Teams can open up a whole new world of integrations.
If you run, or make decisions in, a small business, the chances are high you don’t think regularly about Teams integrations that can help make your life and business run more smoothly.
But #1, you probably should, because:
#2, they probably can.
But what are the “best” integrations out there that can turn Teams into more than it already is – a fairly revolutionary workplace communication and workflow planning tool?
This is where a disclaimer is necessary. There will be integrations that are of phenomenal use to your particular small business, that won’t help the business next door at all, and vice versa. So there needs to be an understanding that “your mileage may vary” when compiling any list of the best integrations for small businesses.
We’ve chosen a handful of reliable integrations that can deliver benefits to most small businesses, and one that’s specific to the technology sector.
One of the most important aspects of managing a small business is workflow and deadlines. If you’re not on top of your workflow, you’ll miss deadlines, and that could cost you a good reputation, as well as business both now and in the future.
Trello is a seemingly simple, user-friendly workflow management system, that’s actually more sophisticated than it first appears.
Based on a system of “cards,” it can help you keep track of who’s doing what, where they are in the process of doing it, how many people are working on any given project, and when they’re due to deliver it.
Integrating Trello with Teams allows not just management, but the teams and team members themselves to keep an eye on their workflow and productivity, and to form groups to talk projects through, to make sure they’re on top of the needs of each assignment.
That means integrating Trello with Teams combines an easy-to-use workflow management system and a communication tool that can go beneath the black-and-white of the workflow, to make sure work remains on target and improve both delivery, communication, and even in some cases, the mental health of team members, who can feel supported by the integration.
It’s worth differentiating Zoom.ai from the Zoom known by the world as the video connectivity service that swept the world during the pandemic. There’s room for both that and for Microsoft Teams in the world (and a Zoom-Teams integration is a powerful combination in its own right), but Zoom.ai is something slightly different.
It’s effectively a work-based equivalent of an Alexa or Siri. It may not play your favorite tracks for you, but once installed, it lives under the skin of your productivity software, like Teams.
And once it’s there, the AI is natural, so it acts as a virtual PA. You give it naturalistic typed commands and it can organize your day, your week, your month – or as far ahead as you care to go. Schedule meetings, book slots, rooms, or other spaces, set reminders of tasks, even give Zoom.ai your effective To Do List, and it will do what you tell it to do. It will schedule your meetings, sending invitations to others. It will find you slots for particular spaces or activities. And it will find you the files you need to be properly briefed.
That’s a powerful workplace efficiency tool, and integrating it into Teams gives it access to the data you need it to have – the documents, the contacts, etc – so that it can do its job. Which means so can you, with less stress or panic than you might previously have expected.
Everybody knows Twitter can be a great marketing tool, especially for small to medium businesses, who can use it to get themselves better known, and to connect and communicate directly with their users and even fans.
But you can also integrate Twitter into Teams, so that you don’t have to sit on Twitter, waiting for responses from clients or customers. The integration will send responses to your Twitter stories direct to you in Teams.
That means you can manage your Twitter feed and your customer feedback effectively, without needing to assign a member of staff to the job and pay them for it. The Twitter Teams integration can save you staffing expense and put you more immediately in touch with feedback from your clients or users.
Business and employment often depend on a signature on the dotted line. DocuSign is a 21st century application of the principle, that allows for documents to be legally signed and binding in the electronic world.
That’s useful in its own right – especially in a world trying to limit its needless use of paper. With the DocuSign Teams integration though, you’re not waiting around for confirmation that any contract or agreement has been signed. DocuSign will send you a notification within your Teams account to tell you the document has been signed.
That’s important in the fast-paced world of modern business, because it allows you to move forward with plans, projects, even employment processes immediately, cutting down on stress and uncertainty within your small business. It can even make an enormous practical difference to your fortunes.
If you’re waiting for a funding decision and, for instance, you don’t get a phone call all day Friday, you could be facing a miserable, uncertain weekend. But getting the DocuSign notification at 4.55 means you can breathe again, and begin to plan how you take the business forward on Monday. That’s an integration worth having in your Teams arsenal.
GitHub is a collaboration tool for software designers. It helps them share code to work through, find issues and smooth out the development process. That’s a powerful tool to help small software businesses, especially with dispersed coders and designers, to pull their products together effectively and on time.
But you can also integrate GitHub into Teams, where you get notifications of changes to any of your shared code, and also a company-wide way to share code between specific development teams – and discuss it through chat groups or video calls as necessary.
GitHub is a highly effective tool in its own right, but by integrating it into Teams, you can create a double-stranded implementation that builds team spirit and can speed up the development of the software product into the bargain.
Microsoft Teams is a well-regarded communication and workflow tool in its own right. But by integrating it with a handful of other apps and programs, small businesses can multiply its practical impact on the way they work – and their bottom line – hugely. Just choose your integrations based on how you need to improve your own small business’ performance, and Teams will help you achieve your goals.
7 September 2022
7 September 2022
7 September 2022
5 Best Teams Integrations for Your Small Business – TechHQ