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Nathan Sinnott April 24th, 2020

Technology is constantly evolving and improving how we communicate and operate, and in recent years, mobility has become the main focus. With the IoT (Internet of Things) and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) practices becoming increasingly more commonplace throughout more and more businesses; time and connectivity have never been more valuable.

Businesses, much like their staff, are always on the move. Whether they are on the road or in between meetings, staff use their mobile phones, tablet devices and laptops to stay connected to the business and perform their daily tasks. This is why in 2017, Microsoft PowerApps was released to simplify the process for businesses to produce mobile and desktop apps. It is a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) comprised of connectors, services, apps and data platforms designed to quickly and seamlessly build business applications according to specific business needs.

What Exactly Does It Do?

Essentially, Microsoft PowerApps allows businesses to create apps that convert their manual processes into automated and digital processes, which is easy to learn without the need for any prior coding experience. It also allows businesses to securely create, share and connect their apps and external data sources such as Salesforce, SharePoint and Dropbox, with anyone on any device within a matter of minutes.

How To Get PowerApps And Which Subscription Is Best?

In order to get Microsoft PowerApps, simply have a subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise E1 or higher to have access. However, this doesn’t allow access to every feature as PowerApps operates on two subscription plans depending on your needs. Plan 1 subscriptions are ideal for users needing to access data stored in custom apps, cloud services, on-premises data and run canvas apps using premium connectors. Plan 2 subscriptions are ideal for both administrators and users that require more advanced capabilities such as real-time workflows, custom code plug-ins and running model-driven apps.

How Does It Work?

Microsoft PowerApps is simple and easy to use depending on your needs and can be accessed via desktop devices or from its mobile app on handheld devices. Creating a mobile or desktop app is made easy with its drag-and-drop UI (User Interface). Firstly, select a pre-built template and ensure it runs with your desired tablet or phone layout. Next, import your elected data into the app by connecting to a data source such as OneDrive, Dropbox or Salesforce. From there, users can quickly drag-and-drop various forms, screens and controls including camera controls, images, text fields, videos, choice fields and much more to create their desired app. Once complete, just click the publish and share buttons to have the app shared across the entirety of the business.

What Are The Features And Their Benefits?

So, what are the features and benefits? Why should your business be using Microsoft PowerApps? Put simply: it all depends on what your business’s needs are. Are you wanting to automate workflow? Are you wanting to integrate all external and internal business data into one program? As there are many features and benefits to using Microsoft PowerApps, here are the main benefits to start taking advantage of.

Utilising Microsoft’s CDS (Common Data Service), PowerApps enables your employees to access business data from over 200 various data sources such as Outlook, Salesforce, SharePoint, Dropbox, Dynamics 365, OneDrive, PowerPoint, Excel, Twitter and many more. This results in staff being able to easily access and share business data on the go, no matter their location.

PowerApps lets businesses create desktop and mobile apps designed for their specific functions and needs. This can include self-service apps such as onboarding employees and managing payroll information, recording client information and processing approvals and requests. This results in staff being able to attend to smaller and mundane tasks quickly from their phone, rather than setting aside time to catch up throughout their week.

Microsoft PowerApps gives businesses complete and total control via its Admin centre. This is where businesses can see all their listed apps, as well as have access to options such as administer data policies, permissions and user control options. Businesses benefit from full security as every app that is created in PowerApps automatically links to Microsoft’s ADDS (Active Directory Domain Service), which authenticates, authorises and enforces security policies for all devices and users. Because all apps are built on Microsoft’s CDS, every app is also automatically GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant.

With PowerApps, businesses can automate their functions and processes without the need for manual input. For example, businesses can send important information, news and updates to staff and clients on their phones with ‘push notifications’ as seen on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. It also allows for increased functionality such as reporting and resolving issues, even when management is not in the office.

Ensure your business is performing at maximum efficiency by connecting your business with Microsoft PowerApps. For many years, Newpath Web has been assisting businesses throughout Melbourne and Australia to design, create and implement a custom digital solution that efficiently meets their needs. With a large team consisting of experienced software engineers, app developers, project managers, web developers and more, no project is too large or small. For a digital agency that can meet all your custom software development needs, speak to the experts at Newpath Web.

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