Office Group

Site Mailboxes deprecated on SharePoint Online – use Office Groups instead

Microsoft is deprecating, or even removing one of the widely used features in SharePoint sites – Site Mailboxes. For the end-user this might no mean much, but still requires some additional work from the administration side. In this post, I’m trying to give a rough outline, on what you (as an administrator/content producer) should do.

So, what exactly is happening?

I just noticed the following in our SharePoint Online tenant administration:

We're removing Site Mailboxes in SharePoint Online

Julkaistu : 31. tammikuuta 2017
Vanhenee : 15. syyskuuta 2017

Beginning March 2017, new SharePoint Online organizations will no longer have access to the Site Mailbox feature, existing SharePoint Online organizations will no longer be able to create new Site Mailboxes; however, any Site Mailboxes provisioned prior to March 2017 will continue to function.
How does this affect me?

You are receiving this message because our reporting indicates your organization has one or more Site Mailboxes available. Beginning March 2017, your users may no longer create new Site Mailboxes. 

In September 2017, we will have a process in place allowing you to transition your existing Site Mailbox site to an Office 365 Group. We will communicate again in June 2017, via Message Center, with more details.
What do I need to do to prepare for this change?

If you are using the Site Mailbox feature in SharePoint Online, you should consider transitioning to Office 365 Groups, to support email-centric collaborative scenarios.

Transitioning to Groups

Just a quick recap: Office Groups are Microsoft’s (relatively) new, preferred way for collaboration. They aim at taking what’s best in Skype, Slack/Teams, SharePoint team sites and email, and bring it together as a comprehensive, amazing collaboration supertool. They might not be quite there yet, but what they are doing is still very promising.

Luckily, creating an Office Group should provide your end users practically the same user experience, as the group can be used in a very site mailbox-y way. Just the address will be different, and the group will have to be created first.

Folks at BetterCloud explain the group creation pretty well here.

If you want to see more information about the change, that’s here.

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Antti K. Koskela

Solutions Architect / Escalations Engineer at Koskila / Norppandalotti Software / Valo Solutions
Antti Koskela is a proud digital native nomadic millenial full stack developer (is that enough funny buzzwords? That's definitely enough funny buzzwords!), who works as a Solutions Architect for Valo Intranet, the product that will make you fall in love with your intranet. Working with the global partner network, he's responsible for the success of Valo deployments happening all around the world. He's been a developer from 2004 (starting with PHP and Java), and he's been bending and twisting SharePoint into different shapes since MOSS. Nowadays he's not only working on SharePoint, but also on .NET projects, Azure, Office 365 and a lot of other stuff. This is his personal professional (e.g. professional, but definitely personal) blog.

4 thoughts on “Site Mailboxes deprecated on SharePoint Online – use Office Groups instead

    1. Hey Demetrius,

      Unfortunately, I don’t think there are videos about this available at the time. Your best bet is the official announcement I’ve linked in the post already.

        1. Hi Mohammad!

          Not really, no. We’re recommending our customers to use Groups instead of Team Sites if there’s a need for mailing list. Although personally I’d like to see people using tools like Teams or Yammer instead of email anyway… 🙂

          Thanks for the offer, anyway!

Let me know your thoughts!