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The start of March has brought a stream of updates and reports from our favourite Unified Communications technology brand.

Microsoft Teams will soon allow you to share channels with external contacts. Microsoft has also revealed that end-to-end encryption will be coming to Teams later this year.

Teams Connect

Microsoft has announced the launch of Teams Connect, which it says will allow organisations to collaborate with external companies.

Connect is designed to help companies “collaborate seamlessly” with customers, partners and suppliers through shared channels.

The feature leverages the most commonly used functions in Teams, such as chat, meetings and document collaboration. Teams Connect channels will feature alongside other standard Teams channels.

Users can easily invite individuals and teams and create a shared workspace where you can collaborate across organisational boundaries, leveraging all the rich capabilities that only Teams brings together.

“You can chat, meet, collaborate on apps, share content, and even co-author documents in real-time with people outside of your organisation”

Shared channels appear in your primary Teams view alongside all of your internal teams and channels, making it easy to stay on top of all of your work in one place.

End-to-end encryption

Regardless of how and where work happens, you shouldn’t have to compromise the safety of your people and data.

Encryption will support one-to-one calls for commercial customers and help customers meet their security and compliance requirements by providing an additional option for conducting sensitive online conversations.

Further updates will support customers evolving compliance needs and expand to scheduled calls and online meetings.

IT departments will have full discretion over who in the organisation can use encryption.

“It is our commitment to continue partnering with our customers to support more secure and trustworthy communications and collaboration”

This will be the first time end-to-end encryption has been a feature of Teams, with data currently encrypted in transit and at rest. SharePoint files are protected by SharePoint’s encryption, with OneNote encryption protecting notes.

From a compliance perspective, Teams multi-geo support will also be added this year. This will give greater control over where Teams data is stored – similar to the controls they already have in place for data in Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.

Microsoft also revealed an invite-only function stops participants who weren’t directly invited from entering meetings, even if the invite has been forwarded to them.

Teams Connect will be made generally available later this calendar year.

Talk to one of our unified communications technology experts about how to transform your team collaboration.