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Microsoft Teams eDiscovery: A Deep Dive

The Story of Why We Chose Microsoft Teams Business Voice

A constant flow of information is going through Unified Communications Platforms. Microsoft Teams eDiscovery solutions are designed to tackle the challenge of capturing, storing, and managing those massive amounts of data, mainly for legal and compliance purposes.

In the context of litigation, having performed thorough data archiving and being able to easily access it could be vital for any organization. This is where eDiscovery software solutions kick in. In the course of a legal case or an investigation, whenever a request for electronic information is issued, an eDiscovery process is launched in order to identify, collect, and display the required information.

Here, we will take a deep dive into why organizations using Microsoft Teams are in need of eDiscovery tools, and how they can be leveraged to get the most out of them.

Endlessly Flowing Information: Where is it Going?

A quick overview of Microsoft Teams’ capabilities should suffice to give us an idea of the amount of data flowing through the platform. Aside from its most widely used chat functionality, Teams allows you to hold video conferences, calls, and meetings, and collaborate through other Microsoft apps such as Excel or Sharepoint, among other features. For companies with a more diverse tech stack, Teams also offers the possibility of connecting with third-party apps.

Now, you might be wondering, where is all this data going? Since the storage location may change according to each functionality and data type, the answer is not as simple as one may expect. Chats and channel messages are stored in each user’s Exchange mailbox; files shared on one-on-one and group chats, as well as meeting chats videos, go to OneDrive; WiKi data and files in channel messages get stored at SharePoint.

This complicated storage structure should give us an idea of how challenging it is to accurately track and manage data that flows across Microsoft Teams.

Why are eDiscovery solutions important?

It should come as no surprise that most organizations today consider the volume of data they produce is growing faster than their ability to keep up with it. Potentially, this represents great legal risks that every company would prefer to avoid. Given this massive explosion of information and the increasing complexity of regulations, all companies should be getting ready to deal with these volumes of data from an eDiscovery perspective. 

eDiscovery solutions can give companies the appropriate tools to fulfill the complex legal and compliance requirements of the digital era. Whatever problem they need to solve, eDiscovery tools are the key to gaining an understanding of its context. 

Companies across different industries are leveraging eDiscovery platforms to collect files and associated metadata, filter information, and increase efficiency when reviewing documents. These are some of the key advantages that you will obtain by implementing advanced eDiscovery systems:

  • View Communications in Context: follow communications across channels as in the native app, observing who talked with who, how they talked, and when. 
  • Capture & Search Content by Parameters: gather messages, files, audio, video, or shared screens, and establish advanced search parameters such as text, time, users, labels, topics, keywords, and others.
  • Remove user information: for GDPR purposes, you sometimes need to delete user info from databases.
  • Integrate across applications: advanced eDiscovery solutions fit the needs of companies that have complex structures, allowing for integration with existing eDiscovery systems. 

Essential Features of an eDiscovery solution: Finding the Right Fit for your Company

While there are many eDiscovery solutions out there, it is important to make an informed choice so that the one you go for is the one that is better suited for your own specific needs. Here is a list of just a few of the basic features that you should keep in mind when choosing which eDiscovery solution to implement.

  • Content Capturing
    • The first and main feature of any eDiscovery solution. Ideally, a solution should be able to extract messages from private and public channels, shared files, screen-sharing content, audio, and video. 
  • Data Storage
    • In terms of storage, some solutions are entirely cloud-based, while others allow you to store information on-premise or host it in a private server. While any of these may meet your needs, solutions that offer you different choices may give you more flexibility.  
  • Search Index and Interface
    • Solutions with powerful search filters provide a wide set of parameters to configure and optimize searches. By performing searches on text, time, users, labels, topics, keywords, and other criteria you can save tons of time and improve efficiency and accuracy. 
  • Recording
    • While electronic documents are produced in a variety of media, search can only be performed by text. Tools that accurately record and transcribe all meeting audios accurately enhance search capabilities of eDiscovery solutions. You can see an example of an advanced compliance recording and analysis tool here. 

Aside from these features, there may be significant differences between eDiscovery solutions that could make them more or less appealing. Some may be praised for their flexibility, or for their intuitive interface, or for offering a comprehensive set of tools. On the other hand, being too restricted, lacking adequate features, or having unfriendly interfaces or sorting systems are usually mentioned as negative characteristics.

