Microsoft Teams has quickly become the ultimate digital hub for hybrid and flexible working, changing the world of work forever. Teams is more than just a collaboration tool, it has evolved into a full-featured UCaaS environment ideal for aligning workers and boosting performance.
With Microsoft Teams, leaders have access to a rich space where employees can share thoughts, ideas, and knowledge in the cloud. Part of what makes Microsoft Teams so compelling in today’s ever-changing work environment is its flexibility.
The open platform facilitates the integration of existing analysis and service management tools through to communication providers. Apps are one of the most valuable components of the Microsoft Teams ecosystem because they eliminate the need for complex coding and custom connectors. With the click of a button, leaders can add features from hundreds of amazing apps to Teams’ meeting space, channels, and more.
An introduction to Microsoft Teams apps
The first thing companies should know when implementing apps on Microsoft Teams is that these integrations come in a number of different formats. For example, companies can add dedicated apps to meetings from the Microsoft Apps section or search the “AppSource” market to leverage connectors offered by Microsoft partners.
The Microsoft Power Platform also offers another way to integrate applications and automation into daily workflows. With Power Platform, companies can use a low-code system to design their applications for Microsoft Teams that offers native integration with the platform.
Microsoft Power Apps created in the Power Platform are automatically integrated into Teams so that users can access them in the Apps section of the Teams instance.
Here are some ways companies can install apps in Microsoft Teams.
Option 1: The Apps tab.
Perhaps the easiest way to implement apps in Microsoft Teams is to use the Apps tab within the platform. On the left side of Teams, where users can see their Activity, Chat, and Teams tabs, they can also find the Apps section.
Clicking on “Apps” takes users to the comprehensive app market, where they can search for relevant tools by category or by entering a keyword in the search field. Teams users must click on the apps they want to add to their Microsoft Teams instance and select Add.
Tapping the Add button can create a dropdown menu where users can choose where to add app functionality. Some apps also need admin approval before they can be added to the Microsoft Teams instance. Once an app is installed, it appears on the Apps tab in Teams, which users can access at any time.
Option 2: Add apps to chat or channels
Another option companies can use when installing apps in Microsoft Teams is to add an app directly to a channel or chat tab. Tabs are tools in Teams that make it easier to share content and collaborate with other colleagues.
To add an app directly to a chat or channel, users can visit the channel, one-on-one, or group chat and select Add Tab. A box will open showing all the available apps that can be added to the Teams environment.
Once an app is added to a tab, users have the freedom to implement additional content and documents into the environment. For example, a user can upload a spreadsheet or some data from another application for viewers to collaborate on.
Option 3: Add apps to meetings
Microsoft recently increased its investment in apps and add-ons within the Teams environment to increase meeting productivity. Users can now add apps directly to Microsoft Teams meetings for use before, during, and after the conference.
To add an app to a meeting before the conference starts, users must first send a meeting invitation to the people they want to connect with via Teams. After the invitation is sent, users can open the Microsoft Teams meeting, select Add, and choose the app they want to use.
Similarly, during a meeting, users can click the More Actions button and select Add App to integrate an application’s functionality into the meeting session. This can be an ideal way to bring information from other apps to a conference, or access new note-taking and collaboration features.
Option 4: Add apps from the messaging section
Some of the apps available in the Microsoft Teams ecosystem allow users to inject content from their application directly into the Teams messaging environment. This could involve collecting data from other apps and presenting it on a map for other users to see.
To add an app in Teams messages, users must select the “Messaging Extensions” option under the field where they type their messages. From there, users can select an app and follow the provided instructions.
It is also possible to add apps with built-in bot capability in the messaging section. Bots can provide updates, replies, and support when users chat with them individually or across channels. To add bots to a messaging channel, users can simply type @ in the message field and then click Get Bots.
Option 5: Add app notifications to a channel
Microsoft offers app capabilities in the form of “connectors” that insert app notifications and information from other tools into a Teams channel. It’s one of the easiest ways for organizations to sync information across multiple environments across Teams.
To set up a connector, users can go to the channel they want to add the app to, click More Options, and then click Connectors. Microsoft gives users the ability to configure the notifications sent to the channel from any Teams-connected app.
Adding apps to Microsoft Teams and taking advantage of the features it offers couldn’t be easier. Today’s businesses can easily build their all-in-one ecosystem in Teams.