Office 365 Groups
Office 365 Groups are a NextGen collaboration tool in Office 365 Platform unifying (as you can see on next picture) all the workloads like SharePoint, Outlook, OneDrive, Delve, Yammer, CRM and other services, which are provided by Office 365. It is quite predictive, that Microsoft will do step like this, these services are just waiting and almost everyone had to know it. Most of companies already have CRM site from CRM Online on SharePoint, OneNote on SharePoint, all the services like Delve, Office Video, or OneDrive uses SharePoint core engine as well, so this isn’t something unusual.
What is great is that now everyone should have something new instead of SharePoint Team Sites with all the out of box integration. I know – less work for developers, but still. Everything will be secure based on Azure Active Directory and possibly connected with additional apps.
Group definition are stored in the Azure Active Directory, which is overall management system for identity across all the Office 365 (in near future together with Yammer as well – still cannot understand why we are still waiting J ). So the single identity concept will be finally fully adapted in this scenario. GREAT NEWS!
Another great thing about Office Groups is that there is finally one centralized store for all the information – messaging, email etc. For example, for new employees all the historical information should be accessible to get up to speed. All the passive knowledge…
If there is some place for compare with standard SharePoint Team Sites, there is still lack of possible replacement. At the moment we use Yammer Groups for cross enterprise communication with basic comments, attachments, notes. We use SharePoint team sites for collaboration in forms of Site Mailbox, Shared OneNote, Basic Task management with some additional apps like Kanban or something else. We use this Team Site with Vacation Calendar or another lists and Document Libraries. But for such a common standard for collaboration it will be hard enough to replace something with new collaboration platform. There is definitely needs to be more things connected with great concept. Yammer needs to be part of this concept as well as SharePoint NextGen Portals or Office 365 Groups. It is also important to note that while SharePoint team sites can be both collaboration and communication feature, Office 365 Groups are collaboration only features (as of now, until Microsoft offers more streamline publishing approach like NextGen Portals’ authoring canvas to create article pages). Organizations who requires traditional SharePoint intranets like corporate communication and department communication pages, SharePoint is still valid whether it’s SharePoint Online or SharePoint On-Premises.