Microsoft Groups Overview
What We Advocate Microsoft Groups For
Microsoft Groups is a superb resolution for companies on the lookout for an inexpensive digital workspace with strong collaboration options and a excessive participant restrict for video conferences.
It’s constructed for distant and hybrid work, permitting groups to remain linked no matter geographical distance. Groups can also be an incredible match for current customers of the Workplace 365 suite due to its seamless integrations with Microsoft productiveness apps.
When to Use Microsoft Groups
- Corporations on the lookout for a digital workspace for chat and video conferences: Microsoft Groups is a crew collaboration software program with video conferencing. The free plan permits 60-minute group conferences with as much as 100 members, whereas paid plans let customers host as much as 300 members for a vast variety of 30-hour group conferences. This places Microsoft Groups on our record of the greatest video convention software program.
- Groups wanting to attach with co-workers via an all-in-one communication resolution: Microsoft Groups topped our record of the greatest crew communication app for collaboration because it affords strong video conferencing instruments, comparable to noise suppression, customized backgrounds, whiteboarding, and display screen sharing. It additionally contains crew messaging, voice calling, chat, and collaboration instruments like workflow automation and doc administration.
- Companies on the lookout for a cheap unified communications resolution: Microsoft Groups affords a strong free plan that features crew messaging, 5GB of file storage, and real-time collaboration in Workplace cell apps. Whereas it has no month-to-month plan, it affords a really aggressive entry-level value at solely $4 per person on a month-to-month foundation, billed yearly. With this, Microsoft Groups takes the highest spot in our record of the greatest low-cost or free unified communication platforms.
- Microsoft 365 customers on the lookout for a crew chat platform: Microsoft Groups is one in every of our greatest crew chat apps designed for current customers of the Microsoft ecosystem. The platform is included in Microsoft 365 Enterprise accounts, seamlessly integrating with Microsoft Workplace apps comparable to Phrase, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. With its native product integrations, Microsoft Groups is an ideal resolution for organizations that rely closely on Microsoft 365 for cloud doc administration.
- Companies wanting extra person seats on video conferences: Microsoft Groups is the greatest Zoom different for corporations holding large-capacity conferences, occasions, and webinars. In its latest replace, Groups Stay Occasions now helps as much as 20,000 attendees and permits you to maintain as much as 50 occasions concurrently per tenant. Improve your account to Workplace 365 Enterprise to entry this function.
When Microsoft Groups May Not Be a Good Match
- Corporations needing in depth third-party enterprise instruments: Microsoft Groups doesn’t help app integrations for its free plan and Necessities plan. With Slack, customers rise up to 10 integrations on its free model. Additionally, many enterprise options are noticeably lacking from Groups like Google Workspace merchandise. Evaluating Microsoft vs Slack, Slack has the sting over Microsoft Groups for third-party instruments as a result of Slack has over 2,400 integrations whereas Groups solely has 1,200 apps. Study extra about its strong choices by studying our Slack evaluation.
- Funds-conscious groups wanting extra options for group conferences: Most video conferencing instruments (e.g., breakout rooms, recordings, and transcripts) are lacking from Microsoft Groups’ free plan. With that mentioned, Zoom is a extra becoming different because it affords extra options on its free model, together with ready rooms, whiteboarding, co-annotation, and keyboard and mouse management. Get to know extra about these two suppliers in our Microsoft Groups vs Zoom Conferences comparability.
- Small companies that favor paying in month-to-month installments: Microsoft Groups might not be an acceptable resolution for small companies that may’t afford to pay upfront for an annual subscription. For those who’re on the lookout for a full-featured communications and collaboration platform with month-to-month plans, select RingCentral. The entry-level plan begins at $29.99 month-to-month per person, together with entry to crew messaging and doc sharing. Take a look at our RingCentral evaluation for extra info.
