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Kahootz vs Microsoft Teams – Collaborating with your external stakeholders

kahootz vs microsoft teams

With an increasing number of people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic we have all witnessed the rise of online meeting tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Hangouts.

A number of Kahootz clients have access to Microsoft’s products so we thought it would be useful to write – with help from a few of our key users – a comparison, focusing on the need to work with external parties.

It should be noted that the team at Kahootz also uses Microsoft Teams. For us it provides the tools we require for online chats and real-time screen-sharing with our clients, prospects and suppliers. It certainly makes it relatively easy to participate in online meetings and product demonstrations, avoiding the cost and time needed for travel.

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Chat or Content first?
Guest Access: Empowering and managing your stakeholders
File sharing and document management
Beyond file-sharing
Tailoring the user experience
When to use Kahootz and Microsoft Teams


collaborating with stakeholders online


Chat or Content first?


Fundamentally, Kahootz and Microsoft Teams use a different approach to collaboration and the information architecture used:

Microsoft Teams Kahootz

Similar to other chat-based collaboration products such as Slack, Facebook and LinkedIn – online activities centre around discussion Channels in a Team.

A variety of content can be ‘embedded’ and referenced in online chats as the need arises (Chat with associated content).

Structures collaboration around a variety of content types with associated discussions all stored in secure Workspaces (Content with associated discussion threads).

Email notifications can be used to notify and comment on content updates.


Certainly, there are business areas where chat-based collaboration is attractive, such as across internal DevOps teams. However, the primary reason our clients choose Kahootz is that it allows them to manage, share, and seek feedback on large amounts of content, often between multiple organisations. Experience shows that content management, content search and clear sign-posting are crucial when trying to provide external parties with an easily accessible single-source of truth.


Guest Access – Empowering and managing your stakeholders


Another key difference between Microsoft Teams and Kahootz is how external parties are treated and empowered:

Microsoft Teams Kahootz

Limited “Guest” access can be provided to external users on a Team-by-Team basis. All Guests have equal access to all Channels and associated content in the Teams they have been invited to but may be restricted from making posts. Guests cannot browse for other Teams to join or invite other external parties into a Team. See Microsoft’s advice: The guest experience has limitations by design.

External users can be invited into individual online Workspaces. During the invite process Workspace Managers can assign users to one or more Kahootz Teams which are used as part of a team-based permissions model to assign creation, management and view rights to specific content and collaboration functionality.

In addition to being invited to Private (invite only) workspaces, external users may optionally be allowed to browse and join Open and Restricted (request to join) workspaces and be selectively permitted to invite others into a workspace they belong to.


Because Microsoft Teams Guest access is a relatively simple mechanism it restricts your ability to add more granular controls on external Team members which limits the amount information governance that can be applied.

To innovate new ways of working and to truly work without boundaries, we believe that a collaboration service should not artificially constrain the functionality and authority you offer to your external stakeholders. You can use Kahootz to empower both internal and external users alike and use the Kahootz access control and permissions model to maintain control of information and delegated rights.


File sharing and document management


For most organisations, being able to share files safely with external stakeholders is often the primary requirement for using an online collaboration service.

Microsoft Teams Kahootz

Files can be attached and referenced as part of a Channel conversation or they can be uploaded, via a Tab on the Channel, to a ‘Files’ folder, however Guests can only attach files to a Channel discussion so organisation of these files would then need to be carried out by an internal staff user.

Unfortunately, another major restriction is that Guest users do not have access to a search feature to find files. Without an ability to quickly find files this limitation makes it very difficult to provide external parties with a useful single-source of truth for key project documentation. In addition, no functionality is currently provided to users to help manage file versioning, to audit downloads or quickly assign document approval tasks.

Audit logs are only available to super users who have access to the Microsoft’s Security & Compliance Center. There’s an option to add a ‘Tasks’ tab to a Channel, but assignment of a task to a document is not part of the document upload workflow and has to be done as a separate step.

A team-based permissions model makes it easy to share information with external team members as it controls who can upload, edit and view documents.

A hierarchical folder/file structure is used within each workspace as this is familiar to most users. During the upload process specific users can be notified and comments and approvals can be requested from individuals and team members.

Alongside each document you will find a version history, all discussions relating to each document version and a full audit trail of reviews, downloads and changes. Workspace Managers can also produce and view custom activity reports.

