Julie Proteau
By Julie Sep 18, 2023

Tech Report – Power Platform: Everything You Need to Know about Microsoft’s Low Code Platform

Many companies still have a large number of manual processes and would gain enormously in efficiency by automating them. You might think that digital transformation is out of everyone’s reach, since “IT system” is unfortunately often synonymous with major costs for a company, but think again!

Today, there are Low Code/No Code platforms. These allow applications to be developed without all the necessary development skills. The emergence of these new technologies means that citizen developers – a new profession for people with no IT development skills – can rapidly automate and computerise key processes.

Microsoft Power Platform

An Introduction to Power Platform

Power Platform is the Low Code/No Code platform developed by Microsoft. This platform offers different types of applications. You can create an application from a canvas, an existing application template or simply from an existing data model (model-driven). It is also possible to create a web application available outside your company using Power Pages.

With Power Platform, you have access to a self-service development environment that is easy to understand and use. Power Apps is the ‘front-end’ (visual application screens) of the Power Platform tools portfolio, which also includes ‘back-end’ automation and data access tools (data interaction services behind the screens) such as Power Automate, Dataverse and Power BI.

The Benefits of Power Platform

In a nutshell, Power Platform gives you access to a range of tools for creating customised solutions, automating your processes and harnessing the potential of your data. Spotlight on all the benefits:

  • Reduced development costs and time

By using Power Platform to improve the day-to-day lives of your employees, rather than buying a ready-made solution or doing bespoke development, you’ll reduce the costs of your digital transformation.

For example, with Power Platform, your human resources department could start with a simple list of holiday periods drawn up in Excel and you could very easily generate a model-driven application with a single click. The application generated by Power Apps would allow you to view the list of holidays of all your employees, or even to add or modify a holiday, etc. It is also possible to integrate Power BI graphics into this type of application.

  • Operational gains and error reduction

An automated or simplified process, thanks to the use of a digital solution, increases efficiency and reduces the risk of manual errors or oversights. For example, it’s quick and easy to automate a contract signature reminder notification using Power Automate.

  • Increased data access security

Power Platform uses Active Directory authentication to identify the connected user. This means you can manage access to data and applications by group, role, user, or even by column in a database table.

  • Data centralisation

Using Power BI means you can centralise several data sources in one place and produce reports to analyse them and extract performance measures, for example.

  • Constantly improving/innovating platform – Open AI partnership

Power Platform is a fast-growing and constantly improving platform. It can be easily integrated with different services or external applications via the many connectors (over 1000) available in Power Automate.

Thanks to its partnership with Open AI, Power Apps can even be used in co-pilot mode, which uses artificial intelligence to generate an application that responds to the functionalities that the user names to the automaton. Co-pilot mode uses Power Virtual Agent to allow users to tell a chatbot what type of application they want.

  • Large community of talent available

Given that Power Platform stands out and is one of the most widely used Low Code/No Code platforms, it doesn’t take long to find an answer to your questions. The user community is growing and very active, which generates a lot of help content on the web and facilitates talent acquisition. In HR terms, the more people who know about a technology, the easier it is to find candidates!

Getting Started with Power Platform?

Where do you start using Power Platform? First of all, identify the activities to be improved through automation in your company and/or potential web application development. List the tasks you have in mind and prioritise them according to their frequency, execution time, strategic importance to the company, error rate, etc.

When it comes to automating processes, there’s no single answer that applies to all businesses; it all depends on your reality. One thing is certain: your employees are in the best position to identify and prioritise the processes that need improving!

To get a quick idea of what the platform can do, you can start by creating a Power Apps application from an existing template. For example, there is a template that generates a ticket management application. Great news for your customer service, logistics, IT or technical support teams!

You can also ask the co-pilot for help, and he will suggest an application that meets your needs. For example, we ask the co-pilot to build us an application to manage parts orders for a car garage. The agent will propose a data structure that meets the stated need. You can also ask the agent to add certain missing data to the structure and then generate the application once you are satisfied with the data model.

On the other hand, I would advise you to choose a relatively simple requirement to start with, requiring the use of at least two of the platform’s tools, to give you a good idea of the amount of work required while giving you the chance to learn without having to deal with a great deal of complexity.

Conclusion

As you can see, thanks to its ease of use, versatility and significant advantages in terms of automation, customisation and data analysis, Power Platform is now an essential asset for organisations of all sizes. It represents a great opportunity for businesses, enabling them to become more agile and unleash their full potential by effectively transforming the way they work.

What’s more, the future looks bright for Power Platform, with new features and integrations continuing to broaden its scope. So don’t wait any longer – now is the time to start computerising some of your activities.

You’re not comfortable or don’t have the staff available to deal with your digital transformation? Get in touch with our experts, who will be delighted to guide you through every step of the way to turn your challenges into opportunities.

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