When to use Teams

Overview

A Front account can contain many Teams. A Team is a distinct workspace within Front. Team members can have access to multiple Teams and can manage inboxes across each of them.

Teams are distinct entities in Front. Each Team manages their own channels, message templates, channels, tags, contacts, and analytics and do not have access to those of other Teams. Members of multiple Teams can toggle between them, but otherwise users will only see their own Team’s workspace.

The purpose of Teams is to allow organizations to have multiple Front workspaces within one account. Billing and SSO are unified across all Teams. Integrations and plugins are not currently separated per Team.

Follow these instructions to learn how to create a new Team.


How can you work with users across Teams?

Any user in your company can @mention, invite, or assign a conversation to a user who is not in their Team. This means that if User A is on Team Z, and User B is not, then User A can still @mention User B into a conversation that lives in Team Z.

When a user does not belong to the Team, they can:

  • Comment, @mention, assign, and share drafts in conversations they participate in
  • Archive, snooze, or delete the conversation in the team inbox if they are the assignee
  • Reply from their individual email channel
  • View team tags applied to the conversation
  • Be tracked in Team analytics

When a user does not belong to the Team, they cannot:

  • Reply from the team channel
  • Reply to non-email conversations
  • Add or remove team tags
  • Access team message templates
  • Access team signatures

When should you use Teams?

Here are some tips on when to use Teams within Front: 

Business hours

When measuring analytics, you might have teams that work off of different business hours. If they want to make sure their analytics or rules are based on specific operating hours, companies will want to separate their departments into Teams and set different business hours for each Team. You can also set business hours per team inbox for additional accuracy.

Organization

It's helpful for teammates to have visibility into only the Team that is relevant to them, which reduces clutter and increases focus and productivity. For instance:

  • The rule engine of a Team will only display teammates, inboxes, message templates, and tags that are within that Team, so teammates don't need to sift through items from other Teams.
  • A teammate of one Team will see Teammates of the same team.

Contacts

In Front contacts, a contact is only visible by default to teammates or Teams that have conversations with that contact. From there, users can mark a contact as a Company Contact to make it visible to all Teams in Front.

Teams can be useful to ensure that:

  • Sensitive contacts that only one Team is communicating with are not made visible to other Teams that aren’t talking to that contact. 
  • Contact lists can be created that are only visible to a single Team

Administration

Many organizations often have mid-tier managers to administer the immediate team they manage, but IT does not want those managers to have company administration access. With Teams, these managers can be Team Admins and provision teammates, inboxes, rules, message templates, tags, signatures, and roles just for their immediate team without the distraction of other Teams. 


When not to use Teams

On the flip side, here are some instances when we may want to think twice about using Teams:

Admin wants users to have access to different inboxes 

Admins can already provision access for specific teammates to specific inboxes. You don’t need Teams to accomplish this.

Admins want message templates/tags to only show for some inboxes

Admins can provision message templates and tags to specific inboxes. You don’t need Teams to accomplish this.


One Team vs. multiple Teams

In certain scenarios, working in an environment with multiple teams is different from working in an environment with one team. Consider the differences below when building your workflows in a multi-team environment.

Actions

One Team

Multiple Teams

Moving conversations

  • You can manually move any team inbox conversation to any other team inbox, even if you do not have access to the destination inbox. To do this, ensure the Allow conversations to be moved to all inboxes company setting is active.
     
  • When creating team rules to move conversations, company admins will see all inboxes that exist in the team in the rule’s inbox conditions and Move to rule action.
     
  • When creating team rules to move conversations, team admins will see all inboxes that exist in the team in the rule’s inbox conditions, but will only see inboxes they have access to in the Move to rule action.
     
  • When moving conversations with tags from one shared inbox to another, the tags will remain on the conversations.
  • You can manually move any team inbox conversation to another Team’s inbox, even if you do not have access to the destination inbox. To do this, ensure the Allow conversations to be moved to all inboxes company setting is active.
     
  • When creating team rules to move conversations, company admins will see inboxes that belong to the specific team in the rule’s inbox conditions, but will see inboxes from all company teams in the “Move to” rule action.
     
  • When creating team rules to move conversations, team admins will see inboxes that belong to the team in the rule’s inbox conditions, but will only see inboxes they have access to in the “Move to” rule action.
     
