Microsoft Power Platform is a group of products offered by Microsoft to develop and build complex business solutions, analyze, and draw data visualizations, automate a business process, or build virtual agents for communication. Power Platform can be connected to Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Azure and a variety of other apps to support the development of business solutions.
There are four products under the Microsoft Power Platform:
- Power BI – Analyze data from different data sources and deliver actionable insights using personalized dashboards and reports
- Power Apps – Build powerful and low-code mobile apps for internal use by the organization
- Power Automate – Design automated workflows to reduce manual tasks
- Power Virtual Agents – Develop flexible chatbots that can communicate with external customers
Power BI is a business analytics solution that lets you visualize your data and share insights across your organization. The solution offers several different versions of the product, from a free desktop version to Power BI service which is a Microsoft hosted cloud service.
What does Power BI do?
- Unify Data from different sources
- Visualize your data and integrate with other apps
- Create charts and graphs
- Create interactive reports and dashboards
- Share data, dashboards and reports with other Power BI users
Power Apps enables users to build applications in an easy way with a drag and drop feature and without any coding. Power Apps is offered like a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) from the Microsoft Power Platform and the apps can be run on web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, etc. as well as Android, iOS or Windows.
You can tailor your apps to your business needs and use this platform for internal use in your business to digitalize business processes for more efficient work and automation without developing an entire software solution.
What does Power Apps do?
- Create mobile enabled apps for Web, Android and iOS devices
- Data model first development
- Extend your business needs and integrate it to an app
Power Automate, formerly known as Microsoft Flow, is a service from Microsoft Power Platform that allows users to automate workflows within the organization.
Power Automate already comes in with several pre-defined templates to choose a workflow and start working with or you can build your own from scratch.
All these workflows can be further divided into three main types which are based on the trigger of any workflow as follows:
- Automated Workflow – Triggered based on some other action. For example, send a mail when a task is completed.
- Scheduled Workflow – Scheduled to execute at specific times of the day, week, or month.
- Button Workflow – Triggered by the click of the button.
What does Power Automate do?
- Workflow Automation
- Process improvements
- Connect to multiple services
Power Virtual Agents
Power Virtual Agents lets you create chatbots that can answer questions from by customers, employees or visitors to your website. The chatbots can be build without any coding required.
Power Virtual Agents can be integrated with other apps like Slack, Skype, Teams, etc. It can also be integrated with other tools within the Microsoft Power Platform such as Power Automate.
What does Power Virtual Agents do?
- Create conversational chatbots to engage with users
- Enable the search of information
Core Components of Microsoft Power Platform
Each of the components included in the Microsoft Power Platform is built on the Common Data Service for Apps (CDS), making them dynamic when used alone and more capable when combined with other integrated solutions. This means that you can leverage data from Microsoft applications (e.g. Dynamics 365, SharePoint, Excel, etc.)
You can also connect Power Platform with a wide range of third-party apps and data sources. This way, you can unlock the full potential of Power Platform, and extend, customize and integrate the required services for the maximum benefit of your business.
Benefits of Microsoft Power Platform
Microsoft Power Platform can help simplify the business processes and reduce the workload on your employees.
- A significant reduction in application development costs
- Process automation, efficiency improvements, transformation and enhanced business outcomes
- Improved data availability for better and faster decision-making
- Integrated data and workflows across solutions
- Security enhancements, including mobile apps
- Build applications in a matter of weeks
- GDPR compliance is fully automated
- High ROI
Below is a case study from Microsoft on how the athletic wear company Lululemon utilized Power BI for their reporting needs and to grow business globally.
Microsoft Power Platform is a powerful tool who lives up to its name. All components work together to enable businesses to build, automate and improve business regardless of the technical level of knowledge.
With a PowerApps partner, you can ensure that the platform is fully utilized for your business needs. Calsoft offers expertise in data integration and analytics, experience in building enterprise-grade applications, and a deep industry partnership with Microsoft to help you create PowerApps tailored to your business. Talk to one of our solution experts today to learn more about you can leverage the Power Platform in your organization.