Office 365 Groups – What You Should Know About Them?

Aftab Alam    Aftab Alam     Updated On - 24 Jan 2019

Office 365 group is the best place to share resources with your teammates while you are working on a project. Basically, it is a membership service which allows the user to interact in a cross-service environment. An administrator can create Office 365 group, add members, and take benefits of multiple services like Exchange mailboxes, SharePoint library, Microsoft Planner, and Yammer for business, etc.

Before jumping to create an Office 365 group, you must get complete information about its features, benefits, and limitations.

Who can access the Office 365 Group?

Based on usability, there are three types of users who can access the Office 365 Group –

Owner – Owner is the administrator who has created the group and added multiple members in it. The owner can add or delete, change settings, or delete the conversation from the shared inbox. Additionally, the owner can rename or delete the group.

Member – Members are normal users who belong to the organization and access the Office 365 group to collaborate with other team members. A member can enjoy all the benefits of the group but cannot modify its settings.

Guests – Guests are the temporary group members who are not present in the organization. A normal group member can invite the guest to join the group. A guest cannot change the settings of the group.

How to create a Group in Outlook?

If you have an Outlook account configured with an Office 365 account, then it is quite easy to create a group and assign users to it. Here is its complete process –

  1. Start Outlook 2016 application.
  2. In the ribbon follow Home>> New Group.

Note: If you do not see the New Group option, then you need to contact your IT administrator as IT administrator of your organization may have disabled that feature.

  1. Now in Create Group Wizard, provide a new group name, a basic description, its privacy level, and check an option to send all group conversations and events to group’s members.

  1. Finally, click Create, and a new group is created. You can see the group in the mailbox.

Different Types of Office 365 Groups

After creating an Office 365 group, there will be multiple resources which will become available for all the members. Here are some resources–

  • Shared Inbox

There will be a single mailbox for all the conversations with your group members. The mailbox will have a single email address, and all the messages will come into it. Even the people from outside the organizations can send emails.

  • Shared Calendar

You can create a calendar event for the team.

  • Shared Planner

Create and assign project-related tasks among the team members.

  • Shared SharePoint Document Library

A central library to store and share files.

  • Shared OneNote Notebook

A central place to share various ideas, information, and discussions.

Limitations of Office 365 Groups

Here are some limitations related to Office 365 group which the administrator must take care before trying to create a group –

  • You can create an Office 365 group in only such plans which have Exchange Online and SharePoint Online available. Such plans are Enterprise, Business Essentials, and Business Premium plans.
  • If the Office 365 plan is limited to Exchange Online, then you will be able to create Shared inbox and calendar. But there will be no planner, shared library, or other security and compliance feature.
  • If the Office 365 plan is limited to Yammer only, then you can only get the Yammer conversation in the Group and no other features.

Conclusion

After getting the complete information about the Office 365 Group, you can understand that it is quite important for the business. All the important messages, calendar entries, notes, and another type of information are quite vital, and it is necessary for you to keep the data in full health and security. There is a tool which can take the backup of entire Office 365 mailbox including the Groups and keep it in PST format. It is named Export Office 365 to PST. It directly accesses the mailbox and allows you to select the required data and save it to the desired location.