Every organisation has an increasing flow of data, but often this data is not used to its full capacity or potential. The Power Platform has been designed to solve this through a suite of five connecting components that harness data to provide insights and drive business processes.
At Content Formula our highly experienced team of Power Platform consultants and Microsoft certified developers: advise, build and implement Power Platform solutions and integrations that can help bring together your organisations processes, data, and people.
Microsoft 365 contains many tools which support communication, collaboration, automation and productivity. Amongst the most impactful is the Power Platform, an integrated suite of five apps that can deliver a range of functionality ranging from enterprise-wide reporting dashboards and custom business apps to complex workflows and even customer portals.
Power Virtual Agents
Power Virtual Agents allows teams to create chatbots that can be displayed in Microsoft Teams, on a SharePoint intranet, in individual Power Apps and potentially across other areas of your digital workplace. Power Virtual Agents leverages a strong authoring canvas and connectors to make chatbot creation achievable for organisations and even non-IT professionals.
Power Apps allows businesses to build powerful and sophisticated custom applications that are suited to their specific needs. Microsoft defines it as a “suite of apps, services and connectors, as well as a data platform, that provides a rapid application development environment to build custom apps for your business needs.” These can be both web-based and mobile apps.
Power Automate is a versatile workflow engine that powers automation across different applications; it if often combined with other elements of the Power Platform, like carrying out the core workflow of a Power App. It can be used across multiple applications via a library of connectors, and be applied to simple processes, as well as more complex, multi-step workflows.
Power BI is a business analytics and data visualisation solution that offers the opportunity to create custom dashboards and dynamic views of business data from multiple sources, including the Microsoft 365 universe, and other Non-Microsoft solutions.
Microsoft Power Pages allows teams to build portals and websites that deliver information and services to external customers and partners. It is s a rebranding and evolution of Microsoft’s Power Apps Portals, and includes a new low-code design studio.
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Engine of digital transformation
The Power Platform is one of the most powerful elements of Microsoft 365 and can deliver app and automation at scale across multiple business processes. It sits behind the scenes of many tools and features across your digital workplace, and supports the creations of new sites and apps specific to your business. In many organisations it proves to be the true engine of digital transformation
Create powerful custom apps and automation
Most IT functions try to reduce custom development because it is not sustainable or cost-effective. However, the Power Platform enables business stakeholders right across your organisation to create custom apps and automated workflows that improve specific business processes that might be local to a department, function, location or even individual team. This enables you to create solutions that are wrapped around the way people and functions work, helping to drive adoption, reduce costs and scale automation that doesn’t rely on a “one size fits all” approach that doesn’t always deliver value.
Support specific process improvement
The ability to create apps and automation leveraging the Power Platform means that there are opportunities for specific business improvement across a wide range of processes, both complex and simple. Collectively the impact of these improvements can be felt at the role, team and organisational level.
Leverage your data
Power BI is one of the most used apps within the Power Platform and opens up your data through flexible reporting and data visualization. Surfacing data supports better decision-making, reveals new insights and can be used for change management.
Support a rapid application facility
Because you can create apps and sites quickly, taking advantage of no code interfaces, connector libraries and more, the Power Platform can supplement more traditional software development. This means the Power Platform can prove to be a rapid application platform, allowing you to be more responsive to needs and opportunities, at an overall reduced cost with increased agility.
Foster a culture of innovation
The ability to create custom apps and drive automation across different functions, teams, divisions and lines of business, as well as the ability to empower non-IT “citizen developers” can open the eyes of employees to the power of using digital solutions. Often when one process is improved, employees will identify further opportunities for improvement, or it will spark ideas for new solutions. This can really help foster a “can do” culture of innovation, enabled by the Power Platform.
Extend and advance your Microsoft 365 digital workplace
The Power Platform is often used in conjunction with elements of your Microsoft 365 digital workplace. It allows you to create solutions that extend the power of your digital workplace and get the best out of the tools within it, helping drive adoption and delivering value.
