Microsoft Teams bots are essential to get the most out of your collaboration stack. As most companies now use at least two messaging apps and numerous other applications for task tracking and managing internal processes, chances are you would want to extend the Teams functionality with bots.
Need to track a task while you chat with your colleagues? Text a bot. Need to book a room for a meeting? Text a bot. It can be that easy.
Here’s all what you need to know about bots for Microsoft Teams.
Bots can be useful when integrated properly. There are some areas in which bots perform best:
Look at the things that happen very frequently in your workflow, like booking a room for a meeting. Bots can help you to cut corners and save time by turning a repetitive routine into a simple chat message.
Have a process that is riddled with bureaucracy, like sick leaves or vacations? Let a bot handle it and pull all the strings to get the bureaucratic machine going.
Tasks like planning a business trip involve multiple departments and lots of planning in advance. Having everything under control of a single bot sound very nice.
As you can see, you can lift a pretty heavy workload off of your employees by integrating bots into your messenger. Of course, setting up a new bot-powered workflow will take time, but in the end, you will save hundreds of hours for more creative tasks.
The automation potential of bots is really astounding when you know how to use them to the advantage of your employees and your business.
Let’s be real: business trips are very effort-heavy and time-consuming events to plan even if the document pack and all the formalities are the same every time. You have to set up everything before the employee leaves: a place to stay, plane tickets, car rental, a workplace if necessary – everything should be dead ready beforehand, sometimes even months in advance.
The majority of this work has to be done online – why not integrate a bot that will solve all these problems for you? A bot can send inquires to the hotels and check their availability during the dates you specify, do the same with plane tickets and check car rental services in the neighborhood. The bot can also send notifications to the involved parties with the summary of the information it has gathered and request approval or parameter changes.
The bot can also straight up book the necessary equipment and transportation for the time period you choose and just let you know the details. Bots can not only speed up the business trip organization process significantly, but also take a huge workload off your managers and HR specialists.
Vacations happen constantly and all follow the same bureaucratic drill every single time, but in many companies all the parties involved approve vacations manually: the manager, the head of department, the company accountant.
You can delegate this process to a bot almost entirely: upon receiving an inquiry, the bot will check whether the employee has enough vacation days accumulated to satisfy the chosen time period. Then it can check whether the vacation overlaps with the vacations of some other crucial team members, not to leave the team crippled.
Having gathered all this information, it can send a short report to a manager and ask them for approval. The manager only has to do one click, and the bot will add the employee vacation to the system.
If you are moving into another office, or your employees need a permission to enter a building where they will be working for some time, there is no need to send them one by one to do it manually on the spot or gather their info and embark on the journey yourself. A bot with a set of permissions can aggregate all information you need and send it to the person in charge for them to register every employee. You will receive a report when all is done, and your workers are free to commute to their new place.
Many messengers tailored to be used in business already come with some in-built functionality for bots but unfortunately not many people know about it and even fewer use it. It is a shame because in the same messenger that you use to communicate with your colleagues every single day you can book a meeting room just by telling a bot to do so. No booting up other apps or going into a different system unit. This messenger bot will check the room availability, report to you about possible overlaps and book a room for you team meeting in a blink of an eye.
You can integrate JIRA or YouTrack into almost any modern business messenger and track your tasks and the state of the project as a whole from inside the messenger without the need to switch to another application. Bots can send you notification if someone has moved the task, completed it, or created a new one, and also notify you about the state of the current project build: whether it was a success or a failure.
Bots can automate many managerial business processes as well: if there is a new member in your team, you can equip your bot to send them a guide to the system you are using so they quickly get to know your workflows. With the help of bots you can also quickly get task summaries and see who is in charge without the need to search for it in the task tracker itself.
As software developers, we developed many bots of different complexity: we also integrated those bots into huge HR systems like a staff management system for a large hotel and restaurant chain. The bots we create are multi-purpose and can run a lot of workflows, from booking a meeting room to automating complicated tasks that require a number of parties.
Need a bot developed? We've got you. We can guide you from a concept to a project plan to bring your idea to life. We provide full-cycle software development and project support after the project is implemented. Don't hesitate to drop us a line to start your project going.