Who are external users? | FAQ - Zoho Accounts

Who are external users?

In the Zoho environment, certain apps follow an organization model (which represents the actual institution you're part of). Each organization will have an organization owner/super admin, and will include one or more apps under it. Let's say there are two organizations called Zylker and InGen, which use the apps Cliq and Connect. You can only be a part of one of these organizations (for this example, let's say Zylker) as a regular user. Your account settings will be managed by Zylker's org owner/super admin and you can only access the Cliq and Connect apps of Zylker.

However, there may be scenarios where you will need to access the applications of InGen as well. In those cases, you can join InGen as an external user and access its apps, but it comes with certain restrictions on access privileges. See the example scenario provided in this article to understand more .

The reason for this restriction in being a part of two organizations is that your account, as stated above, should only be managed by your organization admin. Different organizations will have different security policies and they cannot be enforced upon users of other organizations.

In short,
External users of an organization refer to users who are actually part of another organization, but are only present in this organization to perform specific functions. They will have limited roles and restricted access in the organization they are present as external users.

These users may include:
  1. Consulting partners
  2. Customers
  3. Vendors
  4. Clients
  5. Accountants
  6. Project consultants
  7. Student interns

Example scenario

Consider you are a project consultant working in the Zylker organization (in which you are a regular user). Now, you need to collaborate and work with a different organization, say InGen, temporarily. You may need access to their documents, reports, and so on. To do that, you can join the InGen organization as an external user, and can get access to their applications with limited privileges.

The limited privileges of an external user will vary based on the application being accessed and the restrictions set by the administrator. For example, in Zoho Connect, you will be able to access the network wall and forums, contact other members in the network, but won't be allowed to create a new group, town hall among other things. Similarly, in Zoho Cliq , you will be able to have one-on-one conversations with other users, but won't be able to join the organization's channels. If you are added as an external user to an organization's WorkDrive, you will be able to access the existing team folders and files, but won't be able to create team folders on your own or share them with another user.

How do I find out which organization I'm part of?

To find out which organization you are present in as a regular user:
  1. Sign in at accounts.zoho.com .
  2. Click Settings in the left menu, then scroll down to the bottom of the page.
You can view the name of your organization, and the contact email address of your administrator.
If you are not an organization user, you will not be shown this information.

How do I join an organization as an external user?

The organization admin has to invite you to join their organization. Upon accepting the invite, you will join their organization as an external user.

How do I change from an external user to a regular user of another organization?

To become a regular user of another organization, you will first have to disassociate yourself from your current organization. You can contact your current organization's admin to disassociate you from the organization. Once that is done, you can accept the invite sent by the required organization's admin to join that organization.
If you are the admin of an organization and want to join another organization, close your organization, then accept the invite sent by the other organization's admin.
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