An Outlook Group is a Microsoft 365 Group that comes with a central group inbox for sending and receiving emails and a central calendar for tracking shared events. An Outlook Group also includes a shared workspaces connected to SharePoint and other Office 365 apps.
When you create a Team, you get:
- A Teams chat for communicating;
- A Teams wiki for collecting notes and knowledge;
- A SharePoint team site collection (which you access through the “Files” tab);
- A OneNote notebook (which you have to add as a new tab if you want quick access because the wiki is meant to replace this);
- A Plan in Planner;
- A Stream video portal;
- A Forms workspace;
- A Power BI workspace* (if you have premium Power BI licenses for all members);
- An Outlook email inbox to record conversations between Group members (though this does not display automatically with a new Team anymore; you have to request access from IT); and
- A shared Outlook calendar to post events and appointments that affect Group members (this also does not display automatically with a new Team anymore).
Teams provides a persistent chat-based communication method that lets you separate topic-based conversation by channel. Teams are great for a project team to have open-ended discussion that skips the need for lots of back-and-forth, reply-all style email communication, which can get very overwhelming. Teams is Microsoft’s response to the success of Slack. Teams also supports audio and video conferencing (replicating a lot of the functionality of Skype for Business) and calendaring (the same calendar you see in Outlook is accessible in Teams).
Teams also provides a simple wiki in place of the typical OneNote notebook, though the standard notebook you get with your Group’s SharePoint team site can still be added as a tab in Teams.
For more information on Office 365 Groups, see our complete Microsoft 365 Groups infographic.
*Note: A last-generation Power BI Workspace is created if you have the license for Power BI. The newer generation of Power BI workspaces has been disconnected from Office 365 Groups so you will not receive a new-gen BI workspace with an Outlook Group nor will an Outlook Group be created when you create a new-gen BI Workspace.