But in the end, what will determine which solution is the right one for you is how it fits the specific needs of your company and the industry you belong to. Compliance and regulatory needs can vary greatly from one industry to another. While the regulatory systems for some industries may be relatively simple, others need to comply with strict and strong regulations, especially when they deal with sensitive information. 

Industries that manage private data – such as banking, financial services, logistics, insurance, legal services, education, healthcare, and many others-, are in need of eDiscovery solutions with robust compliance capabilities and functions designed to tackle the regulatory challenges of these industries.

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About AGAT SphereShield’s eDiscovery for Microsoft Teams

With information scattered across various different places, being up to the task of managing it according to legal needs can prove enormously challenging. SphereShield eDiscovery comes to the rescue when a legal or compliance challenge demands you to track and identify certain pieces of data. 

Among existing eDiscovery solutions, it stands out mainly because it enhances companies’ ability to navigate through the challenges of complex regulatory systems. The set of features it provides is especially suitable for data-sensitive organizations that take part in highly regulated and information sensitive industries. Implementing SphereShield eDiscovery will allow you to:

  • Accurately capture all types of different contents: messages, files, audio, videos, recordings, shared screens, and more. 
  • Flexibly store information: you can choose whether to store on-premise or host in a Virtual Private Server (VPS).
  • Efficiently search using a wide set of parameters: Text, Time, Users, Servers, Labels, and more.
  • Seamlessly integrate with other eDiscovery systems in your stack
  • Easily remove user info from database when necessary to comply with GDPR regulations
  • Comprehensively see conversation contexts on incidents

SphereShield’s eDiscovery workflows can significantly scale your capacity to manage large quantities of data, streamlining your reviews, and potentially saving you hundreds of hours of work – aside, of course, from the costs of legal and compliance issues. It is designed to efficiently guide you as you dive into the oceans of data your company is producing every day. 

Check out the video below and see the platform in action:


If you are interested in taking a closer look at our Microsoft Teams eDiscovery solution to see if it suits your needs, all you have to do is ask for a free live demo below. Fill in your company details and a representative will soon get in touch with you.

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Microsoft Teams Premium: Our Review

Microsoft Teams Premium: Capabilities and Limitations

Microsoft has just launched a premium tier offering for the already-known Microsoft Teams. The Seattle giant is promising AI improvements at the time of watching scrips, generating tasks along with many upgrades for those willing to pay the price.

Introduction: Microsoft Teams wants to keep up with the current times.

Microsoft made news already at the end of 2022 talking about a premium package for teams that will, among other promises, use the latest in AI to power up meetings’ productivity.

On January 2023, Microsoft made headlines worldwide by announcing an unprecedented 10 Billion dollar investment in Chat GPT in order to assume a 49% on the trendiest AI product of the last years.

The message is clear, Microsoft is paying a considerable amount in order to get in front of the race for AI-powered technology. With this also the tech giant wants to avoid being seen as a legacy tech player and be more like other companies who are constantly on the edge of innovation like apple and google.

Now is the third piece of the puzzle, Microsoft Teams Premium’s official launch. Although it was previously announced, we didn’t expect the release to be so soon.

One detail that very few noticed is that Microsoft has never offered premium upgrades for products in such a public way. For example, Microsoft Word or Excel are basically the same (except for online versions with their lags) but do not offer any premium upgrades despite being one of their historical flagship products. Same can’t be said for Windows, but there is a case there that the different versions are not made for the same customer types, what it’s not the case for Teams.

What are Microsoft Teams Premium Main Features?

In our criteria, these are the 5 most important features that Microsoft Teams Premium is offering:

1- AI Generated Tasks: By analyzing meetings transcript, Microsoft is capable to recognize tasks and assign them.

2- Meeting Video Summaries: Instead of watching a long undivided video, users can see their meeting recordings intelligently divided into chapters to facilitate searching through the video

3- SMS reminders and branded lobby rooms: For meetings that need to be scheduled with customers, Microsoft offers automatic SMS reminders and when users join, they arrive at a meeting waiting room customized to the company’s brand

4- Improved UX for branding purposes: Brands that want to stand out of the crowd can now use customized backgrounds as well as other options to enhance their meetings experiences

5- Webinars are stronger than ever: Tools like a virtual green room to prepare material, check attendees, remind attendees of the upcoming webinars and more

Who is Teams Premium for?

