Office 365 Groups vs Office 365 Teams

Teams V/S Groups

 Office 365 Teams and Groups are opposing solutions, the reality is that they are actually complimentary.

When Microsoft Teams was launched into Public Preview in November 2016 there was a lot of confusion as this Slack competitor seemed to come out of nowhere. One thing was clear though – Teams sits inside the Office 365 Groups substrate.

Today, instead of pitting Office 365 Groups vs Teams, I’m going to do my best to help you untwist the product names and understand how the technology actually coexists in your tenant.

Staying in Control

It is important when considering the deployment of Office 365 Groups vs Teams that we give it some thought before “going viral.” While these technologies make it easy for end users to simply press a button and get going, we need to keep this behaviour in check without stifling it.

Main Keys are:

  • Governance
  • Security
  • User education
  • Data management (duplication and versioning)
  • Lifecycle

Instead of pitting Office 365 Groups vs Teams, the two together provide a very powerful disruptor in the way we work on a daily basis. However, we need think them through to ensure that the disruption leads to a positive outcome. Also, it improves user experience, not confusion and frustration.

The reality is that many people find Office 365 Groups confusing, especially when it relates to Microsoft Teams. I still find this in conversations I see online, with IT pros, and when speaking with clients who are somewhat new to Office 365.

For users and organisations who weren’t thinking of SharePoint but want to use Microsoft Teams; well, now they have to. Weren’t thinking of OneNote? Well, you’ve got it now! And so on, across the features of Office 365 Groups.

Organisations often want “best practices” when looking to implement new technologies. The reality is that Microsoft Teams is barely 18 months old and adding new features rapidly. The same can be said for some of the supporting components (though not so much the speed side of things). Best practices are fluid; they evolve, change and, most importantly, are subjective.

When organisations look to implement Microsoft Teams, they are in fact implementing Office 365 Groups and need to cater for all that it brings and is connected to. As such, they need to plan for provisioning, lifecycle, directory & discovery, training on related applications, and so on.

Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams are not a “vs.” and they are not a “plus;” they are together.