From Endless Scrolling to Seamless SMS Integration with Slack and Microsoft Teams
You’re in a coffee shop. Latte in hand. Laptop open. Ready to conquer the day. You take, what you think will be a few minutes (yeah, right), and hunt for an app to help with project management. Before you know it, an hour has passed.
Time sure flies when you’re on a mission…or endlessly scrolling.
It’s inevitable that at some point you’ll be searching for the right integrated apps for your business. Whether you’re looking to improve productivity, organization, communication, collaboration, or task automation, it’s so important that you choose tools that seamlessly connect functions, features, and systems to streamline your workday.
What are Integrated Apps and Why Does it Matter?
Think of an integrated app like a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece represents a different task like communicating with team members, tracking finances, or project management. Normally, these tasks would be done separately with different tools, but an integrated app helps keep the puzzle pieces together in one place. When connected, the apps form a complete puzzle, or solution.
For example, a project management app integrated with a communication app and a financial management app has all the pieces needed to efficiently see a project come to fruition, including tasks, communications, and finances.
Why it’s Important for Businesses to Choose Integrated Apps
- Data can be stored in one location, so it is more reliable, easily accessible, and simple to share. Integrated apps keep sensitive information secure, make it easier to control access, and protect data privacy.
- Collaboration across departments and teams leads to better decision making, tasks completed, and clearer communication.
- Integrated apps streamline processes and minimize errors to lower operating costs. It is also much easier to have everything in one place instead of paying for multiple standalone apps.
- You can streamline work processes and increase productivity. With data in one place, you can save time from having to remember which app to use at what time of day. Information can easily flow from one system to the next without error. Some apps even automate tasks with workflows.
Clerk is an example of an integrated app that allows you to send and receive SMS and 2FA codes directly from Slack and Microsoft Teams without having to find an additional platform. Try Clerk for free today!
How to Find the Right Integrated App
As a business owner or employee, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the available integrated apps. You can either spend countless hours researching or try some of the tricks suggested below. While there isn’t a substitute for investigating, there is a way to be productively diligent in making the right choices for your company.
- Vendor Websites: Make informed and educated decisions before choosing an app. You can often find customer reviews, pricing information, and onboarding instructions. It’s also important to get a sense of the customer support the company offers.
- Google Searches: Typing specific search terms can help quickly identify an app that not only meets your needs but also offers features that support future goals. There is also potential to uncover a hidden gem that otherwise may go unnoticed.
- App Marketplaces: This is where you can find a wide variety of the most up-to-date apps. You can also browse or search by category. If someone recommends an app, this is where you can find additional information. Choose the appropriate App Store based on your platform’s needs. Some options include the Apple App Store, the Slack App Directory. Google Play, and Microsoft AppSource.
- Industry Trade Shows & Conferences: These events provide an opportunity to network and learn from colleagues and mentors. Keep current with new trends, resources, and technological tools that could benefit your business. Companies often take the time for demonstrations of new and innovative integrated apps.
- Word of Mouth: Ask colleagues and friends for recommendations on integrated apps that they have already used and found helpful. The opposite is true, too. They may provide you with valuable information pointing you away from certain applications.
- User Communities: Check out online forums or discussion groups focused on your industry or business needs to learn about integrated apps and get feedback from users.
4 Examples of App Stores
As a business owner, it can be difficult to decide which app marketplace is best for your needs. Your goal is to find an app that’s reliable, compatible, capable, cost-effective and efficient, right? It’s important to consider how an app will interact with customers, how secure it is, and what features it offers. Most marketplaces are unique in terms of pricing models and capabilities, so you’ll need to assess which one aligns with your goals. Ultimately, it’s essential to choose a marketplace that offers high-quality support and a variety of features.
Let’s take a look at four popular marketplaces:
- Apple’s App Store: We’re all familiar with this one, right? The Apple App Store is an expansive online marketplace where users can find a vast selection of creative, innovative apps, games and productivity tools, created by experienced developers. It’s simple to navigate and easy to discover new apps.
- Google Play: This common App Store, developed by Google, provides people with a wide array of digital content and services, from games to media, and everything in between. It is a great resource for discovering new apps all the while knowing Google provides reliable customer service.
- Slack App Directory: This platform is where users can discover and add third-party apps, like Clerk, to their Slack workspace to enhance its functionality. You can browse through specific categories including project management, productivity, communication, and more. Users can easily browse, search and install apps, and integrate them with Slack to streamline their workflow and improve collaboration with team members.
- Microsoft AppSource: This online marketplace for Microsoft fans - think Windows and Xbox - showcases apps made by many developers. You can browse or use the categories like utilities, developer tools, and security. The apps are trusted by Microsoft, so you know you’ll have security and a reliable experience when downloading an application.
App Store Categories Demystified
App stores include a wide variety of applications and are broken down into many categories to help you narrow and navigate your search. Let’s take a closer look at five of the common categories.
- Marketing: It is important for businesses to be able to manage and market their products and services, sometimes by way of social media management tools, email marketing platforms, and customer relationship management (CRM) software. These apps can help business owners reach and engage with their target audience. Salesforce is an example of a familiar app that helps teams with sales, service, or marketing solutions.
- Finance: This category includes apps that help you stay on top of finances, like tracking expenses, budgeting, investment platforms, and banking apps. For instance, Chime is a fintech company providing mobile banking.
- Business: This category includes apps that are specifically designed for businesses looking for specifics like collaboration opportunities and project management tools. Slack, for example, lets teams communicate across the globe and work together in one place. These apps aim to help business owners streamline their operations and increase productivity.
- Productivity: Everyone can use an app that helps you be more efficient and productive, so it’s easy to spend a lot of time in this category. Tools that include task and time management, calendars, and to-do lists are often quite popular. Microsoft Teamscovers it all with video conferencing, calling, meetings, and texting!
- Communication: Remote work has made this category very popular- you likely already have an app related to sending and receiving data. WhatsApp is a perfect example! It’s designed to create communication and enable people to stay connected with others.
Love at First App?
Finding the right integrated apps for your business can be a game changer. Take a reasonable amount of time (but not too much!) to investigate vendor websites, run Google searches, check specific categories within app stores, attend relevant trade shows, talk to colleagues and visit online user communities.
Luckily the app stores make it very easy to search, select, and install. However, you also don’t want to haphazardly download a ton of apps that you won’t end up using. So, be sure to read the descriptions, check out the features, find out if there’s an upfront cost involved, and explore the reviews when available. Whether you’re a Slack or Microsoft Teams user, you’ll find our Clerk app in both stores.
Curious how Clerk can help your business consolidate communication? Text us today (888) 572-5375 to learn more!