Building and supporting Zendesk integration for Microsoft Teams
In a collaborative effort, SoftServe created an upgraded Microsoft Teams application integration for Zendesk. As a result, Zendesk satisfied consumer demand and added value to the app, seeing more than 10,000 active Microsoft Teams users leverage the integration in the first two and a half months.
Integration as a prerequisite for maximizing value
Microsoft Teams had 270M active users as of January 2022. However, at that time, none of them could fully utilize the power of Zendesk in their collaboration environment.
As an industry leader in customer support software, our client knew this needed to change. The potential of connecting two leading platforms—for support and collaboration—was undisputable. In addition, it would reach more potential users and streamline business processes.
Microsoft advised Zendesk to turn to SoftServe to build the integration, given our extensive experience in this area. SoftServe has released more than 25 Microsoft Teams applications, as well as Atlassian apps, with the MAU exceeding 200,000 in foremost integrations. In addition, SoftServe has a team of experts focused on product and business enhancement via integration.
By the time Zendesk contacted SoftServe, our client already had a large marketplace of integrations: including an existing integration with Microsoft Teams built in 2016. However, t he old app had limited functionality and didn’t provide the necessary experience for Zendesk users within Microsoft Teams.
Zendesk made the request to build a new integration for Microsoft Teams from scratch. One key goal of the new integration was to allow users to work with support requests within Zendesk without leaving the communication platform.
- Technical lead
- Front end software developers
- Backend software developers
- QA manual engineer
- DevOps engineer,
- Project manager,
- Product manager,
- UX designer
- Tech writer/tech communicator
- Product manager,
- UX designer,
- Project manager,
- Architect team,
- Content team,
- Marketing team
Building a tightly integrated suite
SoftServe collaborated with Zendesk in gathering requirements based on user interviews and input from Zendesk’s customers.
One of the biggest challenges was determining the most critical use cases for operating Zendesk requests within the Microsoft Teams environment and establishing an intuitive user flow.
Key questions asked during the kickoff included what Zendesk actions could be completed without leaving Teams and how seamless transitions could be made between the two products.
UX designers and product managers from both SoftServe and Zendesk worked closely to find the answers. Each design went through rounds of UI/UX discussions to ensure the user experience was smooth and fulfilling.
Specific use cases became recognizable only at the development stage, which prompted a return to the UX/UI design stage. However, the extra effort was worthwhile. The resulting integration delivers a simple, intuitive, and harmonized experience.
Handling the complexity of systems and requirements
Another challenge was compliance with the business and technical requirements, standards, and limitations of the Zendesk and Microsoft environments.
Sometimes the compliance seemed small, such as the size of the pop-up window for data entry. The functionality of creating and updating a ticket validation form took a whole sprint to develop because of the versatility of the ticket forms and conditional fields in Zendesk.
Under the continuous facilitation of SoftServe’s product manager, the work process was iterative and agile. The effort ensured that all stakeholders were satisfied with the result.
- .NET Core
- Cosmos DB
- Azure Storage
- Microsoft Bot Framework
10,000+ active users monthly
The integration opens a wide range of possibilities for Zendesk users. First and foremost, it allows users to create, view, and update support tickets directly from Microsoft Teams. Users can also receive real-time notifications on tickets within Microsoft Teams and collect details like issue descriptions, internal notes, or attachments before agent handoff.
A unique feature of the integration is that it utilizes resource-specific consent (RCS) to receive messages in channels. As a result, MT users do not need to mention Zendesk to interact with the app. In addition, the Zendesk AnswerBot proactively suggests articles from the selected help center.
The integration is available on the web, desktop, and mobile platforms, covering four user roles in personal, chat, and channel environments. An extended list of functions is available on the dedicated Zendesk marketplace page.
The integration adds value for Zendesk end customers, allowing them to process tickets faster without leaving Microsoft Teams and switching the environments. This leads to improved productivity and process optimization. In addition, SoftServe built a website for the Zendesk app with the user, installation guides, and a contact form to reach the support team.
In the first three months following the release, over 10,000 users had installed and used the Zendesk app for Teams.
SoftServe is now the owner of the app in Microsoft’s AppSource and is responsible for app hosting, security, infrastructure, and 24/7 customer support.
Working together beats going at it alone
SoftServe published the app on February 22, two days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Despite the ongoing war, our Ukraine-based team continues developing and supporting the app without interruption.
What does Zendesk think of our collaborative achievement? Delivered via Microsoft Teams, of course.
We've been blown away by the dedication of the team throughout the entire project, even while there is conflict in Ukraine. We are hugely appreciative of all the effort you have been able to put in. Huge thanks to everyone at SoftServe for your ongoing efforts in supporting and continuing development since launch. It's been an awesome journey working with the whole SoftServe team and look forward to continuing the partnership.
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