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What Is Microsoft's Power Platform?

August 15th, 2022 by admin

Microsoft Power Platform being shown on a laptop screen

Do you feel like you're not using your data to its fullest extent? You're not alone. Most organizations feel the same way. This has brought up the question, how can we make data meaningful for our users and systems and make it relatable? Microsoft's Power Platform was created to solve this dilemma.

In this blog, we're going to go over Microsoft's Power Platform and everything that goes into it.

What Is Microsoft's Power Platform?

To put it simply, Microsoft's Power Platform is a set of applications that allow you to automate processes, build solutions, analyze data, and create virtual agents. The idea behind this solution came from recognizing that companies have an increasing flow of data coming from many sources. If there was a way to harness that data, it could be used to gain valuable insights and drive intelligent business processes.

Microsoft's Power Platform is made up of of four components:

  • Power Apps: Used to build mobile apps for internal use
  • Power Automate: Used to design automated workflows
  • Power BI: Used to analyze data from different data sources
  • Power Virtual Agents: Used to develop digital chatbots

These four components sit on top of and pull data from Microsoft's underlying data storage and management platform known as the Microsoft Dataverse. In addition, Power Platform is also able to take information from external data sources like Quickbooks. However, what really makes these components special is that it requires little to no coding to increase automation and provide insights.

What Is Power Apps?

To provide a clearer understanding of Microsoft's Power Platform and its capabilities, let's dive into its four components. Starting with Power Apps, this solution is a suite of apps, services, connectors, and data platforms that creates a rapid application development environment to build custom applications. This environment provided by Power Apps allows for rapid development because it gives you the ability to build applications with little to no coding required.

Despite the lack of code, the apps built on Power Apps are sophisticated and provide rich business logic and workflow capabilities to transform manual business processes. These apps can also be used on a variety of devices. For example, say you require your employees to fill out a questionnaire before they can come back to the office after having COVID-19. With Power Apps, you can create an app that allows employees to fill out the questionnaire on their phone before they enter the building.

What Is Power Automate?

Formerly known as Microsoft Flow, Power Automate is a solution that allows you to automate workflows between apps and services. This can include synchronizing files, getting notifications, collecting data, and more. The automated processes can range anywhere from simple to complex, like creating different trigger responses for different trigger actions.

One example of a use case for this would be automating data entry and notifications. Let's say a visitor comes to your website and submits a request for more information. Without automation, an employee would need to periodically check the portal for new data, manually input the data into a spreadsheet, and notify the relevant party. With Power Automate, the request could be automatically loaded into the spreadsheet, which could then trigger an automatic notification to the relevant team member.

Power BI

Power BI helps with creating interactive real time dashboards with insights in a single window. It's an easy way for your team to connect to your data, build powerful reports and dashboards, and share that information across your organization. This allows you to build smart insights and use those insights to drive actions and make informed decisions. It even lets you ask your data questions through a natural language query model, helping you to understand the data you're looking at.

Power Virtual Agents

Last but not least is Microsoft's Power Virtual Agents. This is something that allows you to create virtual chatbots. These chatbots have the ability to answer questions asked by your customers, employees, or visitors to your website or service. This means a job that would usually require you to do could be left up to a robot instead. Normally, you would need data scientists and developers to create intelligent chatbots, but Power Virtual Agents eliminates that need.

Microsoft Office 365 app icons shown on a phone screen

Connecting Microsoft's Power Platform With Microsoft 365

Microsoft's Power Platform can be used as standalone applications if you want to use them that way. However, you can get a much better experience by integrating these components with a unified system, like Microsoft 365. If you're not familiar with Microsoft 365, it is a suite of cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools that integrates Microsoft's applications—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more—into a cloud service. It enables better communication, accessibility, and productivity.

If you want to connect Microsoft's Power Platform with Microsoft 365, you can do it with the help of a managed services provider (MSP) like Americom Imaging Systems. We offer both cloud migration and management services to customize your Microsoft 365 solution. As your provider, we handle the day-to-day maintenance requirements of your cloud systems. Additionally, our team helps with implementing new programs, like Microsoft's Power Platform.

Come to Americom for All Your IT and Print Needs

Americom Imaging Systems is the leading managed print and IT services provider in the St. Louis, Missouri, area. From cybersecurity to IT assessments, we offer the essential IT solutions your business needs to operate at its best. Leveraging our know-how, we can help you take advantage of Microsoft's Power Platform.

Along with our managed IT services, we can handle all of your printing needs with our managed print services. With this offering, we take care of everything from printer maintenance to software installation. Our team provides document management as well to keep your files organized and secure.

Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Managed IT Services