office-365 collaboration

Office 365 Collaboration Tools: Which to Use and When

As a SharePoint developer with more than a decade of experience and having handled multiple projects, I often face one question from my clients as to which collaboration tool they should preferably use for Office 365. 

With lots of suggestions available on the net, getting confused is obvious. With the roll out of Office Groups and Teams, Microsoft has also increased the number of Office 365 collaboration tools to around nine.


One most alarming concern in the workplace is poor employee engagement at work. A digital workplace that offers the Office 365 facilities can enhance productivity, employee experience and also keep up innovation and competitive advantages.

Some Pain Points That Customers Often Face with Office 365 Collaboration Tools:

When customers plan to use office 365, they expect that the collaboration becomes painless. But with multiple tools available, they feel confused and so they turn to various approaches as per their business needs.

Collaboration anarchy: When users have limitless options before them. They often end up with a chaos and the collaboration often turns disorganized. In such cases the employees don’t have any idea on how to use Office 365 tools effectively.

Misuse of collaboration:  Office 365 can hamper your working process if your employees are involved in excessive chatting, inconsistent discussions, which may lead to severe gaps and mistakes in their projects. Racing for collaboration may lead to broken information and also deviation from the organizational goals.

Important Collaboration Tools That can be Used for office 365:

SharePoint online:

This is a modern and flexible information management platform that helps you to organize your content, share documents both internally and externally, maintain version control, co-author, broadcast any news within the company and use advanced metadata.

Also Read: How to Modernize Business Processes with SharePoint Online

If your business works with documents that needs advanced functionalities like stringent version control or policy management or tracking, then SharePoint is the best option.  With SharePoint development, you can easily synchronize, store and share the documents with users irrespective of their location or the device they are using to access documentation.


This is a private social network for organizations where a space is created for a bidirectional communication. It gathers the characteristics of a social network, which is designed so that the employees can easily communicate with each other and also streamline various internal communication processes.

It leverages Office 365 groups for effective collaboration with both internal and external stakeholders.


This is your everyday work management tool and it helps the teams to create new plans, assign and collaborate tasks, organize, set due dates and share files.

Though email notifications keep the employees informed about the progress, Planner offers a simple and highly visual means to organize teamwork. It can be used to market new products, prepare for a customer visit and bring in ideas more effectively.

OneDrive for business:

This is an integral part of Office 365 and it offers a place in the Cloud where business owners can easily store, share, sync on work files. From any device, you can share as well as update your files and can also work on Office documents with others at the same time.

OneDrive offers sync option to optimize your storage and also share your content with others effectively.

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