The Power Platform is designed to promote cross-departmental collaboration by enabling team members from different functions to collaborate on projects, share data and insights. With tools enabling workflow automation, business intelligence and low-code app development, Power Platform enables everyone in the organization to work towards a common goal, ultimately increasing process efficiency, innovation, and productivity for all organization users.
Microsoft Power Platform is an enterprise-grade suite of low-code tools that enables organizations to build custom business applications, automate their workflows without extensive coding expertise, and improve operations and decision-making with business intelligence and data analysis capabilities. The Power Platform suite consists of Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents, and Power Pages, with each offering a unique set of features with the ability to integrate with each other and third-party applications. In this blog post, we will explore five ways in which the Power Platform can improve enterprise operations, from enhancing productivity and collaboration to reducing costs and accelerating digital transformation.
Power Platform suite: What does each tool do?
Power Automate for Workflow Automation
One of the most significant ways the Power Platform can improve team collaboration is through workflow automation. With Power Automate, you can create custom workflows that automate repetitive tasks, such as sending notifications, approvals, and data collection. This automation not only saves time and effort but also ensures that team members are on the same page, working with the same data, and adhering to the same processes. Power Automate is a low-code or no-code automation tool, meaning that you don’t need to be a developer to use it.
For example, consider the process of approving expense reports usually undertaken manually by function/department heads or finance team personnel. Using Power Automate, you can create a workflow that automatically sends an email notification to the manager when a new expense report is submitted. The manager can then approve or reject the expense report directly from their email, and the workflow will update the status of the report in your accounting software. This process saves time and reduces the likelihood of errors or missed approvals.
Power BI for Self-Service BI
Power BI is a self-service business intelligence tool that enables your team members to create and share insightful data reports. With Power BI, team members can easily connect to data sources, create custom interactive dashboards, and share their insights with others. This tool not only saves time but also ensures that everyone on the team is working with the same data, reducing the likelihood of errors or inconsistencies.
Power BI offers simple and intuitive features for enterprise users. This includes collecting and preparing data, selecting visualizations from a range of options, and creating interactive Power BI dashboards with filters, along with the ability to share and collaborate on these dashboards. Users can create dashboards by connecting different kinds of data sources for various business functions such as sales and marketing, finance and accounting, operations and supply chain, and HR, employee performance and L&D, among others.
For example, your sales team may need to monitor various types of data regularly. Using Power BI, team members can connect to your company’s sales database and create custom dashboards that display real-time sales data. These dashboards can be shared with other team members or displayed on a public screen, allowing everyone to stay up to date on sales performance.
Power Apps for Custom Business Solutions
Power Apps is a key component of the Power Platform that allows you to create custom business applications quickly and easily. With low-code and no-code automation tools, such as Power Automate and Power Apps, team members can create custom applications without needing extensive development skills. This means that business users can create and deploy apps faster, ensuring that everyone is working with the same tools.
Power Apps uses a low-code approach, which means that you can create complex applications by simply dragging and dropping pre-built components onto a canvas. Using Power Apps, your team members can create apps that streamline their workflows, automate repetitive tasks, and provide better access to critical business data.
For example, you can create an app that allows your team to track their daily tasks, request time off, or submit expense reports. Further, let’s say that you have a team that needs a custom application to track project tasks. Using Power Apps, team members can create a custom application that allows them to create, assign, and track tasks easily. By providing your team with these self-service tools, you can free up your IT resources and reduce the burden on your support staff. With this low-code and no-code approach, your team members can take charge of their app development needs, ensuring that they are building apps that are tailored to their specific requirements.
Power Apps also integrates with other Power Platform components, such as Power BI and Power Automate. This integration allows you to create end-to-end solutions that automate complex workflows and provide valuable insights into your business data.
Power Virtual Agents for Self-Service Support
Power Virtual Agents is another tool that can improve team collaboration. With Power Virtual Agents, you can create custom chatbots that help your team members find answers to common questions or issues. These chatbots can be integrated with your existing workflows and applications, making it easy for team members to get the support they need without interrupting their work.
For example, you can create a Power Virtual Agent to automate tasks such as providing answers to common IT-related questions like resetting a password, connecting to a VPN, or authorizing certain kinds of access when no human personnel is available. This chatbot can be integrated with your company’s messaging platform, making it easy for team members to access it whenever they need it. This self-service support not only saves time but also reduces the burden on your IT team, allowing them to focus on more complex activities.
Power Platform for Cross-Departmental Collaboration
The Power Platform is designed to promote cross-departmental collaboration. With its cloud-based approach, team members can access the same data and workflows, regardless of their location or department. This means that team members can collaborate on projects and initiatives without being restricted by geographical or departmental boundaries. This improved collaboration can lead to increased innovation and productivity, as team members can share their expertise and ideas more easily.
For example, let’s say you have multiple teams working on multiple projects. Using the Power Platform, team members from different functions can collaborate on projects, sharing data and insights, and working towards a common goal. By using the same platform, everyone can access the same data, making it easier to align their work and avoid duplication of effort.
5 Key Advantages of Microsoft Power Platform
1. Manage all business processes in a single platform
Microsoft Power Platform offers an enterprise-grade platform that allows you to manage all kinds of information from a unified dashboard, even if you are using multiple, disparate tools to generate data.
2. Designed for all users
Microsoft Power Platform’s tools are designed to simplify business operations and are code-free. It allows all users, regardless of technical proficiency, to design and develop business applications to solve their existing problems. Meanwhile, IT professionals can use the tools to create advanced business solutions.
3. Reduce dependency on third-party tools
Microsoft Power Platform consolidates powerful analytics, design, development, and automation tools in one suite. It eliminates the need for separate software licensing and maintenance, reducing stress on your IT staff while keeping costs under control.
4. Work across devices
Power BI, Power Apps, and Power Automate can be used individually or collectively on any desktop, tablet, or handheld device. This enables you to connect with remote team members and have them contribute to organizational data. You can also leverage native device capabilities like GPS and camera to your benefit when using Microsoft Power Platform apps on them.
5. Office 365 integration
Microsoft Power Platform seamlessly integrates with Office 365 apps such as SharePoint and Excel, allowing you to manage enterprise data and simplify everyday business processes and tasks.
Power Platform is a powerful tool that can help you standardize your business processes, leverage automation, data analytics, and smart integrations to connect your Microsoft suite applications with third-party platforms and software. Its workflow automation, self-service support, self-service BI, low-code and no-code development, and cross-departmental collaboration features are just a few examples of how the Power Platform can improve team collaboration. By using the Power Platform, you can create custom solutions that meet your specific business needs and provide your team with the tools they need to succeed.
Our team of experts at VBeyond Digital can help you plan and execute your Power Platform deployment with a wide range of customizations and integrations suited to your organization, line of business, and processes. Get in touch to get started with your Power Platform implementation.