A large amount of organizations use Microsoft Office 365. Most users however, don’t understand the full capabilities that Office 365 can offer their business. Maybe they are simply using the 4 “main programs” of Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Gone are the days where those should be the only 4 Microsoft Office programs you are using. Most organizations today recognize that easy collaboration is critical when running a successful business. Microsoft has also recognized this and now offers several Office 365 collaboration tools and services to make teamwork across the organization run as smoothly as possible. The biggest issue you are faced with now is choosing which of thesecollaboration tools is the best fit for your organization.
Microsoft Office 365 Social Collaboration Tools

  1. Office 365 Groups is not an app you can access, it’s a service that you set up within Outlook or Yammer. This collaboration tools allows you to set up your group by selecting team members or a working group that you will need to collaborate with. By creating a new group, all members automatically get access to shared resources from Office 365. Communication with your group happens via Yammer, Outlook, or Teams, and the groups always gets a dedicated OneNote notebook, SharePoint document library, SharePoint team site and Planner. You have the ability to set up as many groups as you need, based on whatever you deem appropriate and necessary to your business. You also have the ability to make your groups public or private. Your group gets its own unique email address with a shared mailbox for conversations between its members. You can also set the mailbox to accept mails from people outside the group and even outside your organization. You will find you get numerous options that can be customized to best suite your needs.
  2. SharePoint team sites consist of web parts and you can customize it any way you like. Add document libraries, custom data lists, videos, images, Yammer feed and many other things to personalize the site. If you have to keep track of meetings and tasks, you can integrate Planner and Outlook calendar. No longer is SharePoint just a library. It is now a collaboration tool used as a team site where information can be shared and organizations among members.
  3. Yammer is the social network of Office 365, and the app was originally meant for casual conversation, sharing links, pictures etc. Just like with Twitter, you can mention people with a @ to make sure they see your post, use #hashtags, create polls or “praise” a colleague that did something extraordinary.
  4. Office 365 Teams is the latest collaboration tool from Microsoft. Teams is different from Yammer since it’s more like a chat forum than a newsfeed. Under each Team, you can create channels, whereas the conversation is all relevant to the topic of the channel. In Teams, you can also share files, use a shared notepad, and have private conversations in the “Chat” tab. Under “Files”, you can sort your documents in folders just as a document library. You can even open the library in SharePoint if you need to. Teams can integrate with Outlook and Skype for Business so you can schedule meetings, either physically or online, as well.

Social collaboration is just one area where Microsoft Office 365 can impact your business and help you take it to the next level. When considering Microsoft Office social collaboration tools, speak with a Certified Microsoft Partner so that you can be sure to understand the depth of the tools and get a better understanding of how your organization could use these tools. 2W Tech is a Certified Microsoft Partner and has experienced IT Consultants on staff that can help you maximize your Office 365 investment.
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