O365 Group, meet SP team site!

move-that-document-3I think Office 365 Groups are a solid addition to the collaboration options available to consumers of the O365 service. A Group includes a shared inbox, calendar, OneNote notebook, a place for files and Planner for task management. However, one thing some of my Enterprise customers have been struggling with is how to balance the need for collaboration with the need for retaining some control over the content that is placed there. Yes, it’s great to collaborate and share information, but eventually some of that information may need to be retained in a more ‘permanent’ location elsewhere. How do we do this in an automated and efficient way? The recent announcement that a SharePoint Online team site would now be included alongside each Group lays the groundwork for allowing us to do exactly that.

Here are a few key things to help with this effort:

  1. The team site will be given a site classification to (eventually?) allow for policy to be set for content within the site based on the classification. I will be digging into this over the next several weeks.
  2. We now have the ability to configure site columns, content types, additional document libraries, pages, lists, flows and PowerApps. These can be used to automate business process for the team (group).
  3. We can subscribe to content types published from the content type hub allowing for consistency across all groups within your organization.

These are some of the building blocks required to start building a compliant Information Management solution around a Group.

Reference Link: Create connected SharePoint Online team sites in seconds


This new capability is now rolled out to all First Release tenants in O365. When I created an O365 group in my First Release tenant last night, the new SharePoint Online team site notification appeared on the Group welcome page as shown below.

newteamsite

When I clicked the link I was happy to see a full SharePoint team site with a modern publishing home page containing the new News web part on it as shown below:

teamsitehomepage

as well as the following items in the quick launch:

teamsitequicklaunch


Now that we have a full SharePoint team site provisioned, we can add apps such as Custom lists which brings in Microsoft Flow and PowerApps functionality as well. These tools can be used to automate business processes for the team. Fantastic!

listpage


NEXT STEPS

Many organizations with advanced security and compliance concerns are grappling with the new collaboration world of O365 and trying to find the right ‘mix’ of collaboration and compliance. You don’t want to hinder collaboration and communication efforts while at the same time you need to ensure appropriate measures are in place to retain content for specific legal and regulatory requirements when necessary.

I believe the addition of SharePoint team sites is a big step forward in improving the capabilities of O365 groups and making them an option more appealing to organizations – certainly the ones I’m working with. I look forward to seeing where this takes us.

Thanks for reading.

-JCK

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