Microsoft Office 365 Collaboration – Office 365 Groups, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Team Sites and Yammer

By - April 2, 2018

There are several apps in Office 365 which provide collaboration features and support to enable the collaboration within different teams at any organization. These apps are listed below

  1. Office 365 Groups
  2. Microsoft Teams
  3. SharePoint Team Sites
  4. Yammer

All of the apps have similar features, which can have a tendency to create confusion as to which app is best for specific uses and functions within an organization. This post explains the difference among these collaboration-based apps and will help you make the right decision for your specific requirement.

Office 365 Groups

Office 365 Groups are located in the Outlook web app. Their UI feels much like Outlook UI. The users who spend most of their time in Outlook feel more comfortable with the Office 365 group’s functionality, as it shares the Outlook UI. Office 365 Groups provides e-mail centric team collaboration.

Pros Cons
E-mail conversations – easy, generally recognizable interface Basic files experience. Group does not support advanced features of SharePoint Document libraries
No special install required as Outlook is the host No group support in Outlook for Mac
The membership is an AD group. It can be used for security membership to any system that supports it. Outlook Online required for access
Connectors allow third party systems to integrate with conversations. For instance, when a new Salesforce opportunity is created, it will create a new conversation. Then, the group can have a conversation about the opportunity.


Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams are available as a separate app in the Office 365 apps. This is a “chat-based work space.” Microsoft Teams get a dedicated site once created. Communications in Teams all happen in one place, including email threads, Skype conversations, text messages etc.

Pros Cons
The conversation platform is Skype for Business, which is generally familiar. It is real-time. Basic files experience. Group does not support advanced features of SharePoint document libraries.
The Microsoft Teams app is available for all platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. Also available at
Activity feed available  
Ability to add Channels. Channels support the sub topic conversations of a small group of users within the team.  
Tabs in the dedicated Microsoft Teams site can be customized.  
Connectors allow third party systems to integrate with conversations.  


SharePoint Team Sites

SharePoint Team Sites provide large team advanced document collaboration. SharePoint users find it very easy and intuitive due to the familiarity.

Pros Cons
Ability to create Pages with custom layouts Activity feed has limitations
Advanced Files experience SharePoint newsfeeds are not available
Custom Lists provide easy way to manage data with metadata, versioning, security and workflow Those unfamiliar with SharePoint may take time to learn and adjust to interface
On-premises release available  
Search – leverages SharePoint search capabilities  



Yammer provides company-wide collaboration competing with Workplace by Facebook

Pros Cons
Social network for internal organizations Activity feed tends to grow quickly with lots of conversations and items may be missed
Entire organization – Yammer provides the enterprise level collaboration Search is not optimized
Tagging capability No AD groups to manage memberships
Polls can be created to get feedback


To find out more how RSM can assist you with your SharePoint needs, contact RSM’s technology consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.

By: Arun Aggarwal

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