The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organizations’ hands when it comes to enabling their employees to work from home. It’s one of the reasons that the use of communication tools like Microsoft Teams has sky-rocketed over the last two years. But as we approach (hopefully) the end of worldwide lockdowns and stay at home orders, remote working will likely stay with us — according to a McKinsey report on the future of the workplace, remote working and virtual meetings are likely to continue.
The key for many organizations will be how to continue getting the most from their Microsoft Teams investment. Luckily, Teams is so much more than an instant messaging and video conferencing solution. Using Teams, you can incorporate workflow automation into your everyday business processes and transform your organization.
In this blog we’ll look at the positive impact that Microsoft Teams automation can have on your organization, as well as how you can use Microsoft Teams workflows to increase productivity, lower your costs, and accelerate your organization’s digital transformation.
A quick reminder of the value of Microsoft Teams
Teams is a valuable solution for a wide variety of workers. From developer productivity to shift-scheduling for frontline workers, Microsoft Teams is the organizing layer for all the ways people work, learn, and collaborate. Using Teams, employees can seamlessly switch between multiple communication methods such as video conference calling, instant messaging, real-time document collaboration, and file sharing, individually or altogether as needed.
Five reasons Microsoft Teams can help transform your business
- Boost employee engagement
- Improve productivity
- Reduce costs
- Empower your employees to be more flexible
- Integrate workflow automation into your processes
Going beyond IM and video calls with Microsoft Teams automation
Digital transformation has been a buzzword for years now, but the process of using technology to improve your business processes, employee culture and customer experiences is still an important priority for any organization that hopes to continue growing. And while Teams is often used as a communication platform to keep employees in touch, it can also accelerate your business’s digital transformation strategy by making it simple to incorporate process automation. This is especially important if you have employees working remotely or in a hybrid working setup.
The benefits of workplace automation
Workflow automation enables you to transform repetitive manual tasks that take time out of employees’ days into streamlined automated processes. This can immediately improve efficiency, boost productivity, increase accuracy, and give your staff more time to focus on work of higher value. There are plenty of third-party workflow automation tools out there, but if you’re using Microsoft Teams or the broader Microsoft 365 subscription, you already have access to a powerful and easy to use solution.
Microsoft Power Automate
Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow), which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite of applications, is a cloud-based service that makes it simple for line of business users to create and build automated workflows. The value of using Power Automate along with other Microsoft tools means it’s easy to join up your apps and services across your organization, synchronizing files and collecting data.
For example, using Power Automate you can set up workflows to:
- Automate specific parts of the onboarding process
- Approve critical documents
- Automatically save email attachments from Outlook into your OneDrive
- Manage vacation requests
- Get notified about sales insights from your CRM
- Deploy SharePoint lists and libraries to reproduce a site structure in multiple environments
These are just some of the workflows you can devise to speed up your processes. But where does Microsoft Teams fit in?
Creating Microsoft Teams workflows with the Power Automate app
Deploying the Microsoft Power Automate app for Teams can give you the best of both solutions. Teams is where your organization is spending a lot of its day. The Power Automate app (you can install it in a few clicks) lets you automate your company’s Teams activities as well as connect Teams to other apps and services. You can:
- Get your favorite applications to talk to each other
- Create and manage workflows with ready-made templates
- Trigger workflows via messages
What sort of processes are we talking about?
There are a lot of ways to use the Power Automate app in Teams. But for example, you could use Microsoft Teams automation to:
- Schedule workflows via bots
- Simplify approvals
- Provide alerts when you receive important emails
- Reply to customers on social media
- Capture leads and add to your CRM
Processes like these can be set up without having to navigate away from Teams, instead leaving your employees with a lot more time to work on the more important stuff.
Transforming your business with help from the experts
In a reality where organizations need a strategy for different ways of working (remote working, hybrid working, etc.) and to future-proof against unpredictable events, you can’t afford to leave your strategy to chance. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have an expert technology partner on hand to help you get the most from your IT investments.
ZAACT Consulting are experts when it comes to creating modern collaborative applications, using Microsoft Power Platform to build custom apps, bots, and workflows directly within Microsoft Teams.
If you’d like to find out more about how Microsoft Teams automation can transform your business, get in touch with our team today.