In a significant step towards interoperability between major videoconferencing platforms, Microsoft is making it easier to join third-party meeting platforms from Teams Rooms, starting with Zoom with the launch of Direct Guest Join.
The company calls Direct Guest Join a “one-touch experience” that enables users to join a third-party online meeting from their Teams Rooms just as easily as joining a Teams meeting. The solution is designed to help reduce friction when users join calls from external partners or clients that don’t use the same meeting provider.
In short, this allows users to join meetings on other platforms through Teams.
While Microsoft says the interoperability of Direct Guest Join will begin with Zoom, the company says it also worked with meeting platform competitors Cisco Webex, GoToMeeting and BlueJeans to create the interoperability experience.
Left out, at least so far, is Google Meet.
“Third-party providers like Zoom provide an embedded web experience that temporarily allows Teams Rooms users to join third-party meetings and collaborate more freely,” the company says in a Tech Community blog. “This web experience provides up-to-date software as well as enterprise-grade privacy and security.”
As this partnership grows, the companies will add new features and functionalities, per the blog.
To enable Direct Guest Join, Microsoft says admins should:
- Configure the Teams Rooms’ Exchange Online room mailbox to process invites for third-party meetings.
- Make sure your organization doesn’t have any policies that would prevent you from connecting to third-party meeting services.
- Configure Teams Rooms to allow third-party meetings.
This Microsoft document provides further guidance for admins who want to enable Direct Guest Join.
The company also teased in the blog a joint webcast between Microsoft and Zoom, featuring Ilya Bukshteyn, vice president of Teams Calling and Devices, and Jeff Smith, head of Zoom Rooms and Whiteboard.