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Microsoft Power Platform?

What is Microsoft Power Platform?

Microsoft Power Platform is composed of four key products: Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI and Power Virtual Agents.

 Power Apps: provides a rapid low code development environment for building custom apps for business needs. It has services, connectors, and a scalable data service and app platform (Microsoft Dataverse) to allow simple integration and interaction with existing data. Power Apps enables the creation of web and mobile applications that run on all devices.

People use apps for every area of their lives, and business should be no exception. Most out of the box solutions do not meet exact business needs or integrate well with other business programs. Power Apps eases users into app development with a simple interface so that every business user or pro developer can build custom apps.

 Power Automate: lets users create automated workflows between applications and services. It helps automate repetitive business processes such as communication, data collections, and decision approvals.

Don't waste important productive hours on drafting the same email for a weekly update or walking approvals through. Not only for the individual user, Power Automate allows for the creation of enterprise-grade process automation. Power Automate's simple interface allows every level of user to automate work tasks - from beginners to seasoned developers.

 Power BI (Business Intelligence): is a business analytics service that delivers insights for analyzing data. It can share those insights through data visualizations which make up reports and dashboards to enable fast, informed decisions. Power BI scales across an organization, and it has built-in governance and security allowing businesses to focus on using data more than managing it.

You can consider Power BI as the analysis and insights leg of Microsoft Power Platform. It takes business data and allows you to display it in ways that makes the most sense to users. A Power BI dashboard could potentially replace a standing meeting to report out on company metrics such as sales data, progress against goals, or employee performance.

 Power Virtual Agents: enables anyone to create powerful chatbots using a guided, no-code graphical interface, without the need for data scientists or developers.

It minimizes the IT effort required to deploy and maintain a custom solution by empowering subject matter experts to build and maintain their own conversational solutions. Power Virtual Agents is part of Microsoft Power Platform, therefore integration into existing systems is streamlined with out-of-the-box integration with Power Automate and its ecosystems of hundreds of connectors. Users can enable chatbots to perform an action by simply calling a Power Automate flow. Flows help users automate activities or call back end systems. Users can utilize existing flows that have been created in their Power Apps environment or they can create a flow within Power Virtual Agents authoring canvas.

Features:

Among the programs listed above, there are cross cutting features which enable Microsoft Power Platform to be leveraged to its full potential. Some of these are:

AI Builder: lets users and developers add AI capabilities to the workflows and Power Apps they create and use. AI Builder is a turnkey solution that allows you to easily add intelligence to your workflows and apps and predict outcomes to help improve business performance without writing code.

Microsoft Dataverse: is a scalable data service and app platform which lets users securely store and manage data from multiple sources and integrate that data in business applications using a common data model to ensure ease and consistency to users. Microsoft Dataverse is the common currency that enables the components of Microsoft Power Platform to work together. It’s the foundation that enables the consolidation, display, and manipulation of data.

Connectors: enable you to connect apps, data, and devices in the cloud. Consider connectors the bridge across which information and commands travel. There are more than 600 connectors for Microsoft Power Platform, enabling all of your data and actions to connect cohesively. Examples of popular connectors include Salesforce, Office 365, Twitter, Dropbox, Google services, and more.

Although every feature is essential to building powerful solutions, let's dive in deeper to one of the features of Microsoft Power Platform, connectors.

The business value of Microsoft Power Platform:

Many organizations struggle building solutions that help their users be successful. Not only do they struggle trying to modernize their systems, but they simply don't have the resources required to meet the ever-changing needs of businesses today. With demands for targeted applications at an all-time high and labor shortages, it isn't uncommon to see application demand up to five times what departments can realistically deliver.

This is not the only challenge that face today’s businesses. As the business climate changes, new factors are impacting businesses. These impacts include:

Changing workforce expectations: As millennials and Gen Z come to represent most of the workforce, organizations need to adapt to fit the way they work. They have grown up in a world of tailored experiences and collaborating through social media. To best apply their abilities, organizations need to be able to deliver more custom, streamlined, and collaborative digital experiences.

Increased costs for custom application development: Building custom applications is time consuming and expensive. Not only do you need to factor in the costs to initially custom develop an application, but you need to factor in the costs to maintain it.

Need to become more agile: Historically, solutions can take months to build and roll out. Once deployed, it can take weeks to implement every minor change. We no longer have that luxury. Business strategies and needs change rapidly, so organizations need to be able to quickly build solutions based on those changing needs.

Need to scale development efficiently: To meet ever changing needs, organizations need to change how they develop solutions. By responsibly enabling citizens developers (Power Users) as part of development processes, we can create hybrid development teams that empower the entire organization to grow.

The Power Platform makes it easy for organizations to address all the challenges mentioned above. The combination of low code tools, along with the ability to leverage enterprise level application development tools, provide a collaborative solution where citizen developers and professional developers work together to build targeted solutions based on needs of the people who will be using these applications every day.


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