10 Microsoft Teams Integrations You Need to Try in 2020

by in Best Practices, Technology

For companies already using Microsoft solutions for email, calendar and document sharing, incorporating Microsoft Teams into daily workflows is a practical next step. Since its introduction in 2016, Microsoft Teams has rapidly grown into one of the most popular workplace collaboration tools in the world, recently surpassing more than 75 million daily active users.

Spurred by the rapid increase of distributed work and employees working from home resulting from the global health crisis, Microsoft Teams is now the center for teamwork in Office 365, helping to merge all the people, content, and tools your team needs to be increasingly engaged and impactful.

While Microsoft Teams offers a wide range of benefits, it’s only one of many tools most organizations need to run their business. Luckily, the numerous integrations available in Teams can help companies discover new avenues for connection and collaboration, and ultimately augment their workflow even more.

Woman browsing Microsoft Teams App Store on laptop

Why Use Integrations with Microsoft Teams?

As employees spend an ever-increasing percentage of their time interfacing through collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack, it is critical that organizations adapt technologies to keep employees productive and engaged while avoiding 'app fatigue' and information overload. Here are four of the most common ways integrations can enhance teams' work within your collaboration platform of choice.

Have higher-quality video meetings

Meetings are much more personal and effective when they happen face-to-face. But even if you can’t be together in-person, high-quality video calls over purpose-built video conferencing platforms like Lifesize are an excellent way to remain connected no matter where your team or your clients are located.

Stay on top of your work

Nothing hinders productivity like being disorganized. Thankfully, with Microsoft Teams integrations, you can easily avoid the pitfalls of a cluttered work environment. For example, integrations with popular to-do list apps and project management applications help to keep your work in order so you never miss an important meeting or impending deadline.

Bring in creative elements

Microsoft Teams integrations let companies explore their creative side through use of photo, video, and design elements. Innovative presentations and meetings are not only more memorable, but they’re also helpful in retaining information and understanding new concepts.

Celebrate your company’s values

Is your company in need of new ways to celebrate a job well done? If so, Microsoft Teams integrations can help you offer public praise and congratulate colleagues in real-time, which only adds to the camaraderie and good feelings among your team members.

10 Best Microsoft Teams Integrations of 2020

Bar graph showing rising adoption of Microsoft Teams  

(source: Ayehu

Growth of Microsoft Teams is happening incredibly quickly as more and more companies are adopting new ways of working together to enhance team communications and increase productivity across the physical and virtual office. The following integrations are some of the best available, with the ability to simplify workflows, manage projects, and organize assignments, so teams can work smarter, not harder. 

1. Lifesize

Lifesize is the best video conferencing solution for business, providing the highest quality audio and video quality available in the industry. By integrating Lifesize with Microsoft Teams, you not only will deliver superior video and audio quality for every meeting but also convenient tools like the ability to start an instant 1:1 or group meeting from any chat or Teams channel or book Lifesize conference rooms through the Teams calendar interface. What’s more, with the Lifesize for Teams application, you can readily switch between Teams video meetings, or launch directly into Lifesize video calls without the need to navigate multiple applications.

Features

  • Schedule and join Lifesize meetings from the Microsoft Teams app
  • Invite Lifesize conference room systems to your meetings to support larger discussions
  • Use chat commands to instantly initiate a Lifesize call and connect over video
  • Enable Lifesize for specific Teams or across all Teams platforms

Download the Microsoft Teams and Lifesize Integration eBook.

2. Trello

Trello specializes in project management, offering collaborative tools to organize and prioritize assignments in a flexible way. Since both Trello and Microsoft Teams support comments and notes, integrating the two makes it easier than ever for companies to work together. You can add Trello to Teams with either the Trello Tab or Connector -- tabs provide a dedicated board to view your team’s work, whereas Connectors automatically alert you to any changes.

Features

  • Create checklists, assign and complete tasks, and review deadlines in a single solution
  • Notifications are delivered the same way as everyday communications
  • Internal groups can communicate better thanks to improved organization
  • Project management and collaboration come together in one space

3. GitHub

GitHub is the world’s leading software development platform, where developers collectively solve problems and design our most important technologies. And now with the GitHub app in Microsoft Teams, developers can collaborate from anywhere without switching applications. The GitHub integration with Teams supports Github’s Tab, Messaging Extension, Bot and personal app capabilities, allowing users to create, share and ship the best code possible.

Features

  • Full visibility into your GitHub projects right in your Teams channels
  • Generate ideas, triage issues, and collaborate with other teams to enhance productivity
  • Search, view details, and add comments to all issues or pull requests
  • Access, subscribe/unsubscribe, and receive notifications from Github repositories

4. Jira

Since its inception, Jira has evolved to leverage a number of different project management skills, including software development, content management, bug tracking and more. Today, Jira is primarily used by teams for planning, tracking, and updating software releases; however, the Jira Service Desk is also a popular solution for providing improved visibility for all business requests, from employee onboarding to marketing projects. Integrating Jira with Microsoft Teams means users will have a more accessible way to visualize development velocity, priority projects, team workloads, and business performance in real-time, right from Teams.

