

OneDrive support for Apple files app

This episode brought to you by:


Lean in to the changes NOW!

I came across this video from Brad Anderson’s lunch break. In it he speaks with tech journalist Paul Thurrott. Now I am a big fan of Paul’s dry wit but also the volume of content that he produces in the Microsoft space. However, what interested me most about this interview is what you’ll find at 3 minutes and 20 seconds in. Either fast forward the above clip or click this link to go straight to that location:


The advice Paul gives the IT Pro crowd is effectively that the reality is this industry is all about change and you need to keep up.

This resonated with a lot of current thinking I’ve been doing around the changes products like Microsoft Teams bring to the game. You can read about how I think products like Microsoft Teams are fundamentally changing the way people work with IT here:

The modern way of collaboration using Microsoft Teams

What concerns me is that I see customers almost immediately ‘get’ Microsoft Teams, whereas IT Pros don’t. Microsoft Teams is simply a combination of existing services from Office 365 which I outlined here:

Understanding Office 365 Groups and Teams

I find that most IT Pros either don’t know what Microsoft Teams is or they dismiss it as being merely a Slack competitor. I can only surmise that this attitude is actually rooted in the fact that most don’t have the expertise or knowledge of the base Office 365 services that Microsoft Teams in built on, such as SharePoint.

As harsh as it sounds, I firmly believe that Microsoft Teams will become in the line in the sand for those who ‘get it’ and those who don’t in the IT Pro world. This effectively means that if you don’t at least know what products like Microsoft Teams are all about then your chances of staying relevant in the new world of IT are slim.

The concept of staying current is something I’ve talked a lot about here, including:

Skill up or fade away

Why IT today is like coffee

but the article I think that crystalises it best is:

The traits of a “modern” IT professional

One of the key points in that article is a need to develop a long term learning process. But how can that be done in a world where it is so challenging to keep up? Agreed. 100%. But you know what? That challenge is never going to get easier. That challenge is always going to require work. That challenge can only be solved by implementing a system to deal with it. Simply ignoring it or complaining about it and taking no action doesn’t make it magically disappear!

I have also spoken about the

Major trends

that many haven’t also yet acknowledged. Traditional IT Pros need to be especially cognisant of the changes automation and AI are going to bring not only to business in general but also to the IT field.

My advice for some great places to start learning the Microsoft Cloud stuff for free is YouTube and the Microsoft Virtual Academy. However, I’d also point you to the recorded sessions from Microsoft Ignite 2016 as well the sessions from Microsoft Build 2017. If you wanted something with a more Australian accent try the sessions from the recent Microsoft Australia Ignite conference. All of these are available for free.

Ok, yes, I hear you. That is a lot of content. Probably more content than anyone can get through in a single lifetime. Your are looking at this with a close mind set. The fact that there is so much free content is great! The challenge is integrating that into your own learning path. That is something you alone are going to have to do. No one is going to do it for you for free unfortunately. Where do you start?

Instead of looking at the mountain of content (the destination) just look at one thing you’d like to learn (i.e. the steps). Focus on the first step. Then the second and so on. You need to take an approach that isn’t attempting to ‘boil the ocean’ here. I’ve spoken about this here:

Don’t run away, filter for value

A great method of learning that I’d advocate is to scratch your own itch by solving your own business needs with the technology. That is in fact how I initial got into Azure and I detailed that experience here:

I finally get Microsoft Azure

and here using Microsoft Flow:

Using Microsoft Flow for event confirmations

Most IT Pros have access to services like Azure and Office 365 by virtue of being Microsoft Partners. At worse, you can at least sign up for free trials. Try starting with learning about virtual machines in Azure or maybe Power BI, but don’t do it randomly. Have a system.

A great system I can recommend is to use something like OneNote to capture all your learnings. I’ve detailed here:

One of the ways I use OneNote

It doesn’t however HAVE to be OneNote, use whatever system works for you. But use a system!

Another way is to learn is to commit to a completing a certification exam. Microsoft here in Australia runs regular training courses that incorporate certifications:

Microsoft certification – The joy I get out of coming work each day

Value of certification and training to help get you there

Having a definitive end point to aim for, as well a defined limited learning scope, can be challenging but it does help you focus on the task at hand as well as giving some valuable credentials upon completion.

So in summary, as Paul says in the interview – “This industry is always about change. You cannot sit still”. Change is always challenging but if haven’t already, you don’t have a lot of time in my books, to make that change. I personally believe the knowledge gap is getting to a point where it is simply too great to overcome for many. Once that transpires, there won’t be much option, you’ll have missed the boat.

As an aside, I will also point to plenty of “stuff” I do to help educate people on the Microsoft Cloud. These offerings are available as both free and paid options. However, the two free options I have that I’ll call out for you here are:

Cloud Lecture Series


Free Office 365 demos

I’m also happy to help answer any questions you have or provide any advice I can (beware it will be candid and direct). However, please remember that I can’t give everything away for free, I still gotta pay the bills!

Understanding Office 365 Groups and Teams

A while ago I wrote an article that detailed:

Where to put data in Office 365

and in typical fashion, technology has now moved on. This means that I need to revisit the concept of where you should be putting inside Office 365.

We of course now need to remember that we have new locations like Microsoft Teams and Staffhub, as well as improved locations like Office 365 Groups to house our business data. So let my try and broadly explain the the data locations that are currently available to you in Office 365.


Let’s start by considering the two major types of data we have to deal with in today’s businesses. As the above slide shows, we can typically categorise data it shared and personal. Personal data is typically created and owned by a single user in the business. Personal data is also only shared between a handful of people at most. By contrast, shared data is data that is not owned by any single individual and typically needs to be seen across a wide wide audience.

