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  • Writer's pictureGavin Jones

Microsoft Teams Video Conference External Users And Guest Users Tutorial 2021 [WHATS THE DIFFERENCE]

Updated: Apr 24, 2021

Now I'm back on YouTube I wanted to address the things that tend to confuse people the most 🤯

After my OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams files video last week - external and guest users are next on my hit list 💪

In this video I go into the differences between them in terms of setting up meetings and calls, chat and inclusion in a Team, access to video recordings and more...

Getting confused about external and guest users when doing a Microsoft Teams video conference call?

Watch this video to find out more.

We've got new videos on Microsoft Teams coming out every Tuesday, so make sure you hit the subscribe button and the bell icon to get notified when I release a new video.

External users and guest users can be quite confusing in Microsoft teams but you are in the right place to find out the difference. By the end of this video, you'll know what the difference is and the best way to go about setting up a meeting or video conference call with each.

I'm Gavin Jones, a former transformation manager for a Fortune 500 company, and I now help organizations of any size with modern workplace transformations. I've helped thousands of people use new tools and be more productive and now it's your turn.

Part One: External Contacts In Microsoft Teams

Okay so, part one, we're going to go through external contacts first. So for scheduling a meeting with external people that shouldn't be too much bother. If you just put your meeting and put an external address in it's going to get sent to them they can join the meeting, not too much trouble at all. So some of the differences then is when you come out of the meeting and you get then back into chat. So if you've scheduled a meeting with an external person, that meeting is going to show up in the chat section of Teams with a little purple icon with a calendar icon next to it to show that it's a meeting. And here's the test meeting that we just did in the previous video, again, if you've not seen that then go and watch that first. So because it was my meeting I can see the meeting recording and if I click on it it's going to start playing. You can see it's got the stream round thing going around. And then you can play the meeting back. At the time of recording, if you're external you won't be able to see that meeting because it's saved in Microsoft Stream. So Microsoft are transitioning away from saving meetings in Microsoft Stream to save them in Onedrive or SharePoint depending on where you've set the meeting up from and what that means is it's then easier to allow access to everybody who's in the meeting including external people.

So if you're an external person, at the moment, you won't be able to see the meeting recording. The transcript, I'm not sure, because it's a very new thing but i'm presuming you should be able to see the transcript if you're external because there's nothing else around that that should be stopping those permissions of you seeing that. And then everything else, every other asset that you used in the meeting: so files, meeting notes, whiteboard; should all be available to external people as far as I'm aware. If you're having issues then let me know in the comments below.

So what's relatively new with external contacts, and we'll come on to guest ones soon, is that now you should be able to just type in any email address into your chat and start a chat with anybody else that's using Teams, even if they're across different organizations or across personal accounts or whatever. So here's one that I had with Kieran. You can see at the top it's a big button that says 'external.' He's an external contact. He's nothing to do with our tenant, he's not in any of our teams, he's just an external contact and we can just chat to him as if he was just, you know, like the good old days of Skype for business.

So the one thing you can't do now is share files with external contacts because I guess the backing of that is OneDrive, although you could just share a link and open that up specifically to that contact, or anyone with the link, and put the link into the chat. That's the way around it. But at the moment there's no paperclip icon like you would have in a normal chat to share a file but you can still get the video call and calling buttons at the top right hand side of your chat even an external contact. So if you just want to do a quick call to an external contact you could do a chat with them and then click the call button. Similarly, you could do it via the calls section of Teams but I find myself not using that very much because usually we like to ping people a text these days to say 'is it okay if i call you,' rather than calling them directly anyway, so you might as well just do it from chat because you're already there and you've already asked them if it's okay to call, most likely.

Just checking in. Comment below if you've got any other questions on external or guest access in Microsoft Teams.

Part Two: Guest Users In Microsoft Teams

So, external contacts all well and good sounds pretty obvious what's the big hubbub? Well, guest contacts then get slightly more confusing. So guest contacts are contacts that are external that you've invited to one of your Teams and it's like trying to make them be inside your company because once they're inside the Team they have got access to mostly everything the same as a normal member of your Team.

So if I jump into the Team's bit of Teams, you can see that in our Modern Workplace Accelerator team, which is part of our Modern Workplace Accelerator programme that you might be interested in finding more about, which will be in the description below, you can see that then in the top it says there's guests in this team and that just means there's external people that are in your Team but now you've added them into the Team they're now registering as if they are a guest.

