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How To Use Office 365 Groups

Within this publish, I’m going to tackle using Office 365 Groups and demonstrate an easy, three-step approach so that you can determine when you should use what in Groups. The publish is going to be divided int a double edged sword:

  1. Our graphic and hypothetical, 3-step approach
  2. Real-world scenarios and examples that will help you learn how to use Office 365 Groups

Warning: It’s a lengthy one, so stick to me!

Adoption is difficult and Working Out When You Should Use What’s Frustrating.

With Microsoft’s introduction of Groups, there’s been lots of confusion on how to use Office 365 Groups and around when you should use what. To begin, let’s take that complex subject and simplify it – adoption is difficult. From SharePoint Server towards the latest Microsoft ‘office’ 365 choices, adoption is difficult! That conversation and sentiment hasn’t altered in additional than fifteen years.

Office 365 Groups connects your company with six different communication tools: SharePoint, Yammer, Teams, OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business, and Outlook. With all of these power tools available, it may be pretty challenging know which tool to make use of when. We’ve come up with a fast three-step mental exercise you are able to walk-through any time you have to generate a message a piece, whether it’s to some teammate or even the entire company.

How To Use Office 365 Groups
Download “When Will I Use What at work 365 Groups” by clicking on this link &gt

How To Use Office 365. When Determining when to use what in Office 365 Groups, Factor 1: Audience - With whom do you need to communicate?
Factor 1: Audience – That must you communicate?

When deciding which Office 365 tool to make use of the very first step to consider is how big your audience. Consider the number of people you need to send your message to.

Large Audience

The next tools are meant for contacting and across large audiences.


SharePoint is made to assist you to share information. SharePoint houses your documents and files, and enables you to communicate and collaborate in it with everybody inside your organization. You should use SharePoint to collaborate on the document or file with anybody in order to share an business chart together with your company.


Yammer is made to broadcast messages for your entire organization and begin a business-wide conversation. You are able to ask an entire department for feedback on the pressing issue or distribute a business poll.

How to use Groups in Office 365
AvePoint Yammer thread by having an announcement being broadcast towards the largest audience, the whole company.

Small Audience

The next tools are meant for communication having a select few of peers and colleagues at the office or on the run.


Teams is made to assist you to communicate inside a group on the focused funnel and subject. Teams is great for any small audience since you can directly communicate and share information while keeping a discussion history, that will enable your team develop its collaboration.

OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Clients are an individual content repository that enables you to definitely share information for example documents and files with individuals you invite. OneDrive for Business is made to behave like SharePoint, but on the more personal level.

Skype for Business

Skype for Business is made for live chat sessions among small groups to facilitate collaboration. Talk one-on-one or in a tiny group to promote your message.

Any Audience

When you are searching for any tool that may deliver your message, regardless of what size your audience is, traditional fashion e-mail works.


Outlook is made for delivering discrete messages to 1 person in order to the whole company. Send a individual follow-up e-mail or evangelize a brand new initiative company wide.

How To Use Office 365 Groups: The 2nd factor of When To Use What in Office 365 Groups is Tone.
Factor #2 Tone: How would you like to express yourself?

When deciding which Office 365 tool to make use of the 2nd step to consider may be the tone of the message, which is dependent upon who’s going to get your message and just what the topic of that message is. Would you like to produce a formal record or begin a free-and-open dialog?

Formal Tone

A proper tone is better used when you wish to share an authoritative and reliable message. The next tools are meant for delivering your message having a professional and objective voice. By selecting among the following tools, your communications is going to be treated more formally.


Outlook is made to send discrete e-mails. By utilizing Outlook you develop a proper record of the communications. Send quarterly reports for your boss or answer an e-mail regarding a task you’re focusing on.


SharePoint is made to assist you to share information broadly and therefore has generated-in controls and management functions that lend your data credibility because the single-source-of-truth. Upload a brand new company policy or produce a reference list.


Yammer is meant for delivering messages across your business. If you use Yammer, everybody can easily see you and also the threads you develop, causeing this to be a great tool for formal company broadcasts.

Informal Tone

A casual tone is better used when you wish to share a far more casual and private message. The next tools are meant for random communications with peers.


Teams is made to facilitate open dialog among people. Communication is instant and direct, so use a colloquial or even more casual tone to convey you to ultimately others.

Teams offers informal conversations like memes and .gifs
Don’t fear Microsoft Teams’ informal tone!

OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business is supposed to store and manage your company content. You place a dark tone from the documents and files you have, and communications about the subject could be more personal and conversational.

Any Tone

You will find occasions once the tone of the message must be flexible. A chat tool might be appropriate when getting conversations that may be either formal or informal.

