The Microsoft Power Platform is more than the sum of its parts. Connect them together—and to Office 365, Dynamics 365, Azure, and hundreds of other apps—and build end-to-end business solutions.

Microsoft launched its Power Platform in October 2019. The latest updates within the Power Platform have made it much easier for all businesses to adopt and drive their digital transformation journey.

The Power Platform contains four services

Power Platform Services

Power BI – helps you gain insights from data

Power Apps – helps you build web or mobile applications

Power Automate – create workflows with design logic to replace manual processes

Power Virtual Agents – helps you build intelligent bots, all with no code!

Used individually you can create powerful data visualisations, apps and workflows to improve your business operations – used together you can take your digital transformation journey to the next level with seamless integration across the Microsoft suite including Teams, Excel, Power Platform, Sharepoint, and more.

Power BI

Power BI lets you create interactive visual dashboards from your reports. Dive into your data and use the insights to make business decisions.

Data insights can include sales revenue, top products and support SLAs, right through to predicting points of failure in processes and associated downtime.

Power BI Screen
Power BI Screen

Smart narratives analyse the report data and communicate the most important insights via your Power BI dashboard. Insights could include sales trends based on products, customers with best and worse return rates and having the capabilities to drill down into the data to further understand the data.

Power Apps

We are all familiar with the term App, especially in the modern mobile world we live in. Power Apps let you create tools that work with the back end of your business system. What’s great is if an app doesn’t exist that your business needs – you can now build one!

The key thing is to understand the existing process you are trying to improve and what are you trying to achieve – this could be as simple as opening an email, downloading an excel file and then updating a core system. As a manual process, this may take anywhere between 5-10 minutes per email – this is where Power Apps can help!

So instead of sending emails, customers or users can use an App to make requests, send files or update records. Cameras on phones can also be used to scan QR codes or barcodes of products – reducing the risk of manual errors. Then using Power Automate, this data can be fed directly into the core business system ready for approvals and processing.

This is just one example – Power Apps can be used to support any business process.

Power Automate

Streamline repetitive tasks and paperless processes with Power Automate. Power Automate is a service that helps you create automated workflows between your favourite apps and services to synchronize files, get notifications, collect data, and more.

In the Power App example described above, a workflow can replicate a user logging into the core system, it can then check any predetermined criteria and rules and submit the data to the system.

Alerts can even be sent directly to Mircosoft Teams to advise users of any new requests or submissions using either Power Apps or Power Automate.

Power Virtual Agent

Respond rapidly to your customer and employee needs at scale using intelligent chatbots built with Power Virtual Agents. No coding required.

Every time the chatbot is used, it is training itself to be smarter based on how the customer/employee interacts.

Responses, triggers and topics can be improved over time – so a chatbot may start off relatively simple and can grow more complex and capable as time goes on.

 

Governance

The Power Platform admin centre lets owners manage data rights, security & compliance – meaning you are always in control of your data. All data connectors can be managing from the admin centre and includes endpoint filtering.

Remote working 2020 has led to an increase in the use of online collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Microsoft continues to help teams create, collaborate, and communicate by having seamless integration between the Power Platform and the 365 suite of products.


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Post by Sooz Kinsella

Sooz has worked at the core of innovation in software technology for over 20 years. Her passion lies in delivering great customer journeys and automating processes.