For the person that is a guest, at the moment of recording, you have to switch between two tenants, effectively. So obviously I'm in MeeTime limited and that's where I am now. I'm a member of a team in Microsoft's tenant, that's why it says Microsoft and it says guest next to it and the notifications don't work the same across your own and a guest tenant. So usually I would have some activity thing show up over here, or in the Teams bit and I'd have a red dot there to notify me that something's going on. Because it's in the Microsoft tenant I don't get that, I get the little dots up here and I need to switch between them to then go and see what's going on in the other team and that's what your guests will see when they get invited to one of your teams.

If they are external, they'll need to switch between two views. It logs you completely out of your own tenant and logs you into their tenant and you get a completely new team's app, effectively, which can be quite jarring and which is why we recommend you don't do that with your customers because you probably want to do the switching on their behalf rather than make them jump through hoops.

But what's good about having guest users in your team is that you then get most of the benefits of being in the team so therefore you can meet inside a channel, which we'll have another video on going through channel meetings. If you want to see that then let us know in the comments below, as well. But you get then, if a scheduled meeting, and we've got this one every Wednesday to have a weekly coaching call with me as part of our Modern Workplace Accelerator programme, you can see that that's right in the Team and all the assets to do with that meeting are in the team as well.

So if we had any chat about that meeting, if we'd had any video recordings, if we've had any files that have been shared, they're all saved there in the same thread, in context and all the external people can see that same thing as well. Although, caveat about the meeting recordings, if you're a guest you still have the problem with meeting recordings at the time of recording which will get fixed when Microsoft move their meeting recordings to be saved from Stream to being saved in Onedrive or SharePoint. If you meet in a channel they'll be saved in SharePoint, if you meet the other way like we said, from outlook or just an individual external user, they're saved in Onedrive.

So that's the benefit of having a guest as it relates to calling. When you go back into chat once you've added someone as a guest, you can see here when I'm chatting with Paul it says 'Paul (guest)' and if someone's chatting with you as a guest user, if i just did a new chat and started typing 'Paul,' 'Paul (guest)' would pop up they would have to still switch into a different tenant.

So if someone from Microsoft wanted to chat with me, because I'm a guest on one of Microsoft's Teams, they would most likely; it would pop up as the user that's a guest and the chat would appear in their tenant rather than mine. So you can still do an external chat with the same person but you need to make sure you're picking the right drop down when it's auto completed, if that makes any sense whatsoever.

So you make sure that if you've got; if me and Paul want to do an external chat that would just say 'Paul.' If me and Paul want to do an "internal" chat, it'll be a guest but then they'll have to switch between the two tenants. Confusing? Probably!

Basically, if they are a guest and are used to going in to see stuff in your team anyway it doesn't really matter, I'm just showing you that it's not going to pop up right in their face like you would expect if you did an external chat, there is a difference between being a guest and being an external user in this case, especially for chats and video calls.

So I should mention that coming soon is shared channels where you'll be able to share a channel across different tenants without being a guest user; the promise is that that will then just show up in your same tenant.

So where I've got a Team here, I'll just have another Team down here and where the channel is shared its going to be something highlighted to say that this is shared with people outside your organization so don't put anything in there that you don't want to share, which is obviously slightly more risk to sharing stuff you don't want to rather than the old way, so I think the old way is going away, in terms of being a guest user, but now there's gonna be the ability to just share a channel which should make life a lot easier, especially where you've got third parties and people that you don't mind seeing stuff: they're effectively the same as being internal anyway, just happens to be through a different employment arrangement.

So, like I say, if you've not seen my video on general video calling, make sure you check out that video in the cards or the description below.

Now you know all about external and guest access, as it relates to calls in Microsoft Teams, but if you're just using Microsoft Teams for calls you're missing out on 90% of the benefit of using Teams at all. To find out more about the missing 90%, check out this video or grab our free Teams training deck in the description below: there's a download link, so go ahead and click that right now.

If you want to find out more, check out these videos next. If you like this video, be sure to click the like button, subscribe and if you really liked it consider buying us a beer, it helps support the channel and the link is below this video in the description. Before you go remember to leave a comment and let me know if you've got any other questions about external or guest access in Teams and we'll see you in the next video.

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