How can we improve Office 365 Groups?

Convert Shared Mailbox to Office 365 Group

There should be an option to convert a shared mailbox to an office 365 group especially since the Office 365 Group is the newer better version of the Shared mailbox and there is no way to convert.

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    Anirudh A Damani shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    tell us more  ·  AdminO365 Groups Feedback (Admin, Microsoft) responded  · 

    Thanks for your feedback. We are currently thinking about this. Can you please let us know what scenarios your organization uses shared mailboxes for and what options do you use. This will help us.


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      • Vilmar commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        After a year or so I've come back to this as I try to introduce more products to my team. This will be an essential part in swaying them.

      • DGC183 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please make this happen. Would solve so many issues we are having with legacy shared mailboxes and the mobile Outlook apps.

      • Chaz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would like to get our users away from traditional shared mailboxes. In most organizations I've worked with, shared mailboxes tend to be a black hole of data, anti-collaborative, and large and cumbersome to manage. This is in addition to the other limitations other have mentioned as far as accessing shard mailbox across Outlook experiences.

      • Brad PFEFFER commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I used to buy dedicated mailboxes and pay for the Exchange Online Plan 1 license and share the credentials among users, primarily because of various limitation of Shared Mailboxes, particularly when using mobile devices.

        I have used Shared Mailboxes where they fit but overall I agree with this suggestion. I have now accepted that Office 365 Groups are a much better solution than a Shared Mailbox.

        I would even go as far as to suggest that Microsoft completely merge Shared Mailboxes with Groups and just force users to use Groups so there are less features to maintain.

        As one user has commented here, Microsoft has tried to offer too many features which are always 95% of what they should be. I hate to agree but Shared Mailboxes still don't really fit the way people work and Groups don't 100% either.

        Give us more by giving us less...
        Why not bring the two together and reduce the number of different features you are supporting? Too many half-baked features that all try to address similar actual use cases pleases no one.

        Shared Mailboxes are somewhat obsolete. If you need a or shared mailbox, an Office 365 group will work and will likely offer more overall value. Consider creating the Group by creating a Team in Microsoft Teams named 'info' or 'support' (you can give it a nicer name after you create it, the initial name from the Teams App is also used as the Alias. If you use PowerShell to create the Team you can specify the Alias and Names separately. Point being, though, you will bring all the details around this topic into a single place. Your support email and support documents can all be stored nicely together in the same group. The Group resources like Calendar are there too.

        Groups are accessible from Outlook on Mobile or the Groups app.

        I think Microsoft should fully commit to replacing Shared Mailboxes with Groups and allow Groups to work in the same way.


        Right now, there's an extra step, which requires significant user discipline to use a Group to replace a Shared Mailbox...

        Users must manually replace the 'from' address, which is not even shown by default, when sending to external users 'As' or 'On Behalf of' a group. This field is not available in Outlook on Mobile at all, users on mobile will need to use OWA which requires an extra step each time to show, and then remove, the From address.

        Training users to do this is difficult and they frequently forget.

        In our organisation we have locked this down using Transport Rules which reject mail sent outside the organisation using user addresses instead of group addresses, but this is by no means ideal.

        Microsoft should enable us to force all external mail sent using the group to be send either 'As' or 'On Behalf of' the group. Then the Office 365 Group can fully replace the Shared Mailbox concept.

      • Jesus commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        How about because the Outlook mobile team still has not added support for shared mailboxes. they do have Groups in there, could help us overcome a years-long issue there.

      • Mike Smith commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I am working with a customer that has 1000's of shared mailboxes that are in essence very basic, i.e. they may have a calendar, and a flat email structure without any folders. It would be fantastic if there was a way to convert this directly to Groups in the same way that a Public Folder conversion would take place.

      • Matthew Jones commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We have used shared mailboxes for all projects up to date (shared email archive). But see the benefits of moving to groups - easier access through owa, management of team with additional apps like teams, planner that relate to the group. A process of migration would be perfect!

      • Jerry Nerviano commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I moved from a webhost to Exchange Online hosting via O365. I just converted a generic user mailbox to a shared mailbox, as that's basically what it's for. I'm only just learning that this is officially a thing. With what I've been reading on Groups, this is even more useful, but the account already exists as a separate address. Changing it over would be hugely beneficial for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is both my partner and I automatically getting included on all conversations sent to that address without having to check a separate mailbox. (We both have several addresses over different domains, so reducing by even 1 would be welcome.)

