One of the first questions I ask when meeting with a new prospective customer is “do you use Office 365”? I had to laugh when a recent prospect replied, “who doesn’t”? Isn’t that the truth? There are now more than 155 million Office 365 users around the world. With a user base like that, it’s not surprising that Microsoft is on a mission to have zero daylight between Office 365 and their Dynamics Business Systems.
I’m going to focus on, in my opinion, the most exciting group of applications in the Office 365 stack, Power Platform. Microsoft’s Power Platform combines the robust power of PowerApps, Flow, and Power BI to bring all your data into a common data model referred to as Common Data Service for Apps. While each of these services is best-of-breed individually, their combination is a game-changer for our customers.
Microsoft PowerApps is a platform which allows users to create and deploy tailored applications that can be used on desktop and mobile devices (iOS, Android, Windows). Both developers and non-developers can create apps within PowerApps as it works in a no-code environment. Yes, that’s right, no coding experience necessary!
Microsoft Flow allows you to easily create automated, multi-stage workflows across a variety of applications and services. Workflows can be used to improve efficiency and productivity for many different business functions, helping you automate repetitive processes so nothing ever slips through the cracks.
Microsoft Power BI is a business intelligence and analytics tool which provides you with real-time business insights. Power BI presents your data in a variety of interactive visualizations that are placed within dashboards and reports, as you can see in this Power BI demo.
So how does Power Platform work?
Microsoft Flow, PowerApps, and Power BI all have different functionality but can work together to significantly improve your operations.
Here’s an example of how Power Platform can help growers:
ABC Growers has a picking process that starts with the inventory team marking the location of each product to be shipped the next day. It is important to ship the oldest product first. A Power App is created to list the products to be shipped where the user can either scan a barcode or manually enter the location from which the product is to be picked. Once finished, a Flow workflow sends the Inventory Pulling Manager an email stating the product is marked and the pick lists can be printed. A Power BI report is created to view the pulling locations and product dates. This report can now be used to see how the product locations can be improved for a more efficient routing of the pickers as well as verifying that the oldest product is being picked first.
Think of all of the processes you can improve and automate with Power Platform — empowering your employees to identify and eliminate inefficiencies rather than just accepting “That’s the way it is”.
To see more ways you can improve your business, view the recording “How Growers Can Boost Productivity and Revenue with O365.”
And remember, #youCANwithcloud