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Office 365 Groups in Detail

Office 365 Groups - bring people, conversations, and content together across Office 365. By providing an integrated experience that link together email conversations, file storage, and calendar event management, Groups create an integrated experience for teams to focus on group activity. Groups can be public to enable information sharing within your company, or private for teams that deal with sensitive subjects. Groups are not open to external users at this time but Microsoft says it will add that feature at a later date.

A public group is open to everyone in the organization. If you just want to see what the group is doing, all the content and conversations are easy to view. But if the group interests you, you can join it and become a member. In most cases, a public group is preferred. Public groups support an open permission model, allowing a user to add themselves as a member, reducing management overhead and making it easy to access information.

A private group is exclusive and only open to its members. The content and conversations are secure and not viewable by everyone. Choose a private group when you are concerned about security and privacy. Although anyone can see the name of the private group, information is security-trimmed so it is not accessible from search, links, or in other ways. For sensitive topics, private Groups offer a built-in mechanism for prospective members to request access to the Group. This access requires approval from a group administrator. Note - although you cannot participate in a private group that you are not a member of, anyone can send email to a private group and even receive replies from that private group.

Group management is provided in Office 365, making it convenient to manage Groups. Even though group administrators have the ability to manage the groups, Office 365 Admins are the only ones who can create Office 365 Groups.

When you are added to a Group, you will receive a welcome email introducing the Group, and providing a quick way to navigate to Group information such as previous conversations and files. Also, it is easy to join the Group if you wish to receive Group messages and calendar invites in your inbox.

Sending and receiving messages with a Group through Outlook is similar to using distribution lists. You can address the Group directly when addressing an email, and responses to that conversation will be sent to your inbox. Once you join, a copy of all Group messages and calendar events will be sent to your personal inbox, making it easy to stay up-to-date with the Group as part of your regular mail process. Also note that access to the Group document library is available when using Outlook through links in the welcome email and in the subscribed message footer.

Image of Groups menu

To browse the available public Office 365 groups: login to OWA, and click on Browse under Groups on the left. On the right you can view the different groups. Click on each to get more details.



group images

If you find a group you are interested in, click on Join. You don't have to join to read the conversations or look through the calendar and files. However, if you want to be notified when emails are sent to the group or received by the group, you will need to join. 

You can easily view the Group calendar from within OWA but, in order to view the group calendar from within Outlook, you need to join the group. You can add the calendar to view it from within Outlook. Choose Calendar -> Add Calendar -> From Address Book. Make sure you are looking in the Global Address Book and not the Offline Global Address Book.

To request an Office 365 Group just fill out the request form located here.

To find, join, or leave an Office 365 Group - click here.

For more information on Office 365 Groups follow these links:

Learn about Office 365 Groups

Exploring Office 365 Groups

Using Office 365 Groups with Outlook 2016

Schedule a meeting on a group calendar in Outlook

Office 365 Groups are also used with Planner. Every time a new plan is created then a new Office 365 Group is automatically created and vice versa. For more information about Planner, click here.