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Asana touts new Microsoft Teams integrations

Work management platform Asana has expanded ties with Microsoft Teams, solidifying efforts by the two companies to make task management easier

Work management platform Asana has expanded its portfolio of joint offerings with the launch of Asana for Microsoft Teams.

With the rollout, users of the two platforms can turn conversations in Teams into trackable, actionable tasks in Asana and more easily find and share tasks, projects, and portfolios with your co-workers. The changes also make it easier to highlight task status by giving teammates more context and visibility into Asana tasks using the Teams UI.

With Teams’ bot technology, users can also customise automated notifications about important Asana task and project changes directly in Teams.

New features in Asana allow tasks to be created by users in Microsoft TeamsCredit: Asana
New features in Asana allow tasks to be created by users in Microsoft Teams

“It successfully brings the Asana workflow into the existing Teams assets, which makes it easier to get work done,” said Wayne Kurtzman, collaboration and social media research director at IDC. Now, he said, Microsoft Teams users who want to use Asana can more seamlessly manage the flow of work without having to leave the Teams app.

The move comes as collaboration tools remain a high priority for businesses; IDC believes that – despite tight IT budgets – 54 per cent of IT shops will increase spending on collaboration applications as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As of late April, Microsoft said that its Teams platform had already added 31 million daily active users (DAUs) over the previous month, bringing the total to 75 million. Other collaborative work platforms such as Hangouts Chat, Slack and Facebook Workplace have also seen an increase in DAUs.

Importance of integrations

While today’s announcement is set to strengthen ties between Teams and Asana’s software, it’s not the first joint venture for the two companies.

Asana and Microsoft already have a suite of offerings for distributed teams that includes Asana for Outlook; Asana Power BI; an Office 365 for Asana connector; and an Azure AD integration that makes it easy for customers to manage user access, provision user accounts, and enable single sign-on with Asana.

Kurtzman called integrations the untold superpower of collaborative applications. “Not all integrations are smooth, but where they are – as in this case – it removes friction from getting work done.,” he said. “As more AI and ML come into play, the benefits for businesses and users will increase exponentially.”

He also believes that current spending trends in collaborative work won’t slow, even as offices start to reopen. “Throughout 2019, when workplaces were still open, IDC saw collaborative applications grow by almost 20 per cent,” he said.

“Collaboration is a fundamental shift in how work is done, focusing more on teamwork and leveraging skills instead of silos. Due to Covid-19, the adoption of these applications was accelerated by five years.

“In short: They are here to stay,” Kurtzman said.