Microsoft Teams Premium is most suitable for 3 audiences: Webinar organizers/speakers, productivity seekers (Project Management, COO’s, etc) and Organizations that rely mostly on Teams meetings

For the first group it’s clear the reasoning, better tooling, better features and a great surge in the webinar market in the last couple of years.

The second group are organizations that hold many if not a lot of meetings over Teams, could be due to remote work, talking to clients/customers, teams split in different areas and the like. Unless they are using other solutions (Webex, Zoom, etc.), it’s pretty obvious that they are relying on Teams for both verbal and written communications.

Although we all seek to be more productive (as a genuine professional desire), there are those whose jobs can radically change depending on the tooling they are using. In our digital world being able to save time and headcount by automating manual labor is crucial to have a profitable business.

That’s why MS Teams is winking at those who want to have meeting summaries and tasks quickly created without the need to take notes during meetings or re-watch videos (sometimes a few times) in order to make sure not to miss any tasks or details.

Microsoft Teams Premium Limitations

Overall, we believe that Microsoft has done a great job trying to keep up with the current for solutions in the webinar, productivity, and security aspects of communications. That being said, it’s hard to really offer everything that currently is supplied by different SaaS and succeed in the first try

From what we have seen, there are many places Microsoft Teams could still improve. Let’s focus on the meeting summaries and tasks. Spending $10 Billion on AI software to recognize tasks and the like it’s an amazing and courageous move by Microsoft to provide real automation in daily tasks like these.

This is our point to consider and maybe some good upcoming upgrades. In the first place, the project-management software market is ruled mostly by Asana, and Trello. So how is capturing those tasks in Teams going to translate to appear on these platforms?.

What is more, even tasks captured in teams do not appear to be able to integrate with MS Planner which is a little bit confusing.

In the second place, regarding meeting summaries, there is great value in having a video organized by chapters in order to avoid wasting time.

The thing is, that many meetings end with an organized meeting summary that can be shared with those who attended and also didn’t attend to provide clarity in a short document that summarizes an hour-long conversation.

That’s why here the premium upgrade falls short in delivering what many consider vital at the time of quickly reading what went on during the meeting.

Update: In February 2023, Microsoft is still not providing the meeting summaries nor the task capturing capabilities

It’s Microsoft Teams Premium Worth the Price?

Microsoft Teams Premium is worth the price, but it depends on which usage is it going to be destined for. 

This premium upgrade is competing against different SaaS solutions that are located in different verticals.

For webinars, there’s a great case to try Teams Premium given that other solutions (like zoom and Webex) compete in the same price range and will be a matter of personal preference at the time of selecting the tool. It’s worth mentioning that the writer of this blog is not enough familiarized with the webinar world.

But when we move out to the productivity side of things the question is a little broader. Many companies are developing add-ons to make meetings more productive and the competition (as any good competition) is raising the bar constantly and bringing prices lower.

Although smaller profitable companies can really dismiss the costs of $10 monthly per user (now at the time $7 with a 30% discount), companies that want to purchase 1000 users and above will have to deal with an extra yearly charge of $120K (and above, it’s $120 per user per year), which can considerably lower profits, there needs to be a very good case on how much resources is Microsoft Teams Premium going to save.

That being said, if the main usage that is going to happen will be towards productivity, there is a point to go and compare with other existing solutions before committing that amount of money.

Also considering that Microsoft Teams Premium is still not providing any productivity capabilities for the moment, it’s worth exploring other options.

Alternatives to Microsoft Teams Premium

Microsoft is not the first (and maybe not the last) product to compete in the video meeting industry and thus there are interesting alternatives to look around before making a decision.

For the productivity side of Microsoft Teams Premium, we would recommend users check on AGAT Virtual Assistant for Microsoft Teams, AGI.

Although there are many principles shared at the time of using AI for productivity, AGI delivers many unique results at the time to work with tasks, summaries, and meeting minutes.

To begin, AGI picks up action items (Tasks) based on the transcripts and chat conversation and gives you the ability to accept or reject the task, with a click of a button and automatically sync them with your preferred task management system:, Asana, and Planner (more to come)

AGAT’s Assistant generates long or short summaries to get a quick overview of meetings. Then an automatic meeting minute document is created based on your own custom template: AGI will create meeting minutes including all attendees and tasks, which can be exported as a word document using custom templates.

