What is Power Platform?
Power Platform is Microsoft’s low-code solution platform comprised of 5 dynamic elements which help businesses develop custom solutions in a simple, affordable way. The elements of Power Platform include:
Power Apps – Quickly create responsive custom apps using a user-friendly drag and drop interface.
Power Automate – Streamline workflows and boost productivity by automating high-volume manual tasks.
Power BI – A data visualisation solution that helps businesses enhance reporting processes with interactive dashboards that provide clear insights into operations.
Power Pages – Easily design and launch external facing webpages using pre-designed, customisable templates.
Power Virtual Agents – Reduce the pressure on customer service agents by adding a chatbot to your website or app that can help deal with customer queries.
What Does Low Code Mean?
Traditionally, professional software developers are required to build solutions using their expertise of complex programming languages and software. Low code development, on the other hand, refers to building apps and websites without writing even a single line of code. Low code platforms, such as Microsoft Power Platform, enable users to create responsive webpages and applications using basic logic or a simple drag and drop interface, empowering even those from a non-technical background to develop business solutions.
When Should You Use Low Code Development?
As low code solutions are simpler to develop than traditionally programmed solutions, they offer a way to design and rollout solutions quickly. Therefore, if your business requires the timely development and implementation of a particular solution, low-code development could be for you.
Power Platform Use Cases
Whether you need to build an app or automate business processes, Power Platform can help. The various elements offer a way to create solutions that cater to a wide range of business needs, with some possible use case examples outlined below.
Develop a custom project management app with Power Apps to help you assign tasks, track expenses and monitor project status.
Streamline expense processing by automating expense approvals with Power Automate.
Use Power Virtual Agents to add a chatbot to your website that can answer basic customer service queries and process customer orders to reduce the manual workload of staff.
Create a customer self-service portal with Power Pages to provide customers with answers to frequently asked questions or check the status of orders and returns.
To learn more about real world examples of what Power Platform can achieve for your business, check out some of our case studies, including:
South Dublin County Council: Navigating the Shift Towards Hybrid Work with Power Platform
Kildare County Council: Transforming Case Management with Dynamics 365 and Power Platform
IRFU: Returning to Play with Microsoft Power Platform
What are the Benefits of Using Power Platform?
There are many benefits to using Power Platform to create your own custom business solutions. Below we outline some of the top benefits of adopting the platform.
Cost Savings – A cost effective approach for the design and development of simple apps and automations, Power Platform typically requires much less time and resources than traditional development platforms.
Powerful Integration - Low-code solutions built on Power Platform can be integrated with other Microsoft solutions like Microsoft 365, Azure and Dynamics 365 to create a more unified IT environment and a more seamless user experience. Plus, they are often much more affordable to integrate with third party cloud solutions than other platforms that require complex coding.
Secure Solutions – Backed by the enterprise-level security of Microsoft, solutions built on Power Platform guarantee the security of your sensitive business data with powerful out-of-the-box security and governance capabilities like visibility and control of Managed Environments. As well as this, your custom solutions can be further enhanced with extra Microsoft governance and security features like those in Entra ID.
Scalability – Power Platform offers the ability to create scalable solutions for your business. This means that as your business needs change, your app or webpage can be further customised to suit your evolving needs, without the need for lengthy development lead-times or high cost developers.
Agility – Giving businesses the flexibility to rapidly design, develop and rollout custom-built solutions allows organisations to quickly integrate the tools required to solve problems or optimise business processes, meaning they can quickly adapt to market changes and remain both agile and competitive.
Is Power Platform part of Microsoft 365?
While certain Microsoft 365 license plans include elements of Power Platform, i.e. M365 E3 includes limited Power Apps and Power Automate capabilities, it is not automatically included with all Microsoft 365 licenses and to benefit from the full capabilities of the solution a separate license is required.
How to get started with Power Platform
Designed to empower citizen developers, many organisations seeking to unlock the full potential of Power Platform seek third-party vendor assistance to facilitate staff onboarding, governance and speed of roll-out. Below we outline some key factors to consider when choosing a Power Platform technology partner.
Vendor Reputation – Assess whether the Power Platform vendor has a good reputation in the industry. Look for customer reviews and testimonials to verify the company’s previous work, as well as case studies that showcase successful projects they have carried out.
Security and Compliance Certifications – Find out if the vendor has the industry-standard certifications for security, compliance and data privacy to ensure the vendor is compliant and up to date with established regulations.
Support – Consider whether the vendor offers long-term customer support. This can be useful to help your business solve any technical issues in a timely, effective manner and minimise the risk of solution downtime.
At Storm Technology we have the expertise and the experience required to help your organisation successfully harness the power of low code with Power Platform. To learn more, contact one of our solution specialists today.