Microsoft Teams Connectors You (and Your Team) Should Be Using

Posted by Gary Utley on November 1, 2019

Microsoft Teams ConnectorsConnectors, linked apps, third-party applications — whatever you want to call them, they're integrations that are critical to your MS Teams success. O365 connectors make it possible to integrate valuable technology with your Office 365 ecosystem, including products such as Trello, Salesforce, and SurveyMonkey. Here's what you need to know about the Microsoft Teams connectors that can benefit you.

The Advantages of O365 Connectors

What do connectors do? Connectors send information from a third-party application to MS Teams. As an example, updates on Trello would be sent directly to MS Teams, so that people who log into MS Teams will see these updates. O365 connectors make it easier for employees to see what's going on in all their apps quickly, thereby making it easier for them to manage their information and tasks.

Without O365 connectors, employees may have to check multiple apps every time they log in. They could easily miss things that they need to know, because they are trying to flip through multiple platforms. Office 365 connectors streamline this process, as well as making it so that the entire company infrastructure feels like a single environment rather than a patchwork of multiple applications. 

Most of the popular applications that companies use, such as Salesforce, have connectors available. The depth of the connection (how much information is brought in) will vary depending on the application itself.

Developing Custom Connectors for Office 365

Not every app has its own Microsoft Teams connectors built. Custom connectors can be used to connect applications that don't yet have a pre-built solution. To do this, your organization will need to build an API and define the custom connector. This can be useful for organizations that rely upon proprietary systems or more niche systems for their infrastructure.

When building a custom connector, you can decide what information is brought into MS Teams from the application that you're connecting to.

Some of the Best Office 365 Connectors

Now that you know what connectors are and what they do, here's a list of the most popular Microsoft Teams connectors. Many of the popular MS Teams connectors are Microsoft solutions, but others are third-party applications.

  • OneDrive for Business. Many companies store their documents in a consolidated location through OneDrive. These connectors will make it possible to easily view documents and changes through MS Teams. 
  • SharePoint. See your SharePoint changes from your MS Teams dashboard through the SharePoint connector. This can be connected to SharePoint Online or on-premises versions 2013 and 2016. 
  • Salesforce. The Salesforce API makes it possible to connect to Salesforce objects within MS Teams, providing some advanced Salesforce functionality within the MS Teams application itself. Notifications can be sent when leads are converted, tasks can be moved into Google Tasks, and Salesforce contacts can be copied into MS Dynamics. 
  • Twitter. Employees are able to view and manage tweets through the Twitter Office 365 connectors, which make it faster and easier for employees to manage their social media. 
  • Google Calendar, Documents, and Sheets. Many organizations leverage Google's free solutions in addition to Office 365. These solutions can also be integrated into MS Teams, to bring information from Calendar, Documents, Sheets, and Drive into the Office 365 ecosystem for more efficient business processes. 
  • Trello. Asana and Trello are both project management solutions that can be integrated through connectors with MS Teams in order to update employees on projects and tasks. Employees can be notified when projects are created and when tasks are assigned, updated, and completed, so they don't need to check a secondary system.
  • DocuSign. If companies manage a lot of documents that need to be signed, DocuSign can help. DocuSign will alert employees to when documents have been reviewed and signed. Documents from DocuSign can be brought into the Microsoft Office 365 infrastructure to be archived, searched, and shared as needed. 
  • LinkedIn. Companies can keep up to date on their organization's LinkedIn accounts, including their networking opportunities, blog posts, and certifications. Articles can be shared between LinkedIn and SharePoint, articles can be scheduled, blog updates can be shared, and content can be localized before posting for better engagement.
  • Yammer. Yammer provides social network features for organizations of all sizes, and it can be integrated into MS Teams. Employees will be able to access the conversations being held in Yammer.

Each connector operates a little differently than others, in terms of the information that is brought over from the other application. Either way, it provides an at-a-glance review of what's happening in these applications, whether they're a third-party application or a Microsoft solution. 

Microsoft Teams connectors make it easier to leverage the full power of MS Teams. If you're interested in learning more about how you can integrate O365 into the rest of your company's infrastructure, contact the experts at Red River.

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Topics: Microsoft Teams