Check out AGI at this website. AGAT is offering a free trial to check before committing.

The best part is that AGI costs more or less like a cup of coffee 🙂 per user per month.

Conclusions: is Microsoft Teams Premium the real deal?

With the advancement of AI and the need for better communication features, Microsoft has given a giant step to remaining relevant and maintaining, if not increasing, its market share in the Unified Communications Platform industry.

In this case, this upgrade is not universally available and needs to be purchased separately from any current O365 or Microsoft365 plan, which generates hesitation for any company.

That being said, we invite you to check AGI as well as this new upgrade and leave out your comments. 


Block File Sharing: Prevent Information Leaks in Microsoft Teams

In this blog, we will answer questions on how it is possible to block file sharing in OneDrive and Sharepoint, the core  of the Office 365 cloud for companies

  1. Introduction: What are OneDrive and SharePoint? What are their differences?
  2. Compliance and security issues emerging from OneDrive and SharePoint usage
  3. The limitations in the existing solutions, Focus on Information Barriers
  4. How to block specific users and groups from file sharing in OneDrive and SharePoint

A small piece of advice: If you are just interested in blocking specific users and groups in MS OneDrive and SharePoint click here to skip the first part of the article.


Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint are easily confused, while the 2 fulfill the same function of being the cloud storage offered by Microsoft, both have some differences and it’s worth noting them.

OneDrive tends to be used more for personal private documents SharePoint is a central location for managing files for a group of people that can happen within Teams, Yammer, and Outlook or directly in SharePoint as a file management system. SharePoint also can be used for designing sites with or without documents

OneDrive and Sharepoint in Teams

Inside the MS Teams environment, OneDrive and SharePoint play 2 different roles that can be noticed.

OneDrive handles files in personal and group chats or in the Files Tab while SharePoint handles files that are sent in channels, chats, or posted in their respective Files Tab

This difference although technical will play an important role when having to deal with file permissions on these platforms

Compliance and security issues emerging from OneDrive and SharePoint usage

Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems that emerge with OneDrive and SharePoint.

In a simple scenario, let’s suppose we are dealing with 2 teams at the company: HR and Finance

The HR department may be handling documents with sensitive information: Payroll, employees’ private information, medical records, and the like.

Companies are aware of the issues of not controlling Private Information (PI & PII) that can result in regulation breaches or major data leaks. This is why, for example, an organization would ideally like to prevent anyone other than  HR employees from accessing that information.

Another example may be the finance department not being able to share information with a specific team, like the stock research departments (see our article on Finra for more information on this kind of policy) or company policy that does not allow any finance document to be stored in the cloud.

Basically, any information that has to be controlled between a team or more, or any information that can’t leave a specific team represents a serious threat when using OneDrive and SharePoint

The limitations in the existing solutions, Focus on Information Barriers

Once I was told that the definition of a system is that, any good or even a great system can collapse. For example, a building has a specific number of elevators, but if everyone is in need at the same time, that system collapses.

The analogy can be applied to our case in Microsoft Teams, while there are some solutions such as Information Barriers that address blocking people and groups from communicating, it doesn’t completely prevent them from possible threats and risks..

It is important to note, it only takes a matter of seconds for an employee to share OneDrive and SharePoint files externally without the organization being aware 

How to block specific users and groups from file sharing in OneDrive and SharePoint

Companies that are interested in controlling file sharing and access in OneDrive and SharePoint can check at SphereShield for OneDrive SharePoint.

SphereShield works in real-time, meaning it will not allow, for even a second for the shared file to be seen or noted. What is more, its granularity allows for unlimited policies to be set with different employees or groups.

AGAT’s compliance product addresses problems like

-Preventing specific groups (like finance) from uploading files to SharePoint or OneDrive (and MS Teams through SphereShield Ethical Wall for MS Teams).

-Limiting a specific group from sharing with any other group or any specific group.

-Blocking 2 teams from sharing files with each other.

SphereShield for OD & SP contains a governance feature that allows assigning policies to any SharePoint site inside the company. These policies are designed to determine which groups are allowed to be members of which sites.

Eg. prevent the finance group from accessing the SharePoint site of the HR group.

If you would like to learn more about SphereShield contact us today to see a live demo from one of our experts.

User case of blocking groups while still allowing them to meet together.

Exceptions of specific sites allow people to communicate.


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