As an innovation leader, Microsoft rapidly updates its products and releases new ones to propel customers forward. Microsoft Power Platform, launched in October last year, has been the talk of the town lately. With Power Platform, the tech giant now offers a comprehensive product suite for cloud computing.
Satya Nadella, in his presentation, talked about the importance of the platform and how it serves as a core offering for all businesses.
“Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and the Power Platform on top of what we’re doing with Azure is the core of what we are doing as a company vis-à-vis I would say our commercial customers – businesses of all sizes, whether it’s small business, large business, whether it’s in an emerging market or in a developed market.” – Satya Nadella
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we strive to explore what the platform means for the customers and the potential it holds. In this blog, we will talk about its capabilities, processes, use cases, and pricing.
Understanding Power Platform Solutions
Power platform consists of Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents, Power Automate, and Power BI. Each of these products is powerful in its own way but they are even better together. Furthermore, by connecting them with Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure, businesses can build end-to-end solutions and make data their competitive advantage.
Power Apps democratizes the app development process. It fundamentally eliminates the need to know hardcore coding to build an app while drastically reducing the costs and efforts required for development. By allowing citizen developers to build professional-grade applications easily, it modernizes processes and increases organizational agility. The 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms recognizes Microsoft as a leader.
Power Automate empowers everyone with the right tools to easily set up intelligent workflows and achieve organizational efficiency. Power Automate can currently connect to more than 275 apps and services. Leveraging its point-and-click simplicity, you can automate mundane, time-consuming tasks and free up your bandwidth to focus on what really matters.
The AI Builder capability in Microsoft Power Apps enables you to extract text and visual content with your camera or from available images and documents. Quickly simplify tasks using AI models such as prediction, form processing, object detection, category classification, and entity extraction via a simple, intuitive interface.
Organizations have an abundance of data but they often don’t have easy access to actionable data to make confident decisions. Power BI addresses this issue head-on and offers self-service analytics at the enterprise scale. It helps foster a data-driven culture while reducing the cost, complexity, and security risks of multiple solutions.
Power Virtual Agents
This Microsoft product empowers you to build your own chatbots without having to code. With intelligent chatbots, you can quickly resolve common issues for both customers and employees. Power Virtual Agents empowers your agents to focus on the complex queries and other strategic priorities. You can also monitor and improve the performance of the chatbot you built with easy-to-use dashboards.
How does it all come together?
To get a better understanding of how these products complement each other, let’s walk through a hypothetical use case.
A customer, John reaches out with a query and receives an instantaneous response from the customer service chatbot built on Power Virtual Agents. If his query is complex, the chatbot offers to pass it on to a customer service rep. With the workflows set up on Power Automate, the best person available to answer his query is assigned and notified.
Leveraging the app developed on Power Apps, the rep is able to connect with John and understand his issue better. Upon resolution, she checks if this is a query a lot of other customers also have had, using Power BI. She assesses if there should be a self-service workflow prepared for these queries and passes on her recommendations to the development team.
Business Benefits of the Power Platform
Power platform pools data from all kinds of sources including CDS, Twitter, Google Analytics, and LinkedIn. Also, it fully integrates with Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure. Extracting useful data is only one of its many business benefits, though.
Making that data actionable and accessible for all without having to involve IT teams is its core benefit. It democratizes building apps, chatbots, automated workflows, and analytics. Even the people who are new to the Microsoft ecosystem can easily get started with building their custom solutions that address their everyday business challenges. Here are some of the benefits that the Power Platform offers:
- Reduced time to value
- Reduced completion costs
- Reduced costs of development
- Improved productivity
- Less time spent on development
- Empowered teams with actionable data
- IT teams able to focus on strategic priorities
Pricing and Licensing
As of now, Microsoft isn’t offering a licensing bundle for all the four products that make up the Power Platform. You can purchase their licenses, separately. Follow this link for a detailed licensing overview of the Power Platform.
By putting the power to “analyze, act, and automate” in the hands of the people who know their business best, Power Platform provides businesses of all sizes the opportunity to improve their bottom line and enhance their customer experience. Microsoft plans more updates in the coming months to this suite of cloud computing products.
As a Microsoft Gold certified partner, we’re focused on the effective implementation and adoption of the Power Platform. If you’d like to learn how the Power Platform solutions can benefit your business, please feel free to get in touch with one of our Microsoft experts for personalized consultation.