What are the differences between all of Microsoft’s group collaboration products?
Back in January, I wrote about how I believe Microsoft Teams are the new front end for team collaboration. In the post, I touched on the differences between the user experiences that are available. I also promised a deeper dive into this hot topic and here it is.
Imagine your organization makes use of Teams, Groups, SharePoint and Yammer. How are regular users going to find anything? Are you going to look in Teams? Yammer? SharePoint? Groups?
I’ve also had the same concerns from users. People like to keep things simple and the acquisition of Yammer just made the decision more complicated. On top of that, adding Groups in Outlook to Office 365 made this even more complex!
To help out with this debate, Alistair Pugin created a table comparing Yammer to Microsoft Teams and Slack (found below) which is definitely worth the read. Adding Groups in Outlook & SharePoint Online to this table highlights the confusion more.
Looking into Microsoft’s current stance, it seems to me that they break it down as so:
- Groups in Outlook — e-mail centric team collaboration
- Microsoft Teams — small team light document collaboration competing with Slack
- SharePoint Sites — large team advanced document collaboration
- Yammer — company-wide collaboration competing with Workplace by Facebook
As I stated in my previous post, I am betting that Microsoft will no longer be able to ship their engineering org charts. Microsoft will use Microsoft Teams as the front end for collaboration, rather than splintering their own individual front ends for each engineering organization. One thing to clarify here; when I state Groups in Outlook, I refer to the front end experience of conversations inside Outlook. The core Office 365 Groups functionality creates some confusion in these pros and cons, because they all leverage this core in different ways (security, provisioning, UI hooks etc.).