What is the Power Platform?
Microsoft’s Power Platform is an innovative set of tools designed to help end users get more out of the tools they already use. The collection of four Microsoft products that make up Power Platform are Power BI, PowerApps, Power Automate (previously known as Flow), and Power Virtual Agents. Flexware’s Enterprise Solutions group has been helping customers easily manipulate, surface, serve, automate, and analyze data. These tools can be used with Office 365 and Dynamics 365 products, as well as other third-party apps and other Microsoft services, with standard and custom data connectors.
Why is the Power Platform so important?
Technology has become increasingly more intelligent and proper application of technology drives the competitive edge in every business. Adding intelligence to our daily processes allow us to perform our jobs more efficiently while providing an incredible high level of customer service, accuracy, and engagement.
Microsoft products are everywhere. From Outlook for Emails, Word for document editing and management, and Excel for quick data analytics, these tools have become a mainstay in industry. But what if that was not enough? Historically, data analysis, application creation, development, and report building, and distribution would require significant IT resources including expensive development teams and/or contractors. This would require staff to outline their requirements and aims, submit these requests for approval, negotiation of costs, determining if it’s a priority, and then wait for it to be built. This time-consuming process is expensive and slow and often does not align with business goals and strategy. The most immediate needs are not met, so users painfully work ahead without the automation or intelligence that they need.
Business increasingly relies on information to be fast and accurate. The amount of data companies create and analyze continues to increase exponentially. This data is mission critical, but completely useless if we cannot read, use, and understand it.
Power Platform helps companies fix this and that is why it is so exciting. The Power Platform enables users to automate and manage data in a way they never could before. This technology is inexpensive, easy to implement, and in most cases, already available through Microsoft’s suite of products. Power Platform will accelerate a company’s ability to transform information into action.
Power BI, PowerApps, Power Automate & Power Virtual Agents Explained
Power BI is a business analytics tool which allows you to easily connect to data sources, create visuals and gain business intelligence quickly. A few examples of what Power BI can do for you…
- Connect with Microsoft, third-party, and custom data sources.
- Quickly build and visualized data with easy-to-read operational dashboards.
- Allow end users to quickly adapt and adjust to drill into meaningful components of the report. (Example; review past due accounts, or past due orders)
- Read information from remote devices, mobile and touch screen tablets.
- Improve speed, consistency, and accuracy for reporting on one source of truth.
PowerApps is a low-code approach to custom app development, allowing users to quickly create apps with a “drag and drop” approach.
- Build mobile-friendly apps quickly and without development knowledge and reducing pressure on busy IT teams.
- Connect to multiple data sources and surface data from your business applications, such as Dynamics 365, Office 365, custom data sources and third-party applications.
- Surface key data into a user-friendly application to help data entry creating a simple easy to use user interface.
Power Automate helps users create workflows between common business tools to synchronize files, get notifications, collect, move, and analyze data. Power Automate uses triggers and actions to create chain reactions within a workflow so that repetitive, manual, and time-consuming tasks are accomplished without human intervention. Power Automate allows people to automate tasks quickly and securely with intelligent workflows. With minimal effort, Power Automate will boost user productivity. Allowing people more time to work on more critical and complex tasks.
- Use pre-built automation templates for the most common automation tasks.
- Create your own automations by connecting various applications, such as Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, or Forms, but also with non-Microsoft apps like Twitter, Drobox, Data verse, Slack, Google Calendar, etc.
- Use the AI builder to read PDF files, scan paper forms into digitized text, and Set up triggers, alerts, automated emails, and push notifications
- Create custom approval flows to route and digitally track approvals
- Move files, transpose data, generate and distribute reports.
- Build apps quickly and easily.
- …and so much more!
Power Virtual Agents
Power Virtual Agents are sophisticated, AI-powered chatbots that can help answer and resolve common issues and questions quickly and quietly at all hours. These bots can be deployed on a wide range of platforms to help any company get in front and organized with communications around the clock.
- Uses common questions to build intelligent bots capable of answering key questions
- Use triggers to automate tasks like looking up information.
- Who can I call?
- What is my past due balance?
- What hrs are you open?
- Can you give me directions to your office from the airport?
- Deploy bots to websites, portals, or internal teams’ channels.
Why should I care?
So how does the Power Platform fit with the broader Microsoft digital cloud strategy and why should I care?
The Power Platform connects to a wide range of tools and data sources. Many of these tools alone are powerful, but until Power Platform they were not complete and connected. Microsoft will continue to innovate to bring these tools together. The power of Power Platform is when all of these tool’s work together in an automated cohesive manner. These tools become extremely powerful when working with Office 365 and ERP systems Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations or any tool you use. The Power Platform is going to be a big area of investment from Microsoft. As these tools evolve, so will the sophistication in which process can be automated. The foundation for this is Power Platform. Start your journal now and the benefits will grow with your business!
Find out more!
The Power Platform has many exciting possibilities and implications, but it can be difficult to know where to start. If you would like to find out more about the Power Platform or discuss how the Power Platform can help your business, please reach to us today. The Enterprise Solutions group at Flexware can quickly answer and assess your situation. From there, we can provide expert guidance, recommendations, training or even build a Proof of Concept (POC) so that you can test these technologies in your workplace with minimal investment. Reach out using the form below and let’s see how Power Platform can work for you!
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