Team users also have access to 20 integrations that can be now used during video calls with colleagues, as well as automation and low-code app building capabilities available via Power Platform software. This initiative now allows Teams users to access third-party and custom-made applications during video meetings, allowing users to remove the need of switching screens during the middle of a conversation or meeting.
The 20 Apps which are now available to be integrated with Microsoft Teams for meetings are task management apps from Asana and Monday.com, polling tools include Slido and Polly, video interview software from HireVue and Talview are among those. Microsoft’s own Forms application can also be accessed from Teams now. Microsoft Developers are now being encouraged to develop their own apps or software’s which they can integrate with Teams. This was confirmed after a blog was published on Official Microsoft Blog.
There are already 700 or so third-party apps that can be integrated with Teams along with Office 365 Apps. Although integrations for video-meetings in Teams are something new. They serve the same purpose which was also possible using the traditional way of App integration, Teams for meetings would allow its users to do the simple task of interactions without diverting focus during meetings. That means co-workers discussing the progress of a project can quickly add a new action in Asana, for instance, without interrupting the conversation.
This announcement from Microsoft led its rival Zoom to also add third party integrations to their video platform, Zoom announced Zapps integration at their last press conference, featuring a wider range of third-party applications, including Slack, Salesforce, Dropbox and Coda.
Microsoft’s addition to the Zoom team’s own platform-based strategy, Raul Castanon, Senior Analyst at 451 Research/S&P Global Market Intelligence, said. Both vendors are now looking to improve the value of their respective tools by taping external applications.
This is Slack’s pioneering approach, which has benefited from enabling customers to connect their favourite apps to a chat-based collaboration network.
“At a high level, the platform-based approach represents the need for more convergence through business applications,” Castanon said. “This is a business demand that has been ongoing for a number of years, primarily due to the growing number of applications that information workers (and increasingly, task and service workers as well) need in order to get their job done.”
The platform approach to video meetings could allow Microsoft to place Teams as a “central hub for employees and teams to get work done,” Castanon said, “providing access to various business applications, workflows and communication tools.”
Among the other announcement made by Teams is the general availability of PowerApps which can be used for collaborations, PowerApps for Teams makes it easier to create simple, low-code applications using app templates, while Power Virtual Agents for Teams enables the creation of chatbots users can interact with in Teams.
Microsoft’s Power Automate workflow platform is also available now, enabling users of Teams to automate routine processes to reduce the time spent on boring tasks. Users can create “flows” by selecting parameters from a drop-down menu with 50 templates—including the ability to post a message to invite a new team member to Teams Channel or to post a notification to Teams when Forms Response is sent.