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What is it? For those who are unsure, ‘Power Platform’ is a collective terms for 4 Microsoft products – Power BI, PowerApps, Power Automate and Power Virtual Agents. Power Platform was created thanks to Common Data Service (CDS) – an underlying platform that provides a unified and simplified data schema so that applications and services can inter-operate.

Each application can be used to provide a means to help people easily analyse, automate, manipulate and surface data and can be used with Office 365 and Dynamics 365, as well as other third party or Microsoft apps or services.

Why is it important?

In today’s current digital age, both consumers and businesses are increasing their use of technology. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that as a result we have seen a rise in the amount of data being created and in turn an increased reliance on this in order to gain information. Although this remains to be true, the data becomes invaluable if we do not gain an understanding or worthwhile insights from the data itself.

In the past, it was up to our IT/development teams to complete data analysis, app creation or automation. This process would result in staff outlining their requirements and aims, submitting requirements to their IT department (or external partner), anticipate approval or denial and then if successful they would have to wait for this to be built. All of which can be seen as time consuming, use of valuable internal resources and costly if funded externally.

That is why Power Platform is seen as the way forward. It enables data democratisation – the ability for digital information to be accessible for typical (non-technical) end-users.

By combing the three technologies through Power Platform, staff can now do more with their data without having to worry about coding experience. However, although it doesn’t allow for complexity or flexibility, it does allow you to easily create, automate or analyse data that hasn’t ever been possible for the average worker.

PowerApps

A low-code approach to custom app development, allowing users to quickly create apps with a ‘point and click approach’. This allows you to:

  • Build mobile-friendly apps quickly without development knowledge while reducing pressure on busy IT teams
  • Connect to and surface data from business applications, such as Dynamics 365, Office 365 or other third party apps
  • Surface key data into a user-friendly app to help data entry – meaning users can only see information they need to fulfil a particular task

Power Automate

Flow allows you to create automated workflows between your Microsoft Services and other third-party applications, allowing staff to carry out repetitive task and allow you to save valuable time so you can:

  • use pre-built automation templates for common automation within the Flow Gallery
  • Create your own automations by connecting applications – Outlook, SharePoint, Dynamics 365 or non Microsoft apps like Twitter, Gmail or MailChimp.
  • Set up triggers, alerts and automated emails, push notifications and much more – without any coding needed and can be completed in minutes
  • Use UI flows – brings Robotic Process Automation capabilities so you can automate repetitive tasks in Windows and Web Applications. UI Flows will also record and play back user interface actions (clicks) for applications that don’t have easy to use or complete APIs available
  • Overall, this will allow you to save time, reduce human error and streamline your processes

Power BI

Power BI is a business analytics tool which allows you to easily connect to data sources, create visuals and gain business intelligence quickly. It will allow you to:

  • Click and connect with Microsoft and third-party cloud services, as well as on-premise data sources
  • Easily manipulate data and create visuals such as charts, dashboards, maps and many more – in order to present your data in an easy-to-digest format
  • Use natural language to query data and get results – for instance this can show you your sales pipeline, by year, month and salesperson
  • Overall, this will allow you to easily analyse and make sense of complex data to enable continual improvement

Power Virtual Agent

Power Virtual Agent is a tool that empowers teams to improve customer satisfaction by allowing customers to resolve issues quickly, 24/7 using rich personalised chat box conversations.

  • Easily create your own virtual agents through powerful chatbots
  • Encourage virtual agents to take action
  • Monitor and measure your performance through AI and data driven insights

If you want to learn more about the Power Platform click here to visit our web page, alternatively, if you have any questions or want some advice contact us on 01698 844 600 or contact us and a member of the Kick team will get back to you at a time that suits you best.

Rachel Timmins

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Rachel Timmins

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