Office 365 is chock full of so many apps that it’s sometimes difficult to keep track of them all. Sure, you have the most popular tools like Word and Skype for Business, but there are three tools in the lineup that seem like they could be used the same way: Outlook Groups, Yammer, and Microsoft Teams. Read on to find out what makes these office collaboration tools different from each other and when each of them should be used.
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 -- like Twitter, Trello, and Mailchimp -- so notifications are sent directly to your shared inbox.
This means all relevant messages and information are contained in one place, so if a majority of your conversations occur via email then, Outlook Groups is the perfect choice. What’s more, HR and Sales departments that communicate with external parties will also find plenty of uses for its email features.
One drawback with Outlook Groups, however, is email overload. Because all messages and notifications are sent to one inbox, users may be overwhelmed by the number of emails they have to sort through every day.
Then there’s Microsoft Teams, a chat-based collaboration platform similar to Slack. It works with Skype for Business so you can text, call, video chat, and share files with colleagues. And 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.
Much like Groups and Teams, Yammer works well with other Office 365 tools like Outlook and OneDrive. But the big difference is Yammer is a 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. What’s more, 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 a significant number of millennials in their workforce.
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.