Collaboration is a core element of how we work which requires the creation of extended teams on a project or long term engagement. Whilst the majority of our teams are internal staff, there is still a critical element of any project that requires the inclusion of our clients and/or external vendors. It is imperative that Microsoft Teams allows for the easy (but secure) inclusion of external parties for the length of any project or engagement.
This is why historically products like Groups etc. have not been adopted as widely as we would hope. If the tool only allows for 60-70% of a team to participate, it breaks. If a tool does not allow 100% of those who need to be involved to participate equally, if breaks and our users and clients have far too many alternative solutions that they can easily adopt (Slack etc.) to quickly and efficiently do their jobs.
Finally, making external parties sign up for a Microsoft account (such as Hotmail) to authenticate against any collaboration service does not work, and better approach is required and needed.
The #1 requested feature for Microsoft Teams is now here!
We’re starting to roll out the ability to add anyone as a guest in Microsoft Teams. This means that anyone with a business or consumer email account, such as Outlook.com, Gmail.com or others, can participate as a guest in Teams with full access to team chats, meetings and files.
Thank you all for your feedback and support!
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Ultimately, we've got to make the switch to a universally accepted communication protocol to replace outdated and insecure email. It must be an open standard that anyone can implement... that's why SMTP, POP3 and IMAP have all succeeded. I think Whisper Systems' Signal protocol could be the answer but companies like Microsoft and Apple need to get behind it. Until somebody does this, we will be forced to rely on email simply because it's the only protocol currently supported by everyone. Imagine if you could take your pick of clients like MS Teams, Discord, Slack, etc. and everyone could just talk. Greatness!
Stanislav Zhelyazkov commented
I wonder how this feature will be developed. I hope that will not be wrongly implemented. Just look how slack does it so you can create multiple channels with advanced settings for membership without actually creating team for every channel. Just get rid of the stupid Office 365 groups concept and dependency.
c b commented
Would be nice to be able to change existing teams back and forth between private and public since many have been created by now. :)
Context: Not O365 admin, part of pilot group / user feedback team.
In the create group dialog it only recognized private O365 Groups that I was a admin of, to add Teams functionality. As we are currently working on migrating to Windows 10, we made it a public group for transparency. To add Teams functionality the O365 group had to be change to a private group, then Teams could be added. Went back to O365 group and made public.
Mark Noble commented
Two thoughts on this... since for me an Office 365 business account was required, isn't my Microsoft Account (MSA) my employer's email address?
Secondly, this rather straightforward search (https://www.bing.com/search?q=how+to+convert+an+existing+email+address+into+a+microsoft+account) results in an explanation of how to turn any existing email account into an MSA that can be used for authentication to MS services. No need to create a Hotmail account.
People have been able to do this since MS introduced "Passport" over 15 years ago.
Kieran Brewer commented
Marc Vanderstraeten commented
This is also crucial to us, as external member access is our number one priority!!!
Yes, yes, and yes.
yes please :)
Angelo Melleraud commented
Totally support this. Teams seems to consolidate all the O365 strengths but managing the composition of the team in all its variety is always the challenge for end-user (not the early enthusiasts like me) adoption. And YESSSS adding and managing externals is mandatory. And their experience should be the same as ours.
Matthew Clark commented
This is a Needed feature
Andre Henrique Buss commented
We need this feature very badly!!! :)
In a perfect world, external users would have the option to simply reply to an email and their response would be parsed and added to the appropriate channel. This would quell the need for them to adopt a new app and simply focus on providing an answer which is hard enough to get from clients sometimes.
There is an addon for slack that does this well which is one of the main reasons we were going to switch, until we heard about ms teams.
Hoping you guys implement a silky and effective solution for this very very key pain point.
Thanks for your hard work!
As with any application you need to review your content and controls. IMO Microsoft Teams, is for "unstructured" collaboration environment, information that doesn't need versions, retention, and good amount of security. Its a brain dump, think tank, vetting etc. Where if your working with clients and venders you might need a more structured, process & procedure type environment like a SP team site where you need to manage the life cycle of the information, versions and retain it etc.
Nicolai Lütschg commented
PLEASE add external users. In my environement, MS Teams unfortunately makes no sense otherwise.
"Finally, making external parties sign up for a Microsoft account (such as Hotmail) to authenticate against any collaboration service does not work, and better approach is required and needed."
This, This, and This. The entire O365 platform would benefit from a different approach. Right now Office365 features that require sharing with people, vendors, partners, contractors or other stakeholders outside of the O365 organization is torture. This applies to sharepoint, onedrive, groups, etc.
Why is it your customer's job to troubleshoot the setup, maintenance, and support of Microsoft user accounts and the various permutations of same. It's a giant time waster, and if it takes a day or two (if ever) to just get someone logged into the platform, it defeats the purpose of sharing. Think about it -- Microsoft accounts are so convoluted and confusing that many folks just give up and use a different product or service.
It doesn't help that the term "Microsoft Account" includes an enormous bucket of personal and work related services like hotmail, msn, outlook.com, Windows live, Microsoft live, live, passport, x-box, personal Windows 8 and and 10 login accounts, Active directory synced accounts, Office365 accounts, and God knows how many rebranded, remarketed, relaunched or otherwise abandoned terms that I'm forgetting, and it's no wonder confusion reigns supreme. I've seen some folks have as many as half a dozen different Microsoft accounts as a result of the confusion.
Most users don't have a clue how they got a Microsoft account in the first place (Was it that MSN dial-up account from 1999; might it have been a Microsoft passport account from 2002; or it might be from last week when their kid set up a new Windows 10 home computer using Mom's email address. Long story short, it's a nightmare and makes MS look awful because the end user doesn't know and frankly doesn't care how complicated and complex federation services are -- they just think "This doesn't work, and it must be Microsoft's fault."
Make no mistake, I know this is a tall order, and I know it's not going to be easy, but until you figure it out, there will be room for upstarts like Slack that will (continue) to eat your proverbial lunch.
David Qian commented
Totally agree. Must have.
i love the new MS-Teams but it's necessary that we also can integrate external partners and freelancer otherwise we have to use another tool again.
Do you know what i mean? I think this would be a necessary feature for the future.
Manny Hernandez commented
Agree that this is a must-have. Any idea of the timeline?
I do projects with my clients in the Netherlands, which also involve programmers from a third Russian company. We all need to be able to collaborate easily so external team members are a prerequisite.