Microsoft provides a variety of applications to streamline communications within your organization. While many of these products can appear to be quite similar on the surface, they all vary in terms of what they offer. In particular, Microsoft 365 Groups, Teams, and SharePoint sites all offer a way for you to group users who need to communicate around a specific project or topic.

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at what Microsoft Groups, Teams, and SharePoint sites are, highlighting the differences between them all as well as how they all work together to enhance productivity and collaboration.

What is a Microsoft 365 Group?

At a basic level, Microsoft 365 Groups is a membership service that allows collaboration among users within your organization. By working with the Microsoft tools you already use, Groups allows you to set up a list of people you wish to collaborate and share a collection of resources with. Resources may include a shared Outlook inbox, shared calendar, or a document library for file collaboration.

The list lives in Azure Active Directory, and members can be added or removed at any time. When members are added, they are automatically given the permissions you have set for your group. You can choose to make a Microsoft 365 Group public or private – anybody can see or join a public group while a private group requires membership approval by a group owner.

Microsoft Groups is convenient for when you want to manage cross-collaboration of users within the various Microsoft 365 apps, like Teams, SharePoint, Yammer, Power BI workspace, and more, without having to manually assign permissions for each resource.

What is a Microsoft Team?

A chat-based instant communication tool, Microsoft Teams is at the forefront of collaboration for many organizations. When you create a team in Microsoft Teams, you are also creating a Microsoft 365 Group associated with the team in the back-end, and related services such as SharePoint sites or mailboxes are created simultaneously. Teams can also be created from existing groups, and in this case, group memberships, roles, and permissions carry over to the team.

Microsoft Teams is what users use to communicate on a daily basis, but Microsoft 365 Groups provides much of its functionality.

What is a Microsoft SharePoint Site?

In SharePoint, depending on your business objectives, you can create a communication site or a team site. Both types of sites have their own set of templates with pre-populated content and pages that can be customized. A communication site will let you share news, reports, statuses, and other information in a visually compelling format. A team site will let you use a default document library for files, lists for data management, and customizable web parts.

If you want to broadcast information that engages and informs viewers, creating a communication site is the better choice because typically only a small set of members contribute to content that is then consumed by a larger audience. If you want to collaborate with team members on a specific project, a team site is the better choice because everyone is able to contribute content and it can only be consumed by those that are part of the team.

How do Microsoft 365 Groups, Teams, and SharePoint Sites Work Together?

As we mentioned previously, every time a new team is created in Microsoft Teams, a Microsoft 365 Group and SharePoint team site get created simultaneously. Microsoft 365 Groups lays the groundwork for productivity and organizes roles within the organization, which Microsoft Teams can then build on. Within Microsoft Teams, you can view files that live on SharePoint and edit them directly from the application.

To put it simply, Teams is where users actually communicate to get their work done, SharePoint is where they can store and access this work, and Groups manages how users can use these apps together on the back-end.

Let the Experts at Klarinet Solutions Customize a Digital Workplace Solution for You

With all the tools that Microsoft provides for collaboration, it can be overwhelming to keep up with best practices for them all, which is why Klarinet Solutions is here to help.

The experts at Klarinet Solutions have been providing customized solutions for Microsoft business environments for over a decade and can help you ensure you are using Teams, Groups, and SharePoint sites to their full potential. Get in touch today!

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