Get Excited About Office 365 Groups – Then Relax

So many webinars and chats and talks about Office 365 Groups. It seems they are the next big thing, but then again it seems like they aren’t really anything.

It’s really not a new product, it’s more of a template or a feature that knits together the products of Office 365 into a single provisioned object that provides some semblance of navigation.

I think we’re in a moment where Microsoft is looking for accelerated adoption and looking at reinventing what you get when you want collaboration for your team or group. The clever bits is how it pulls together a number of technologies into a single security group that is designed based on the membership of the group.

Infographic showing Office 365 workstyles ofevery group

Figure: Microsoft Daniel Chang, Office Marketing BG Lead at Microsoft – Office 365 Groups (Teams GA slide 17).

While I see a ton of promise in Microsoft Teams as a new workstyle that provides chat and accelerated collaboration in a new innovative way, albeit very similar to Slack, I think groups will soon be seen as just another way to simplify consumption of Office 365.

It’s not really a product. There’s no new icon in Office 365. There’s no new way to collaborate. It’s really pulling together the features already existing in Office 365.

While many will try to compare Microsoft Teams to Groups, you’ll find yourself in a pickle. Teams automatically provisions a group or can be attached to an existing group. Creating a site will provision a group.

So you can see how things are simply going that way. Groups are the new Team site template. The bonus is you’ll get so much more when you create them.

There are many who are afraid of groups. Afraid of all that gets provisioned. Is it difficult to govern? Yes!

Microsoft is anxious for people to create groups despite the fact that all the management bells and whistles are not there yet. We’re anxious to see what happens when you combine SharePoint/Exchange/Yammer and Skype. There is more innovation to come.

Collaboration is being reinvented as we merge email and collaboration… the non-real time and real-time being mashed together with video, chat, and file, and even desktop sharing. More security and compliance is still to come.

We don’t yet know if, or how, groups will make their way to on premises. I can’t speculate, but I can imagine more hybrid ways of leveraging the power of groups. Search, Delve, SharePoint and Global Nav can bring the story together.

Stay tuned to more tips for making sense of what’s happening and contact Fpweb for help with managing your Office 365 applications, and/or providing Office 365 training.

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One Response to Get Excited About Office 365 Groups – Then Relax

  1. Pingback: SharePoint vNext to Have On-Premises Iteration; New Office Zero-day Vulnerability; Teams Hammers Yammer

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