Microsoft has released a variety of communication tools in Office 365, such as Outlook Groups, Yammer, and Microsoft Teams. These apps serve to encourage collaboration across an organization, but users often get overwhelmed. There is a lot of overlap between the features, but each app has a unique purpose in the way it should be used.
Here is a breakdown of those tools.
With Outlook Groups, every member gets a shared inbox, calendar, project planner, notebook, and document library. You also get the ability to connect to third-party apps such as Twitter, Trello, and Mailchimp, so notifications are sent directly to your shared inbox.
The benefit is all relevant messages and information are contained in one place, so if a majority of your conversations occur via email, Outlook Groups is ideal. What’s more, HR and sales departments who communicate with external parties will also find plenty of uses for the email-focused features.
The drawback is email overload. Because all messages and notifications are sent to one inbox, users may become overwhelmed by the number of emails they have to sort through every day.
Yammer works well with other Office 365 tools like Outlook and OneDrive. However, Yammer is a professional social media app designed to foster open communication and break down barriers between teams.
With Yammer, important files and announcements can be shared with the entire company like an office bulletin board. Users can see the most popular post on their feeds, follow it, and even provide their input by leaving a comment.
Yammer also takes design elements and features from popular social media apps like Facebook, making it a popular choice for companies with millennials in their workforce.
Microsoft Teams, a chat-based collaboration platform similar to Slack, works with Skype for Business so you can text, call, video chat, and share files with colleagues. Thanks to its seamless integrations with other Office 365 programs, you can even work on shared files without having to leave the app.
Unlike Groups, Microsoft Teams is designed for high-velocity collaboration, making it the best of the three for completing projects with tight deadlines or other tasks where employees need immediate feedback.
Although we’ve discussed the fundamental differences between Groups, Teams, and Yammer, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what each app can do. To figure out which apps you need, you must understand how your employees work, how they prefer to collaborate, and what you want to achieve.
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