What are Office 365 Groups?
Office 365 Groups are groups of both internal and external colleagues as well as a collection of resources that differ based on your requirements. The basis of an Office 365 Group is a SharePoint Site Collection. Office 365 Groups connect regular SharePoint groups with collaboration tools like Planner or OneNote. You can create Office 365 Groups with Outlook, Planner, Yammer, Teams, Stream, SharePoint, Admin Center and our Collaboration Manager 365. In the following we will take a look at how Office 365 Groups are created with Outlook, Teams, Admin Center, SharePoint and the Collaboration Manager.
Create Office 365 Groups with Outlook
If your conversations happen primarily per email, Outlook should be preferred to create Office 365 Groups. Outlook provides a mailbox for the Group where emails are shown with all the responses. Your Office 365 Group also includes a SharePoint Document library integrated into Outlook, a shared calendar and OneNote as well as a complete SharePoint Site Collection.
Create Office 365 Groups with Teams
You should create Office 365 Groups with Teams if your conversations happen primarily per live chat and online meetings. Teams provides live chatrooms where you can create channels to split conversations on specific topics. Meetings support both audio and video with the chat being saved. Chatbots are also a possible addition.
Create Office 365 Groups with the Admin Center
You can create an Office 365 Group through the Admin Center and add other tools later.
Create Office 365 Groups with SharePoint
If you are already using SharePoint, you can create an Office 365 Group through SharePoint and add other tools, like Planner, later.
Create Office 365 Groups with Collaboration Manager
Creating Office 365 Groups is also possible using our Collaboration Manager App for SharePoint. You can simply create an Office 365 Group by choosing O365 Group as a Content Type and filling in the form. You even have the option of migrating it directly to Microsoft Teams.
Tools included in Office 365 Groups
Office 365 Groups mostly include the same tools, Office 365 Groups created by Yammer are currently an exception. Outlook mailbox and calendar for managing meetings and events, a fully functional SharePoint Site Collection, Teams Chat if the Office 365 Group is private and has less than 600 users, Planner for managing tasks, OneNote for keeping notes and if the Office 365 Group is created by Outlook or Teams an integrated Document Library. An Office 365 Group created with Yammer doesn’t include Teams Chat, an integrated Document library or Outlook.
Office 365 Group Visibility
When creating an Office 365 Group there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, there are two different visibility options available: public and private. In public Office 365 Groups everyone in your company has access to the content and any colleague can join. If the visibility is set to private, only the members of the Office 365 Group can see the content and only the owner can invite other members.
The default visibility is based on the tool used to create the Office 365 Group but can be set while creating. Outlook apps, Planner and Yammer create public Office 365 Groups, while Outlook on the web, SharePoint, Stream and Teams create private Office 365 Groups.
Default Permission Groups
There are three different default permission groups. Owners are like moderators. They can add and remove members, delete Chats and change Office 365 Group settings like description and name. Members can see all the content and can invite Guests but can’t change settings. Guests are external colleagues and have the same permissions as Members. You can of course add your own permission group and configure the permissions for each one.
Provision Office 365 Groups
There are two ways of provisioning Office 365 Groups. Office 365 Groups are “open” per default. Therefore, all members can create new Office 365 Groups. The other option is “controlled” which means that only a security group can create new Office 365 Groups. Controlled provisioning is especially helpful to keep an overview of the created Office 365 Groups.
Manage Office 365 Groups
To manage Groups, you can use the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, Microsoft Azure, Collaboration Manager or PowerShell. In the Admin Center you can change the general settings of the Office 365 Group like name and description and add members and owners to an existing Office 365 Group.
Deleting an Office 365 Group
Because there is no automatic way to delete Office 365 Groups, you can manually delete them through the Admin Center or the Collaboration Manager. You have to delete Office 365 Groups separately in the Admin Center, while you can delete multiple Office 365 Groups simultaneously through the Collaboration Manager.