Microsoft Adds Guest Access to Teams

Posted on September 11, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Office 365 with 6 Comments

Microsoft Adds Guest Access to Teams

Microsoft this morning announced that it is finally adding guest access to Teams for all Office 365 commercial and education customers. This was one of the top requests from Team users, Microsoft says.

“Today, Teams is getting even better with new developer tools and the roll out of guest access to all Office 365 commercial and education customers,” Microsoft general manager Lori Wright writes. “Now, Office 365 users can add people from outside their company to a team, so guests can participate in chats, join meetings, collaborate on documents, and more.”

According to Wright, Microsoft designed guest access with the following three principles in mind:

Teamwork. Beginning today, anyone with an Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) account can be added as a guest in Teams. And according to Microsoft, that’s a big pool of potential users, as there are over 870 million Azure AD user accounts. And, yes, access to those with Microsoft accounts is coming later this year.

Security and compliance. Guest access in Teams provides the enterprise-grade security and compliance assurances that Microsoft’s customers expect. “Guest accounts are added and securely managed within Azure AD through Azure AD B2B Collaboration,” Wright explains. “This enables enterprise-grade security, like conditional access policies for guest user access.” Guest user content and activities are under the same compliance and auditing protection as the rest of Office 365.

IT manageability. IT can of course centrally manage how guests participate within their Office 365 environments and can view, add, or revoke a guest’s access to the host tenant at any time.

In short, this is exactly what Teams users asked for and expect. And it should help expand usage in a product offering that, frankly, has been going gangbusters since Microsoft first released it 6 months ago. According to the software giant, over 125,000 organizations are already using Teams in over 180 markets around the world.

 

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