Rapidly Build Hybrid Workplace Apps with Microsoft Power Platform

Jan 19th, 2022 by Suny Abraham

What are Modern Workplace Applications?

Workplace apps play a vital role in determining the success of an organization, especially in the current context where employees are working remotely. These applications are focused on resolving a business function of the organization, thus reducing the complexity of performing day-to-day operations for the employees.

In the post-COVID world, the push for digitizing business processes and employing automation is at an all-time high due to the remote workforce and customers preferring no-contact services. Business workflows like Procurement, Vendor Management, etc., require digitization, process automation, and omnichannel accessibility. Especially given hybrid work styles, various employee services like Leave Management, Expense Approval, etc., demand workflow digitization and automation.

Companies are keen on solutions that help them create these workplace applications cost-effectively and with a faster turnaround time.

How does Power Platform help rapidly create modern workplace applications?

Microsoft Power Platform is a line of business applications for creating complex business solutions, analyzing, and visualizing data, automating business processes, and employing communication chatbots or virtual agents. Power Apps is a low-code development platform (under Power Platform) that provides citizen and pro-developers a user interface-driven rapid application development capability. Power Apps has altered the dynamics of workplace app development by providing services and connectors to various workplace software like SharePoint, Outlook, Excel, etc. Power BI makes it possible to analyze data and derive insights. Using Power BI, users can ingest data from multiple sources, transform unstructured information to build visualizations and rich dashboards for valuable insights.

“The average cost to develop an application is 74% less with Power Apps.”

- Forrester

Internal development effort, professional services fees, and/or vendor application purchase expenses are significantly reduced for applications that can be created using Power Apps. Furthermore, the effort for code maintenance and application management is reduced. A study by Forrester observed the total saving to be about $4.9 MN in app development and management when using Power Apps.

Use cases: Power Apps can help build canvas apps – build UI using drag and drop components and connect to any data source. It can also be used to create model-driven apps with complex business rules based on entities stored in Microsoft Dataverse, which is nothing, but a scalable data service offered by Microsoft. Microsoft Dataverse enables users to persist and share data across multiple Power Platform services. Power BI is an enterprise business intelligence tool and helps gain actionable insight. It connects to a host of data sources, including Microsoft Dataverse.

Organizations don’t have to invest heavily in training the associates to develop applications on Power Apps or create data visualization in Power BI as the two provide an easy and intuitive graphical user interface. For example, let’s take a procurement system used across the manufacturing domain. The procurement system is critical as it deals with cash inflow and outflow. PowerApps enables the users to quickly design complex apps on top of a highly scalable backend managed by Azure. These applications are accessible anytime and anywhere, the crux of the modern workplace! Power BI helps build visualizations and dashboards seamlessly from Dataverse to make informed and accurate procurement decisions.

Key Benefits for your Organization

Power Apps

  • Rapid Application Development: Power Apps facilitates rapid application development by providing multiple starting points to build power apps:

    o Get Started from a SharePoint list, Excel Online, Dataverse, etc. or
    o Start from blank
  • Simplifies Process Automation: Create Power Automate workflows and call them from within Power Apps.
  • Develop Apps for multiple form factors: Power Apps help develop apps to drive tablets and mobile user experience. The Model-Driven apps are responsive by nature. Use Microsoft guidelines to make canvas apps responsive.
  • Scalable Data Service (Microsoft Dataverse) in the backend: Microsoft Dataverse provides a secure and scalable option for storing your data in the cloud. Dataverse hosts the entity models in the cloud, commonly used in business. These entity models can then be worked upon from all Power Platforms tools to drive productivity.
  • Intuitive UI interface: The intuitive user interface keeps the learning curve to build apps to a minimum.
  • Multiple Data Source Integration: Users can connect to a large set of standard and premium connectors while building apps. It is possible to connectors can be customized as per the requirement.

Power BI

  • Custom dashboards: A key feature of Power BI is personalized information dashboards that help decision-makers drive organizational objectives.
  • Seamless app integrations: Power BI integrates easily with legacy and modern enterprise apps, provides insightful analytics and reporting capabilities, and helps extract value from your data.
  • Cost-effective: The implementation cost of a Power BI solution is much lower when compared to other similar products in the market.
  • User-friendly: Power BI is easy to use without specific tech knowledge.
  • Result-oriented: Power BI visualizations and dashboards help an organization closely understand its direction. It provides the business with an overview of how the company performs strategically and objectively.

To summarize, Power Platform helps build apps of all sizes and complexity, and research backs the fact that it promotes a lot more cost-effective development. A 2021 study, states that before employing Power Platform, medium-sized projects cost $75,000, but after Power Platform, prices drop by half. Large projects formerly cost $250,000, but after implementation, the cost is lowered by 70% due to the use of fewer internal and external skilled developers.

The power granted by such low-code tools is that it encourages citizen developers or non-technical folks to create new apps. And democratising technology to enable non-IT people to build apps sounds great but comes with governance challenges. To know more about how we can bring forth the above capabilities to your advantage, address inefficiencies. and leverage automation, write to CCS Tech Consultants at collaborate@-ccs-technologies.com.

Get in Touch