Plan for Microsoft 365 Government - GCC High deployments

This guidance is for IT pros who are driving deployments of Office 365 in US federal government entities or other entities that handle data that’s subject to government regulations and requirements, where the use of Microsoft 365 Government – GCC High is appropriate to meet these requirements.


If your organization has already met the Microsoft 365 Government – GCC High eligibility requirements and applied for and been accepted into the program, you can skip steps 1 and 2 and go directly to step 3.

Step 1. Determine whether your organization needs Microsoft 365 Government - GCC High and meets eligibility requirements.

The Microsoft 365 Government - GCC High environment provides compliance with US government requirements for cloud services. In addition to enjoying the features and capabilities of Office 365, organizations benefit from the following features that are unique to Microsoft 365 Government – GCC High:

  • Your organization’s customer content is logically segregated from customer content in the commercial Office 365 services from Microsoft.
  • Your organization’s customer content is stored within the United States.
  • Access to your organization’s customer content is restricted to screened Microsoft personnel.
  • Microsoft 365 Government – GCC High complies with certifications and accreditations that are required for US Public Sector customers.

You can find more information about the Microsoft 365 Government – GCC High offering for US Government customers at Office 365 Government plans, including eligibility requirements.

The Office 365 US Government service description describes the platform’s benefits, which are centered on meeting compliance requirements within the United States.


You might want to transfer the tables of information in the service description into an Excel workbook and add two columns: Relevant for my organization Y/N and Meets the needs of my organization Y/N. Then you can review this list with your colleagues to confirm that this service meets your organization’s needs.

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Decision points
  • Decide whether Microsoft 365 Government - GCC High is appropriate for your organization.
  • Confirm that your organization meets eligibility requirements.


Microsoft 365 Government - GCC High is only available in the United States. Non–US Government customers can choose from a number of Office 365 Government plans.

Step 2. Apply for Microsoft 365 Government - GCC High

Having decided that this service is right for your organization, start the process of applying for this service.

Step 3. Understand Microsoft 365 Government - GCC High default security settings.

We recommend that you take time to carefully review your admin and security settings before you modify them, and consider impacts on compliance before you make any changes to the default security settings.

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Decision point
  • Decide whether you’ll need to modify any of the default Microsoft 365 Government - GCC High security settings, resolving to first understand the impact of any changes you might make.

Step 4. Understand which Teams capabilities are currently available in Microsoft 365 Government - GCC High

To accommodate the requirements of our government cloud customers, there are some differences between Teams in Microsoft 365 Government - GCC High and Teams in the Enterprise plans. Refer to the following table to see which features are available.

Feature GCC High
Base Login Available
Presence Available
Unified presence (Skype for Business and Teams unified) Available
Activity Feed Available
My Activity Available
Chat Conversation Available
Files Available
Org chart Available
Activity Available
InterOp (1:1 Teams-Skype for Business chat) Available
Teams Channel message Available
Channel files Available
OneNote tab On the Government backlog
Email a channel Not available
Add member Available
Guest access On the Government backlog
Meetings Schedule meeting Available
Join meeting Available
VoIP meeting Available
Desktop sharing Available
Give and take control in sharing Available
Connect from a conference room Available
Anonymous join Available
Cloud recording On the Government backlog
Meeting notes Available
Broadcast meetings On the Government backlog
Intra-cloud (GCCH to GCCH) Federated meetings Available
Surface Hub support On the Government backlog
Calls Contacts Available
History Available
Voicemail Available
VoIP call Available
Skype for Business - Teams calling Available
Calling Plans Not Available
Audio conferencing (by allowing meeting participants to join via PSTN) Available
Microsoft Phone System Direct Routing Available
Lobby for PSTN callers On the Government backlog
Call queue On the Government backlog
Boss and delegate support On the Government backlog
Consultative and safe transfer On the Government backlog
Do not disturb breakthrough On the Government backlog
Distinctive ring On the Government backlog
1:1 to group call escalation with Teams, Skype for Business, and PSTN participants On the Government backlog
Forward to group On the Government backlog
Transfer to PSTN call On the Government backlog
Emergency calling - Calling Plans On the Government backlog
Support for existing certified SIP phones On the Government backlog
USB HID Available
eDiscovery for both calls and meetings Available
Organization auto attendant On the Government backlog
Skype consumer - Teams call support Not available
Files Recent Available
Microsoft Teams Available
Store App Store Not available
Search Messages Available
People Available
Files Available
Slash commands Available
Compliance Compliance content search Available
Retention Available
Audit log search Available
Legal hold Available
eDiscovery Available
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Decision point
  • Decide whether the Teams feature set meets your organization’s needs.

Step 5. Plan for governance

Determine your requirements for governance and how you can meet them. Go to Plan for governance in Teams for more information.

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Step 6. Deploy Teams for collaboration

After you’ve been onboarded to Microsoft 365 Government – GCC High, follow the recommended deployment path outlined in How to roll out Microsoft Teams. Be sure to engage with your Adoption and Change Management team and Teams champions.

You can also work with FastTrack or your chosen partner to onboard the service.