Microsoft Teams is an extensive communication platform that offers a variety of useful functions from the get-go, from video meetings and team chats to file storage, and more. But there’s also one other feature of MS Teams that is really useful, and it’s application integration.
Speaking of app integration, Microsoft is aiming to soon allow for the third-party applications to be even more integrated into the Teams platform – both in the video chat and outside of it. A few examples of those integrations are content display during video calls, notification display, and other examples of the usual feature expansion.
But even without this kind of deep integration into the platform, there’s a lot of third-party applications in general. And each of those applications is aiming to provide a case-specific feature for specific use cases. Next we’ll be going over some of the examples of third-party applications for Microsoft Teams:
Zoom and Cisco Webex
Zoom is a decently sized video conference software that offers the impressive quality of digital interactions with a user-friendly interface. The integration of Zoom into Teams as an application allows for a variety of features, like video meeting records, interaction with people outside of MS Teams, acquire meeting summaries, and so on. It is mostly utilized via Teams bot and its commands.
Cisco Webex Meetings is another alternative for a video conference tool with specific features that other services might not have. It is also mostly handled by Teams bot commands, and it’s capable of providing features like meeting schedules, instant meeting join via URL, link sharing between Webex and MS Teams, and so on.
Of course, video conferences are not the only way to interact with each other, and this is where Freehand comes in. Freehand is a tool that offers a shared sketchboard for all of the meeting participants, allowing for a bunch of features, like presentations, collective drawing, visual planning, wireframing, and so on.
Speaking of imagery, there’s also another somewhat related tool called Cacoo, which specializes in diagrams. Cacoo is a diagramming app with collaboration capabilities, and it’s basically perfect for Teams meetings that need flowcharts, SWOT diagrams, project timelines and any other possible visual representation of a shared goal in mind. Microsoft Teams collaboration allows Cacoo to notify users about diagram activities, controlling access to diagrams, and so on.
A lot of customer service software also needs their own integration to stay relevant within MS Teams – like Freshdesk, for example. Freshdesk is a customer support software with plenty of features on its own, like multiple support channels (email, phone, live chat, social media, etc.), extensive filtering options and easy-to-use inbox. And with the MS Teams integration you can also get ticket notifications directly inside of the Teams app, have the ability to quickly reply to a customer, have the capabilities to track your replies and customers via Freshdesk’s integrated interface, and so on.
Givitas and Mindmeister
There’s also plenty of different applications that deal with workflows on a lesser scale in general, like Givitas and Mindmeister. Givitas is an application that makes it easier for employees to have access to specific data, and to ask for that access when they need it to do their job.
Alternatively, Mindmeister is, as the name suggests, an application built specifically for mind-mapping, visual brainstorming, idea sharing – creating an application that provides all of those capabilities, and more.
Another application that is quite useful for MS Teams field of work is Translator – it’s literally about translating conversations to allow people to communicate easier if they don’t speak the same language. The usage of the app itself is instantaneous and it supports both standalone OSs and Office 365.
Microsoft Dynamics 365
One part of MS Teams’ immense popularity is their seamless integration with other Microsoft software within the collaborative environment. A good example of this collaboration is Microsoft Dynamics 365, it allows users to add a specific tab in Teams channel that’s used to collaborate on crucial customer records and join forces to work on important business tasks.
Let’s not forget about something as simple as surveys, either. Polly is a popular survey integration application that allows exactly that – poll creation, surveys with multiple answers, and so on. The main goal of this is to gain feedback on almost any question quickly and effectively.
Speaking of polls and quizzes, there’s also a good alternative for that called Kahoot!. Kahoot! is a comprehensive learning platform based on various games, quizzes, trivia, and so on. Education should be fun, too, and Kahoot! allows for that, and more: challenges, live games, and overall better engagement within the borders of MS Teams – all of that is possible with Kahoot! Integration.
Control over people’s performance is also an important part of any team experience. This is where applications like Jibble are used the most, allowing leaders to track both attendance and work time of the employees – all of that within the Teams platform. Client billing tracking, payroll tracking, productivity tracking, and more – all of that is available with Jibble.
Technical part of collaboration is also extremely important, which makes apps like Mio even more valuable. Mio is an application that helps to connect users of MS Teams with Slack of Cisco Webex Teams to eliminate workplace silos and keep the connections between your employees. All of that also includes message sharing, file uploads, native connection between teams, and so on.
Speaking of technicalities, developer platforms like GitHub also have their application integrations with MS Teams, even though the functionality isn’t as extensive as it could’ve been: you can pull requests and browse issues from within MS Teams, and that’s it (even though those features alone are saving a lot of time for specific use cases).
In the current post-pandemic world a lot of companies still have to work remotely, which creates a lot of additional health-related problems for regular employees, like physical stagnation. Health Hero aims to solve that problem by giving a number of features, like linking health tracking devices, health-related challenges, leaderboards, and more.
While there’s a lot of different MS Teams applications, there are still cases of people not getting what they want from the existing apps. This is where App Studio comes into play, allowing you to create your own apps for MS Teams in the low-code environment with sufficient user-friendliness.
Getting back to case-specific applications that work with Kanban Board, there’s actually an application with the same name. It provides easy communication between SharePoint and MS Teams in the form of scrum boards for the purpose of task management and convenient visualisation. Here are some of the top features that Kanban Board provides:
- Project management for SharePoint Online. SharePoint tasks are visualised in the form of customizable scrum boards, and each of the SharePoint list items is represented by a Kanban card that can be customized, as well.
- Kanban view for existing SharePoint lists and libraries. Different tasks from various SharePoint lists can be merged and dealt with within a single Kanban board, and the task management is as simple as the usual drag and drop operation.
- Extensive notifications. Virto Kanban is capable of providing various forms of notifications, and the ability to deeply customize them, too.
- High level of customization. Color codes for different Kanban cards can depend on a project type, urgency, users related to the project, and so on. You can choose different body colors, markers and labels. Attachments to these cards are possible, as well.
- Toolset for SharePoint project management. Various scrum features are available for SharePoint projects, like WIP limits, estimated task difficulty, maximum task limit in a column, and so on. A statistical chart that includes all of your data is also available.
- Permissions configuration. SharePoint-related permissions can be modified using Kanban board app, too. You’ll have to have SharePoint administrator rights to perform feats like permission assigning, read-only mode enabling, and so on.
- Kanban and Teams. You can add Kanban as a separate tab in Teams thanks to the level of integration between the two. This eliminates the need to constantly switch sites while working with both Kanban and MS Teams.
Visual representation of a process specifically is there to optimize the entire task management process – with that it’s easier and faster to make the right decision in any possible situation, and the deep integration with SharePoint makes the entire process even more convenient and easy to work with.
It’s fair to say that Microsoft Teams is an extensive and versatile platform on its own, feature-wise. And the ability to work with various third-party applications is what takes this platform to an entirely different level of user experience and feature set. This way you can find (or create) an application that could fit any of your business needs.