Guest Access for Microsoft Teams has been reportedly delayed as of June 2017 and there has not yet been anything announced as to when it will be released.
Microsoft Teams Guest Access is being delayed until later this year, despite an intended launch of June 2017. This delay was reportedly announced by a Microsoft representative on the dedicated forum for Teams User Voice, and though the delay does not seem to be significant, there has not yet been an official date set.
Delay Announced on Microsoft Teams
Suphatra Rufo at Microsoft Teams stated that though Microsoft Teams has been “aiming for June,” the team is presently “facing some issues” with its guest access feature. This was posted on June 21, 2017, and there has not been an official follow-up regarding when the Guest Access will be released. Microsoft Teams is intended to resolve many collaborative issues that have previously been resolved through third-party interfaces. As Microsoft moves toward building a strong and comprehensive all-in-one collaborative environment, Microsoft Teams is likely going to be a critical component moving forward.
The Features of Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace that is designed to function entirely integrated with Office 365. It is in direct competition with popular products such as Slack, which is similarly designed to facilitate chatting and conversation in a business-oriented environment. Microsoft Teams features:
- A consolidated teamwork hub. This hub contains content, tools, conversations, and people, making it easier for team members to communicate and share. SharePoint, OneNote, and Skype for Business are all directly integrated into the platform, and documents can be worked on inside the application.
- Third-party applications. Microsoft Teams can be integrated with popular third-party solutions such as Trello, Asana, Wrike, HootSuite, and Zendesk, making it even easier for existing companies to switch over to using it quickly.
- Security. Enterprise-grade security is used throughout Microsoft Teams, which means that organizations are going to be able to easily protect their most critical data and intellectual property. For many organizations, security is a paramount concern — and many third-party or open source solutions may not be able to deliver these advanced security measures.
- Cross-platform access. As an Office 365 product, Microsoft Teams can be downloaded and used on any device and on virtually any platform. Like other Office 365 tools, it is a cloud-based system that can be connected to anywhere and used as a web-based application, making it suitable for desktops, laptops, smartphones, and other mobile devices.
Microsoft Teams is automatically included within licenses for Office 365. Though it is a relatively new product, it is already fully supported throughout the Office 365 environment, and is able to work with the other tools included inside of the collaborative platform. Microsoft Teams was initially announced in November of 2016 and it was released in the first quarter of 2017.
The Guest Access Feature of Microsoft Teams
Though it may not be critical for every organization, many companies were eagerly awaiting the Guest Access feature that was initially slated for June. There are some rumors that the Guest Access feature will instead be rolled out by the end of July, though time is running out for the rumors to hold true.
Guest Access would make it easier for external access to the documents and files on Microsoft Teams, so that employees would be able to easily share data with those who were not already in the system — such as vendors and clients. External parties would need to be able to access Teams, its data, and its files, through a secured and encrypted platform that would not reduce the security of the system as a whole.
Through Guest Access, guests would be able to view these files and these projects either permanently or for an allotted amount of time. This type of external sharing is already seen in competing products, such as Dropbox and Google’s own data servers, so it has become important for Microsoft to provide the feature as well.
The quiet tone of the announcement rather than an official release has led to some speculation that there may actually be issues with the project or that the code base may simply not yet be complete. Regardless, it’s clear that Microsoft does intend to add the guest access feature to Microsoft Teams eventually — it’s only a matter of time. Either way, Microsoft Teams is otherwise extremely feature-complete.
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