How to collaborate with external users in Microsoft Teams?
Platforms such as Microsoft Teams were created to allow effective communication and collaboration inside an organization. However, the events of last year brought up needs we didn’t recognize before.
Working remotely is not only about communicating and working with your team, but to efficiently communicate with customers, partners, and providers.
Luckily, Microsoft Teams allows you to communicate and collaborate with people from outside your organization. You can either grant external access or guest access*.
External access is a type of federation that allows Teams users to find, call and chat with people from other organizations.
Guest access allows you to invite outsiders to be part of a team within your organization. A guest has access to everything a native team member has.
This May 2021, Microsoft announced the general availability to participate in group Teams chats with external users. This feature extends the Teams ability to find, participate on 1:1 chat, call, and setup meetings with external users.
The use of this extension is possible if the users have an Azure Active Directory identity. The organizations involved must be on each other’s allow list or be using the open federation** policy.
Once this is set up with another organization, users from both teams can communicate the same way they would with someone from inside their company. All they must do is to select the Search externally option when looking for a user in the New Chat search.
If you want to read more about External and Guest access, click here.
*You are allowed to invite external users to be part of a meeting without the need to make them guests or give them external access.
**Open federation is a default setting in Microsoft Teams, that admins can limit in the Teams Admin Center.
***Microsoft Teams free licenses don’t support External access. You can add up to 250 participants to a particular group chat.