Advantages of Office 365 groups over Distribution lists

Office 365 groups vs Distribution lists

Nowadays, Office 365 is one of the most prominently used tools. It is a One – stop shop for User Management. It is capable of managing thousands of users and user accounts. One who is not aware of the complete features, which are offered by Office 365 will get confused due to its great extent of features and options. There are three basic user groups present in office 365 based on the purpose and functionality. Such as Distribution groups, Dynamic distribution groups, Security groups etc. Most commonly used are Distribution lists and Office 365 groups.

Though, Office 365 groups and Distribution lists share same purposes, Office 365 groups are referred as Distribution lists with more improved features. Hence, Distribution lists are becoming outdated.

Distribution Lists:

Office 365 Distribution list is a mail – enabled group of two or more people. People who are exist in the Global Address List can only be added to the Distribution list. Each Distribution list has its own email address associated with it. You can send an email address to this Distribution list by using the Group name or the dedicated email Id. By doing that, all members of the group will receive a copy of the mail. These distribution lists are useful whenever you want to send a mail to a set of people who are working in the same department. Instead of mailing them individually, create a distribution group for those set of people and send the mail to that group. Other advantage using distribution list is that, you will be able to set certain options so that emails can sent to external users in the group.

It is also possible for the user to create their own distribution list in Outlook and it is named as Contact Groups. Members for this group can be selected from either Global Address list or Local Outlook Contacts.

Office 365 Groups:

Office 365 group includes all the features of the Distribution list. Along with that it also includes Shared Document to store and work on folders and Group files, Planning tool to organize and assign the task for getting the updates, and OneNote notebook.

Office 365 group is a medium to communicate, collaborate, scheduling an event and sending the invitations to the group members. Users are able to create a new group or find the group which is already exists and join the group from their inboxes. Once they are into the group, they can share any files or communicate with the other group members. Unlike Distribution list, office 365 groups store previously distributed emails as email threads. It is helpful for the new members of the group to discover when they join the group. Where as in Distribution lists, new members of the groups cannot access the previous mail threads.

Comparison between Office 365 groups and Distribution lists

  • Distribution lists are specific for sending mails to all the members of the groups where as Office 365 groups along with the distribution lists functionalities also integrated with Shared document libraries such as SharePoint and OneNote, Yammer etc.
  • Both Office groups and Distribution lists are associated with a dedicated Email address for sending mails to the group.
  • Unlike Distribution lists, Office 365 groups are featured with OneDrive storage for storing the files and a dedicated calendar.
  • Both Office 365 groups and Distribution lists are capable of sending mails to all the members of the group as well as non-members. To send mails to non-members of the groups you need to set some permissions.
  • Unlike Distribution lists, Office 365 groups are associated with a shared inbox. This means, whenever an email sent to this group, it is not only distributed to the group members, but also stored in the shared mailbox. In Distribution lists instead of shared mailbox, emails are distributed to all the group members.
  • Office 365 groups also supports a shared Calendar for scheduling group meetings and events.
  • Once the distribution group is deleted it cannot be restored. Where as in Office 365 groups, it can be restored for up to one-month period after the deletion of group.
  • While creating the groups in Office 365, there will be an option to decide whether to create a private group or to go ahead with a public group. Information in the public group can be seen by everyone of your organization, and anyone in your organization is capable of joining the public group.

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