Seamlessly collaborate with external customers and partners within the safety and security of your trusted Teams workspace.
It takes a lot of communication to make your business run—collaboration with coworkers, sharing with partners, follow ups with vendors, and outreach to customers. Microsoft Teams offers secure solutions to collaborate with external parties, and with Microsoft Teams Connect we are making it even easier to work with anyone outside your organization. Teams empowers commercial users to chat with commercial users in other organizations. Building on this, we are enabling you to chat with team members outside your organization, even if they are using a Teams personal account. These accounts are frequently used by SMB and therefore this new capability helps you strengthen the relationship with external partners.
As previously announced at Ignite, you can invite any Teams user to chat by entering the full email address or phone number you want to reach and start a 1:1 or group chat with anyone with a Microsoft personal account, no tenant switching required. All while giving IT admins and Microsoft personal account Teams users a range of controls and tools to ensure security. This new capability is rolling out now.
Chatting with external users without needing to switch tenants enables you to get the results that you need faster. Let’s take a closer look into how it works.
Depending on the administrative settings of your organization and of the Teams personal account user:
Starting a chat with a Teams personal account users:
IT admins have granular tools to control external access
When it comes to enabling external access for your organization, IT admins have control over the access level they choose. Below are the controls available in the admin center for Teams accounts not managed by an organization:
Use the toggle and checkbox to control whether people in your organization can communicate with Teams users whose accounts aren’t managed by an organization.
You can also opt out individual users—for example, members of your executive team—from receiving communication requests from external users by creating a policy using PowerShell commands and then assigning the policy to those individuals. Learn more.
Keep in mind that the default setting is on, so if you want to disable external access for your organization, you must opt out.
Protecting users throughout your organization
Microsoft deeply values end user privacy, security, and governance. The ability to chat with external users is built on the Microsoft 365 hyper-scale, enterprise-grade cloud, delivering the advanced security and compliance capabilities our customers expect. While Teams is an open communication platform, it offers admins a range of control and tools to meet their specific security needs. It also ensures that users know when they are chatting with people from other organizations.
Like existing functionality that allows users to chat with external organizations, admins can disable chat with Teams accounts not managed by an organization in the admin portal. Even once enabled, Teams end users are protected by:
Ready to get started?
Today, collaboration across organizational boundaries is the norm. Now you can chat with any Teams user in real-time. To learn more or get started, check out these helpful resources: Add or invite people outside your Teams org to a chat and Manage external access in Microsoft Teams.
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