IRMS021- Microsoft Teams: a records management perspective

In this podcast Rob Bath joins James Lappin to explore the records management implications of the recent meteoric rise in adoption of Microsoft Teams.

Rob describes:

  • measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of Microsoft Teams sprawl, and to ensure that administrators can track the ownership of each Team;
  • the modular structure of MS Teams, the absence of any overarching structure above each Team, and the implications of the fact that the list of all an organisation’s Teams is available only to those with access to the Compliance centre of their organisation’s Microsoft 365 tenancy;
  • the reasons why the majority of Teams message traffic tends to go through individual chat accounts rather than through channels;
  • the debates over the basis on which retention decisions should be made on messages in individual Teams chat accounts;
  • the practical barriers to closing and archiving a Team;
  • the implications of a Microsoft Teams roll out for an organisation’s SharePoint implementation.

Rob Bath is Information Management & Compliance Practice Lead at Intelogy. He is also Digital Director for IRMS. Rob’s blogpost on configuration choices with regard to MS Teams (referred to in the podcast) can be found here. His blogpost on retention issues in relation to MS Teams can be found here. Rob’s webinar on the governance of MS Teams can be viewed on the IRMS YouTube channel here.

Rob Bath was interviewed by James Lappin on 12 August 2020.

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IRMS020 – Machine learning club

In this podcast Mark Bell (TNA) and Leontien Talboom (UCL and TNA) describe the machine learning club they have set up at the UK National Archives (TNA) to help archivists at TNA develop their AI literacy.

Mark and Leontien describe how they have taken the group through a series of stages to introduce them to data science, to give them experience of preparing data, and to enable them to develop their intuitions about how different machine learning models work (Naive Bayes, Support vector machines etc.), and an understanding of the challenges that AI can (and can’t) be used to tackle.

They also describe how they intend to move on to discuss some key issues in the application of AI to records, including the issue of the explainability of AI decisions and the issue of capturing the machine learning model itself as a record.

Mark Bell is Senior digital researcher at TNA.   Leontien Talboom  is a doctoral researcher working with UCL’s Department of Information Studies and with TNA.

Mark and Leontien were interviewed by James Lappin on 22 May 2020.

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IRMS019 – The recordkeeping world of G Suite

In this podcast Tom Midgley shares his experience of managing records within G Suite.

Tom is records management lead at Hackney Council.  

G Suite provides:

  • communication channels ( Gmail, Hangouts, Calendar, and Currents)
  • productivity tools (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Forms)
  • storage locations – Drive (My Drive and Shared Drive) and Sites

Tom talks us through how some of these tools and services can be used for recordkeeping, and how Google Vault and the Admin Panel can be used to manage content, rules and permissions across the suite.

This conversation between James Lappin and Tom Midgley was recorded on Friday 13 March 2020.

You can play the podcast here:

IRMS019- The recordkeeping world of G Suite

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IRMS018 – The recordkeeping world of Office 365

In this episode James Lappin interviews Andrew Warland, author of Records about the World – an exceptionally informative blog on records management in Office 365 and SharePoint

Andrew talks us through the different component parts of Office 365.

He characterises the Office 365 model as an ‘in place’ records management model. Content stays in the application in which it was created (Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, Teams, Yammer etc.) and is managed through retention rules set in the Compliance Admin Centre that sits outside of any of those applications.

Administering Office 365 and SharePoint

Andrew explains:

  • The use of the Compliance Admin Centre to set retention rules across Office 365;
  • The Compliance Admin Role in Office 365 and its relation to the permissions needed by a senior records manager;
  • The importance of records managers being included in the Site Collection Administrator Security Group for all SharePoint sites;
  • The application of retention rules to Exchange mailboxes and One drive accounts via the Compliance Admin Centre.

MS Teams

Andrew and James discuss the interrelationship between MS Teams, MS Exchange, MS SharePoint and One Drive.   Andrew explains how content on Microsoft Teams is stored:

  • one-to one chat messages group chat messages are stored in individual email accounts in MS Exchange;
  • group chat messages are stored in the group email account associated with that Team;
  • documents exchanged in one-to-one chats are stored in the individual’s One Drive;
  • documents exchanged in group chats are stored in a document library in the SharePoint site associated with the Team.

Andrew shares his views on the optimum size of a MS Team, and how to accommodate those SharePoint sites that are linked to MS Teams within the architecture of a SharePoint implementation. 

Office 365 Groups

Office 355 Groups are crucial to the operation of MS Teams. Each team is linked to an Office 365 group and you cannot set up a Team without one. Andrew explains why he recommends that you do not let end users create new Office 365 Groups.  Andrew has also written a blogpost on this topic.

Microsoft’s strategic direction for Office 365

MS Teams is increasingly becoming the main focus of Microsoft’s marketing strategy or Office 365.   It is being positioned as providing the main user interface into both documents; and as being the main communications tool. This could potentially end up with SharePoint becoming a back office document store and email being reserved for more formal messages.


Yammer is a place for organisation wide conversations, in contrast with the team based conversations that take place in MS Teams.  Andrew explains how Yammer can be used to add currency and life to a corporate intranet.

You can play the podcast here:

IRMS018 – The recordkeeping world of Office 365

Alternatively you can download the podcast (to play later) from here .

IRMS017- Alan Pelz-Sharpe on Artificial Intelligence

In this episode James Lappin interviews Alan Pelz-Sharpe,  founder of the Analyst firm Deep Analysis .

