First introduced last November to First Release customers, Microsoft has now rolled out access to Office 365 Connectors to the general public. If this sounds like Greek to you, know that you are not alone. Office 365 Connectors deliver relevant content to Office Groups in a real-time and interactive way. This means that groups are notified of new developments that pertain to them as they occur, and everyone in a particular group can collaborate and use 3rd party applications right from Office 365.
It is relatively easy to set up Connectors when creating a new Office Group for a collaborative project. As the new Group automatically configures utilities like a shared inbox, calendar, notebook and files, any member of the Group can select the option to enable Connectors. Once this is done, it goes live in seconds to all members of the Group. From then on, whenever something significant occurs, such as the addition of a new Trello board or a new task is added, every member of the Group is alerted and kept up to date.
Microsoft also plans to integrate Office 365 Connectors with Outlook, so that such alerts won’t just go to the Group inbox but to the users’ personal inboxes as well. Currently, this feature is configured for use with Outlook 2016 and the Outlook Web App, although Microsoft plans to develop support for the Groups mobile app for iOS and Android pretty soon. Once such support is in place, Group users will be able to use Connectors to work on a project with virtually no restrictions. Whether at the office or on the go, there will always be a means to connect with the group.