You also typically tend to find that shared data is a much greater percentage of the overall amount of data as illustrated by the size of the bars above. From here on in, we’ll consider shared data locations being green and private data locations being blue. We will also consider shared data locations to be on the left while personal data locations will be on the right.


Office 365 provides us a location into which we can store all business data, whether shared or personal. It is the box into which everything will live, both shared and personal.


We store business data inside a number of serviceswithin Office 365. These include Exchange for emails, SharePoint for files, Planner for tasks, Yammer for social conversations and Skype for meetings.

You’ll notice that the majority of these services are designed for the storage of shared data, however both Exchange and SharePoint have the ability to store both shared and personal data. Thus, they appear twice in the above slide as locations in which we can store data.


Into the personal data location for Exchange we place a users individual mailbox. This is designed for them to receive emails from outside the organisation and also typically from individuals inside the business. A personal mailbox is not a good location for generic email addresses like accounts@ or info@. It is designed for personal correspondence to and from an individual.

Likewise, SharePoint provides the OneDrive for Business location designed for a user’s personal files. These files are owned by the user and typically shared with a very small number of people. OneDrive for Business is NOT designed as a file server replacement, it is designed as repository for an individual users to store files they typically have on their desktop, on their local hard disk, or on an external USB drive or a home directory on a network.

Thus, Office 365, thanks to both Exchange and SharePoint, provide each and every licensed user a distinct location in which to save their own own personal information. Because that information is still within the Office 365 environment it remain secure and compliant as well as being easy to manage for the business owners.


Now Exchange and SharePoint also provide locations to save shared data into. Exchange provides this via shared mailboxes. Best practice is for shared mailboxes to be things like info@, sales@, etc that may need to be shared between a number of people and will also persist beyond any individual currently performing that task.

Likewise, SharePoint provides Team Sites as a location to save information into that all people in the business can access. You can of course provide custom security around all shared Office 365 services as needed.

However now in this space of shared data in Office 365, you get additional locations to store your information. Services like Planner allow the organisation of tasks and schedules across a team. Yammer allows the business to get out of email and work in an enterprise social network. Not only does that reduce email overload for users but because information is shared publically, it makes it more searchable and shareable. Finally, Skype for Business allows people in the business to meet virtually. They can chat, conduct meetings, share desktops, whiteboards, files and more.

Each one of these shared locations can be used stand alone if desired. Thus, you can have a Team Site to fill a single need. Likewise, you can use Skype as a way of chatting to people. As I have written about before:

The modern way of collaboration

To get a job done these days, people need more than stand alone tools. They need all the power of the individual services that Office 365 provides but they need them rolled together in a single place that is easy to work with.


Enter Office 365 Groups. If you combine a SharePoint Team Site, an Exchange shared mailbox, a Planner plan and a Yammer network you get an Office 365 Group. However, an Office 365 Group also provides you with an additional service, called ‘Connectors’, that allows you to bring information from services outside your business (i.e. Facebook, Twitter and more) directly into the Office 365 Group.

You can create as many Office 365 Groups as you need and when you do each one will get its own dedicated SharePoint Team Site, Exchange shared mailbox, Planner plan and Yammer network. You can also still have each service stand alone, like a stand alone Team Site, but each Office 365 Group you create automatically provisions all the individual services inside it and links them together.

Why might you still need a stand alone service like a Team Site?  Maybe you just want a single location to put all your brochures for people to sent to customers. That function might not need email or plans or chat, so you simply provision a stand alone Team Site to perform that function. However, when the people who create those brochures need to actually collaborate, then an Office 365 Group makes sense and you can mix and match as needed.

Again, it is totally up to you how and when you use these services. You may choose to only use stand alone services and no Groups. Likewise, you may choose to only use Groups. The choice if yours. That’s the flexibility Office 365 provides


If we now take an Office 365 group and add a Rostering service we get Staffhub. So when you create a new Staffhub for your business to manage rostering and employee times you also get a dedicated SharePoint Team Site, Exchange mailbox, Planner plan, and Yammer network. Do you have to use them all? Of course not, but they are provisioned automatically for you when you create a Staffhub because chances are that you will find use for the services.

Imagine you need to create a roster for your business. You will also probably need to share documents with your staff about their duties. That’s where the SharePoint Team Site fits in. There also probably be the need for staff to chat about their work. That’s where Yammer comes in. Hopefully, you get the idea here is that when you create a Staffhub or Office 365 Group Microsoft automatically gives you a range of stand alone services integrated together because the chances are you’ll find a need for them. It’s bundling at its best!

Again, you don’t need to use them all immediately, but they are there from the start, ready for your to use, whenever you need.


Finally, if we ingrate Skype for Business and add persistent chat to our Staffhub resources (that were a superset of Office 365 Group resources) we get a Microsoft Team.

As with Staffhub, when you create a new Microsoft Team you get everything Staffhub provided plus additional integrated services. If all you want to use is persistent chat then you can use that but again, chances are you are going to need more options down the track so they are automatically provisioned for you.

Everything in Office 365 is built on core services like Exchange for email, SharePoint for files and Skype for Business for communications. You can use each of these services stand alone or you can combine them together in an Office 365 Group, a Staffhub or Microsoft Team.

Of course, there is more planning involved than what I have laid out here when it comes to collaboration but I hope that I’ve made things a bit clearer and shown you all the options Office 365 provides you for storing your information. The trend today is certainly to provisioning something like a Microsoft Team first to give you everything you want immediately, even if you don’t use it all. However, the choice is yours. Go with a single service or go with them all. Do what makes the most sense for your business today and don’t too much about what will happen down the track as you can easily scale up into all the options that Office 365 provides, because typically, you’ll find that what you want is already provisioned thanks to Office 365 Groups, Staffhub and Microsoft Teams.