  • To allow team admins to move conversations to any company inbox using rules, you can activate the Allow conversations to be moved to all inboxes feature in your company settings.
     
  • When moving conversations with tags from one Team to another, team tags from the initial team will be removed in transit to the destination team.
     
  • When moving conversations from one Team to another, you will always be able to reply with the original channel if you have access to both the original inbox in the old Team and the destination inbox in the new Team. If you do not have access to the original inbox, but have access to the new inbox, then you may or may not be able to reply using the original channel, depending on if the original channel setting All teammates can reply is active.

Replying from a conversation’s original channel

If you have access to a team inbox, you will be able to reply from the channel. If you do not have access to it, you may still have the ability to reply if All teammates can reply is enabled.

If you have access to both the original inbox in the old Team and the destination inbox in the new Team after a conversation moves, then you will always be able to reply with the original channel. If you do not have access to the original inbox, but have access to the new inbox, then you may or may not be able to reply using the original channel, depending on if the original channel has the All teammates can reply setting enabled. 

Conversations merging

Emails addressed to multiple team inbox addresses will be automatically merged into one master copy to reduce the amount of work your team has to do, unless you use the setting to Keep actions separate between shared inboxes

Emails addressed to multiple team inboxes from different Teams will not merge automatically into one shared master copy. 

Load balancing

Each Team’s load balance limit is 100 conversations total.

If a user is a member of multiple Teams, their load balance limits are specific to each Team. The maximum limit for each teammate per Team is 100, so a teammate who is part of multiple teams could potentially have more than 100 load-balanced assignments. Use load balancing rules to automatically balance your team’s workload.

Analytics

All analytics are from one Team.

 

  • Conversation moves between Teams
    • When you move a conversation from Team A to Team B, analytics are computed for the time that they were in a certain Team. In other words, all analytics are computed for Team A while the conversation is in Team A; and after the move to Team B, all analytics are computed for Team B. 
    • All tags from Team A will be removed from the conversation along with the move. Both the move and untag events will be associated with the Team B analytics. To see tag analytics inclusive of these moved conversations in Team A, you can use the Tagged anytime tag filter setting. 
  • Inbox moves between Teams: When an inbox gets moved to a new Team, all of the historical data for the inbox will be reindexed for the new Team. If you need to see analytics on the past data before the move, you would check in the new Team. 
  • Report type: Depending on your report type selection, the report will be created for the specific Team selected or for the whole Company. The Company type return data after September 2021. For analytics before then, use the Inbox filter within individual Teams instead.

Pricing

This feature is available on the Scale plan. Some legacy plans with different names may also have this feature.

Need a consultation on whether Teams is right for you? Contact us and a member from our Customer Success Team will help you out! 

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  • I am revisiting the idea of using teams... we haven't been able to yet because Frontapp doesn't seem to allow us to everything we need it to yet - BUT here's a question.

    Can I have one channel exist on multiple teams?

    There are some channels that we have currently that cannot be "split" very easily on our end, so it'd be great if we could have them in each team. A "shared channel" example is our Facebook business page. Obviously, we have different location's pages, but the way FB is structured it still comes into the same box. We'd prefer this feature (for now) with our Aircall inbox as well...

    We already know you won't allow us to have multiple email inboxes and we're thinking we could set up mail forwarding or something to combat that... but I [wonder if] being able to send it to another team directly without needing to forward the message would make more sense...

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  • Allie Huang you're not able to have the same channel exist across multiple teams. The reason we implemented Teams this way is based on how we think about work being done within Front. At the end of the day, having the same channel across multiple teams would result in duplicate work and efforts. 

    In your example for Facebook, perhaps creating a Social Media Team that multiple locations work out of would be an ideal set-up. Everyone who manages those channels will be part of this one team and can collectively manage messages that belong to their location, from the same shared inbox.

    In regards to email, since each Team effectively functions as a silo, if you have one message sent to two separate teams, or you forward an email from one team to the other, the emails are 'split'. To add some additional context, what I mean by 'split' is each conversation will exist independently within each Team, therefore one team can act on their copy of the email without impacting the other team's copy. Regardless of which option you chose to move forward with, the underlying logic will still be the same.

    Let me know if you have any additional questions and thank you for sharing!

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