Features

  • Inject insights into group collaboration without pausing productivity
  • Create tabs with issues and discuss a project’s progress without leaving Teams
  • Makes communication and discussion over the backlog much easier
  • Adds value to consumers by releasing software faster and more frequently

5. Smarsh

Smarsh helps companies embrace innovation and manage risk, offering a better way to capture, store, and monitor their virtual communications. With Microsoft Teams integration for Smarsh, companies can capture employee’s communications to mitigate risk and ensure compliance with records retention requirements as laid out by the SEC, FINRA, MiFID II and others. Together, Smarsh and Teams allow businesses to enjoy compliant collaboration, native voice capture and transcription, protection for Teams content and more.

Features

  • Content is retained in its native format with chain of custody preserved
  • Messages captured along with links, files, images, videos and other attachments
  • Lexicons can be defined to flag text and file content for review or monitoring
  • All messages are automatically indexed for speedy retrieval of information

6. Wiki

Tucked away on the top bar of any Teams channel is the Wiki tab, which serves as a smart-text editor and opportunity to draft, edit, chat, and collaborate all in one place. Once a Wiki tab is added, users can treat it similar to Microsoft Word; team members can share notes in a structured way, with the ability to insert text, images, hyperlinks, or a table. Additionally, users also have the chance to create bulleted or numbered lists and highlight selected text.

Features

  • Add pages and sections to Wikis to stay organized by topic
  • Collaborate inside Wikis with “@” mentions and with section conversations
  • Multiple formatting options like bold, italics, and underlining
  • Power to post to the channel so everyone can see your new Wiki

7. Zapier

Zapier’s mission is to provide support to busy people, by moving information between your apps and services automatically. Users can link two or more apps to automate repetitive tasks, all without coding knowledge or consulting developers to make it happen. With Microsoft Teams integrations, users can connect Teams with Zapier Manager to instantly send and share info between the two, making it significantly easier to facilitate chat workflows among your team.

Features

  • Triggers when a new message is received in a chat, when a new chat or channel is created within a team, and when a new message is posted within a channel
  • Automatically initiates workflows in other apps whenever a Teams channel is created
  • Automatically alerts whenever a form is submitted or a row is added to a spreadsheet
  • Automatically reminds everyone when a Google Calendar event is about to start

8. Disco

Disco helps companies rally around their team members to celebrate wins and champion core values. With the rise of remote work, companies are reassessing how to reiterate company culture and values as employees no longer have as many informal opportunities to recognize peers for a job well done. With Disco solutions, users can offer public shout-outs or congratulations in real-time. By integrating with Microsoft Teams, Disco can build stronger team cultures, recognize employee achievements, and bolster company ethics or ideals. Businesses utilizing Disco and Teams together are creating a more aligned and appreciated workforce.

Features

  • Disco Values helps companies socialize and reinforce positive behaviors
  • Disco Points reward employees for giving and receiving helpful feedback
  • Employees can view points and achievements from their custom profile
  • Visibility into real-time employee engagement and frequency of feedback

9. Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is a world-leader in apps and services for video, design, photography and the web, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and more. When companies integrate Adobe CC with Teams, creativity and teamwork come together in a unified space. With a number of different integrations available, teams can share their work, exchange feedback, and stay up-to-date on pertinent tasks and actions.

Features

  • Designers get alerts for stakeholder comments, contributing to faster review cycles
  • Eliminates the need to constantly check and manage comments in email
  • Provides quick access to CC files and libraries right within the Teams workspace
  • All assets are at your fingertips, making it easier to find and share work

10. Polly

The Polly app offers a native Microsoft Teams integration to help companies foster collaboration and encourage productivity. Polly lets users create polls and surveys in their Teams channels, and then view results and feedback in real-time. With Polly’s instant polls and live results, it’s incredibly easy for team members to participate and for companies to make better decisions using the data they’ve collected.

Features

  • Source live, contextual feedback in a matter of seconds
  • Design multiple choice polls, freeform polls, or a mixture of both
  • Gather answers without interrupting workflows or overwhelming inboxes
  • By activating the comments section, you have access to a full discussion board

How to Install the Lifesize Integration on Microsoft Teams

The Lifesize for Microsoft Teams integration delivers an exceptional video experience that’s seamlessly coordinated with meeting and scheduling workflow. To properly integrate Lifesize with Microsoft Teams, you’ll need a Lifesize cloud account and status as a Lifesize Admin or Super User. Additionally, you’ll need to have status as an Admin for Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Teams. 

1. Search the Microsoft app store for Lifesize

Once the prerequisites are in order, you can search the Microsoft app store for Lifesize.

2. Add the Lifesize app to a Team/Channel

The Lifesize bot will send you a greeting as well as a link to sign in. In the event the bot does not respond, you can type @Lifesize start to indicate you need a sign in link.

If the bot generates a link to join a meeting, the installation process is already complete.

3. Click the link and sign in to Lifesize

Please note, you must be a Lifesize Admin or Super User to perform this step.

4. Allow permissions

After you’re signed in, follow the link in the instructions to grant permissions to the Lifesize app to automatically edit the Meeting Descriptions with Lifesize call-in details. Note, you must be an Office365 Admin to perform this step.

5. Start video conferencing

Once the integration is finished, it’s time to start video conferencing and taking advantage of 500-way calls, 4K conference room systems and 4K screen sharing.

Conclusion

Part of what makes Microsoft Teams so dynamic is its ability to leverage third-party applications through the integrations feature. Lifesize easily integrates with the Microsoft tools your team uses every day, for a high-caliber communication solution to meet a range of needs. By upgrading your existing Teams environment with superior video and audio elements from Lifesize, you can curate the most collaborative, creative experience possible.