As a trusted partner of Microsoft's business application platform, we help companies leverage their data better. Our team can help you seamlessly connect data from Office 365, Dynamics 365, Azure, and more, to provide an end-to-end Power Platform solution.
Microsoft's Power Platform is the family name for four Microsoft cloud services – Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, and Power Virtual Agents. In combination, they are designed to enable organisations to expose, integrate, automate and analyse their business processes. With Power Platform, you will have the ability to create, design and build apps, automate your processes, and report fluidly on data across an organisation in a fully visual format.
The Power Platform is designed to enable the people who use these insights most to get the data themselves, without requiring specialist development knowledge, or tasking their IT team to build a solution in-house.
Individually Power Apps, Power Automate and Power BI are recognised as being leaders in their field, however as a family, the ‘Power’ products share lots of important attributes:
Azure is Microsoft’s massively scalable and secure cloud platform. Beyond hosting, Azure offers a wide range of additional services – like AI – which Power Apps, Power Automate and Power BI can build on.
Other low code development platforms, RPA and BI tools are available – but the combination you choose could be unique – making the integration between them something you would have to maintain.
The ability to get to a proof of concept really quickly – trial something, demonstrate success, then roll out more widely.
As the Power Platform are Microsoft products they all feel familiar and fit together like a jigsaw, which speeds adoption.
Most mid-market businesses have a variety of business systems in place to serve their accounting, supply chain, time billing, CRM and payroll needs. Whilst each of these applications may serve the specific requirement that they were chosen for, the patchwork creates a number of issues.
Having a number of different apps from different vendors will inevitably lead to duplication of some data. Staff spend time managing this duplication (e.g. aligning lists of customers, staff or products). They struggle to orchestrate processes across the business (e.g. the creating of new customer accounts) and, when reporting, find it difficult to get to a single version of the truth.
Whilst their patchwork of apps may cover core business processes, many organisations will not be able to find the time, money or executive sponsorship required to buy or build an application to support every business process within the business. In the meantime, staff will quietly have found ways to solve their practical problem by building their own ‘apps’, and often creating and maintaining lists in Excel, Access or SharePoint, creating invisible compliance and control issues.
Data duplication, manual orchestration, unmanaged apps, no source of truth – these are all symptoms and sources of friction within your business, which in turn create inefficiency, frustration and errors. It all adds up to unnecessary expense.
With the Power Platform, all of these applications and their underlying data sources are condensed into one place. Connectors allow for live synchronisation of data, removing the headache of duplicating and maintaining data across multiple databases. The low-code nature of the platform facilitates quick development and deployment so solutions can be designed at a lower cost with less time commitment, and puts the power directly into the hands of the citizen developers in the business who will no longer need to resort to Excel.
Microsoft Dataverse (formerly the Common Data Service) is a low-code, scalable cloud-based database platform where businesses can store and access data in standardised tables and fields.
The Power Platform integrates seamlessly with the Dataverse, allowing for apps, workflows and reports that sit neatly on top of your business data.
The Power Platform allows for seamless integration with many common ERP systems thanks to pre-built connectors. These include Dynamics 365 Business Central, Salesforce, SAP, and more!
Actions in your ERP can initiate Flows allowing you to improve existing processes, save time and money on complicated training, and allow simple integrations.Power Platform ERP Integration
Living up to its name, Microsoft’s Power Platform offers your business the opportunity to turn great ideas into real-life solutions, without requiring much in the way of development experience.
With Power Platform, you (if you are that person) will have the ability to create, design and build apps, automate your processes, and report fluidly on data across an organisation in a fully visual format. This will allow you to connect departments in your business in ways they were unable to before.
Power Apps are the building blocks for innovation and hand users the ability to develop solutions to task and role-specific scenarios. Using Power Apps, you can build your own custom apps that are powered by the data in Dataverse, or data held within applications like Excel or SharePoint.
With a drag-and-drop design, apps can be built in hours rather than weeks or months and controlled by your business without the need to spend and wait on custom software development. You can start with a pre-built template with a ‘model-driven’ or start from a blank ‘canvas’ app. Anything is possible.
Power Automate takes out the manual effort of repeating the same tasks over and over, replacing the entire flow with one button.
As an example, you could get daily location-based weather reports delivered to your phone or email, or insert a row into a chosen Excel spreadsheet with the contents of a Microsoft Form submission. Rather than manually checking the Form submissions every hour, Power Automate would take the contents of the submission and copy it into the Excel spreadsheet of your choosing.
With Power BI, users can take data from as many different sources as they like and create beautiful, easy to decipher reports. Where a bunch of rows and columns in Excel may not mean a great deal at first sight, a Power BI graph could instantly transform these numbers into a line graph, making a ‘sales by category’ trend instantly visible to any user. This eliminates the need to go to a BI Developer every time a report is required and instead hands the power back to the individual.
Power BI can provide valuable insights into business data through a single model and then securely share the results. Within the Power Platform family, it provides the other applications with triggers on which to act. You can also embed Power Apps into Power BI using the integration object, so users can view Power BI reports with dynamically updated Power Apps right there beside the data.
Microsoft Power Virtual Agents are intelligent chatbots that can be deployed with no coding required.
The chatbots can be trained to use natural language to respond with relevant content. They then look up and return information from Dataverse, prompt the user to provide more information, trigger a workflow in Power Automate, or hand the conversation off to a live user via Omnichannel for Customer Service.
If you want to create Model-driven or Portal Power Apps, you need to use Dataverse. For everything else, Dataverse is optional.
Examples of ERP connectors include: Salesforce, SAP, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics 365 Business Central, Dynamics 365 Sales Insights, Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Dynamics 365 Customer Voice, Commercient, Impexium
Examples of non-ERP connectors include: Bitbucket, Jira, Slack, Trello, Zendesk
It is a matter of pricing/licensing. Standard connectors are available to users with an Office 365 Licence (the ‘free’ plan), whereas premium connectors require users to purchase a per-user or per-app/per-flow plan.