Microsoft Teams – How to enable Guest access

Teams

Yesterday Microsoft announced they enabled Guest Access. At that time I didn’t have it yet so I wasn’t able to show you how to enable it.

By default Guest Access, guests outside your own Office365 tenant, is disabled. To enable it you need to enable it in the admin settings. To do so log in to your tenant with an admin account (I created a different user in the admin role only so if I need to admin some functions or features I log in as the other user and do what I need to do).

Under Settings – Services & add-ins there is these days an Microsoft Teams entry:

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You already used this simply to enable Teams (unless this is the first time you use it). So if all is ok you already see that Teams is enabled.

Teams Admin II

Under “Settings by user/license type” you see a combo box with (in my case) “Business & Enterprise” or “Guest”. If you already enabled Teams for your tenant the “Business & Enterprise” option had the checkbox “Turn Microsoft Teams on or off for all users of this type” set to On.

Now you received an extra option, you can now check “Guest” as user/license type and also turn the checkbox “Turn Microsoft Teams on or off for all users of this type” to On.

Teams Admin

After enabling this you the team owner should be able to add users from other tenants. Yes you read it correctly … only from other tenants. The users must have a valid Work or School account:

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If your guest really has an Office 365 work or school account all is well:

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and a mail is sent to the guest:

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Enjoy your guest access in Microsoft Teams!

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Microsoft Teams Guest Access

Teams

Microsoft introduced Microsoft Teams a while ago, scaring Slack having a potential competing product in a way that Slack printed a page size advertisement in the New York times and online on Slacks blog:

https://slackhq.com/dear-microsoft-8d20965d2849

The community was extremely enthusiastic around the release … until they found out that only team members could be added from their own tenants. Another thing was that Microsoft Teams is only available for paying Office 365 (so called business accounts) and EDU accounts (free for education).

Especially the limited team member scope was reason for the community to compose a UserVoice request:

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16911109-external-access-and-federation

Well, Microsoft heard it and promised to solve it in June, delayed it twice but (partially) delivered today:

https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2017/09/11/expand-your-collaboration-with-guest-access-in-microsoft-teams/

It is a first step, you now should be able to invite guests from other tenants. I just tried and still not possible hear, but I’m sure it will be soon. The delivery method on Office 365 often is trickled down in segments so I’m apparently not in the first batch.

Next in line will be guest access for MSA (Microsoft Account) types of guests. Another improvement, who doesn’t have an MSA (especially if you want to use Microsoft Teams Smile).

Interesting part of all of this is that the UserVoice specifically requested NOT to limit guest access to MSA accounts:

“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.”

In other words, the request was to open Teams up for all types, not only Microsoft based accounts. From a business point of view, there is something to say for limitation to Azure AD accounts (and eventually MS accounts) to be able to at least getting some user context en improving security to where potential critical business information can be shared.

From a developer’s perspective I guess we can expect interfaces to automate team member management and extended APIs. For now let’s wait for the next step, adding MSA guest access first.

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