First Release: Convert old email DLs to new Office 365 Groups


Microsoft is convinced that Office 365 tenants should move from old-fashioned email distribution lists to embrace the new world of collaboration enabled by Office 365 Groups. A new conversation method allows OWA users to convert DLs that they own. Is it a winner?

8 Replies
Good article.

I think the problem has always been that Groups is not looked at as a "product offering", and is merely described as a membership service. Treat it like a product like Teams and you get a much better adoption IMO.

So much focus has been on blindly replacing DLs (which is only a fraction of the Groups capabilities), as opposed to combining multiple workloads (which include a DL, a SP site, a yammer group, a SP calendar, etc).

Interestingly, if you were to rank the group tools in terms of value in our organization, Conversations/DL would be at the bottom of the list (and that isnt to say it isnt useful, just the other things are the more value add in their eyes)
It's interesting isn't it.

there seems to be more push to describe Office 365 Groups as a multi product security service or "Fabric" with all the added benefit of the auto-provisioning but I've always spoke about Groups almost as this dual being. Yes. it is a security service and can be used instead of security groups but also by doing that you instantly remove the requirement to create each of these departments a team site, you give them an internal communication channel, you give them a space of their own without having to provision it elsewhere.

Depending on who I'm talking to I might lead by describing them as Distribution Lists 2.0, however more often than not I'm talking about a shared collaboration space for a group of users. I guess it's always about making it relatable to the client.

There is still some way to go though. The Browser Tab sprawl of normal group "collaboration" Vs Teams application with the limited customization.

I'd love to take a glimpse a year ahead and see what things look like.

Maybe my tired eyes missed it, but how do I turn this capability off globaly for my tenant? I do not want my users converting DLs into Groups.

You can't turn it off. If users are on first release, they will see it. I shall pass this very useful comment on to the Groups team...

More info, we are still on Outlook 2010, so if a DL owner upgraded to a group in OWA it wouldn't be seen in Outlook 2010 Client. I can only predict the fallout of the disconnect there.

We do plan to update to 2016 in the future and then we would be open to having DL owners converting to Groups.

That's a great reason to have control over this feature. I have sent the note on to the responsible parties...

We have group creation locked down to 2 users, so even if a user wanted to they wouldnt be able to upgrade

Has there been an update to this yet? I've searched through technet/blogs/etc and have not been able to see how to turn off this "feature". I'm about to work on converting on-premise based distribution groups to cloud based distribution groups (only) and do not want them all to get prompted with this option.