Often, we need to collaborate on projects with people outside of our organization. In Microsoft Teams, you can invite vendors, contractors and other third parties to be part of your team. They can be directly involved in the conversations, contribute to shared documents and attend meetings directly with no real difference in experience from someone within your organization.

Guests in Teams are referred to as external users. All you need is their name and email address, and then administrators can grant them varying levels of permissions within that Team. They will be able to collaborate (chat, participate in calls, access files) just like any member yet they do not have full access to the company.  

External attendees can join your meeting right from a browser. You can setup a team with external users and schedule or call directly from Microsoft Teams. There’s no need to download a plugin or install an app to join a Teams meeting as an external user. Click on the video below to see how easy it is to invite an external user to your meeting using the calendar. 

Security

Teams is backed by extensive security and compliance features tied into Azure and the SharePoint backend. This allows you to set security in place so private data remains private and internal information cannot be exfiltrated out of the Teams environment. Specifically, Microsoft Teams is built with the high security standards: ISO 27001 and SSAE16 SOC one and two.  

No software can prevent all phishing attempts, malware or ransomware attacks, but Microsoft Teams has stepped up its cyber security game in this arena. Additionally, Teams supports two-factor authentication and encrypted data (in transit and at rest). 

If your organization is using Teams, there’s no reason not to use it to collaborate securely with external users. This will prevent your end-users from sharing files via other file sharing services. This will give you more control overseeing the data that your employees are sharing and reduce the number of Shadow IT applications your employees may be using.