In this article I will show you how to add guests not subscribing to Office 365 to your teams, discuss why this is a big deal, and show you what this looks like both for you while inviting and for those invited.
Let me start with why consumer guest access is a big deal. Up until now we have had guest access for users with a user account in Azure AD, which is the user catalog used in Office 365 and other Microsoft Cloud Services. While there were 120 million Office 365 users six months ago, the majority of those are business users.
Continuing with the education scenario, most parents certainly don’t have Office 365, and many school districts use GSuite or other services. Now that anyone with an email address can be invited into Teams, think about what that potentially could do to parent involvement and the school home relationship!
Or what about inviting coming educators from the nearby university, and teachers from other districts to collaborate on curriculum, tests, projects and more?
Teachers could create a team and share curriculum and weekly plans with parents, they could send messages using chat, publish announcements in coversations, have discussions with regards to school trips, get feedback using polls etc.
Looking forward this could be used as part of a parent portal, and when private channels become available parents could easily also be invited within the class team itself.
Consumer guest access certainly opens up a range of opportunities, let’s see how it works.
Let’s invite a guest
First navigate to the team where you want to invite guests, hit … (also commonly refered to as show more) and choose Add members.
Fill in an email address and click the purple box below.
You should edit the display name by clicking the pencil and correcting the name to avoid getting usernames as display names.
Admins can also edit user information using the Azure Active Directory portal, but these changes won’t come into affect immediately due to the way Teams sync and how the different clients caches such information.
When the display name is updated, send the invitation by clicking the Add button.
Team members will see a message informing that someone has been added.
What about those invited?
Moving to the recipient end, those invited will receive an email with a link leading them into the account creation process if their email address isn’t already a Microsoft Account.
Click the button Open Microsoft Teams (above), then Next (below) to begin the account creation process.
You will be asked to create a password followed by a few personal details. The username will be the email address you were invited with.
In the next step you will be propted to enter a verification code, which will arrive in your inbox.
A captcha makes sure you are not a bot, and you should be forwarded to Teams.
Inside the team guest will have a familiar experience, with conversations, files, chat etc.
Well, what are you waiting for? Start inviting those guests and take collaboration to the next level with Microsoft Teams.