Sharing and collaborating just got easier! Want a quick way to grab some co-workers and get productive on a project? Need to share documents on the fly without having to setup a SharePoint site?
With the introduction of Groups, working in Office 365 can bring people together to connect with colleagues and work on projects. You can search for and join existing Groups, which are open by default, to see all discussions, milestones and files and get up to speed quickly. You can create private Groups as well for sensitive projects and content. Each group gets their own OneDrive for file sharing and their own group email box.
Where can you find Groups?
Groups is a feature that is available in Outlook Web App email and calendar and OneDrive for Business, and will be rolled out to all customers that have an Exchange Online or Office 365 commercial subscription, both new and existing.
Group management is provided in Office 365. It is straightforward to create and manage, Groups can be optimized without learning to use a separate security management website. Public Groups support an open permission model, which allows you to add yourself as a member to any public Group, making it easy to access information. Private Groups provide data privacy while still allowing for prospective members to request access to the Group.
Group conversations are stored in a single Exchange Online mailbox, separate from individual users' mailboxes. You can later access the Group conversations by using the left navigation bar in the Outlook Web App. In the Group inbox, all messages sent to the Group are displayed in a list view. A new list item layout also includes photos to show the most recent contributors to the conversation. Conversation details are displayed in the reading pane, with natural reading order for messages. You can easily start a new conversation with Group members or reply inline to a conversation. You can also easily send an email to a Group from your inbox, just like using a distribution list.
Groups with Outlook desktop clients
Interacting with a Group with Outlook desktop clients is available by directly addressing the Group while composing messages, and optionally subscribing to the Group to see all new messages and calendar invites. Sending and receiving messages is comparable to using distribution lists and you can address the Group directly when addressing a message and responses to that conversation will be sent to your inbox. They also include links to see the past conversations in the Group through the Outlook WebApp.
Examples of groups
- A small business wants to coordinate logistics and expertise from all its employees for a customer marketing and promotion event. They also want to invite select customers to confirm their approach.
- A close-knit executive team needs to plan and schedule a big product announcement, but securely, so as not to risk an untimely disclosure.
- The team is working hard to win the business of a new client and wants to make sure they are all on the same page.
Interested in more? Check out this video on Groups in Office 365.
About the author
Matt Scherocman brings more than 15 years of experience in the information technology industry to Interlink. His experience includes both the system integrator and manufacturer sides of the business. During his time at the Microsoft Corporation he was responsible for all the Large Account Reseller (LAR) relationships in the four-state Heartland Area of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Prior to Microsoft, Scherocman led a Cincinnati -based IT consulting company to grow 5000% and become a Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year. He is actively involved in the strategic vision and operation decisions of the company including finance, selling strategy and marketing. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science in Business degree from Miami University and is a Certified Expert in Microsoft licensing including speaking engagements at both Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference and Channel Partner Summit. He is a frequent contributor to leading industry publications.
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