      • Hasso Schaap commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is our scenario:
        People were used to unnamed/non-personal email boxes. After the switch to Office365 we are still using the shared mailboxes for stuff like topic@<our_domain> so people don't have to remember who is working on this topic. Meanwhile we start to appreciate the value the features of Groups more and more. Instead of always emailing, we would like to collaborate more on these topics in our domain.
        The main reason is also to be able to have people choose to 'follow' the mail threads from the group so the email is delivered in their own mailbox. But in our organization this should be optional. In our situation the shared mailbox email folders like sent items could be integrated in the threads and ideally be available in the Group email/message threads.

      • Samuel Pearce commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We use shared mailboxes for

        1) An email forwarder. We forward emails sent to our support email address with a shared mailbox to our personal work mailboxes. This saves us checking many mailboxes.

        2) A central archive where we receive all support emails. This allows anyone with access to view past support emails regardless of whether the email was forwarded to them or not

        One of the reasons we want to migrate to the Office 365 group is that emails tend to fail the SPF/DKIM check when the shared mailbox forwards emails to our work email (even though both are controlled by the same service). This means we sometimes miss emails or they end up in spam. Our initial testing with Groups is that emails are delivered successfully.

        Another reason is that groups has a better UI for managing support requests and does not require having to manually configure mailboxes on Outlook or having to find the mailbox on the web interface. Groups has a quick access button on both UI's

      • Thomas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        we convert all "Lotus Notes Shared Mailbox" to "Exchange Shared Mailbox". But the most Users will use Groups. We need an option to convert "Exchange Shared Mailbox" directly after the Migration (for Migration, we use the MS FTC Support)

      • MIlton Lopez commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        After decades of using and supporting Microsoft products I have observed that the following holds true with stunning consistency: there are always features that are implemented without enough thought to how people work. Worse, new products and features are often made available while still half-baked, lacking functionality that anyone with some common sense would recognize as necessary. This request is evidence of this. While seeking feedback from users is a good thing, asking them to tell you how we do things after a product or feature is released reveals that the company is not doing its job properly. Microsoft is certainly big enough to afford usability studies and produce software that better matches actual needs and usage patterns, both in terms of functionality, user interface and integration with its own product line (something called quality control). Yes, we continue to use Microsoft products because they do work well enough for enough people. It's just sad and very costly for your clients to have to work with so-so software. But we can hope that some day ... oh, wait, some of us have been saying that since the DOS days. Optimism dies hard.

      • Doug commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We have several Servers accounts that are shared mailboxes. These are used for Vendor emails for out clients billing and equipment. Several of our users and Techs check these shared Mailboxes.

        Converting them to groups Would allow us to collaborate better.

      • Shane Power commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I’m currently having to use a shared mailbox to share a calendar as Groups STILL doesn’t work properly on OSX, iOS and Android. So, I’d like to be able to convert my current shared calendar/mailbox to a Group and have events/appointments automatically appear on the Group calendar; viewable (in Outlook for Mac, iOS and Android) by everyone who has read access on the Group Calendar without them having to add each Group calendar event to their own calendar.

      • Jen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Subfolders are needed! Is there a way to keep the shared mailbox, and add the group email as a forwarding email so that both can be used? It is nice to be able to more easily see and use groups on a personal electronic device in the O365 phone app, which is not possible with shared mailboxes. But there is no way to organize group emails and that is a huge mess waiting to happen.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Outlook 2016 needs cached exchange mode for Office 365 groups, we turn off cached exchange mode so cant move over

      • Vilmar commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @ O365 Groups Feedback
        We're using a shared mailbox as a way to handle all incoming email. Those assigned to handle the emails on that day reply from it and people also have one email to send their questions to.

        The desire to convert to a 365 Group is to perserve the email address so their is no change for those that send email to the inbox but only for those that work with it behind the scene.
        It allows us to use all other features of 365 like Teams, Tasks without having to set up different emails.

      • Reid commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Looking for a way to share and save emails messages with other users and teams. The ability to drag and drop email messages to share or archive to an Office 365 Group would be nice. Maybe this should be a feature of OneDrive for Business if you cannot see it as part of the communication feature.

      • Stephen Zwarts commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Users are looking for a replacement on Private Folders in Exchange, we introduced Site Mailboxes to try and bridge that gap, but the feature didn't work. We've tried groups, but because it can not be linked to specific team sites projects can't use these at all. Plus there are still limitations in doing mail send to the groups.

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