Nov 09,2022

ISV ThinkTank: Transform your workplace with collaborative apps

Over the past couple of years, the way we work has dramatically transformed and employees’ expectations have shifted in response. With many organisations adopting a hybrid approach, it’s more vital than ever that employees are equipped with the right tools to succeed.  

Collaborative apps play a crucial role in enabling new ways of working and communicating, ensuring that teams can continue to thrive, together. These apps are designed to interact across platforms to transform the way people, processes and data come together. This seamless connectivity helps to remove the silos that many employees have found themselves working in as they navigate hybrid working.  

An opportunity to empower employees

For employers to meet employee expectations and enable teams to deliver great customer service, the workforce must be empowered to perform at their best, wherever they are. Organisations that work to understand the challenges their workers face on a daily basis can find solutions to help drive productivity and efficiency using reliable and secure technology. Unfortunately, this often isn’t the experience that workers encounter.  

A report by PWC found that only 53% of employees believe their company pays attention to their needs when introducing new technology into the workplace. By neglecting employees’ perspectives, implementing tools that are insufficient or keeping outdated processes in place, business can be negatively affected both internally and externally. Employee job satisfaction can suffer, making it difficult to recruit and retain top talent which in turn, can impact an organisation’s ability to acquire and retain top customers. 

So what can employers do? Firstly, businesses can take the opportunity to embrace digitalisation. The report by PWC, for example, found that half of workers prefer HR tasks, work scheduling and enrolling in employee benefit schemes to be primarily digital.  

Secondly, organisations can adopt collaborative apps. These platforms bring together tools and processes that can help optimise the way people work, both together and independently. Such platforms have a huge advantage over legacy apps that often fail to connect and work seamlessly across platforms. By taking a more centralised and holistic approach, collaboration apps enable employees to stay in their flow of work, save time and provide world-class service to their customers.  

Streamlining ways of working

It’s vital that when organisations invest in digital transformation, the technology is usable by employees at every level. According to PWC, 61% of employees spend more time getting technology to work than they’d like. It’s no surprise then that technology that people struggle to use or that’s inefficient is a major pain point for employees.  

This problem can be mitigated by integrating applications inside Microsoft Teams. The collaboration platform provides an easy-to-use, predictable, trusted and seamless experience for employees. The rapid growth in business apps being built and used directly inside Microsoft Teams underscores the benefits of shifting everything onto a single platform that acts as a gateway to multiple services. This growth in app usage is a 24 -fold increase from pre-pandemic levels

As more and more ISVs look for new ways to connect existing and new customers, we’ve seen more than 1,600 Microsoft Teams apps become available in the App Store with the ability to reach over 270 million monthly active users of Microsoft Teams. By integrating multiple apps with Microsoft Teams, ISVs can acquire new leads, retain existing customers, monetise their SaaS offering, launch new features and more – all in one streamlined, centralised platform.  

Leveraging the collaborative app market

One powerful app that can be integrated with Microsoft Teams is Contacts Manager from 365Apps. Powered by the Microsoft Graph API, it provides an efficient and effective way to work with people and groups by enabling customisation. Contact Manager does this by combining established data sets such as Microsoft Teams and distribution lists with personalised views such as direct reports and contact folders.  

Using the latest Microsoft Teams technologies, Contacts Manager focuses on user experience. By including presence and agendas for all colleagues, combined with customised views, employees can curate lists that exist beyond formal organisational structures without having to search conversation history or navigate through Microsoft Teams.  

There are many other useful features in Contacts Manager. Action buttons allow the selection of one or multiple contacts to quickly start collaborating via messaging or calling capabilities. Using the powerful graph within the app offers search functions for global contacts and colleagues.  

One particular user of Contacts Manager, a large healthcare facility in the US, was able to provide their medical staff with accurate and accessible contacts straight to their mobile devices. Staff at the organisation can now start Microsoft Teams telephony PSTN calls from inside the app as well as engaging multiple colleagues in Microsoft Teams calls and messages with just a few clicks. 

Start your transformation journey

Embracing this technology gives ISVs a unique opportunity to support employees as they navigate the hybrid workplace, ensuring companies continue to acquire and retain customers. Not only that, empowering employees with seamless integrations in the collaborative platforms they spend much of their time working from, is a chance to be front and centre of the digital workplace evolution.  

 If you want to get involved please contact us at ISVUK@Microsoft.com.  

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