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Adding external users to teams

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Sean Whyment
Occasional Contributor

Is it possible to add external users to teams, and if so what limitations exist on what they can access?

 

We work with a number of external contractors/partners and would like them to have access to certain teams, or even channels within teams. This is one benefit of Slack which we're trialling at the moment.

340 Replies

I'm sensing that's not available yet. You could use an Office 365 Group with Guest access for that requirement, or Yammer External groups.

 

External users ("guests") are not supported during the preview of Microsoft Teams. I'll let the product team address any roadmap (near future) announcements.

Also for us it's a killer criteria to have the possibility to have external users in some teams :)

 

Looking forward for the roadmap.

 

Congrats on the launch of a great product!

Would be great to get an roadmap for this topic soon. I'd like to start my first project with Microsoft Teams but external user are mandatory.

So true. We always work with external suppliers on our projects so it's crucial to have people outside our organization join Microsoft Teams.

eagerly waiting for external collaboration !!

Same here. I am 100% ready to start using MS Teams but cant if external users cant be added to this. The perfect solution would be that we could just add their email address and they would get an email when there was a message which they could reply to and that response would show in the channel. 

 

That would make this a super simple platform to adopt! 

 

Great product otherwise! Loving it all.

This is a show-stopper if no ability to add board members, key volunteers, contractors and other key players who are not employees and don't share our Office 365 service.

this is something we alos will ned if we are to adopt this. we collaborate with multiple external companies and need to include them in these types of collaboration

Folks, external users / guest will come to Teams...please be patient and remember that Teams is in preview

Standing by :)

Hi All, for this I am sharing the SharePoint site with the externals. Whilst they are not able to collaborate as directly, they are still able to work on files and other items centrally.
But that's a different story, sharing in SPO sites and also in the Teams is provided out of the box and relies on your sharing settings in SPO
also eagerly awaiting this feature...
Hi Sean and All, thanks for your feedback. We know that external user (e.g. guest) access is important for team collaboration. We are working on enabling this and are targeting a delivery in H1 2017. Grant's workaround is a good one.

Will it be possible to migrate a working group created in Yammer or Outlook or Skype into Teams? We are just starting with Office 365 and need to collaborate with a number of organizations on citywide projects. Before spending time creating multiple working groups for each platform it would be nice to know what the best and least time consuming way there is to create groups that show up integrated everywhere. For now it seems like there is no integration between any of these and each are crucial to use for our projects. 

Also - will external groups allow us to work with people who don't have a company email in the future? We work with a number of community members etc. and would like their input on projects and they don't have fancy emails. I'm very excited about Microsoft's new products but for there to be so many hurdles to outside collaboration - when the world is so clearly moving this way - is deeply disappointing. Hoping solutions to this are in development! Thanks 

Hallo, I created a Group first (with external members) and then created the Team based on that group. But the functionality available to the external users is limited.....
Thank you so much, that is very helpful!

+1 +thumbsup PLEASE have this feature added asap.

 

It is cruical for us to get full use of this and work as efficient as we want to with our teams.

 

Our teams are more than 50% a mix of internal and external users.

We need this too!

Thank you, Nicklas, for the feedback.  We understand the importance of this functionality and are working hard to enable it. 

I also have to add that the ability to have external users in a team is needed for me to use the app.  I was about setup a team for UAT testing of an in house app and ended up deleting it when I realized I could not invite people outside of my org.

 

I am very excited with what you've created with Teams and can't wait for this ability to be added!

 

Thanks!

Hope to see this soon. Be useful in the health environment since it will be hipaa compliant per blog so not to have to establish another chat solution. 

Monica: Please excuse me if you've already answered your question. Actually I was "playing" around with Teams, not the first thing it asked me was if I wanted to have teams migrate my Outlook groups over?

Hi Sean, I am an independent developer, and I may have something that could help you connect with external partners : https://www.smooz.io/microsoft

 

Smooz can open a shared chat ACROSS MS Teams (and Slack as well, if your external contractors use Slack). On a project basis, you don't need to invite them in your MS Team account, you just need to open a shared chat with them. I am looking for early access users to help refine the product. Let me know if that can be of interest to you, I'd be happy to help.

When will it be added to Teams? We are trying to make a decision soon. We are considering Slack and Teams. Knowing the timeline would help us lean toward Teams.

