Guest access is a new feature of Office 365 Groups. This was rolled out in my tenant recently, and will enable teams using Office 365 Groups to easily collaborate with external team members (members that are not part of their organization/tenant).
To start using the Guest services make sure the external sharing is enabled in the Office 365 Tenant. This along with the groups access enabled is required to initially invite a user to an Office 365 group.
To enable guest access feature for Office 365 groups, navigate to Office 365 Admin center and then choose Settings then Services & add-ins. Select Office 365 Groups from list of services on right.
Make sure you select the options to enable guest access in Office 365 Groups.
Let’s look at few more things to note below.
|Things to Note||
Before we start, I would like to highlight that when you add an external user in an office 365 group, the user will get Member permissions (same as other members will have in the group). Guest users when added will have access to – Files, OneNote, Share With us and Recycle bin scoped to the group they have access to.
Let’s look at how a Group owner can add Guest Members in Office 365 Groups below.
Navigate to your group and then select Guests or Add members.
Invite Guests in Office 365 Groups by adding guest users’ e-mail address in the left card. You can add multiple users here before you save in the next step.
Save the settings after you add a guest user in your Office 365 Group.
Thing to note here is, at this point, users who were added as guests were provisioned in the Office 365 directory and then added to the group as regular members are.
External User View
To understand better how an invited user can login to access an Office 365 group, see a slide from one of the Ignite sessions below. You can see the Video Here.
Joining the Group – An external user when invited gets an e-mail to join the group with a standard group email format. At the e-mail of the e-mail text a special text is added to specify guiltiness or group policies around using the Office 365 group user has been invited to. The URL for the usage guidelines is customizable.
Leaving the Group – User can also decide to leave the group that they have been invited to, if they are not sure about who sent them the invitation or they do not want to be a part of this group at all. In that case, user can select Leave the group towards the end of the invitation e-mail which will allow them to sort of unsubscribe or deny the invitation and leave the group.
Re-joining the group – Once a user leaves a group, he\she also gets an e-mail with the confirmation along with an option to re-join the group when needed. IF a user who left earlier decides to re-join, the access request will go the group owners for their approval.
Coming soon : Planner team will implement external sharing in the future.