Over the past year, the pandemic has dramatically changed the way we live and work. Organizations around the world adopted tools like Microsoft Teams to support working-from-home and hybrid work. Today, over 115 million people use Teams every day. And while video conferencing was a key driver for Teams rapid growth and adoption, our customers quickly realized the need to digitally transform beyond meetings to support a new way of work. They want to integrate apps and business processes into where work happens—to better serve customers, streamline work, and improve employee productivity and wellbeing.
Teams is designed to enable this new way of working. It is the only platform that brings together chat, meetings, calling, file collaboration, and apps you need, all in one place. You can easily customize Teams with apps to fit your specific needs—whether that’s adding apps from the Teams app store, or creating custom line of business apps, workflows, or bots to use in Teams.
Today, we’re announcing new Teams apps that will make your everyday work more seamless.
New apps to make your meetings more productive and engaging
While all teams need a place to communicate and collaborate to move work forward, every team does it differently. That’s why you can customize Teams with apps you can bring into for chat, channels, and now, meetings. We are excited to announce the availability of Teams apps for meetings along with nearly 20 new Teams apps for meetings in the Teams app store, such as Asana, HireVue, Monday.com, Slido, and Teamflect, as well as familiar Microsoft apps such as Forms. If you’re a developer, learn more about creating Teams apps for meetings.
For example, many customers use Asana in Teams chat and channels to manage projects and track tasks. Now, you can add the Asana app into your Teams meeting invite so that during a meeting, you can easily create new action items. After the meeting, everyone can see the action items in the project plan and start working through them.
Another great tool that customers can use in their meetings is Slido, With Slido, you can use to plan and conduct live polls, quizzes, and Q&As in the Teams meetings experience without having to toggle back and forth between the app and the meeting.
These new apps for meetings join the more than 700 Teams apps already available in the Teams App Store that our customers use every day. For example, DevOps teams use apps like Jira Cloud and GitHub to build, test and release software directly in Teams. HR and Finance teams use market leading apps like Workday and Adobe Sign to streamline common workflows in Teams. And customer service and support teams use ServiceNow to respond to and manage support requests in Teams.
In fact, this month the Now Virtual Agent app by ServiceNow will feature new capabilities that will help improve employee productivity with seamless self-service and faster case resolution, allowing employees to submit support requests, view open ticket approvals, take action on notifications, chat with virtual agents for automated assistance, and streamline communication between agents and employees—all while staying in the flow of work in Teams.
Build and integrate custom apps into your digital workspace
Adding apps from the Teams App Store is just one way to customize how you work, but every organization has processes and ways of working that are unique to them, and often require custom solutions.
Teams is an extensible platform with a broad set of capabilities and entry points, so you can also easily create custom apps to fit your organization’s needs. For example, EPIC Systems, a global healthcare software company, recently built a connector that will allow clinicians and patients to schedule and launch virtual visits in Teams from within patient and provider portals – increasing access to vital services during a challenging time.
To build these custom apps, partners and developers use our professional grade developer tools like the Microsoft Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code, which provide developers everything they need to jump start Teams app development. We’ve made great advancements in these toolkits since their debut at Build earlier this year and will continue doing so, ensuring developers have a frictionless experience building Teams apps. Learn how to get started with these tools.
Thousands of organizations rely on enterprise apps built on SharePoint, so we’ve made significant strides in integrating Teams app development with the SharePoint Framework (SPFx), our largest and fastest growing UX extensibility model in Microsoft 365. By building Teams apps using SPFx, IT can save costs on hosting infrastructure and simplify the deployment and operation process – while SharePoint developers can expand the breadth and use of their apps using the framework they know and love. Learn how to get started building Teams apps with SPFx.
Drive agility with low code apps, workflows, and chatbots in Teams
Many of our customers are looking to digitally transform the workplace, but do not have enough developer capacity or time to build fully custom apps. For these customers, we’ve brought together the Microsoft Power Platform and Teams. Microsoft Power Platform provides low code tools to build apps, workflows, and chatbots, as well as deploy and manage them—all without leaving Teams.
We are excited to announce that the new Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents apps for Teams are now generally available.
- Power Apps for Teams allows users to build and manage low code apps right within Teams. With an approachable user experience, anyone can now build apps to simplify work.
- Power Automate app for Teams contains a simplified workflow designer and a number of templates to help anyone get started automating routine tasks.
- Power Virtual Agents app for Teams makes it easy to build and deploy bots to support a range of scenarios, like IT helpdesk, operations FAQs, and HR issue resolution.
And with Microsoft Dataverse for Teams, a low code data platform that is also generally available today, you now have what is needed to easily build and deploy apps and chatbots in Teams. Dataverse will also improve application lifecycle management and allow greater control over the data you use to build your apps, bots, and workflows in Teams.
Teams customers are using Power Platform to create low-code solutions to simplify work. For example, Lumen Technologies used Power Apps in Teams to build apps that improve HR processes and help file technicians respond to outages faster. Office Depot built Power Apps with Teams to help improve payroll management for their store associates and is building a community of apps and workflows to further improve business processes and keep employees in the flow of work.
And of course, as these apps and custom solutions are being built and published, IT admins have robust controls to ensure the security and compliance of their company data. Learn more on how you can manage Teams apps across your tenant.
Transform your workspace with Teams
As you can see, Teams makes it easy to customize your workspace – whether that’s adding SaaS apps from the Teams app store, or creating custom apps, workflows, or bots to use in Teams.
We are humbled by the fact that Teams is used by millions of people around the world every day. Teams enables a new way of work, and our Teams apps integrations make work even easier.