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Partner with admin to roll out bot in Microsoft Teams

Since we launched Power Virtual Agents integration with Microsoft Teams, we have seen lots of excitement from customers on how easy it is to create, test and publish a bot to users all inside of Microsoft Teams.

One of the most commonly asked best practice question is how to publish bot for users in Microsoft Teams.  Power Virtual Agents allows bot author to easily share the bot with their teammates directly in Microsoft Teams app store Built by your colleague section (learn more here) or partner with their Microsoft Teams admin to roll out the bot to broader audience.

Depending on the bot’s business scenario, partnering with your Microsoft Teams admin could be the best way to roll out your bot.  Many customers are delighted to learn how seamless it is to submit their Power Virtual Agents bot for Microsoft Teams admin approval.  We are sharing the learnings and best practice guidance here so you can easily partner with your admin on this journey.

Admin partnership scenarios

Partnering with your admin on bot roll out is a great option if your scenarios matches one or more of below:

  1. You want to distribute the bot broadly across the organization and different teams.
    1. The bot is intended for company wide or majority of the users in the organization.  This is a common trend for HR, IT, Facility or other bots that are managed by a department with the intention to reach broad audience.
    2. The bot is intended to be used by a group of users across different teams that have specific roles in the organization.  For example, a Front line worker assistant to look up product information during service appointments.
  2. Pre-pin the bot for users who need to find the bot easily and consistently use it as part of a routine workflow.  For example, pre-pin HR bot for all employees or only pre-pin Front line worker assistant for the front line workers.
  3. Your organization requires all bot roll out to go through the admin managed process.

Power Virtual Agents makes it super easy for bot author to partner with admin to roll out bots quickly and confidently.  We will show you how easy it is in the next 3 steps!

Step 1 – Submit your bot for admin approval

Once you are satisfied with your bot’s quality, it is time to work with your admin on the approval process.  Go to the bot’s publish page to publish it.  Once the bot is published, select Share the bot and choose to Submit for admin approval.  Make sure you provide a good bot icon, description and other relevant information so your admin knows what the bot is about and its value to end user.

Figure 1 – Submit for admin approval in Power Virtual Agents

Once you have completed the submission, you will now see the bot is pending approval from the admin.  The bot is now available in Microsoft Teams admin center for admin’s review.  You can refresh to check on the latest status.

Figure 2 – Waiting for admin approval

Step 2 – Admin approving the submission

Microsoft Teams admin will see your submission in Microsoft Teams admin center’s Manage app under the Teams apps section.  After reviewing the information you provided, the admin can approve and publish the app.

Figure 3 – Admin approve bot in Microsoft Teams Admin Center

This will result in the app becoming visible in Microsoft Teams app store Built by your org section.  It is also searchable via app store’s search bar.

Figure 4 – Bot is available in Microsoft Teams app store

Depending on the business scenario, the bot could be made only available to a selected set of users in the organization.  Admin can configure who the bot audience will be via the Permission policies in Microsoft Teams admin center.  You can learn more on how to create custom policies for app permissions here.

Step 3 – Partner with admin to pre-pin the bot for users

Having the bot in app store is a good first step!  Many customers partner with admins to pre-pin the bot in app bar for users and push the bot to them so they don’t need to find and install the bot for themselves.  This is a great way to ensure your audience knows the bot is available to them.  With the bot pre-pinned on app bar, users will always have the bot at their fingertips.

Figure 5 – Pre-pin bot in Microsoft Teams app bar

Admin can pre-pin the bot with Setup policies under Teams apps section in Microsoft Teams admin center by selecting the bot in the pre-pinned list.  It can be pre-pinned for everyone via the Global policy or for a group of users via custom policies.

Figure 6 – App setup policy to pre-pin bot for users

Other best practices

In this blog, we showed how easy it is to submit the bot as a bot author and partner with your admin to approve it.  You can learn more with the detail step by step guide in our documentation here.

In addition, we are sharing the best practices from our customer’s success:

  1. Partner with your admin early on in the bot building journey to review the bot content and best strategy for adoption in your organization.
  2. Each organization may have different approval process.  Work with your admin to see if the Microsoft Teams admin center approval process in this blog applies to your organization or not.
  3. If your organization have not adopted the approval process here, you can always download the app manifest file via instruction here for the bot to go through the custom approval process for your organization.

We hope you find this blog helpful and we are excited to learn more on all the great innovations and success you have with Power Virtual Agents in Teams.  Happy bot building!