When looking to collaborate with someone externally it’s vital that they can get to your content quickly and without fuss. However, if they’re a new user in your system this often means an initial sign-up process.

Why the sign-up experience is so important

If you’re working with a client you can’t afford for that registration process to be cumbersome. If it’s too difficult or time-consuming you risk them abandoning the process altogether and reverting to inefficient email attachments.

When it comes to ease of registering new users, not all collaboration tools are created equally.  Take SharePoint Online for example. It’s a great tool for internally managing documents, but can often be compromised when working externally.

For example, after sharing a document with a new external user they need to register themselves as an “authenticated user”*. However, as the infographic illustrates, if your client doesn’t have an Office 365 subscription, this can be a cumbersome experience.


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Naturally you’ll invite the client via their corporate email account. However, they can’t just use this as their login – instead they’ll need to a) use a personal Microsoft account if they have one or b) create a new Microsoft account (five minutes) and associate their corporate email account with it. Many won’t want to make this association, at which point your valued client is entered into the system using a new email / Microsoft identity.

Complicated right? A poor experience for first-time users is one of the principle contributors to poor service adoption and a low ROI. If the initial experience is too cumbersome, users won’t return – and if those users are also your clients, that could be disastrous.


Huddle: A better user experience

We understand the importance of your client relationships, so we offer a simpler approach. Firstly you can’t just share a document without first inviting a new user to your Huddle workspace and assigning them to a team. Once you’ve done that, your client simply follows the link and registers with his corporate email address. He is instantly activated and can start collaborating immediately. 



*SharePoint recognizes two types of external user, an anonymous user and authenticated user. You’ll want your client to be an authenticated user.  Anonymous users can access content without this registration / log-in procedure but if you share documents using anonymous guest links, then it’s possible for invitations to be shared with others who could use them to view confidential content. See https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Manage-external-sharing-for-your-SharePoint-Online-environment-c8a462eb-0723-4b0b-8d0a-70feafe4be85


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