How is the Power Platform used for Teams? What are the best practices for working with Power Platform applications in Teams? Organizations are modernizing business processes with the Microsoft Teams and Power Platform integration—here’s how you can get started.
For many businesses that have moved to hybrid and remote work, they’re using Microsoft’s modern workplace to connect and create from anywhere. And–surprise, surprise–Teams gets most of the attention as a one-stop-shop for content, collaboration, and communication.
With the integration of Microsoft Power Platform automation apps into Teams, users can innovate more easily and faster without having to leave the Teams platform. Neat!
Users are stretching beyond their daily tasks in innovative ways to improve business processes, which has given rise to citizen developers. By using the apps that make up the Power Platform–Power BI, Power Automate, Power Apps, and Power Virtual agents–you can automate processes and build entire apps with little to no code.
Could the Microsoft Teams and Power Platform integration create the ultimate collaboration and productivity suite for your organization?
Let’s dig in to find out.
What is the Power Platform?
The Microsoft Power Platform provides a low-code data platform, with no-code applications that allow you to analyze data, build solutions, automate processes, and create virtual agents for communication.
There are four products under the Microsoft Power Platform:
|Power Platform app||Function|
|Power BI||A data analysis tool |
Create interactive visual data reports and dashboards, and share insights across your organization
|Power Apps||A custom apps builder|
Build business applications with drag and drop features, pre-built templates, and quick deployment
|Power Automate||A process automation tool|
Create automated workflows between Microsoft 365 apps and services to synchronize files, approve documents, schedule a task, etc.
|Power Virtual Agents||A no-code chatbot builder|
Build chatbot agents that can answer questions posed by your customers, employees, or visitors to your website or service–without the need for IT or developers
These apps are powerful when used alone. When combined, they can have a transformative effect on business processes across an organization.
Since we’re specifically looking at how the Power Platform drives business impact with Teams, let’s zoom in on some of the integrations and what they do.
Microsoft Teams and Power Platform integrations
The integrated capabilities of Power Platform with Teams enable users to do more in one centralized location.
So what does this integration bring to the table for Microsoft Teams users? And how does it enhance collaboration and productivity?
We’ve identified the following perks of the Teams and Power Platform tools duo.
Power BI: Have a data-driven hub in Teams
Microsoft Teams is the hub for teamwork. Therefore, it makes sense to integrate the Power BI service experience and streamline report sharing and collaboration in one place. Working with Power BI reports in Teams means you won’t need to switch between apps, saving you time and making it easier for everyone to view the same data.
After you install the Power BI app in Teams, you can do almost everything in Teams that you can do in the Power BI service:
- Create, view, and edit dashboards, reports, and apps
- Create and participate in workspaces
- Share content, either through email or through Microsoft Teams
Power Apps: Create and share apps in Teams
If you want to make Power Apps more productive, just integrate the platform in Teams! By doing so, you can create and edit apps and workflows within Teams, and quickly publish and share them with your colleagues.
You can build apps based on custom data tables that are Teams-specific and scenario-specific via the integrated Power Apps Studio in Teams. Building apps is easy when you have the option to select pre-built templates for commonly used applications, which you can customize to suit your needs.
Here’s a scenario: You want to create an app that can track vacation time using your Teams/Outlook calendar. This app can be created in Teams, which pulls data from Outlook as well as vacation information that employees input on the calendar, or when they use the app. The app will then give managers a clear overview of time off including measurement of sick vs. PTO days in lieu of calculators, and pretty much anything you can think to add.
Power Automate: Unlock workflow efficiency in Teams
Automate all sorts of business processes using Power Automate within Teams. And thanks to hundreds of available pre-built connectors, there’s minimal-to-no coding required.
Depending on the use case, you can automate your Teams activities and connect Teams to other apps and services. Speed up your approval processes, trigger scheduled flows, synchronize files, collect data–there are a lot of useful functions to look at here.
Power Virtual Agents: Bring the bot experience directly into Teams
Power Virtual Agents provides you with the tools needed to create digital assistants from scratch, without coding knowledge.
When integrated with Teams, you can create customized bots using pre-built chatbot templates and make them available to your colleagues to chat with. Users can add a bot in a team channel and members of that channel can talk with the bot.
Here are some scenarios where you might want to create a Power Virtual Agents chatbot in Microsoft Teams:
- Someone in the payroll department creates a chatbot that helps teammates get tax filing forms and information
- A human resources (HR) employee creates a bot that can answer questions about vacation balance, time off, and benefits
- A member of the finance department creates a chatbot that helps their teammates in the finance team to fill out expense reports
Microsoft Teams and Power Platform integration best practices
All of these Microsoft Teams and Power Platform integrations make for an exciting addition to your organization’s standard day-to-day Teams usage. You could transform your team’s or your entire organization’s productivity much sooner, and with fewer costs, than the traditional IT-led approach.
But, like all good things, these integrations do come with some considerations.
Here are some best practices to keep your Teams and Power Platform integrations running efficiently and securely.
Automating Microsoft Teams project management
Teams has become a critical tool for project managers. With instant messaging to chase projects, integrated video calls for kick-offs and catch-ups, and an integrated Outlook calendar, project managers have a lot of useful features at their fingertips. With Power Platform integrations, these features become even more powerful.
Project managers are typically quite busy, so reducing their workload is going to be popular. Creating Teams automation that…
- auto-updates teams as projects progress
- automatically creates repeating tasks
- sets notifications to trigger when projects reach set stages
- generates reports on your current projects to get a high-level overview
- sets notifications to trigger for team members when a task is overdue or missing
…can help project managers streamline their schedules and reclaim time to focus on more valuable tasks.
Building smarter bots with Power Virtual Agents
Power Virtual Agents lets you build smart chatbots, from creating personalized conversations to monitoring and improving your chatbot’s performance using AI and data-driven insights.
When you create chatbots, there are some things you need to think about, such as the sorts of questions someone might ask, the different ways they might ask the question, and what the answer should be. You should also consider any follow-up questions or concerns that the person may have.
And if you want additional context in your bot’s performance, it’s a good idea to review what questions are being asked the most, and how effective the bot is at understanding and answering questions.
Managing guest access
Giving guest access to the Power Apps you create is possible, but it can be tricky to keep tabs on active and inactive users manually.
To remedy this, you can build automation that helps manage your Azure AD and Power Apps permissions. Or, you can employ a Microsoft 365 management solution like ShareGate to help you manage permissions and stay on track.
If you’re going to allow people within a team to invite guests, you need to think about how to secure sharing and collaboration within Teams.
The single best practice you can have for Teams is a good governance plan. You want to make sure there are guardrails in place to protect sensitive information without limiting user productivity. And you have to make sure that your users know why those guardrails exist and how to use Teams in a way that doesn’t put your organization at risk.
👉ShareGate automates the process of reviewing guest access in Teams and helps you to easily set up those guardrails.
Manage Teams integrations with a no-code approach
We hope you found value in this article because automating everyday IT tasks has always been part of our DNA. When it comes to supporting your organization in new and innovative ways, ShareGate can help.
Leverage ShareGate’s automation capabilities to help you clean up, organize, and govern your tenant. Give it a test run for free!