Introduction to Advanced Productivity:  Your working day in Microsoft Teams

Introduction to Advanced Productivity: Your working day in Microsoft Teams

< Overview Blog, Interview Digital Transformation 16-06-2020

We have already discussed the implications of having to work from home and the popularity of many collaboration tools, including Microsoft Teams. In this interview with Marcel Besteman, we talk about the implementation of Teams and its adoption by users, and we look at some of the opportunities that working with Teams can bring to your business, and the pitfalls. And, if you approach it in the right way, you can also take the next step with Advanced Productivity and the Microsoft Power Platform.

This time, we’re taking a closer look at Microsoft Teams as a Business Application Platform: Teams right at the heart of your working day, bringing all your business applications together. Using Advanced Productivity, you can integrate many other applications into Microsoft Teams.

 

And you can even use Power Platform to create low-code or no-code applications yourself, and any employee can do the same.

 

So how does it all work, and what are do you need to watch out for, as an IT manager, CIO or CTO? We asked Marcel Besteman for a short introduction to Advanced Productivity.

Microsoft Teams as a Business Application Platform – how does that work exactly?

“We touched on this in our previous interview. Microsoft Teams is a highly versatile tool. We often see it used for team-working and online meetings. But actually there’s a lot more that you can do with Teams. So today I’d like to tell you a bit more about Advanced Productivity.

 

Advanced Productivity is all about integrating business applications and business solutions into Teams. You can use Advanced Productivity to turn Teams into a Collaboration Platform. In a nutshell, that means putting Teams right at the heart of your working day, by bringing all your important business applications together in the Teams environment.”

How does that work?

“The principle is very simple. Whenever you open Teams, you will see three dots over on the left. When you click on them, you will see all kinds of suggestions for apps. Microsoft make some apps themselves, such as Planner and OneNote. And you can also integrate Third-Party Apps, such as Trello, Jira and Smartsheet.”

^ A selection of the apps and services available in Microsoft Teams

 

“Whenever you integrate an app, it will be added as a tab in Teams. IT Managers will need to think about this in advance, of course – what users should be able to do, and what not. There’s also the question of licenses, because there are a lot of paid apps and systems that you need a subscription for.”

What are the things to watch out for?

“As an IT manager or administrator, you need to ask yourself whether you want to allow all these apps. You can do that by defining a policy. You might only want to allow Microsoft Apps, or certain specific third-party apps. You can also block certain apps, or only allow particular apps.

 

In principle, these settings are easy to manage. But it’s a different story if you want to develop your own apps. Because that brings us to the third type of app that you can integrate into Teams: Tenant Apps, or the applications that your business develops itself using Power Platform. Microsoft is very enthusiastic about these, and I agree that this is the factor that takes Teams to a whole new level.”

 

Want to learn more about the opportunities of Power Platform? Marcel explains the opportunities and risks in an extensive interview. Power Platform has enormous potential for businesses, but it can also throw up some serious challenges for your IT Department. Read the interview here: Unleash the potential of your people with Power Platform! But is your IT department prepared? 

You can also read our other interviews in the Modular Digital Transformation series 

Would you like to learn more about optimalizing Microsoft Teams?

On Thursday 25 June, we will be giving a webinar (in English) entitled ‘Keeping Microsoft Teams in control!’. You can sign up for the webinar free of charge, and other dates are also possible. We look forward to it!

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