What Is Power Platform and How It Helps Your Business? An Introduction Power Platform Guide

Power Platform Introduction Guide
22 Mar 2021

Microsoft Power Platforms is a combination of services and applications such as PowerApps, Power Automate, Power BI, and Power Virtual Agents that aid companies simplify their day-to-day business operations. 

Applications in the Microsoft Power Platform individually, fulfill specific enterprise needs, but together they provide a powerful platform for people to easily allow companies to develop high-end applications, analyze data, generate insights, and efficiently respond to them, personalize services and automate various processes that need technical expertise. 

Here’s a Power Platform Guide to help you understand how to efficiently use it for your advantage.

CDS (Common Data Service)

CDS now commonly known as Dataverse is the heart of the Microsoft Power Platform and is a reliable database hosted in Azure Cloud. It is a custom-build with a predefined set of entities and record types that contain accounts, contacts, and various other enterprise-related details that are extensible and allows you to add more data in the future. The CDS also lets developers add new entities to suit their business requirements. These entities have relationships with each other and allow us to create business rules to further simply all business processes. 

Major Components of Microsoft Power Platform 

All the components that fall under the Microsoft Power Platform are custom-build in the CDS – and are dynamic when used alone and highly efficient when integrated with the other components.

Power BI  

This is a self-service business analytics service provided by Microsoft  that uses data stored in the CDS to offer real-time insights allowing you to develop and display personalized and informative reports and dashboards about sales, marketing campaigns, customer service, or other business functions aiding organisations to make informed business decisions. Power BI enables users to connect to multiple heterogeneous data sources and retrieve  relevant data into the Power BI model. Users can then modify, and transform this data according to the reporting needs.

The data that is transformed can then be visually represented in the form of graphs or charts to get further insights upon. These representations can be used in various scenarios like, business-analyses, forecasts, storytelling and other predictions, etc. 

Microsoft PowerApps 

PowerApps is a simplified intuitive platform that comes with drag and drop features and allows companies to quickly develop user-friendly mobile applications for a company’s internal usage and for standard business needs. Microsoft PowerApps can be integrated with multiple other Microsoft business applications for better flexibility and also supports various other third-party systems.  Microsoft PowerApps allows users to access media devices like the camera, videos, etc. and other features necessary to develop a modern mobile application. 

Microsoft Power Automate  

This helps you create automated workflows between Microsoft services and third-party applications within the organisation. Microsoft Power Automate resembles a personal assistant that helps you efficiently manage repetitive manual tasks. Microsoft comes with build-in templates for workflows and users can either use them directly or build their own low/ no-code workflow system.

Power Automate is divided into three categories to further simplify your business operations- 

  1. Automated workflows
  2. Scheduled workflows
  3. Button workflows

Microsoft Power Virtual Agent  

This service is a new addition to the Power Platform and as the name suggests – Microsoft Power Virtual Agent allows business users to build powerful AI-driven chatbots  from scratch without having to write any codes or any expertise in development or data science. All the implementation and logics can be integrated in the user interface of the Power Virtual Agents portal.

Fundamental Benefits of Power Platform

  1. Power Platforms allows you to manage all your processes in one single platform, this is crucial because managing enterprise data can be critical. Microsoft Power Platform irrespective of the industry enables ease-of-use and helps manage all your business related data from a unified dashboard even if you are using multiple avenues or tools  to fetch data. 
  2. Power Platform’s biggest advantage is that it is designed to simplify business operations and it’s code-free feature makes it a go-to platform for common users without technical knowledge. 
  3. Microsoft Power Platform helps you reduce your company’s dependency on 3rd party tools – with Power Platform you get analytics, automation, development and design all in a single suit. This set-up not only increases efficiency but also cuts down operational costs that come with multiple subscriptions. 
  4. All the services in Microsoft Power Platform allows you to work across all devices. These services can be used on a desktop, or any hand-held devices, depending on your needs. This allows you access your data on-the-go or connect with your virtual team whenever and wherever you need. Microsoft Power Platform also lets you use native devices like camera, or GPS to your benefit.
  5. As the Microsoft Power Platform comes with Office 365 integration, it helps you seamlessly manage all your enterprise data using excel, SharePoint or any other Office 365 application  depending  upon your preference. 

Power Platform Licensing Guide

The Power Platform does not come as a licensing bundle which includes all three applications under one pricing. However, there are many different plans  for licensing these applications. You can either licensing, them separately or include them within one of Microsoft’s plans. PowerApps and Power Automate are included with a range of Office 365 plans. 

The key to achieving the most out of the Power Platform is to understand the use case and then make sure the right tools are in place. Power Platform, enables organisations to accelerate operations and save significant time and effort, along with streamline tedious processes.

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