How to Integrate Remote Tools Like Zoom and Slack Into Business Workflows

Collaboration has become an important issue for companies now that teams are becoming more nomadic. The rises of teleworking, co-working, and flex offices have pushed companies to review their organization and management structures. Given these new working norms, it is not always easy to manage communication between employees. Thus, the use of collaborative tools in business has become more critical than ever.

By improving performance, communication, and time management, collaborative tools deliver value to most companies that are in the midst of this transition.

The use of collaborative tools allows a project to move quickly

With collaborative software tooling, teams can exchange information in real-time without moving, consulting, or modifying critical files and assets. These exchanges enable faster decision making.

The ultimate goal of collaborative tools is to get people to work together to search for the best solutions to existing problems or situations in the company. Flexible, fluid, and intuitive, the best tools adapt to the needs of employees with the sole aim of accelerating communication and action.

Remote Work

Remote working is on the rise – as per research, a staggering 98% of remote workers would like to continue working from home for the rest of their careers.

Given this current trend, recruiters will need to advocate for remote work within their organization in order to stay competitive. As more traditional office workers promote remote working arrangements, HR and recruiting departments will be unable to hide behind distant stereotypical fears or historic company policies. Those who embrace flexible working arrangements earlier will win the talent race.

Recent Technological Innovation

With the improvement of the high-speed internet infrastructure, information sharing has become seamless. Geographical distances are no longer a problem, and travel expenses can be considerably reduced. It is possible to work from anywhere, with anyone, at any time. Individuals have direct and rapid access to each other, regardless of their place of work.

Given the technological conditions in which they operate, companies in the IT sector are considered pioneers as they have been among the first to develop a work environment that can be described as "flexible". Apps like Hubspot, Jira, and many others offer a great level of support for remote working teams.

How is Zoom Used?

Zoom is a video-conferencing application which allows up to 100 people to be called simultaneously, for 40 minutes, free of charge. A paid subscription gives access to more features. Its design is basic, but you can choose a background to hide your untidy room (coconut palms, library, etc.) or share your screen with other participants. Additionally, in March, Zoom removed the 40-minute limit for teachers in around 20 countries in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How is Slack Used?

Among tech companies that provide a setup for collaborative meetings and work messaging, Slack is a new option. In a short period, it has become a leading player in the B2B messaging and team collaboration solution providers list.

With 200,000+ active developers, Slack is one of the most used text-based collaboration platforms, with 1,500+ applications integrated in just three years.

To achieve its goal of becoming the one-stop-shop for the world of work, this California-based company is working to leverage its initial value proposition, that is, file sharing, messaging, searching, and syncing across devices/platforms.

Features Of Slack

Some of the key features offered by Slack include:

  • It provides options to pin messages and reference links to channels
  • It has options for managing, tracking, and finding documents
  • Users can search modifiers with advanced options
  • You can create shared channels all across the work spaces
  • Users can also streamline options to the sidebar
  • It provides fast navigation and support for all platform devices

Slack has an easy integration process for approved third-party tools. One can integrate with Slack through the Slack App Directory. Alternatively, you can also utilize the "Add to Slack" button on individual apps.

Why should development teams use Slack?

For perfect communication, productive meetings, and roadmap planning, Slack is an ideal option. With Slack, the following activities are possible:

  • Write, deploy, and debug code using other apps.
  • Track bug notifications and change requests.
  • Work using agile methodologies and create efficient workflows.
  • Create internal integrations for your workspace.

Create and Share Snippets

"Snippets" is a programming term used to reference small, reusable pieces of source code, machine code, and text. They allow you to share code, configure files, and log files.

You can format and share the snippets on Slack workspaces in a snap. If you need to share a plain text file, you can simply upload the file to Slack, and it will automatically get converted to an excerpt for anyone to read, without having to open another app.

Command + Shift + Enter (on Mac) or Ctrl + Shift + Enter (on Windows) will open a pop-up window to create a new snippet in Slack. In addition to code snippets, you can display shorter sections of text as fixed-width code and send them anywhere. Just surround your text with ```three grave accents``` to create an already formatted fixed-width block of text.

