A Guide to Microsoft Power Platform and its Benefits and Features

  Jul 09, 2021 18:02:00  |    Joseph C V   #Microsoft #PowerPlatform #RPA

Microsoft introduced the Power Platform with an aim to equip organizations to handle data and tasks smoothly. With self-service at the center, the Power Platform tools help employees automate their tasks, create mobile apps quickly, and generate insights for better decision-making.

Let’s walk you through the various components and benefits of the Power Platform today.

Components of Microsoft Power Platform

1.   Microsoft Power BI

Power BI is a powerhouse of data visualization features. With real-time insights for businesses, this tool offers charts, graphs, maps, and dashboards. In addition, it combines data from various sources like databases, Excel, Google Analytics, Salesforce, data lakes, and even social media platforms to provide a panoramic view.

Microsoft Power BI can ingest data from cloud-based and on-premise data sources. Apart from connecting with varied sources, it has fantastic visualizing features. Enabled with natural language processing features, you can ask questions to explore deeper into the insights.

With the architectural model at the backend, Power BI pulls the freshest data for you. Power BI works as a self-service BI tool for leaders who don’t want to rely on data experts for insights. Gartner has awarded Microsoft Power BI as the leader in analytics space year after year for more than a decade.

Read more about Power BI here.

2.   Microsoft Power Apps

Microsoft Power Apps provides a platform to build enterprise-grade mobile-friendly business apps for your needs. Whether you want to create an app for a small business solution or all the employees of your organization, or a broader userbase of customers, Power Apps is a perfect solution.

With its drag-and-drop UI and prebuilt UX components, you can build an app without knowing to code. This no-code platform can build apps that are compatible with all mobile platforms—iOS, Android, Windows, and even progressive web apps.

You can reduce the cost of developing a mobile app up to 74% by utilizing Azure solutions and AI capabilities, Microsoft mentions via Forrester.

3.   Microsoft Power Automate

With Microsoft Power Automate, you can automate your business processes through robotic process automation. Smaller tasks of an individual to a job as big as an organization's level can be taken care of by Power Automate.

With simple drag-and-drop and low-code features, you can easily automate mundane tasks like file movements, process approvals, data entry, document handling, lead entry generation, etc. Whether your process and data reside in the cloud or on-premise, you can connect the sources using inbuilt connectors in Microsoft and automate easily.

By using the Power Automate platform, you can boost the productivity of your workforce. Most of the tasks don't need experts, and your employees can automate their mundane tasks themselves without the assistance of IT experts.

You can use Power Automate for mobile, web, desktop, and Microsoft Teams.

4.   Microsoft Power Virtual Apps

Microsoft Power Virtual Agents provides a platform to create chatbots for user interaction. You can develop artificial intelligence-driven bots for your products and services without the knowledge of coding and AI.

These bots can interact with employees and customers with the efficiency of natural language. Power Virtual Agents can create bots that can search for information for your users or connect them to an agent if the need arises. These bots can also connect with Microsoft Teams to interact with your employees in the most conversational way.

You can even automate frequently asked questions for the users.

Benefits and Features of the Power Platform

1.   Build End-to-End Solutions

Whether you run a start-up or a part of a big organization, Microsoft the Power Platform offers you end-to-end enterprise-grade solutions. With 4 tools together in a bundle, the benefits are much more than the sum of all the tools. You get analytics, automation, user conversation, and apps under one solution.

The Power Platform connects with varied data sources using 350+ data connectors. So whether you want to connect to Microsoft products like Office 365, Dynamics 365, Azure utilities, or various data sources like relational databases and data lakes, readymade connectors are available.

Apart from the cloud data sources and applications, you can also connect to on-premise data sources like SQL Server and SharePoint. No need to move to the cloud if you are not ready yet. You can even connect with social media to consume customers’ inputs and with competitors’ platforms.

2.   Secure Better

With the Power Platform tool comes the security of Azure and complete Microsoft suit. You inherit the same compliance policies, certifications, and enterprise-level security with Power Platform tools.

Authentication of the users happens with Azure Active Directory (AD). Various roles define the level of data visibility and provide another level of security. Lots of predefined security roles come in Azure that restrict data at various levels for the users. Multistep authentication is inherited in the Power Platform from Azure for enhanced security.

3.   Innovate Faster

Because Microsoft Power Platform tools are based on low-code, no-code development, innovation activities can occur faster. In addition, with the ability to connect with GitHub, Azure products, and AI Builder, data experts can innovate and develop solutions and apps much quicker.

With 350+ connectors, data professionals can bring in data from numerous platforms and sources and analyze the insights from Power BI. Furthermore, with automation and apps, the insights can simplify the tasks and serve the users better.

Organizations have reported a saving of 3.2 hours per week in employees’ working efficiency who use Microsoft Power Apps, according to Forrester’s research.

4.   Encourage Citizen Developers

With solid security in place, you can uplift employees with little technical knowledge to create apps and automated workflows in Power Platform. Power BI is a self-service analytics platform that helps employees of all levels and leaders to generate insights and make informed decisions.

All the tools are centered around the drag-and-drop capabilities, ruling out the need for expert assistance while working with data. Forester mentions a 24% reduction in professional developers and DevOps costs using these tools.

Promoting non-experts as citizen developers is a big boon for data democratization—availing secured data to all employees for improving their efficiency.

5.   Reduce Licensing Cost

Since all 4 tools can connect together easily and with other Microsoft suite products like Dynamics 365, Teams, and Azure products, the licensing cost is reduced considerably. Since Microsoft provides a massive list of inbuilt connectors, you don't need to write codes for connectivity. This also frees you from hiring database experts to create connectivity and test.

When all the products come from the same vendor, the maintenance cost goes down automatically. You don’t need to handle the hassles of back-and-forth interaction with the IT team.

Forrester reports an ROI of 502% in 3 years for the organizations that have used Power Platform.

Wrapping Up…

Microsoft Power Platform tools work on low-code, no-code trends, and self-service is the focus. By encouraging employees to automate and create insights for themselves, these tools promote data democratization—a need of the hour.

We, at Logesys teams, strongly believe in the same rationales and help our clients achieve data efficiency and productivity. You can initiate a discussion here if you need help with the Power Platform tools.