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.


Tagged with

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (6)

6 responses to “Microsoft Adds Guest Access to Teams”

  1. lvthunder

    How do you know if someone has an Azure AD account? How do I know if I have an Azure AD account? Our company has Office 365 and I use Teams now.

  2. rbrynteson

    I wish MS would use terms people understand. Azure AD account means anyone who has an Office 365 account be it either created In Cloud or Sync from their On-Prem AD via something like Azure AD Connect or DirSync. It's great that Microsoft Accounts (MSA or Live) is coming soon. But what needs to happen is true guest access - i.e. an account. I'm sure it's in the works just hope it's not years away.

    • Shannon Mollenhauer

      In reply to rbrynteson:

      Remember - Teams is designed for business environments where security and privacy policies require tighter controls than your run of the mill chat tool where you message anyone with a pulse. The organization I work for is particularly interested in using MS Teams over Slack because it will provide a level of control over our sensitive information which is not as easily or inexpensively managed in the paid Slack products. I can understand why the first iteration is enabled to Azure AD accounts, then other MSA logins. I wouldn't be surprised if general "any email you want" identity management will be a long time coming.

      And honestly, I doubt my organization would be very interested in allowing something which can share sensitive data with outsiders to do it so easily.

  3. IanYates82

    We're an ISV and, apart from writing & selling software, also need to provide support and ongoing collaboration with the customer regarding configuration of our software, etc.

    Once MS accounts are supported I'm going to really dig deep into this and see if we can't use teams as our collaboration platform. I imagine we could gave one or more channels per customer and then invite those end users into our environment with controls over what they can see. Having docs, spreadsheets and chat history there in one place should allow for better transfer of knowledge and also allow us, as the support provider, to more easily have one staff member take over from another as required.

    That's my hope anyway. ?