Understanding and using Microsoft Teams Administrator Roles

Published on July 16, 2021

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There are five distinct Microsoft Teams administrator roles, each with different levels of access and permissions. When you assign these roles with your users in mind, you create an admin layer that encourages smooth adoption.

Be sure you are friendly with your SharePoint and Exchange Administrators, as they will play a significant role in your ability to service end-user activities in Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams administrator roles and capabilities

This blog primarily addresses the Teams Service Administrator role, as well as the Teams Communications sub-roles, listed below:

Teams Service Administrator

Think of the Teams Service Administrator as your ‘super admin’ role for Microsoft Teams. They can manage every feature in the Microsoft Teams admin centre. Your Service Administrator should be a senior person familiar with Active Directory, Azure, and the Microsoft communications stack. If you do not have a professional with this skill-set internally, consider engaging an external administrator ‘on the ground’.

Teams Communications Administrator

The Microsoft Teams Communications Administrator role manages meeting features and policies. Communications Administrators might be from your ICT team or an external resource augmenting your internal team. Also, a Teams Communications Administrator should have a background in telephony or unified communications to enable user adoption.

Teams Communications Support Engineer

Communications Support Engineer is a second-level support role suited to people on your Service Desk or Helpdesk team. The Communications Support Engineer is essential if you leverage Teams Calling, as they primarily monitor and troubleshoot call issues. You should have at least one Support Engineer available as an escalation point at all times. For smaller organisations, your Teams Communications Administrator might fulfill the Support Engineer role.

Teams Communications Support Specialist

A Support Specialist monitors and troubleshoots call quality issues but only has access to a basic toolset. They are the first support point and will need to escalate matters with a Support Engineer or Communications Administrator. Your Microsoft Teams Communications Support Specialists will commonly come from your ICT Level 1 support team. Additionally, you may also select them from within a contact centre team if your organisation has one. Having Support Specialists ‘closer to the business’ helps users receive a more customised level of support.

Teams Device Administrator

The Device Administrator is an essential on-site role if you have an investment in Teams-connected meeting room hardware. In brief, the Microsoft Teams Device Administrator manages physical device configurations, updates, and health. As a result, a desktop support person comfortable with hardware management would be best for this role. We recommend having a Device Administrator on-site when first deploying Microsoft Teams.

Assigning Microsoft Teams administrator roles 

Microsoft 365 will automatically assign all new users with the user role, except the person who purchased the Microsoft business subscription. As the global Microsoft Teams admin, the purchaser has complete control over the products included in the subscription and can access most data. For this reason, they can also assign admin roles to others, including password admin, helpdesk admin, or service admin. 

There are two ways to assign Microsoft Teams administrator roles to users in Microsoft 365:

  • The user’s details: Click on a user from the Active users tab, then on Manage Roles in the flyout pane. A dialogue box will show the Microsoft Teams administrator roles. You will need to select Show all at the bottom of the list if any roles are missing.
  • The Roles tab in the admin centre: You will first need to select the admin role you want to assign to the user. Choose Assigned admins > Add. Type the user’s name (display or username), and pick them from the suggestions list. Click on Save to store the changes once you have selected the users.

If you need to assign Microsoft Teams administrator roles to many users, you can use PowerShell for Microsoft 365. Keep in mind that some role names are different for Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) PowerShell. For example, the SharePoint Administrator role in the Microsoft 365 admin centre is called SharePoint Service Administrator in Azure AD PowerShell.

Customise with Microsoft Teams Admin Centre

Microsoft Teams can help you tailor management capabilities to the individual needs of your business. The admin centre optimises the dashboard around the tasks and data your organisation uses every day. Additionally, it pins frequently accessed apps, such as Planner, OneNote, Calls, and Files, on your home screen. 

Controlling channels

One of Microsoft Teams admin centre’s capabilities is controlling the chat and channels available to members. The default policy is helpful for many small and mid-sized organisations. However, Microsoft Teams admins can also create custom messaging policies as needed—for example, custom policies for external vendors. Any of them can have translation enabled to convert the messages into the language specified by their settings. 

Control available applications

As a Microsoft Teams admin, you can control what apps are available to users in your organisation’s app store. You can set up apps to be individually allowed or blocked and manage subscriptions associated with third-party apps. Microsoft Teams admins can also configure app-specific settings. So, users can discover and install apps from the Power platform. It is worth noting that Microsoft Teams can streamline and automate app integration from development to validation to publishing. In addition, users can submit an app directly to the Microsoft Teams Admin Center for review and approval.

Customise device management

Microsoft Teams admins can customise device management and identify potential device health issues. If a service goes offline or is deemed unhealthy, the system issues a notification. The admin is alerted and can take action to correct the problem immediately. You can integrate these notifications with a webhook and generate tickets automatically. 

Above are just some of the things you can do as a Microsoft Teams admin. Other experiences include enabling or disabling external and guest access and bulk-assigning operations. Previously, Microsoft Teams admins had to use PowerShell scripts to do this. Now, they can deal with up to 50,000 users asynchronously and across all subscriptions. Microsoft Teams also gives admins access to powerful reporting and analytics. These include extensive event reporting and metrics for all organisational calls and meetings. 

How Experteq can enhance your Microsoft Teams play

We understand that Microsoft Teams success includes getting administrator roles right. Experteq can help you improve your play by setting up Microsoft Teams administrator roles across your organisation. Visit our Microsoft Teams solutions page to learn more.

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