Office 365 Groups have been deployed on production tenants since September 25th, 2014 as stated in Delivering the first chapter of Groups in Office 365. As far as my main tenant (with first release activated) is concerned, they arrived on October 23th, that is to say about one month later.
1°) What are they about ?
It’s all about breaking silos in the Office 365 suite and doing seamless integration between mails (Exchange), documents (SharePoint) and conversations (Yammer). As shown in the video you can find at the end of this post, at time 3’00”, this is acheived technically by creating a seamless identity on top of these applications via Microsoft Azure Active Directory.
2°) How do I create one ?
You will find Office 365 Groups going to your Outlook in Office 365 :
You can create one very easily :
and then specify a name, (eventually) a group ID and a description.
By default, Groups are public, that is to say everyone in the Office 365 tenant can come and see what’s inside.
If you want more privacy, you can choose the following option :
This is very similar to Yammer groups.
You can also subscribe members so that they receive group conversations in their inbox (This is a little bit different from Yammer Groups options where each member have to subscribe to receive email notifications – more on this here : [ #Yammer ] From Mailbox to Yammer and back ). Anyway members can unsubscribe if they want.
At this time, you have the option to directly add member to groups :
The group is then fully created :
You can also very easily browse existing groups and join one :
3°) What can I do there ?
So Office 365 groups are a space where members can share :
This can be summarized like that :
Conversations present similarities with Yammer ones :
where newsfeed seems rather to be inbox :
Calendar can be overlayed with personnal calendars :
Once created in the group calendar, group meeting generate a reminder in the newsfeed :
Regarding files, they are technically speaking stored at the followig url :
which is automatically redirected to the OneDrive site collection :
There you feel like in your OneDrive ! 🙂
A very cool feature is that you can like with Yammer comment in-line a group file. However this doesn’t seem working yet on my tenant (see video at the end of the post)
Moreover, the members can be easily managed :
Any members can easily be promoted to admin role :
At last, you can “view details” about the group :
and so know the associated email address.
4°) What’s next ?
You can find the documentation on Office 365 Groups at this URL : Find help about groups in Office 365
and a good introduction video :
In this video though it is supposed that you can create a group discussion on files stored in the group. In my tenant, Yammer discussion show up at that place.
You can also find a great suite of articles mainly in spanish on the blog of my fellow MVP Juan Carlos Gonzalez Martin :
- Office 365: Introducción a los Grupos…trabaja como una red (I)
- Office 365: Introducción a los Grupos…trabaja como una red (II)
- Office 365: Introducción a los Grupos…trabaja como una red (III)!
- Office 365: FAQs about Office 365 Groups functionality!
And a french version of this post is available here: [ #Office365 ] Le chapitre 1 des Groupes est écrit, et alors ?
This version was called Chapter 1 by Jared Spatero, so the good news is that we can expect more chapters on this story ! 😉
For example at 6’25 on the following video, we can see the same group surfaced both in Outlook and in Yammer. And at 8’00, you have also a SharePoint site joined to the group.
Thanks to The Garage Series for Office 365 !
So Office 365 Groups are there to stay, begin to use them to understand where they can help you streamlined collaboration in your organiszations !
And expect more chapters to come !