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Communicate Better With Microsoft 365 – Groups, Teams and Yammer Explained

Communication and collaboration are at the heart of three Microsoft products: Teams, Groups and Yammer.

Written by Adam Bovan

October 2020

Groups, Teams and Yammer Explained

Communication and collaboration are at the heart of three Microsoft products: Teams, Groups and Yammer. But, when is the right time to use them within your business? We’ve outlined the differences between the apps and how you can use them to improve communication between your team.

Microsoft Teams.

Potentially the most popular of the three, Teams is a chat-based platform that allows its users to message, call, video chat and share files with colleagues.

Because it can be structured into different channels (public and private), this makes it ideal for working in small groups on projects, providing immediate feedback or catching up with your teammates over instant messenger.

You can have set channels for different teams, directly message colleagues in a private message or quickly create a group chat when necessary.

Teams is also notable for its integration capabilities with other Microsoft programs, as well as third-party apps. Many businesses use it as a central hub where they can communicate, host meetings and share announcements to their teams.

Best for: Driving projects forward.

Outlook Groups.

Groups in Outlook might be a new one for some as platforms of Teams are becoming more common.

But Groups are great if you need to create a shared imbox for members of your team.

If you’re in a Group, each member will have a shared inbox, calendar, project planner and document library. This is great for project teams who need to be all on the same page and reduces miscommunication, or being left out of the loop.

Typically, HR and sales departments that need to communicate with external companies and people find the most use out of this feature.

The only problem is – because it’s all email-based – it can be easy to overwhelm yourself by the number of emails you’ll inevitably need to sort through each day.

Best for: Getting everyone on the same page. 


Yammer is sort of like the Facebook of the professional world, but instead of connecting with anyone and everyone, it’s only for people within your company.

It’s handy if you’re a large company who wants to connect workers from different locations, but since the rise of remote working, it’s being used by teams of all sizes.

Yammer is more of an office bulletin board and social area, rather than a place for collaborating on work-related projects.

You can also set up Groups on Yammer, but they are distinctly different from Outlook Groups and Teams channels. A good example would be an Events group where people can join to find out about the latest events and activities happening within the company.

And, we’ve even seen one business have a Company Pets group where they share photos of their furry colleagues!

Best for: Building company culture

While each of these tools allow teams to communicate more effectively, understanding their subtle differences can help your business use them in a way that drives projects forward, gets everyone on the same page and builds company culture. 

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