What is the Microsoft Power Platform and Why Should Your Business Take Note?
Data is the key to success in every sector. Business operations rely more on data than ever before, but that reliance is not without its challenges. Data collection, management, processing, and utilisation are still approached as separate processes, resulting in less effective use of data in decision-making and business processes.
An integrated platform is needed for solving this challenge, and Microsoft Power Platform is brought to the market for this purpose. Microsoft Power Platform is simply the combination of Office 365 and Dynamics 365, with integration and added features making it a valuable platform for businesses of different scales.
Getting to Know Microsoft Power Platform
You only need to review the platform to understand how well Microsoft Power Platform integrates PowerApps, PowerBI, and Microsoft Flow. It turns separate solutions – including Office 365 – into an integrated system for business users. Sitting at the core of that platform is Microsoft’s own Common Data Service for Apps (CDS).
CDS provides a secure database for business applications and services. The CDS integrated into Microsoft Power Platform already has record types built into it, which means businesses can immediately build a database of contacts, accounts and other data as soon as they implement the Power Platform.
At the same time, Microsoft Power Platform is designed to be flexible. Businesses can also customise the way Power Platform is integrated into their business processes, including through the creation of custom record types, information workflows and processes. It is even possible to customise the default values for the platform.
Microsoft PowerApps is one of the components integrated into the platform. As the name suggests, PowerApps is the ecosystem for building business apps and solutions in a rapid way. All development obstacles are eliminated. What you get is a set of tools that help you create specific business apps for immediate use.
With CDS as the database framework, Microsoft PowerApps can be used to develop apps that collect data. For example, you can build an app for inspections of retail space, with predefined questions and data points to collect. The data is immediately streamed to CDS and made available to the rest of the platform.
Microsoft Power BI
The continuation of the PowerApp’s results leads to our second component: Microsoft Power BI. As a tool designed specifically to gather data and generate business insights, Microsoft Power BI provides analytics services that are ready to use. Data can be processed into visuals, analysed for insight generation, and shared for better transparency.
Microsoft Power BI enables better collaboration between business elements for greater outputs. For example, the visualisation of your business’s supply chain can lead to optimisation of manufacturing and sales processes. On top of the available tools, Power BI also utilises artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance its business intelligence solution.
Microsoft Flow is the component that ties everything together. It is the tool designed to automate workflows, synchronise data and connect your apps and Power BI. It can also be used to generate notifications, simplify data collection, and maintain file sharing and collaborative ecosystem. If you want to automate parts of your sales process, this is the tool to use.
Microsoft Flow can be used with hundreds of apps and services, including the custom PowerApps you create for your business. It also uses CDS as the underlying database framework, making it easy to integrate with other elements within the Microsoft Power Platform environment. Connectors, gateways, and common date models can be linked to Flow for seamless operations.
Automation becomes smarter with these three components integrated within the Microsoft Power Platform. Now that you can use Microsoft Power Platform as a standalone platform – instead of as a part of Office 365 – you have the option to empower your business with this solution from Microsoft.