My Coast Guard

User guides now available for M365 and CG Teams 

By Lt. Luke McConnell, MyCG Writer

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The Coast Guard has reached a new milestone in the multi-phased transition to Microsoft 365 (M365) by officially announcing the availability of USCG M365 TEAMS and the release of a USCG Teams User and Unit Guide. Two icons titled “USCG Teams Web” and “CVR Teams Web” are now available on the desktop of most standard Coast Guard workstations. This article provides some additional information on both versions and what users can expect when accessing them.

USCG Teams and CVR Teams 

The Department of Defense (DoD) created the Commercial Virtual Remote (CVR) environment as a temporary solution to support large-scale teleworking options for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic response. The Coast Guard and DoD have extended its use until June 2021. Until otherwise directed, CVR Teams will continue to serve as a solution for virtual collaboration from personal devices and with other non-DoD personnel.

However, one thing you need to remember is to back up and save any content uploaded to the CVR. Information stored or communicated in CVR Teams will not be saved nor available upon its decommissioning.

USCG Teams will eventually replace CVR Teams as well as Skype as the long-term solution for collaboration and instant messaging. USCG Teams is available for use now in a limited capacity as an additional collaboration tool to support the CG’s virtual collaboration posture. Initially, USCG Teams will only be available via web browser (works best in Chrome) and will not be accessible on any personal or government mobility device. 

Communications on CG Teams is currently restricted to agencies within the DoD and Coast Guard only, and users must be connected to the Coast Guard’s CGOne Network for access. The Coast Guard and DoD are exploring options to reduce these limitations and have the end-state of USCG Teams bring the similar capabilities within CVR.

Units and users interested in operating now in the USCG Teams platform are encouraged to do so. Commands are strongly encouraged to designate a unit USCG Teams Champion in order to have locally trained personnel equipped with the necessary administrative privileges, tools, and training to address unit-specific needs in USCG Teams. Members who desire to be at the forefront of this highly-visible initiative as a USCG Teams Champion can enroll in the program here (CAC required to access).
    
Users and units are also encouraged to review the USCG M365 Teams User and Unit Guide here (CAC required to access). Examples of critical guidance on how to use USCG Teams include applying standard naming conventions and maintaining a professional presence. Support options for USCG Teams are also outlined in the document.

Users are highly encouraged to view all available resources, including the USCG Teams User and Unit Guide available here. (CAC required to access). Users can also register for access to training resources on a wide variety of Teams and M365 applications on the Cloud Office Solution website in the “Help Me kNow” M365 Training Hub (works best in Chrome). Steps to log into the “Help Me kNow” hub, including the site registration code, are posted on the website. Internet-accessible information is posted here.

Additional information will be provided as the Coast Guard reaches new milestones in the multi-phased transition to the M365 Cloud Office Solution. 

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