Skype for Business

Skype for Business is made for live chat sessions in which the tone could be formal or informal, or may even shift inside a conversation. Ping colleagues to go over pressing business issues after which discuss lunch plans.

How To Use Office 365 Groups: Factor 3 when determining what to use when in Office 365 Groups - Speed
Factor 3 Speed: How rapidly must you communicate?

When deciding which Office 365 tool to make use of the 3rd and final step to consider is when rapidly you need to communicate. Would you like an immediate backwards and forwards or will a sluggish response do?

High Tempo

A quick tempo of communications is better used when you wish rapid communication having a specific person or group. The next tools are meant for delivering and receiving messages when you wish a prompt response. By selecting among the following tools, you signal the content that you’re readily available for quick conversations.


Teams is made for rapid communications among team people. Should you not know who exactly to deal with, however, you need information immediately, you are able to broadcast to some group and obtain instant replies from anybody. Determine whether anybody written a company justification document before or who updated the company proposal last.

Microsoft Teams vs Skype for Business
Microsoft Teams introduced persistent talk to the workforce.

Skype for Business

Skype for Business is made for instant communication among individuals or small groups. If you want information immediately and also you know who to speak to, Skype for Clients are your tool. Discover the master of the merchandise you’re focusing on at this time or ask someone where they stored a document.

Low Tempo

A minimal tempo of communications is better used when you wish to share a note and you’re less worried about when individuals might find it. The next tools are meant for delivering information that permanence is much more important than immediacy. By selecting among the following tools, the person receiving your message can respond will understand that it’s okay to reply in their own pace.


Outlook is made to send e-mail, which inherently implies a minimal tempo of communication since the recipient might not visit your message immediately or might not respond immediately. Send a study or react to a request

SharePoint and OneDrive for Business

SharePoint, in addition to OneDrive for Business, can be used to relay information inside a structure that conveys permanence. Whenever you send a note or deliver content through SharePoint or OneDrive for Business, you are able to anticipate that information might be received in a slower pace with slower response occasions. Communication through SharePoint and OneDrive for Business relies upon individual access, permissions, hierarchy, and notifications, that are typically e-mailed.

Any Tempo


Yammer is meant for broadcasting information for your organization.  Based on whenever you publish to Yammer, you might get an immediate response or hear nothing until the following day. Communication through Yammer relies upon timezones, people’s spare time, and just how mindful they’re to notifications and alerts. Announce an approaching company event or congratulate a group openly on their own effort.

Now let’s arrive at the real-world scenarios and employ cases!

For you personally seasoned SharePoint or Office 365 users, this framework may be all that you should make a start. We’re going to check out two common real life scenarios which happen the following at AvePoint and find out the way the framework allows us to decide on when you should use what.

Example 1: Marketing and Product Announcement

Dealing with your products Marketing, Product Management, and company Communications teams at the company, you have the effect of informing the business a good approaching advertising campaign to advertise something new release.

Here’s a good example of how you can use the above exercise in cases like this:

Factor 1: Audience

The initial question is, “With whom must you communicate?” Within this use situation, you need to broadcast an item announcement and advertising campaign towards the entire company. That narrows your alternatives lower towards the “Large Audience” tools like Yammer, SharePoint, and Outlook.

You are able to eliminate SharePoint like a contender since your main goal is definitely an announcement and never collaboration on documents. One choice lower. Two more to visit.

Factor 2: Tone

The 2nd question then becomes, “How would you like to express yourself?” Based upon your situation, your organization culture, and also the content you would like to announce, you will find the choice of causeing this to be announcement formal or informal.

Within this example, you may choose Yammer to broadcast your advertising campaign, making a dark tone less formal and much more conversational. You may also opt for Outlook to broadcast content that’s more formal – dates, release notes, proprietors, prices, resource locations, etc. – and your communication direct and to the stage.

Factor 3: Speed

As you have seen in the last step, you may still find two viable choices that you should select from. This third factor – how rapidly you have to communicate – is essential.

Within this scenario, Yammer provides the best option in case your goal would be to begin a conversation concerning the advertising campaign and announcement. Yammer gives you a quick method of getting feedback, share updates, and talk with the announcement.

Outlook however, with the strength of the mighty BCC line, gives you having the ability to cut the conversation off entirely and just help make your communication a 1-way announcement.

It’s your choice!

Our Preference:

Office 365 Groups
At AvePoint, we choose to use Outlook for those formal information like dates, plans, and notes, restricted to a couple of summary sentences.

