Collaborating with Non-Virginia Tech Users


This article describes the various experiences that users may have when trying to share items and/or access across our Virginia Tech Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 environments.


It is not required to have an account presence in an environment (either Microsoft 365 (M365) or Google Workspace) to be able to collaborate with an individual in that environment. Both Microsoft and Google have ensured you can share content with and provide access to people outside of your organization (such as researchers, vendors, or customers).

Below is a table which describes some of the experiences you might have in each environment

Google Workspace

Action Google My Drive File Share Google My Drive Folder Share Google Groups Membership
Google user invites an M365 only user M365 user will be able to edit files in Google’s native file formats

M365 user can edit files within the folder but can’t create new files or upload existing files

M365 user is labeled as an external user. However, is not actually given owner permissions even if granted owner role: Can't use the web interface. Can't change settings. Can respond and send conversations in their own email client.

Microsoft 365

Action Microsoft SharePoint File Share Microsoft SharePoint Folder Share Teams Membership
M365 user invites a Google only user Will ask for a verification code sent to Google user’s email. Full access to the file.

Recipient can upload, create folders only, download, and edit files in the native M365 formats.

Google user can be added. They can participate in chats and collaborate on documents in the Team. However, they will need to have their own license to use Office 365 products outside of a Team. And they will not be able to share a direct chat file or join and discover other teams.