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Shared Channels with others outside of CU Boulder

Using Microsoft Teams Shared channels to collaborate with external Microsoft 365 users is a new Teams’ feature. Shared channels are a streamlined experience which have several advantages over the Teams’ guest user experience:

  • External users do not need to be invited to the Team, they can just be invited to one or more shared channels in a Team.
  • External users do not need to “switch organizations” to participate in the external team.
  • The notification experience for a shared channel is the same as a standard channel in a Team.  Customers will no longer need to rely on missed activity emails.
  • External users see the shared channel with their list of all other teams of which they are a member.
  • A shared channel can be shared with another team which allows the external users to work in the channel under an existing Team name in their organization.

At this point, CU Boulder users of Microsoft Teams can only invite external users to a Teams shared channel from the following CU campuses:

  • University of Colorado Colorado Springs
  • University of Colorado Denver
  • University of Colorado Anschutz
  • University of Colorado System

Guest user vs. External user

A guest user is invited to a Team and must sign into your organization using a Microsoft account. Prior to Shared channels and External users, this was the only way to share with a colleague outside of CU Boulder. The guest user method involves switching from one organization to another

An external user is a new user type in Teams which can be added to a shared channel but is not added to the Team. This allows seamless collaboration with colleagues at other organizations who are configured for shared channel collaboration. It also enhances security by allowing the team owner to only the share files and other channel resources which the external user absolutely must access. 

Help Resources 

Security and data considerations

Before sharing a channel with outside users, the owners of the Team and channels should always take into consideration the type of data being shared and make sure members of the team are aware of best practices when sharing data:

Shared Channels limitations

Guest users (users who are not members of organizations with whom we have set up a relationship in Microsoft 365) cannot be added to a shared channel.

More Information & Support

For more information about shared channels, please request a Teams consult with the Messaging and Collaboration Team