**DISCLOSURE: While I am contracted to Microsoft Corporation, I am not an employee. The articles that I write are not meant to represent the company, nor are they meant to represent me as an employee or spokesman for the company. As has always been the case, all articles on this website represent me and nobody else.
Microsoft 365 is meant for collaboration. We work together better with the right tools. However, unless you need to work exclusively with people within your organization, we need to be able to cross-talk between companies. Having an external employee in my Microsoft Teams team should not require me to purchase a license for that user… especially if he (or she) already has a license.*
You want to start a project using me as an external contractor. You want to include me on meetings and more; you want to be able to grant me access to your cloud resources. Rather than creating (and licensing) me as a new user, why not invite me in?
1. Navigate to the Azure portal (https://portal.azure.com). Launch Azure Active Directory.
2. In the navigation pane click Users.
3. In the Users | All users (Preview) screen click + New user
4. In the New User screen click the Invite user radio. Then you can fill out the information for the guest user as needed:
5. Click the Invite button.
Okay! Now the person you invited will after a few minutes receive an e-mail that looks like this:
He (or she) will now click on Accept Invitation. A browser will open, and they will see a (branded) page on which he should review the permissions.
When he clicks Accept, he or she will be redirected (in a moment or two) to the My Applications page in the tenant. I have no applications shared, but the branding is there:
You can now navigate to your account settings (https://myaccount.microsoft.com/organizations) and see that the new organization has been added. You will also see that you have the option to leave that organization when needed.
Guest users allow us the ability to collaborate with external users; these users can be added to Microsoft 365 groups (and to teams in Microsoft Teams) and to share content. This is what you (as the M365 administrator) will see in the Users list:
My name, the UPN, as well at the user type, the identity issuer, my company name, and how my user was created. The guest user does not have to worry about credentials within your org because he is using his or her credentials to log on.
Oh, and the invited user does not have to be a M365 user… you can invite users with Gmail or any other e-mail address to participate.
There are a lot of tools out there for collaboration, video conferencing, presentation, shared storage, and whatnot. Microsoft 365 is an all-inclusive suite that lets your team collaborate amongst themselves… and with others outside of your organization.
*I am not a licensing expert or advisor; before making any licensing decisions make sure you consult someone who is.