- Groups on the lookout for an easy and intuitive video conferencing platform: Evaluating Google Meet vs Microsoft Groups, Google Meet is the clear winner relating to ease of use. Whereas Microsoft Groups has a compartmentalized dashboard, Google Meet is extra favorable to new customers due to its minimal buttons and streamlined person interface. Uncover extra about its options in our Google Meet evaluation.
Microsoft Groups Pricing
Microsoft Groups affords 4 pricing plans for its enterprise customers, beginning at $4 per person each month, billed yearly. All plans require an annual dedication with no choice for month-to-month subscriptions. The entry-level plan is free however doesn’t embody important options, comparable to assembly recordings, admin instruments, and integrations. A one-month free trial is simply out there for Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans.
These already a part of Microsoft’s ecosystem of apps could discover Microsoft Groups a cost-saving resolution. The platform comes packaged with Microsoft 365 Enterprise at no further cost and contains 24/7 buyer help, integrations with Microsoft Workplace merchandise, and a big cloud storage capability.
*Microsoft Groups pricing relies on an annual subscription; month-to-month plans aren’t out there
For companies with superior safety wants, take into account upgrading to the Microsoft 365 Enterprise Premium, which prices $22 for every person, each month, billed yearly. It contains the whole lot in Microsoft 365 Enterprise Commonplace, in addition to a complete set of safety capabilities, comparable to cyberthreat safety and entry and information management.
Microsoft Groups Options
Microsoft Groups is a web based crew workspace that permits you to chat, meet with co-workers, and share information. It features a host of collaboration instruments, permitting your crew to remain linked, knowledgeable, and arranged, multi functional place. Groups and channels are focus areas the place folks collect to work on the identical undertaking or matter. The platform additionally affords a web based assembly resolution for holding net conferences, audio conferences, webinars, and large-scale occasions.
Microsoft Groups affords an all-in-one communication and collaboration platform for distant and hybrid work. Conversations amongst co-workers happen in crew channels, underneath the chat tab, or in a video assembly. The platform integrates properly with numerous Workplace 365 merchandise, comparable to Phrase, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. It additionally affords e mail internet hosting and excessive cloud storage limits, which turns Microsoft Groups right into a unified communications (UC) resolution.
Microsoft Groups works throughout the net, desktop, and cell gadgets. Since its platform is compartmentalized, customers will discover its interface troublesome to navigate. It is advisable spend time setting it up and onboarding crew members. In relation to safety, this supplier affords strong safety and help measures, comparable to information encryption, single sign-on (SSO), multifactor authentication, an in depth data base, and a group discussion board.
Microsoft Groups has a video convention app that lets customers maintain interactive conferences for as much as 1,000 members. It offers fundamental video conferencing instruments, comparable to in-meeting chat, recording, hand elevating, customized backgrounds, and participant lists. For added readability, occasion organizers can activate reside captions and subtitles and choose languages from an inventory of over 34.
Speaker coach is a synthetic intelligence (AI)-powered software designed to empower presenters to be assured when talking in conferences. It offers suggestions in your tempo, pitch, grammar, and use of delicate phrases. A abstract report is supplied after the assembly containing suggestions highlights.
Display screen Sharing
Microsoft Groups goes past the same old display screen sharing functionality by including interactivity into shared displays. For instance, attendees work together along with your content material by shopping your slides and movies at their very own tempo. For those who’re a presenter, activate the cameo function to insert your reside video feed immediately in your slide, so your face is seen inside your presentation.
Listed here are different issues you are able to do utilizing with Microsoft Staff’s display screen sharing:
- Share or flip off your system’s sounds
- Current your slides as a co-presenter
- Collaborate in actual time on a digital whiteboard
- Use a laser pointer or draw on slides
- Permit attendees so as to add textual content and sticky notes on shared content material
Customers have the choice to point out their desktop, an energetic software, presentation, or whiteboard in a gathering. They will additionally share their display screen when chatting with one other person in Groups. Nonetheless, this function is simply out there if you happen to’re utilizing Google Chrome or the newest model of Microsoft Edge.
