New External Sharing Experience

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Occasional Contributor

Hi all,

I work at a consulting firm of about 70 people and we are new to SPO. Right now we are mostly using it as a file server and we want to share our documents and folders with clients. What is the best practice to do this?

1) With the recent change that external users are unable to open documents in the desktop version on their own computers, how do you navigate formatting collaboration with external users? The browser version of Office have such limited capability and we use branded templates.

 

2) If they have to download the document to edit it in the desktop program, how do you handle version control?

 

3) Our projects generally last for 4-7months at a time. Do you recommend we enable sharing links to be valid for that whole time? Or shorten it?

 

If anyone has any suggestions for a blog or similar for me to check out on how to best set up SPO for a medium business and general best practices that would be great too. I've haven't found much in my searching.

 

Thanks!

 

 

2 Replies

Hi Karen,

 

External users should be able to open the documents.  What recent change is causing troubles?

 

For co-authoring, I prefer to use the browser if you can get it to work with your branded templates.  It sure simplifies things.

 

If you download, have the user check the file out so others do not make changes while they have it open offline.

 

I would consider leverage Azure AD B2B for your projects instead of sharing links.  Do the participants have Azure AD accounts already?

 

Hope that helps,

 

David

Hi David, thanks for your reply. With the regular sharing links, external users are unable to open documents in the desktop programs. I agree that for real time collaboration, online is best but often we are sending things to clients to have them look over and make edits on their own time.

 

I haven't looked into Azure B2B  too much, I think there is a license limit for that, based on our user licenses? Also, the way our business works, we have new clients almost monthly or bi-monthly and we have various users within those client's that we share things with. I've noticed a lot of MS sharing revolves around sharing things with a long term client or long term team. We work differently.

 

For now we've decided we need an SP consultant to help us understand how to best use it for us.

 

Thanks!

Karen