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Microsoft Teams and the App Store

App integrations with Teams and top 5 starter picks

Business messaging and collaboration apps have become vital tools. A chat-based workplace, Teams is a comprehensive solution to your enterprise collaboration needs. Because it uses a messenger/persistent chat app at its core, you can create groups/channels as well as privately message employees or colleagues. You can also personalize your profile using emojis, pictures, GIFs and more. Additionally, Microsoft Teams integrations such as Skype for Business conferencing and voice functionality are slowly being ported into Teams, making it easy to hop on a video call without ever leaving the Teams app.

What’s more, Teams is set up as a core member of Office 365, making it a true hub for teamwork. All of Microsoft’s signature software apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, etc. are backed into Teams so your business has all the information it needs at its fingertips, and you retain, manage and generate more business more quickly.

But one of the most powerful, and most compelling features of Teams is its extensive array of application integrations.

What are Microsoft Teams integrations?

Think of Microsoft Teams integrations as apps for Teams. Using the App Store built into and around Teams, you will be able to download a wide variety of apps spread across many categories including project management, file sharing, business intelligence and more. All of these app integrations allow you to “live” in Teams as your teamwork hub and to compile information in one main dashboard so you can work at peak performance. As compelling and intriguing as the Teams App Store concept may be, it was not pioneered by Microsoft, nor is it being as effectively managed as other team-chat competitors in the space. For example, while both Teams and Workplace from Facebook are public and open in marketing ALL the apps available in their App Stores, Slack not only lists the apps but also categorizes them (for easy searching) and lists additional details, as well. Also, Slack has a noticeable head start in the app integration battle, already boasting nearly one thousand apps, while Microsoft lags with only about one-quarter of the number of apps.

How to get Microsoft Teams integrations

Tabs allow you to download and integrate the tools, apps and services you love into your chats, groups and channels. Tabs are visible at the top of every Teams channel for easy access. Each chat or channel comes equipped with a few tabs by default, including:

Files – This helps you keep track of all documents that have been uploaded to that channel.

Wiki – Click on Wiki to create new documents, track meeting notes, collaborate, and make suggestions and edits in real time.

PowerPoint – This tab allows you to add and share PowerPoint presentations and timelines that your team can collectively view and edit.

Planner – Microsoft’s inbuilt diary helps you and your team track tasks and manage work items.

You can easily add a tab yourself by clicking on the ‘+’ sign. This will open a box with an array of apps approved for use within your company by your IT department; although the full set of certified Teams apps may be over 250 (to date), only a subset of these may be available within your organization. Going forward, there is speculation that companies will be able to create their own intra-enterprise apps for use within Teams as well. Click on the app of your choice, name the tab and you are good to go.

App integrations with Teams and top 5 starter picks

With such a wealth of new App Store integrations in Teams to choose from, it quickly becomes a very subjective exercise to pick out a “top 5” set of Teams apps to highlight. Nevertheless, we have taken a stab — here are some useful and productivity-enhancing integrations to investigate:

#1 SharePoint

SharePoint by Microsoft allows you to share data across various organizations and departments in a company’s network. You might already be using SharePoint to store files and collaborate with your teammates. But with Microsoft Teams SharePoint integration, you can share files with team members in specific channels. You can also access SharePoint files that are already shared in the channel and use Office Online or Office Desktop to collaborate on those files, too. What’s more, SharePoint lets each team, group and channel access and use their own shared mailboxes, calendars, planners and documents within Teams.

#2 Trello

Trello is everyone’s favorite project management tool that organizes projects into boards, just like a timeline. Trello lets you know what is being worked on, what stage the project is on and who is working on it. Within Teams, Trello functions just like a whiteboard, filled with a list of sticky notes known as cards. You can add information, links, attachments, photos and other types of files to give your team clear instructions on how to go about completing the task in an efficient manner.

#3 SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey’s original program only allows you to share surveys via email, making it hard to keep track of results and slowing the process down. However, Microsoft Teams’ SurveyMonkey integration eliminates these steps. With this Microsoft Teams plugin, you can now preview and answer surveys with your team and make better decisions together. You can also share and view analysis and results in real time with your team, allowing you to act immediately. You can even create and share simple polls on the channels. All these features allow you to easily manage and keep an eye on your surveys, without ever leaving Teams.

#4 Microsoft Flow

Microsoft Teams Flow automates all your mundane tasks by integrating your apps and services within it. For example, every time a new employee joins the company email group, Flow can send a pre-written, automatic, welcome message to your employees. You can also create multiple flows, and manage and review them through an app on your mobile phone.

#5 Adobe Creative Cloud

With Adobe Creative Cloud, you and your team can access Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign anywhere, on any device. To manage this, you get an easy-to-use interface through which you can renew licenses and do much more. You can also share entire folders of information using the secure, built-in cloud library, saving your team hours each week in meetings.

Learn more about how Unisys can help you optimize communication and collaboration in your digital workplace.