Big or small, 100K employees or 10, Microsoft Power Platform seems to be a fit for every organisation. Launched in 2016, Microsoft Power Platform is solving all types of business challenges. It is a collection of different business applications, namely Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate and Power Virtual Agents, built on top of Dataverse. Each application is designed keeping a business user at the core of the product. In a nutshell, Power Platform is the future of no code low code applications. Gartner named Microsoft a leader in low code applications in 2020. Access Gartner report here.
Following visual is a simplified representation of the Power Platform:
Before we start talking about the top reasons to use Microsoft Power Platform, let us look at what each of its application does:
Power BI: Business Analytics tool for all your dashboard and reporting needs. Connect to any data source, create dataset, and start building visualizations.
Power Apps: Mobile and web-based business applications to solve your day-to-day business challenges. Mostly used to enter and fetch data but can also be used to embed Power BI dashboards and fetch data from other applications. Dynamics 365 Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing are classified as Model Driven Apps while a time keeping app or an invoice approval app can be built using Canvas Apps.
Power Automate: Workflow automation tool using automated cloud flows, button cloud flows, UI flows (RPA), desktop flows, etc. Desktop flows now come inbuilt with Windows 10.
Power Virtual Agents: Intelligent and easy to build chatbots. You can build a FAQ chatbot in less than 10 minutes with suggested topics feature.
And finally, here are the top reasons to start using Power Platform:
No code: The platform revolves around citizen developers and business users meaning people with little to no code experience. This enables your business users to either jump in and start building applications themselves or at least stay connected with their IT department. If you know the business process, you will be able to build applications with the Power Platform.
User interface the way you want it: Power Apps are available in two categories, Canvas Apps and Model Driven Apps. Canvas apps can be created from a template or a blank canvas, allowing you to design the user interface yourself, preferable for lighter and quicker apps. Canvas apps do not necessarily require a data structure. On the contrary, Model Driven Apps use the underlying data from Dataverse and does require a data model. Model Driven Apps are heavier with features inbuilt. You can only apply limited user interface changes like theme color, field components, etc.
Client flexibility: All power platform applications come with a mobile app except for Virtual Agents. You can run an on-demand cloud flow from within a mobile app, you can also run a pipeline report from the mobile app, and you can even access both the canvas and the mobile app from the same Power Apps mobile app. Of course, you can access all the applications via a web browser. Power Automate mobile app is slightly advanced as it lets you build flows from your mobile app itself. How cool is that?
Automation for almost everything: Power Automate not just automates Microsoft related applications but almost anything. There are hundreds of connectors available enabling you to automate your social media, Salesforce, Gmail, Google tasks, Smartsheet, Adobe pdf, Adobe Sign, Basecamp, DocuSign and the list can go on and on. Once again, it is a simple click-through automation process, and it’s not necessary to know how to code. Of course, you can build your own custom connectors.
Lucky licenses: This might be the best part for some of you reading. If you are an existing Dynamics 365 or Microsoft 365 customer, you might already have access to the Power Platform. That might save you a lot of money. Cross check the Licensing Guide.
Magic of artificial intelligence: AI Builder is available for both Power Apps and Power Automate which means you can quickly create an app to scan a business car or an expense receipt or maybe you can use it to process invoices. Sentiment Analysis, Form Processing, Object Detection, Prediction are some of the models available.
There is no limit to what you can build using the Power Platform.
If you want to solve your business challenges quickly or just want us to demonstrate the capability, click here to reach out.