Office 365 Groups and Teams – A Comparison

Megha Sharma    Megha Sharma     Published On - 04 Apr 2019

“For providing collaboration facilities to a group of users, Office 365 has a Group feature integrated with it. A recently introduced feature named Team in Office 365 does a similar function with many differences. Let us have a discussion on it.”

What is an Office 365 Group?

In general, we can say that it is a service provided by Office 365, an object in Azure Active Directory where members are provided with services like OneNote, SharePoint site, Planner, etc.

An Office 365 admin can create a Group and add members to it. They can add members to the Group to let them access its resources. There is no need for assigning permissions manually to access resources as it is automatically assigned to all the added members. The Group can be private or public and can be created from different applications like Teams, SharePoint, Planner, Outlook, Outlook on the web, etc.

What is a Microsoft Team?

A Team is an Office 365 feature that allows its members to have video chats, chats, documents sharing, file sharing, voice calls, meetings, and many other services. A Team works as a platform for many services including those services which they are using with Office 365 Groups.

Group and Team – How are the connected?

Many experts consider Office 365 Group and Microsoft Team as complementary features. Whenever a Team is created, a private Office 365 Group gets created automatically. Also, there is a provision to add a Team site to an available Office 365 Group. All the files, documents and data get saved within the SharePoint site for Teams and Groups.

Group and Team – How do they differ?

An Office 365 Group differs from a Microsoft Team in many ways. Some of them are listed here:

  • Different interfaces: Office 365 Group has more an Outlook-like interface than Microsoft Team
  • Communication features: Microsoft Team facilitates voice calling, video calling, etc., unlike Office 365 Group
  • Security: Teams cannot have users from outside and security is decided as per the requirements. Groups allow external users as Guests through invitations.
  • Office 365 plan: Users must have Exchange Online plan to have the Office 365 Group feature, but this is not required for Team.
  • Applications: Team has desktop apps while Group does not. However, both have applications available in all mobile platforms (Android, iOS, and Windows).

It is clear that there is no competition between Office 365 Group and Microsoft Team – both go hand-in-hand. Office 365 group and Microsoft Team work together – Groups act as a platform that allows Azure Active Directory users to collaborate and share files, while Microsoft Teams helps in organizing these files and communicating in different ways.

Hope you got some idea about Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams through this article! Please feel free to write to us for any query.