Friday, May 20, 2022

Microsoft adds shared channels with Teams Connect

With the launch of Teams Connect at this week’s Ignite conference, Microsoft Teams users can now collaborate with external partners and clients in shared channels.

Available in private preview ahead of a full roll-out later this year, Teams Connect shared channels are accessible within the main Teams app view alongside regular channels. Users can continue to access Teams features such as text chat, video and voice within shared channels, as well as share content and co-author documents with external users in real-time.

When launched, Shared channels will appear as an option from the channel creation menu along with standard and private channels. External Teams users can then be invited to join the shared space, with Teams admins given “granular controls” over external user access to data and information.


Setting up a shared channel in Teams.

Requests for more detailed comment by Microsoft on the admin controls — and whether multiple organizations can access a shared channel — were not immediately returned.

Shared channels is a long-awaited feature in Teams, said Wayne Kurtzman, a research director at IDC, and will help it compete with Slack and Google Chat in the team collaboration software market.

“The ability to easily collaborate between companies using Shared Channels was something that Microsoft Teams was sorely missing,” said Kurtzman. “Teams Connect helps solve that problem by extending Teams membership to partner companies.”

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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