Microsoft Office 365 Groups

Microsoft Office 365 Groups is a cloud collaboration feature for communication, coordinating group efforts and sharing information. 

Available through the Office 365 suite of cloud services, Office 365 Groups allows users to create and manage ad hoc "groups" for collaboration.  The group provides members access to a shared inbox, calendar and file repository. 

Office 365 Groups are designed so that line-of-work employees can manage team collaboration, and it is sometimes billed as a lightweight alternative to the traditional SharePoint team site, which requires more time and expertise to deploy.

The communication features of Groups includes a designated inbox, which stores emails within the group, and a "conversation" feature, which allows group members to post short messages and replies through the Outlook Web App.

The calendar feature includes notifications and meeting invites, and integrates with other Microsoft calendar features.

The shared repository feature allows users to view and edit content that's been shared with the group, whether it resides in OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, email, or with other integrated repositories.

Group administrators can invite colleagues to join a given group as needed, and groups can also be found by browsing Office 365. Groups can be public or private. Joining a private group requires approval from an administrator, but employees can communicate via email with private groups.  Users can also "subscribe" to groups to receive emails and notifications.

Office 365 Groups also has a global administrator role, which can view, create, or delete groups, and can adjust group administrators or membership.

As of December 2015, Groups had the following limitations: A group can have up to 10 owners, a single user can create up to 250 groups, and Microsoft advises that groups with more than 1,000 members can experience delays in accessing the group conversations and calendar. 

This was last updated in December 2015

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