Teams external users with Teams accounts not managed by an organization...

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Maybe someone has a definitive answer. I have researched, tested, read all documentation, etc. 

 

SCENARIO

Summary: We want to allow our Teams users (managed organization account) chat with Teams accounts not managed by an organization ONLY if our users initiate the conversation. Per Microsoft documentation, this is possible based on the settings below in the Teams Administration Center; however, it's not working for us and, again, I cannot find or get a definitive answer.

 

Teams Administration Center > Users > External Access > Teams accounts not managed by an organization. 

 

Our settings:

  • "People in my organization can communicate with Teams users whose accounts aren't managed by an organization" ENABLED

  • "External users with Teams accounts not managed by an organization can contact users in my organization" DISABLED

TSBenz_0-1668211547673.png

 

Per the Microsoft documentation, the configuration / settings above will allow Teams users in our organization to communicate with Teams user accounts NOT managed by an organization as long as OUR TEAMS USERS INITIATE CONTACT:

"To let Teams users in your organization communicate with external Teams users whose accounts are not managed by an organization if YOUR TEAMS USERS have INITIATED the CONTACT:

  1. Turn ON the People in my organization can communicate with Teams users whose accounts aren't managed by an organization setting.
  2. CLEAR the External users with Teams accounts not managed by an organization can contact users in my organization checkbox."

The portion of the setting that is working correctly / as expected is external users with Teams accounts not managed by an organization (I.e. @outlook.com, @gmail.com, etc.) cannot initiate a chat with our  Teams users. We tested this and confirmed. Great. Working as expected.

 

Now, our Teams user INITIATES communication with an external user with a Teams account not managed by an organization (i.e. @outlook.com) by sending them a chat message. The external user with a Teams account not managed by an organization receives the chat message and they have the option to (and can) preview it. Great. Working as expected.

 

ISSUE

The external user with a Teams account not managed by an organization receives the chat and also has an "Approve" button. The expectation is they select "Approve" and can then respond to the chat message our Teams user sent them. 

 

When the external user with a Teams account not managed by an organization selects the "Approve" button, they get an error, "Something went wrong. Please try again".

 

Has anyone else experienced this? 

 

To confirm it wasn't a Teams desktop application, web app, or computer issue: We cleared the Teams desktop app cache; tested in Teams web; tested with other accounts not managed by an organization; tested on two different computers; tested on our work network and personal home networks and still received the same "Something went wrong. Please try again" error when the external user with a Teams account not managed by an organization selects the "Approve" button. And, we tested over a period of a week to ensure (confirmed) it wasn't propagation time related. 

 

Wait... There's more...

 

So, I follow protocol and submit a support request via the M365 Admin Center. Our support requests have to go through our Microsoft "Partner" first. They responded, which was appreciated. However, they responded the setting (I listed above) only enables one-way communication; essentially, stating the external user with a Teams account not managed by an organization can only read the Chat message they received from our Teams user and they cannot respond to it. 

 

From my perspective, the one-way communication response doesn't make sense and I'm not sold that it's correct:

  1. As mentioned above, based on our settings as instructed in the Microsoft documentation, those settings allow Teams user accounts in our organization (managed account) to communicate with the external user with a Teams account not managed by an organization as long as the Teams user accounts in our organization INITIATE the communication.

  2. The external user with a Teams account not managed by an organization receives the message and has the ability to preview it. Why would there be an "Approve" button for one-way communication? What would be the point of receiving a one-way communication? For statements? "Hope you're doing well."

    "Hey, external user with a Teams account not managed by an organization, how's it going? Can you send me XYZ information? How's the weather? Are you still interested in our ABC product?" Oh, wait. You can't respond.

    If it is only one-way communication, again, why? I could send them an email or call.

    The "Approve" button displayed in the chat message received by the external user with a Teams account not managed by an organization implies they can "Approve" the message so it takes it out of preview and they can then respond and "communicate" with the Teams user in our organization who sent / initiated the chat message.

Anyone have any definitive answers / able to confirm? Anyone from Microsoft on here that can provide definitive answers? 

 

Your turn. :)

 

Thank you in advance.

3 Replies
Surely a bug. I could reproduce the exact same issue with a new personal account. You should report it to the official Microsoft support.

@TSBenz I see that @Noga Ronen wrote the blog post announcing this feature; perhaps she can assist.