Following the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, many organizations abruptly shifted to an unfamiliar remote work environment. Businesses had to find practical ways to connect with employees working from home, and Microsoft Teams quickly became the go-to solution for most organizations. It grew so popular that by October 2020, Teams had reached 115 million daily active users.

Microsoft Teams proved a convenient and much-needed remote collaboration platform, especially for organizations trying out the remote workplace structure for the first time. Due to Teams’ popularity and widespread adoption, it will continue to power learning and cooperation even in the post-pandemic world as the new hub for teamwork. Microsoft realizes the platform’s significance and recently integrated Teams with the Power Platform to further enhance the remote working experience.

What does this integration mean for Team users, and how does it improve collaboration and productivity? To answer that, we’ll look at the features and capabilities that a Teams-Power Platform brings to the table and how they augment the overall Teams experience.

PowerApps: Create custom apps in Teams

PowerApps is a low-code platform-as-a-service within Microsoft 365. It’s an intuitive, easy-to-use app development platform with a drag-and-drop feature for building UI-based applications. Users can quickly combine various controls, such as text fields, checkboxes, and menus, to create custom apps ranging from relatively simple forms to complex workflow systems from scratch.

PowerApps can also connect with internal and external business data sources such SharePoint Lists and Microsoft Dataverse (formally Common Data Service). The platform has more than 300 service connections that allow for integration with peripheral devices such as cameras and third-party solutions.

You can now pin PowerApps directly in your Teams Channel, enabling Team members to co-develop and share apps within the platform. With Teams and PowerApps, you can truly customize your virtual working environment by introducing unique, meaningful new features to fit your HR needs.

Power BI: Discover data insights with AI

Power BI (Business Intelligence) is an enterprise analytics solution that allows organizations to visualize data and draw valuable insights from complex data sets. It comes as a suite of various products and services for connecting to data sources, transforming and modelling data, drawing up visual representations (charts and graphs), creating reports, and sharing insightful dashboard visualizations throughout the organization.

You can share Power BI visualizations within supported MS 365 services; export them to PowerPoint, Excel, or CVS; or publish them in embedded webpages in real-time. And now, your Teams community can create and share useful snapshots of the business environment through these visualizations.

By adding Power BI Reports to your Teams Channel, users can quickly put together insightful data presentations, making it easier to relay complex information in brief Teams meetings and fostering a data-centric workplace culture.

Power Automate: Set your team free with automated workflows

Power Automate (formally known as Microsoft Flow) is a cloud-based system that lets you create and manage automated workflows in order to simplify business processes and streamline workplace activities. This feature saves you the time and effort otherwise lost in mundane, repetitive tasks such as emailing, sending mass notifications and announcements, and setting reminders.

The integrated Microsoft Teams Power Platform allows users to automate manual workflows without leaving Teams. You can also integrate third-party services and apps in automated business processes using the 300+ available connector links. What’s more, the system’s built-in AI capabilities provide the necessary assistance for creating intelligent workflows. With Power Automate, your team members can focus on high-value tasks by delegating menial labour to the working platform itself.

Power Virtual Agents: Build intelligent virtual chatbots

Modern customers and staff demand instant gratification through intimate and fruitful virtual interactions. Chatbots are an easy answer to the ever-growing customer and employee engagement demands. Microsoft Power Virtual Agents provides you with all the tools to effortlessly build intelligent chatbots in Microsoft Teams.

You don’t need any coding knowledge or experience to create a conversational chatbot for your Teams community. This can take over most of the communications bandwidth within the workspace by automatically answering queries, delivering digital resources, and handling bits of HR management. It can also serve as a support desk to assist stuck workers and only escalating some of the major issues to an appointed representative via a ticketing system. By working with Microsoft Customer Service Insights, your customer service team can optimize conversation flow by identifying patterns in Power Virtual Agents.

The perks of the Microsoft Teams and Power Platform duo

Incorporating the four features of Power Platform in Teams brings out so much more in the already versatile and self-sufficient Teams platform. It takes collaborations, communications, and teamwork to a whole new level. Here are the main benefits that the dynamic duo presents:

  • Personalized experience and functions in Teams through custom apps
  • Streamlined automated workflows – saving time and minimizing errors
  • Scaled-up contactless communications with intelligent chatbots
  • Optimal data utilization across Office 365 through proper data organization
  • Accelerated deployment of helpful business solutions
  • Saves app development time and costs

Let the newly integrated Teams platform power your virtual workplace. If you’re unsure about where to start, don’t hesitate to contact us for guidance. Softlanding is a Microsoft partner that proudly helps businesses take advantage of Microsoft enterprise resources and other practical digital solutions.

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Softlanding is a long-established IT services provider of transformation, professional services and managed IT services that helps organizations boost innovation and drive business value. We are a multi-award-winning Microsoft Gold Partner with 13 Gold Competencies and we use our experience and expertise to be a trusted advisor to our clients. Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, we have staff and offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary to serve clients across Canada.

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