On the spot Messaging
In Microsoft Groups, there are alternative ways to start out conversations, whether or not one-on-one, in small teams, or groups. Microsoft Groups channels are group chat rooms the place you maintain conferences, talk about a crew matter, or work on information collectively. It has two most important sorts: commonplace channels are accessible to all customers inside a workspace, whereas non-public channels are for confidential conversations. Every channel contains tabs that hyperlink to shared information, apps, and providers.
Listed here are key options of utilizing immediate messaging in Microsoft Groups:
- Ship messages utilizing hyperlinks, bullet factors, and quotes
- Allow in-line message translation
- Document and reply with a video clip
- Share emojis, GIFs, and stickers
- Activate precedence notifications
- Use @mentions to get a crew member’s consideration
Except for crew conversations, crew members can create bulletins, with choices for a headline, shade scheme, and picture. This permits your message to face out and lower via the noise. For private productiveness, use the chat with the self function for storing vital notes, media, and information.
Microsoft Groups retains customers targeted and arranged by offering fast entry to apps and paperwork in a single handy place. Making a crew inside the platform permits customers to retailer and share information simply with SharePoint integration. If you wish to work on a file along with your crew, real-time co-authoring permits a number of folks to work on the identical file concurrently.
When you might want to collaborate with crew members exterior your group, Groups Join permits you to invite exterior customers right into a chat. Shared channels create collaboration areas the place you may have conversations, meet, and co-author information with out switching apps. Loop elements present all the required instruments to ideate and make choices collectively utilizing collaborative tables, a job record, or mini breakout rooms.
Ship participating webinars, occasions, or displays with the Microsoft Groups webinar platform. It helps large-scale occasions for as much as 1,000 attendees. Schedule your webinar, register attendees, and run interactive displays with its full suite of webinar instruments. Plus, webinars combine with PowerPoint reside to handle attendees, content material, and speaker notes in a single view.
For a extra immersive expertise, use the presenter mode to mix backgrounds, content material, and audio system. Foyer controls can help you handle entry and disable attendee audio, chat, and video. When you’re executed with the webinar, Microsoft Groups helps you to analyze attendee information for follow-up and lead administration. A crew of specialists is obtainable for session to assist along with your subsequent webinar.
Microsoft Groups Alternate options
Microsoft Groups affords a centralized platform for interacting with co-workers and managing tasks. Nonetheless, it comes with just a few downsides, comparable to a sophisticated person interface, much less help for non-Microsoft instruments, and the shortage of a month-to-month billing choice. If Microsoft Groups isn’t the best choice for you, listed below are just a few alternate options you might wish to take into account:
Microsoft Groups Evaluations: What Customers Assume
Many Microsoft Groups evaluations present that customers primarily utilized the platform to interact with their groups and talk in a distant work setting. They discover it an incredible software for internet hosting video conferences, sharing displays, and exchanging information. It additionally acquired reward for its strong function set for fast messaging, display screen sharing, and polls. A number of customers additionally like the power so as to add numerous add-ons to customise the system based mostly on their crew member’s wants.
A lot of the damaging evaluations about Microsoft Groups had been about its advanced person interface. Customers commented that it’s complicated and disorganized, leading to a steep studying curve. Just a few identified that it doesn’t supply the whole lot on its cell app in comparison with its desktop model. The platform additionally takes up quite a lot of disk area, prompting customers to request a lighter model.
Microsoft Groups is a strong selection for companies which are already utilizing Microsoft 365 merchandise or these on the lookout for a collaborative workspace with budget-friendly plans. It facilitates teamwork by offering a centralized platform for internet hosting conferences, managing tasks, and sharing digital displays. Take into account testing its free model or register for its free trial to find out if it’s the fitting on-line collaboration app on your crew.