In our blog Introducing Groups in Office 365, we discussed how Office 365 Groups facilitates the storage of information so it’s accessible across different applications but remains secure and easily to manage. Office 365 Groups helps teams collaborate in their desired application, including: Outlook, SharePoint, Skype for Business, Planner, Yammer, OneNote, and Microsoft Teams.
But, it’s not just your administrative staff that will benefit from the use of Office 365 Groups. Your IT staff will also thank you for making end user access and management much easier to setup and administer. With a much less complex and time-consuming process, Office 365 Groups makes assigning permissions easy by automatically assigning users access to the tools they require. Groups can also make it easier to manage both security groups and distribution groups at the same time.
Features to help admins manage groups
A key benefit of Office 365 Groups is that any user in your organization can create a group and start collaborating with others in seconds. Self-service creation is great for users, but we know IT admins need to be able to easily manage groups, gain insight into their use, control their directories, and ensure compliance of group data. The following features are designed to facilitate the administration of Office 365 Groups to support these needs:
- Restore deleted groups—If you deleted an Office 365 group, it’s now retained by default for a period of 30 days. Within that period, you can restore the group and its associated apps and data via a new PowerShell cmdlet command.
- Retention policies—Manage group content produced by setting up retention policies to keep what you want and get rid of what you don’t need. Admins can now create Office 365 Groups retention policies that apply to the group’s shared inbox and files in one step using the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center.
- Label management—With labels, you can classify Office 365 Groups emails and documents across your organization for governance, and enforce retention rules based on that classification.
- Guest access—Guest access in Office 365 Groups enables you and your team to collaborate with people from outside your organization by granting them access to group conversations, files, calendar invitations and the group notebook.
- Upgrade Distribution Groups to Office 365 Groups—The Exchange Admin Center now offers an option to upgrade eligible Distribution Groups to Office 365 Groups with one click.
- Data classification*—You can create a customizable data classification system for Office 365 Groups, such as unclassified, corporate confidential or top secret.
- Usage guidelines*—You can define usage guidelines for Office 365 Groups—to educate your users about best practices that help keep their groups effective, and educate them on internal content policies.
- Azure AD Connect*— Enables group writeback to your Active Directory to support on-premises Exchange mailboxes. See “Configure Office 365 Groups with on-premises Exchange” for more information.
- Dynamic membership*—Admins can define groups with rule-based memberships using the Azure Management Portal or via PowerShell. Group membership is usually updated within minutes as users’ properties change. This allows easy management of larger groups or the creation of groups that always reflect the organization’s structure.
- Hidden membership—If you want group membership to be confidential (for example, if the members are students), you can hide the Office 365 group members from users who aren’t members of the group.
- Creation policies—There may be some people in your organization that you don’t want to be able to create new groups. There are several techniques for managing creation permissions in your directory.
- Office 365 Groups activity report—These reports includes group properties, messages received and group mailboxes storage over time. Note you can also leverage the SharePoint site usage report to track groups’ file storage.
From restoring deleted groups to activity reports, Office 365 Groups will help optimize time and efficiency within your organization.
Want more info on Microsoft Office 365 Groups?
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