Prevent Users from Upgrading Distribution lists to Office 365 Groups

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New Contributor

Whilst Office 365 Groups appear to have a lot of promise, they fall far short of what i need them to be and to do for me to be able to consider replacing the distribution lists we have with Office 365 Groups. Despite this, Microsoft continue their roll-out of the Groups, empowering Users to do things without any consideration towards governance and controls, let alone ITIL compliance and completely forgetting who it is who pays the Enterprise license agreements and Office 365 tenancy costs (Hint, it is not the Users)! I don't mind new features being made available, but i object to them being switched on by default, especially when it gives users the power to side step procedure!

 

According to the recent updates, if a User is an existing owner of a distribution list, they can just go ahead and upgrade them to Office 365 groups from Outlook. This is really not a good idea, nor is it one i want offered to people in Outlook! Researching online, I can find lots of people telling me why i should upgrade to them, how to upgrade, how amazing and brilliant they are once done, but nowhere can i find a setting that prevents a dist list from being upgraded to an Office 365 Group by users. There are many aspects of Office 365 Groups which are good, but there are several key ones which cause administration to be a pain and i need to be able to prevent these upgrades without removing everyone's ownership status of groups.

 

Does anyone know of any commands that will actually prevent a list from being upgraded to a group? I have turned off user's being able to create the groups themselves from Outlook, but am genuinely concerned about the many people who are owners deciding to upgrade them automatically themselves.

 

Regards

 

Jon

 

 

 

 

5 Replies

@Christophe Fiessinger should be able to comment on this. If I remember correctly, this functionality should respect the Groups creation permissions, i.e. if you have disabled Group cretion, the users should not be able to convert DLs to Groups.

Jon - We are currently in the process of rolling out a way for tenants to disable allowing DL owners the capability to upgrade their owned DLs to groups.

The option for DL owenrs to upgrade their owned DLs to Groups is presently only shown when the following conditions are met:

1. DL owners must have the ability to create groups

2. DL owners have eligible DLs. Definition of eligibility can be found here: https://support.officeppe.com/en-us/article/Upgrade-distribution-lists-to-Office-365-Groups-in-Outlo...

3. They must be using Outlook Web access

4. They must be joined to atleast one group - so they know and understand how Groups work.

 

We understand that not all DLs need to be upgraded to Groups. DL owners are the ones who are best to make the decision on which DLs would be better served by upgrading to Groups as such we have offered this feature.

Hi Shilpa,

 

Thank you for responding to me. I am pleased to note that users cannot upgrade groups if they do not have the create group option enabled.

 

However, please allow me to comment on a few other points raised in your reply that i have real concerns with:

 

1:  We are currently in the process of rolling out a way for tenants to disable allowing DL owners the capability to upgrade their owned DLs to groups.

 

This should have been put in place before the feature was ever released! Allowing people to just make changes without the tenant administrators being able to prevent it is just not acceptable!

 

2:  We understand that not all DLs need to be upgraded to Groups. DL owners are the ones who are best to make the decision on which DLs would be better served by upgrading to Groups as such we have offered this feature.

 

NOOOO!!!!!!! DL owners are not the ones who are best to make this decision!!! DL Administrators are! There are many things about Office 365 groups which are good, but there are many i have real issues with!

 

I have given members of the local/regional IT administrators groups in the various countries we operate in, the ability to control the address lists that people in their country use. They, along with me, are all listed as Owners on those lists. Unlike Distribution Lists, Owners in Office 365 Groups have to be members as well, so i categorically do not want people promoting lists to groups where i find i have suddenly become a member of a group and therefore get included in all the email chains and group subscriptions, nor do the administrators want the surge in unnecessary email either! I also don't want to have to remove them from the group as they are not administrators in Office 365 and so would lose the ability to add/remove members! We have processes and procedures in place for changes and every time Microsoft release a new update, we have to spend ages going around fixing it to allow the existing procedures to work, it is really frustrating! Sure, make new things available, but ensure the controls are there for controlling it first and do not just switch it on for all users! And most importantly, spend time making the existing features work more in harmony with governance and control first!

 

Anyway, thank you for your comments and although i doubt my reply will make a difference (i've said much of this before to others at Microsoft in the past as well), i feel it needs to be said.

 

Regards

 

Jon

It is so nice of Microsoft to always dictate know what Users/Administrator wants.

In the non-cloud era you would have called these features "beta" for a long time.

 

I fully agree that Microsoft should step up their game and:

- Deliver features Disabled by default

- Deliver them with appropriate governance in place

 

We're not consumers here...  we're Enterprise Organizations.