How to Navigate Microsoft Teams Guest Access Limitations

07 February 2020 image

Microsoft Teams Guest access limitations can pose challenges when it comes to external collaboration, even though the platform has seen phenomenal growth with more than 20m daily active users. Whilst the internal enterprise chat and collaboration is strong, bringing in stakeholders outside of the company firewall has become the norm in business, making security a priority. From partners to clients, we need a way to work with these stakeholders securely, but simply. So, if you’re using Microsoft Teams internally and are currently evaluating its use for external collaboration, against a dedicated solution like Huddle, here's what you need to know. 


External Users' Channel Access


Microsoft Teams provides “Guest” access to external users. To invite Guests to collaborate, access must be enabled, and an invitation sent out to join the team. You will have to make sure all channels that contain sensitive data, meant for internal eyes only, are individually made private to restrict access.

To overcome the potential risk, organizations may wish to create separate Teams and Channels for internal and external users - creating additional administration, complexity, and duplication of effort. 

Within Huddle, you can immediately see who has access to your content and adjust their permissions, all with one simple click. This will keep content in one place and allow efficient collaboration.


Search for Files

When it comes to quickly searching for files, Guests will be unable to find files in Microsoft Teams as content is stored in SharePoint which requires another level of administration and permissions. This can make it frustrating and again, time consuming to find the right document. 

When an external user is given access to a Workspace in Huddle, permissions are set up from the beginning. The Manager of that Workspace will set the level of access you can have:

  • Viewer (online only)
  • Viewer
  • Editor


Connecting Tasks to Files


Adding Microsoft Planner to your Channel allows members to create and manage tasks. Users will have to copy the link of a document stored in the files tab and paste it into the task. Users who then navigate directly to the file will not have visibility of any outstanding tasks and must instead search Planner. 

In Huddle you create a task directly against your file. If anyone returns to your file, they can immediately see all completed and outstanding tasks against it. The deep integration with Microsoft Office 365 means you can easily extend the functionality of your Microsoft investment, while overcoming the limitations to external access.


Audit Trails and Tracking Activity


When working with external users, it’s important that you can track activity, especially when working on sensitive data. For example, you might want to check if a client has viewed an important document, if they’ve made amendments or, created a new file version. Microsoft Teams allows Office 365 admins to run an audit log search via the Microsoft Security and Compliance Center. This makes you reliant on your IT Help Desk and can cause delays in getting the information.

There can be many channels per team to keep sight of in Microsoft Teams. Every channel and discussion thread would have to be checked individually as there is no way to get an overview of all activity.

Huddle provides a full Audit trail so you can see who is not only accessing content, but also changing it. Every document has a comment stream to stay connected to the changes and gives you the ability to “@” an individual or team. This will keep you up to date with who is doing what in the document. All key activity happening across your Huddle Workspace is summarized in your Workspace Overview making it easy to see outstanding tasks, new members, and the latest discussions around all your content.


See how easily Huddle can navigate Microsoft Teams Guest access limitations and work alongside Microsoft Office 365 to enable secure external collaboration.