Importantly, both internal and external users have access to a search tool to find documents within, and across, Kahootz workspaces.


Effective document management is often the foundation stone of any project or information sharing activity. Kahootz overcomes the limitations of Microsoft Teams and our clients really appreciate how easy it is for their staff to provide a secure, centralised location where they and their external team members can easily upload, locate, share, discuss and manage collaboration on documents and files.


Beyond file-sharing


Team collaboration with external organisations needs to be much more than simple file-sharing. It is often useful to be able to call on additional functionality, within an online workspace, to capture feedback and collaborate on content.

Microsoft Teams Kahootz

Allows application tabs to be added to each Channel. For example, a Wiki, Whiteboard, Task list, SharePoint library, List etc. As access permissions for Guests are associated with all the Channels in a Team there are no further controls available to manage view and access rights to these additional functions. And strangely, unlike the facilities offered to internal users, Guests are not provided with access to a shared calendar.

Within each online workspace, additional functions can be easily added to each folder e.g. an online survey, database, blog, task list, picture album, web page, calendar, forum etc. You get to decide which team members can create, view, update and add records to each item – irrespective of whether they are internal staff members or users from partner organisations.


Both products provide additional capabilities, beyond file-sharing. To improve information governance and user empowerment the Kahootz team-based permission model can used to further control and devolve access rights.

Although Microsoft Teams has facilities to add Microsoft Power Platform apps this can be quite involved and requires a lot of configuration and ongoing maintenance by someone with Azure Active Directory Admin rights and It is possible your organisation’s IT policies will not permit this. Kahootz provides a singular platform that includes the majority of the collaboration tools you might need without the need for complex integrations. Our clients have told us that the reason they prefer Kahootz is because it makes engagement and team working with their wider stakeholder community simpler and easier to manage.


Tailoring the user experience


When it comes to online collaboration is it possible that one-size-fits-all? If not, how easy is it to provide users with an online team working environment best suited to their needs?

Microsoft Teams Kahootz

The user interface is a functionality-based one. Internal users and their Guests belong to Teams which include one or more discussion Channels. In turn, each Channel can then have Tabs that reference a variety of applications.

Due to the generic nature of the product the user experience is identical irrespective of the business requirement. Each Team structure needs to be built individually as there is no facility to clone and replicate a Team.

The layout of each online Workspace can be customised to provide context. This is achieved through a hierarchical folder structure where each folder can contain files and other related collaborative functions, such as online surveys and databases.

An easy-to-use dashboard builder is provided for the Workspace homepage, and on each folder, to help guide users to key content and opportunities to get involved, greatly enhancing their user experience. Dashboards can include a variety of widgets such as image buttons, countdown timers, What’s New feeds, tickers, videos, task status lists, upcoming events, tag clouds, RSS feeds, Twitter feeds and more.

Workspace templates can be used to quickly create and deploy commonly used environments, such as a new supplier deal room.


Over the years we have learnt that there are many reasons to connect and collaborate, for example: project management, policy development, working groups, deal-making, knowledge sharing, committee and board management and special interest communities. This diversity is the reason why we feel it is useful to make it quick and simple for Kahootz users to tailor and purpose each of their collaborative working environments with a more logical layout, making it easier for team members to engage, understand the context, navigate and identify opportunities to contribute towards their collective goals.


When to use Kahootz and Microsoft Teams


It is clear that Microsoft Teams has been designed as a functionally rich one-size-fits-all solution to compete with market innovations and challenges from team communications solutions from Google, Slack and Zoom. Microsoft Teams is an excellent product for online meetings, presentations and real-time ‘synchronous’ chat and information sharing.

As documented by Microsoft their Teams application enables staff to share corporate assets, in a very limited way, with external parties through restricted Guest accounts. The question is, does that work for you and going forward, will you not want to empower your partners, clients and suppliers etc to work with you on a more equal basis?

For the many reasons and differences documented above we believe that Kahootz secure online workspaces provide more structured and purposeful collaboration environments for team-working across organisations, especially where content collaboration, user account management, information governance and system flexibility are of importance.

Our clients also tell us how much they value having direct access to Kahootz management to discuss service enhancements and influence our product roadmap. This is not really something that is on offer from a Goliath such as Microsoft.

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