Office 365 Groups, Exchange, Sites or Yammer?

Office-365-Groups-Choosing-right-tool_featOffice 365 Groups are now rolling out to tenants with the First Release switch set to “give it to me now”. There has been plenty of discussion about Groups crossing over with existing tools. Why would we use Office 365 Groups when we have [insert tool name here]? There might also be some concern that Groups will spell the end for some tools such as Site Mailboxes.

In this Office Mix, I cover a quick explanation of some of the tools in the three main platforms – Exchange, SharePoint and Yammer. I look at some of the cross over points between them all. I talk briefly about when you might choose a traditional combination of the existing tools. Some of the existing tools are provisioned by your IT department, some are self-provisioned. Some are open and public by nature and some are private and closed.

My main messages are these.

Use existing tools when

  • you want full features with traditional limits (distribution list membership, group subscription limits…).
  • you are happy to wait for IT departments to provision the full featured tools for you, to ensure you get the full benefits.
  • you want IT departments to manage the tools for you.

Use Office 365 Groups when

  • you want just the basic collaboration tools of a shared mailbox, conversations and discussions, a shared calendar and a place to share files and work on them together.
  • you want to manage the groups set of tools without the need for IT department help. Your IT department still has the capability to help when required.