Alan is co-author of the book Practical Artificial Intelligence – an Enterprise Playbook   The book describes the nature of automated intelligence (AI) projects in the information management space, how and why they can go wrong, and what knowledge and skills are needed for a successful project.  The book also gives a non-mathematical overview of the most important statistical models deployed in AI/ machine learning.

In the interview Alan shares lessons learned from existing information management projects involving AI and machine learning. He describes how such projects differ from document management system roll out projects; and explains why he thinks that AI and machine learning offer a golden opportunity for records management and information governance professionals.

You can play the podcast here:

IRMS 017: Alan Pelz-Sharpe on artificial intelligence in the information management space

Alternatively you can download the podcast (to play later) from here.

The interview took place on 5 December 2019.

IRMS016 – Rich Hale on Active Navigation

In this podcast James Lappin meets Rich Hale, Chief Technology Officer of Active Navigation.   Rich discusses the Active Navigation product and the uses to which it is being put.

Rich explains how information professionals can use analytics and business intelligence capabilities to understand and take action on content held in repositories such as fileshares, SharePoint and Microsoft Exchange.

Rich and James discuss:

    • what an analytics tool can tell you about your content
    • how analytics tools work
    • the process of using an analytics tool to apply rules and policies to content
    • the relationship between analytics tools and the eDiscovery reference model (EDRM)
    • the relationship between analytics tools and records retention schedules

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IRMS015 – Mark Godfrey on Automated Intelligence

In this podcast Mark Godfrey, CEO of Automated-Intellegence (AI) describes the reasons why he and Simon Cole left an established Enterprise Content Management (ECM) vendor in 2010 to found the company

The company’s strategy has been to build their solutions as far as possible within the SharePoint and Microsoft Office environments that organisations already have, rather than offering a  separate stand alone records system that a customer then has to integrate with those environments.

Mark argues that this has the advantage that an organisation does not have to make separate infrastructure provision for Automated-Intelligence’s products – they can use the hardware and databases already deployed by the organisation.  His company prides itself on its products being quick and easy to deploy in comparison to traditional ECM (Entrerprise Content Management) products.

Mark also discusses various aspect of the Automated Intelligence (AI) product range,including:

  • their analytics, data migration and file management tools that help organisations understand and rationalise legacy data such as shared drives
  • their SharePoint extenders that aim to bridge the gap between SharePoint and a fully functioning ECM system

He discusses:

  • the use of AI’s tools  to regaining control of SharePoint implementations that have sprawled, compared with using them to build good information governance into a SharePoint implementation from the start
  • the ways in which AI are adapting their solution so that it works with the cloud (Office 365) version of SharePoint as well as the on-premise version

Mark was interviewed by James Lappin in London in  March 2014

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IRMS014 – Andrew Warland gives a SharePoint case study

Andrew Warland is information architect at UnitingCare NSW.ACT,  which is the largest provider of aged care services in the State of New South Wales, Australia.

Andrew has helped UnitingCare to implement SharePoint 2010 for document management and collaboration.   They set up different SharePoint web applications for different purposes including web applications for:

  • their intranet
  • team sites (the main area for day to day document management and collaboration)
  • project sites (similar to team sites but for projects that involve cross team collaboration)
  • apps (where specific lists and libraries have been designed for specific processes, including instances where they have used infopath to design specific forms)

In this podcast Andrew talks us through the information architecture choices that UnitingCare have made for the governance of their team sites and project sites, including their decisions:

  • to have a shallow site structure, with each site collection only allowed one-level of sub-site
  • to use the out-of-the box ‘document’ content type for most libraries, rather than set up multiple content types
  • to disable the use of folders within document libraries
  • to set document libraries to be relatively limited in scope
  • to set libraries so that they can be closed at a certain point (many of their libraries are set up to be closed at the end of a calendar year and a new library opened to cover the following year)
  • to use libraries rather than content types as the basis for retention
  • not to use the SharePoint records centre

Andrew talks about the rationale behind these decisions;  how he has gone about incorporating a business classification scheme into the SharePoint envirionment, and his thoughts on how UnitingCare will go about applying retention rules in phase 2 of the project

Andrew was interviewed by James Lappin on 22 April 2014

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IRMS013 – Laurence Hart on trends in collaboration and records management software

Laurence Hart is a thought leader in the enterprise content management space. He writes the Word of Pie.  blog, and has been a leading proponent of the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) standard.

Laurence has been in the ECM industry for nearly twenty years and has worked with Alfresco, Documentum, SharePoint, Box, Nuxeo, and many other solutions. He recently had a six month spell as content management strategist for Alfresco.  James Lappin interviewed him at the start of that spell.

Laurence gives his perspective on the current state of enterprise content management, including:

  • a comparison of the product strategy of SharePoint with that of Alfresco
  • an assessment of the current state of adoption of the CIMIS standard
  • why he believes that believes that records management software needs a revolution to avoid having to rely on end-users declaring records
  • the use of business rules engines and/or autoclassification to reduce the records management burden on end-users

The podcast is 50 minutes long


Direct download

IRMS012 – Barbara Reed on records management theory

In this podcast Barbara Reed and James Lappin discuss the Australian contribution to records management theory, and in particular the development by Frank Upward and others of the records continuum theory.

Barbara describes what it was like working alongside Frank at Monash University in the 1990s as he began to formulate and articulate the theory.

Barbara’s career has spanned both consultancy and academia – she is principal consultant at Recordkeeping Innovation, and is widely published in academic and professional journals.

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