Low code / no code interfaces
Power Platform apps tend to have low code / no code interfaces that empower non-IT developers to use them. This enables “citizen development” through power users being able to configure solutions using an intuitive authoring canvas, rather than writing lines of code. However, the Power Platform can also be used by professional developers wishing to use more traditional coding methods, allowing for a “best of both worlds” approach.
Easy ability to integrate across Microsoft 365
Unsurprisingly the Power Platform is seamlessly integrated with the rest of Microsoft 365. This means you can combine different apps together, establish workflows right across the digital workplace, create apps that can be implemented as web parts within SharePoint and more. This tight integration allows teams to deploy more effective and impactful solutions right across their Microsoft 365-powered digital workplace.
One of the great things about the Power Platform is that apps and solutions can both be created as web or mobile apps, and can be both internal- and external-facing. The ability to produce solutions for external customers and suppliers has recently been enhanced with the launch of Power Pages.
One of the strengths of the Power Platform is that each of the separate apps has its own library of out-of-the-box connectors with common (and less common) enterprise solutions such as ServiceNow. This allows greater integration with non-Microsoft applications and allows you to deliver a wider range of apps and automation which contribute to a more seamless overall employee experience and digital workplace.
Microsoft keeps on investing
Like the rest of Microsoft 365, Microsoft keeps on investing in the Power Platform with enhancements and features across all five apps, so the platform keeps on getting better and better. Moreover, since its original launch, both Power Virtual Agents and more recently Power Pages have been relaunched as separate apps with advancements; it is quite possible that at some stage a sixth app may appear.
The Power Platform leverages AI to deliver intelligent automation across your digital workplace, for example within bots created using Power Virtual Agents or robot process automation (RPA) delivered using Power Automate.
Solutions delivered via the Power Platform are highly scalable, leveraging the capabilities of Microsoft 365 and Azure hosting.
At Content Formula we help you leverage the potential of the Power Platform to bring together your organisations processes, data, and people. Our tried and tested agile methodology ensures that we completely understand your business environment and objectives before designing and deploying the right solution.
Discovery and strategy
Through our discovery process, we help you identify opportunities where technology solutions can help add value to your business, and suggest priority areas that will create maximum impact and return on investment.
We then formulate a comprehensive strategy and approach that is aligned to your specific business needs, digital workplace requirements and top-line objectives.
Business automation and process improvement
The Power Platform delivers automation and process improvement at scale, but sometimes it is hard to know where to start. We can help you to identity priority areas for improvement and where the Power Platform can make a difference, or we can help you implement specific projects.
Power Platform strategy and roadmap
Want to get the maximum value out of the Power Platform? We help customers devise a strategy and roadmap for one of the most valued elements of the Microsoft 365 platform.
Digital transformation strategy
We can help you to articulate your wider digital transformation strategy, and reference the role of the Power Platform in enabling wider change.
Build and integrations
Our experienced team of Microsoft certified developers will work with you to scope and design a new and effective solution to meet your business needs, or develop and integrate technology onto your existing system.
Custom Power Platform solutions, and apps
Are you looking to use the Power Platform to create a specific business solution or app, or perhaps launch a chatbot? You may even want to build a customer or supplier extranet. We can support you, either advising on technical aspects or carrying out the actual development.
Integration with existing apps
We can help you integrate Power Platform tools within your existing technology solutions, supporting key organisational systems and processes.
Implementation and training
We can help you implement your technology solutions, often on an ongoing basis to support continuous improvement. Our role can differ, we can either complete the technical configuration and development, or work with your IT function as technical advisors to support your inhouse operations.
Power Platform implementation
We can support you in your implementation project, covering everything from the set-up, to integrating it with other business processes and systems.
Data visualization and dashboard creation
Power BI is a powerful part of the Power Platform. We often help customers to create specific dashboards and data views for a range of different business areas.
We can train your team with everything relating to the Power Platform or the separate apps within it, covering both IT and non-IT professionals. Our training can be custom to your needs, if required.