IT Connect
Information technology tools and resources at the UW

UW SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Groups

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What is UW SharePoint Online?

UW SharePoint Online is a web based productivity, collaboration, and communication platform that is used by departments at UW to meet a range of needs such as: departmental intranets, small group work (e.g. search and other committees), business process automation (e.g. travel requests), knowledge management, and file management. SharePoint Online is tightly integrated with the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, etc.), allowing files to be created and edited in SharePoint Online directly from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. When full versions of Microsoft Office applications are not available, files can be created and edited using the online versions of these applications (Office Online). Mobile versions of Microsoft Office applications can be installed on phones and tablets so that files can be accessed on SharePoint Online and edited from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection.

Learn more about the benefits and features of SharePoint Online

Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams

A SharePoint Online site collection is an integral part of Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams. A request for an Office 365 Group or an instance of Microsoft Teams can be made using the SharePoint Online request form below. A Modern Team site is provisioned and linked to each O365 Group or instance of MS Teams.  O365 Groups provides the foundation for MS Teams and services such as Planner.  If you are interested in using Planner you would request an O365 Group or an instance of MS Teams and then add Planner to your O365 Group or MS Team.

Microsoft Teams Quick Start Video

Microsoft Teams Demo

External Sharing

External sharing is enabled in the UW Office 365 tenant, but the default settings vary by service option:

  • SharePoint Online site collection – External sharing is disabled by default, but can be enabled by request.
  • Office 365 Group – External sharing is enabled by default.
  • Microsoft Teams – External sharing is enabled by default.

If you want to enable external sharing on a new SharePoint Online site collection, please indicate which of the two options below you want in the notes field of the request form. If you want to enable external sharing on an existing SharePoint Online site collection, please send a new request to indicating which of the two options below you want.


1. Enable authenticated external sharing only. You can share, sites, list, libraries, folders and individual items with people outside the UW. This requires that the person you are sharing with has a Microsoft account. This could be a personal Microsoft account such as or the person could have an account in another Office 365 tenant such as

2. Enable authenticated external sharing and allow the creation of anonymous guest links.  Anonymous guest links can be created for individual files and folders.

How do I sign up for a UW SharePoint Online site collection, Office 365 Group, or Microsoft Team?

A UW SharePoint Online site collection provides a starting point for the many different functions offered through SharePoint Online. A site collection can consist of a single site with very specific goals or multiple sites, each with their own unique functions. A site collection is provisioned along with each O365 Group and MS Team so you can sign up any of these service options on the SharePoint Online request form.

Renaming Office 365 Groups

Office 365 Groups are named starting with the prefix “og_” followed by a group “stem” and then a more specific group name, e.g. og_uwit_collab_services.  The og_ prefix is necessary to prevent the creation of Office 365 group names that duplicate group names that already exist in the UW-IT infrastructure namespace.  Allowing the creation of duplicate group names could lead to namespace collisions, duplicate directory listings, and unanticipated side effects in the UW-IT environment.

Therefore, while it is currently possible to edit the name of your Office 365 Group, UW-IT requests that you do not do so.  Additionally, we reserve the right to reset the name of your Office 365 Group back to the original name at any time.

Deletion of UW SharePoint Online Site Collections, Office 365 Groups, and Microsoft Teams

A UW SharePoint Online site collection/Office 365 Group/Microsoft Team and all data contained within will be deleted when the last UW member is removed or the last UW member separates from the UW.

Where can I get help?

The SharePoint Community of practice is an excellent UW working group for SharePoint-related discussions.

SharePoint Online Quick Start from Microsoft helps new users get started with SharePoint and includes additional information about advanced training.

SharePoint help center is a more comprehensive learning site for SharePoint, best for advanced users.

Microsoft Collaborative Applications (MSCA) Service

The full range of service options supported by the MSCA Service can be found here: Microsoft Collaborative Applications Service Description