Workgroups often extend beyond one's organization with employees connecting with multiple external stakeholders including customers, vendors and partners. However, up until now, users had to rely on different software or even personal apps to collaborate with them.
Not only does this require employees to use multiple apps which takes longer and can reduce their productivity (opens in new tab), it also creates security risks for both workers and their companies.
For this reason, Microsoft is currently working on two updates that leverage Microsoft Teams Connect (opens in new tab) and the secure access capabilities of Azure Active Directory (Azure AD (opens in new tab)) to make cross-organizational collaboration easier for businesses.
The first update involves shared channels which allow individuals and teams across multiple organizations to work together in Microsoft Teams. When this feature becomes available in preview early next year, shared channels will appear within each Member's Teams tenant alongside other teams and channels.
Users will also be able to schedule a shared channel meeting, use other Microsoft apps like Office (opens in new tab) and share each channel with up to 50 teams and as many organizations as they need. Meanwhile, admins can use cross-tenant access settings in Azure AD to configure granular and differentiated trust relationships for external collaboration with different organizations.
Microsoft is also working on another update scheduled to rollout by the end of this year that will enable Teams users to chat with others outside their network including those using Teams personal accounts (opens in new tab). They'll be able to invite any Teams user to chat using an email address or phone number while remaining within the security and compliance policies of their organization.
Cross-organizational collaboration is the Teams update many users have been waiting for as it will allow Microsoft's collaboration tool and video conferencing software (opens in new tab) to become a one-stop-shop for all of their business dealings both internally and externally.
Looking to improve your Microsoft Teams experience? Check out our roundups of the best business webcams (opens in new tab), best headsets for conference calls (opens in new tab) and best video conferencing software (opens in new tab)