At AvePoint, we use both tools for product and advertising campaign bulletins. We choose to use Outlook for those formal information like dates, plans, and notes, restricted to a couple of summary sentences. Then we indicate a Yammer publish to carry on the conversation and apply the various benefits for Office 365 Groups versus SharePoint team sites by pointing to more submitted content like collateral, pitch decks, etc. Yammer then becomes our primary supply of feedback collection and collaboration. Mixing Outlook and Yammer is really a “better together” story, instead of one is preferable to another!

How To Use Office 365 Groups
At AvePoint, we like using for broadcasting new articles and updates, allowing we to simply share socially.

Example 2: Request Proposal (RFP) Response

Dealing with any project, Sales, and Field teams at the company, you have the effect of pulling together all mix-departmental stakeholders and sources to provide an offer.

Here’s how you can apply our “when to make use of what” approach within this scenario:

Factor 1: Audience

Within this use situation, you’re using a smaller sized audience of primary stakeholders from project, sales, engineering, finance, legal, and much more. There are a few people you’ll be contacting. This narrows the selection of primary communication method lower to Teams, OneDrive, Skype for Business, and Outlook.

Oftentimes whenever a tender is first being considered, it’s located around the account representative’s OneDrive or email. When the organization has made the decision to greenlight the procedure, it’s gone to live in a group site and also the appropriate team people are notified. An RFP can contain sensitive information, therefore we try to minimize how big the crowd whatsoever occasions.

Factor 2: Tone

This situation highlights the strengths of Office 365 and a few of the frustrations individuals have when figuring out when you should use what at work 365 Groups. There are lots of tools that also work with this case! Greater than within the last example, tone plays a significant component in figuring out the best tool in Groups.

Based upon your role and position, when collaborating and communicating directly with sales and project leads, you are more inclined to make use of an informal tone than when collaborating together with your legal team. Tools like Skype for Business, OneDrive for Business, and Microsoft Teams are viable choices for interacting, informally with peer groups within this example.

Tools like Outlook will be preferred when communicating upward or perhaps to a far more formal department like legal and finance. For instance, when completing the response, the majority of the conversations take place in Teams among subject material experts and also the account team. When the document is prepared for any final approval, we use email, which our legal team still adores (and that’s OK!) to ensure they are conscious of a pending review. The document continues to be kept in our Request Information (RFI)/RFP response center, that is a SharePoint team site focused on tracking the status, facilitating new demands, and storing the historic record of tenders we’ve taken care of immediately.

Factor 3: Speed

Your bank account team is definitely likely to want the quickest possible response time, but we actually must take a look at how an RFI is clarified effectively. Throughout the initial drafting process, there’s likely to be lots of backwards and forwards between field and internal stakeholders. Teams is ideal for this constant backwards and forwards, particularly because everyone’s schedules don’t fall into line to match an organization huddle. Though when the fact is completed, it’s here we are at an infinitely more formal and thorough review by legal. It’s then within the capable hands in our a lawyer, who may want to evaluate the document while sipping an excellent Sherry (more to the point, they’re making certain we’ve covered all of our bases).

Our Preference:

Microsoft Teams
From RFP’s to Marketing Campaigns, AvePoint prefers Microsoft Teams for select few projects with deadlines.

At AvePoint, persistent chat within Microsoft Teams is a superb solution for peer groups within this project. Providing the same abilities as Skype for Business, Teams also enables for conversations between sales and engineering to become saved and preserved as historic business assets with other stakeholders, like project, that could have missed a Skype for Business chat. With add-ons like Planner, Trello, along with other task management solutions, Teams may serve as a brief project home for that key stakeholders requiring access immediately to information.

Once the proposal project is nearing completion, Outlook and OneDrive for Business function as great options to collaborate and talk to legal and finance. Generally, the outdoors departments have specific documents they have to review and approve, and won’t require immediate accessibility entire project.

Office 365 Groups vs Outlook
Utilizing OneDrive for Business and Outlook integration for shareing documents.

As you can tell, despite applying our framework to a few of the business problems above, we chosen a mix of solutions which were ideal for our objectives and regarded our company’s processes and culture. This proves that whenever using Office 365 Groups, there’s no “one size fits all” for projects such as the ones above. BUT there’s a means to locating the sweet place for your own personel organization. Hopefully this framework will be beneficial too.

Quick tip: Take a look at using Microsoft Teams by our engineering department’s use cases below!

How To Use Microsoft Teams
Using Microsoft Teams: Tips From AvePoint’s Engineers Click The Link &gt

If you are interested and searching to learn more about the objective of Groups and why you need to care, read this great video publish by Dux Raymond Sy, where he interviews Microsoft’s Program Manager for Groups, Christophe Fiessinger.

Understanding Office 365 Groups

How To use Office 365 Groups