Track bugs and change requests

Tracking bugs is essential, and it becomes seamless with Slack. Hence it is vital to integrate your project and issue tracking tools into Slack to help your team track bug reports, change requests, and user feedback.

If you use a repository tool like GitHub, make it a part of your workspace team! Once the two are connected, you can create dedicated channels in Slack to track commits, pull requests, issues, and deployments.

Webhooks and integrations

In Slack, the team can have channels for #RN-alerts, #cronjobs, and #dev-ops. Inbound webhooks are a great way to automatically route information and data from external sources to a channel in Slack. If you need to supervise cronjobs or batch scripts efficiently, then webhooks are a great way to do so. You can also make them interactive.

Integration of Zoom

Crowdbotics assists with Zoom integration, which allows you to add video conferencing links to meetings scheduled in your app. With custom integrations, you can easily add attendees to your Zoom webinar.

To integrate Zoom, you can create a Super Admin for your app or develop an App Marketplace permissioning system. Using your administrator permissions in the Zoom account, you can seamlessly connect your app to the Zoom meeting.

You can also restrict the connection of multiple Zoom accounts to your app. Moreover, numerous users of the same Zoom account can use the integration after the account is logged in.

Crowdbotics ensures that your app meets the conditions set out by Zoom.

NOTE: It is not recommended to connect your Zoom account to multiple app accounts if sensitive or private information should not be accessible by all connected portals.

Installing a Zoom Integration

Generally speaking, there are two common integration methods: native and custom. Native integrations are officially developed and maintained by a product's engineering team, usually in partnership with the other application that is being integrated. Custom integrations rely on custom code solutions and typically require one app to connect to an open API provided by the other app.

A general flow to install Zoom via a native integration would work as follows:

  • From your app dashboard, click a "Marketplace" or "Integrations" icon to visit the app marketplace.
  • Find the Zoom integration in the list of available integrations.
  • Click the "Connect to Zoom" option.
  • Enter your Zoom account's login credentials, and then click "Connect".
  • You will be prompted to authorize Zoom for your app to access your Zoom account. Click on "Allow".
  • You'll be redirected to your app, where you'll see Zoom in the list of Connected Apps. Click Zoom to view onboarding permissions, configure new exclusions for the contact, or link a Zoom user account.

Once the integration is installed, if a contact registers or attends a Zoom webinar, they will be added as a contact in the connected app account. If a connection already exists in the app, they will not be added again, but their information card will be updated with any newly available information. Please note that this process may vary significantly from application to application.

For a custom Zoom integration, you will need to write custom code that links your application to Zoom's API. Crowdbotics can help you integrate your custom app build with Zoom or connect an existing application to Zoom's tooling as part of our managed app development services.

Integration of Slack

Slack gives engineers and developers a new way to build and ship software.

Native Slack integrations follow a similar process to the one described above for Zoom. They are designed so that a non-technical user can activate and configure them.

For custom integrations, the Slack API can offer you the ability to build in-house tools, awesome bots, and useful apps so you can share external information, simplify performance monitoring, centralize communication with your development team, and more.

How to interact with apps in Slack

Slack commands allow users to interact with your custom-built Slack apps directly within Slack. Crowdbotics engineers have great experience with building controls to help you get around Slack faster.

For example, you can connect any software to Slack to make the bug reporting process easier for your team. The /bug command is effortless to remember, and your collaborators can register a new bug directly from Slack.

How do you create custom Slack and Zoom integrations for your workspace?

Crowdbotics’ software engineers and developers have the technical know-how to create integrations that are perfect for your team. Using APIs from tools like Slack and Zoom, Crowdbotics can help you connect your apps with third-party tools, access external data sources, and generate custom workflows.

Custom remote work integrations enable you to concentrate all your work in one place, turn notifications into actions, search all of your systems, and gain complete visibility and transparency.

Does this sound useful to you or your team? Contact a Crowdbotics expert to build a custom Slack or Zoom integration today.

Originally published:

August 26, 2020

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