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Modernize Your SharePoint Team Sites

Recently, Microsoft has introduced a new feature to help modernize current SharePoint team sites.  That feature is the new ability to connect team sites to Office 365 groups.  

At work, it’s important for every team member to be on the same page and simplify effort.  Group-connected SharePoint team sites provide a central location to manage team files, connect to important data, and share company news.

Users have been adopting modern SharePoint lists and libraries and creating modern pages, now users have the ability to bring the full capability of Office 365 to all sites.  This connection also allows you to associate your site to a SharePoint hub site now that is has a modern home page.  The team site will look and function better in the SharePoint mobile app.

You can connect your team site to a new Office 365 group from the user interface site by site, which is fine for smaller environments.  For larger environments, users will want to perform a bulk operation of their sites.  Microsoft has made some tools available for admins to connect existing sites to Office 365 groups.

Being able to connect an Office 365 group to an existing SharePoint site is important for users that wish to modernize that site and provide additional capabilities to all team members.  Once the classic sites are connected to an Office 365 group, it can benefit from all other shared group-connected apps such as Outlook for a group inbox and calendar, Planner for task management, Microsoft Teams for real-time chat.  

Site owners will have the ability to initiate the group connection by selecting Connect to new Office 365 Group from the upper-right site gear menu.  Note: if this does not appear, either your tenant does not yet have this capability as it takes Microsoft several weeks to roll out to all customers, or you are not a site owner of that site.  

This will launch a wizard that will guide you step-by-step through the group connection process, where you provide details for the new Office 365 group, including name, email address, members and owners.  When completed, you will be presented with a new, modern home page created for your site with a new, editable page with new web parts.  The page also includes a new link to the group’s inbox in the left navigation and a header with relevant group information and membership. Plus, when you hover on the team site name at the top, you will see the new group card that gives quick access to other apps and shows more about the group and what’s happening in related sites.  

Existing permissions in the site remain the same along with all the content.