 

"We are working on enabling this and are targeting a delivery in H1 2017."
To be honest, that's slow...
Fortunately, HP IT doesn't buy Slack + Google solutions so we will wait patiently~

If i have any hope of getting my users off of slack, and to achieve successful adoption within our org, i am going to need this capability (external or guest users) in team

+1 on critical to even test...

External users possibilities would be great to have!!!

Michael, what means "limited", it sounds at least something work?
Hi Matthieu,
Sounds really interesting!
We have Slack running in other companies of us, and teams in HQ. So very interested in testing this with you!
Markus

I work for large corporation as development manager and we are looking to use VSTS with MS Teams for our projects. But we need flexible and secure external user capability also. Why is MS so slow to update the Teams app. It's got so much potential but need these features to make it useable. 

Also interesting regarding the license part. Do external users need O365 enterprise license (E1 and above) as internal users or can they join with only a MS email account?

Thanks

Brgds Göran

That would be great. We in the not for profit space need to be able to communicate to our volunteers, board members, etc without the need to set them up as Office 365 users, etc.

 

it needs to be simple.

Is it possible to connect users from another company that also has Office 365 licenses? We have not found a way, but it should be possible to add users with full licences, right? If so how?

 

I second the opinion that adding in consultants to you team is a really basic and important feature to make this usable.

We are currently facing the same issue with our customers, product owners or external companies. Please hurry with this feature! one up!
+1
Critical feature.

Very critical.  Please add soon.

I agree completely. We need external user access as well. We need to collaborate with clients on projects all the time.

understood, but honestly there are just some feature that should be there before MS releases it.  Or expressly stated it a closed preview with the following limitiations enter at your own risk.  I have a large need for Teams currently.  It actually does what I want better than slack (becasue slack has horrible office 365 integration).  But I havea tool that would be great, sitting in front of me but it is a no go becasue the lack of this feature.  

 

But becasue it was previewed the team wants it and are impatient.  So now we are in the progress of moving to google gsuite and slack.  Such a pain.  MS should not release a collaberation product without guest access and multi-accoun/tenant support.

Well based on MS history feature rollout for these types of thing is slow.  

Just because you and your company implemented Teams, which was in preview, before evaluating its capabilities and your needs, doesn't mean MS should have held off until all the features you want are in there.

 

I want external users too, but we are using Teams internally for now, which is a far cry from what we had, which was either nothing, or yet another system via Slack, which isn't a great fit for Office 365 users, nor security.

I can agree in principle, but not on this feature.  There are a lot of features and improvements I would want to see and would be willing to struggle through the app to wait for.  Primarily because I could stay with office365 and not have to do a large migration.

 

But I am of the opinion that ability to extend a conversation to outside the organization is a core principle for a collaboration tool.  I am certain MS had a feature set they defined for the release of this preview so I can tell you 100% MS is in the practice on holding products until they reach a certain maturity level.  I think it was a miss on MS part to not have included this functionality as a requirement to there release.  They should have learned this from Skype, Yammer, and Groups.

 

The argument about security is debatable, what is not is that every competing product to teams has external communication (pretty much inviting any user to a team).  Its right there with multi-account/tenant.  Even MS apps that claim this feature do it horribly.

So yes, I agree I don't really think MS should hold products until they can implement every feature that would make me happy.  But I would still argue MS should have held until this feature was implemented.   But I am pretty hard on the big MS.  I think they need to pull OneDrive as well.  Until they can implement a sharing system that is usable and works.  Thankfully none of my clients have research google drive and all of them are okay with using box and dropbox with office365.  Although my clients who are now moving to google (because of teams) will see google drive and I am certain I will have to answer the question as to why i didn't suggest a google move earlier.

From what I learned today on the Cloud Summit in Frankfurt it will work with any eMail adress and there is no license needed for guests or external users.

They did the demo this morning with a google account, so I guess the email adress doesn't matter

Hope this helps

Markus

I bet the email address though has to be associted with a "Microsoft Account." Not a huge deal as any address can be a Microsoft Account - my Gmail addy is - but sometimes it is a pain explaining to the person on the other end of an email thread how to go about getting an MS account associated with their address.

 

Anxious to see how this looks when released. Thanks for the udpate.

Quite undertandable since this is the way external guests support work in Groups :)
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