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Microsoft Power Platform Overview

The ‘Power Platform’ is a collective term for three Microsoft products: Power BI, PowerApps and Power Automate (previously known as Flow). They provide the means to help people easily manipulate, surface, automate and analyse data and can be used with Office 365 and Dynamics 365 (as well as other third-party apps and other Microsoft services). The Power Platform is possible thanks to the Common Data Service (or CDS), which is essentially the underlying data platform that provides a unified and simplified data schema so that applications and services can inter-operate.

The Microsoft Power Platform has many exciting possibilities, but it can be difficult to know where to start, or what it could do for your organisation. If you would like to find out more about the Microsoft Power Platform or discuss a potential idea, please get in touch with us today. We can provide consultancy, workshops or even build a Proof of Concept (POC) so that you can test these technologies in your business.

Features

Power BI

Power BI is a business analytics tool which allows you to easily connect to data sources, create visuals and gain business intelligence quickly. It allows you to:

  • Click and connect with Microsoft and third-party cloud services, as well as on-premise data sources
  • Easily manipulate data and create visuals, such as charts, dashboards, maps and more – so you can present your data in an easy-to-digest format
  • Use natural language to query data and get results (i.e. “show me our sales pipeline for 2018 by month, by sales person”)
  • Overall, allowing you to easily analyse and make sense of complex data to enable continual improvement

Power Apps

PowerApps is a low-code approach to custom app development, allowing businesses to quickly build and launch apps. It allows you to:

  • Build mobile-friendly apps quickly
  • Connect to and surface data from your business applications, such as Dynamics 365 and Office 365 (and also third-party apps)
  • Surface key data into a user-friendly app to help data entry – meaning users only see the information they need to fulfil a particular task

Power Automate

Power Automate used to be known as Microsoft Flow. This allows you to create automated workflows between your Microsoft services or other third-party applications, which allows staff to avoid carrying out repetitive tasks and save valuable time. It allows you to:

  • Use pre-built automation templates for common automations (within the Flow Gallery)
  • Create your own automations by connecting various applications, such as Outlook, SharePoint Dynamics 365 or non-Microsoft apps such as, Asana, Gmail, MailChimp etc.
  • Set up triggers, alerts, automated emails, push notifications and much more
  • Overall it allows you to save time, reduce human error and streamline your processes

Power Virtual Agents

Built on top of Azure’s existing AI smarts and tools for building bots, Power Virtual Agents allows businesses to easily build chatbots to engage conversationally with your customers and employees. It allows you to:

  • Create powerful chatbots
  • Integrate Power Virtual Agents with the products and services you use every day using hundreds of prebuilt connectors, by building custom workflows using Power Automate, or creating complex scenarios with the Microsoft Bot Framework.
  • Monitor and continuously improve chatbot performance using AI- and data-driven insights available in an easy-to-read dashboard.

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