Business team working on Microsoft Power Platform

Empower digital transformation with Microsoft Power Platform

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital transformation, organizations seek robust tools to streamline processes, enhance productivity and derive meaningful insights from their data. The Microsoft Power Platform has emerged as a key player, offering a comprehensive suite of tools designed to empower users with the ability to create custom solutions without the need for extensive coding expertise.

The Power Platform is comprised of Power BI, Power Apps, Power Pages, Power Automate and Power Virtual Agents, all united by the foundational Microsoft Dataverse technology. This platform is a powerful presence in the domains of low-code/no-code development, empowering users create custom applications, automate repetitive tasks and harness the full potential of data-driven decision-making.

Microsoft Dataverse

Microsoft Dataverse is a cloud-based data platform that serves as a robust foundation for securely storing and managing data used by business applications. It is designed to work seamlessly with the Microsoft Power Platform to facilitate the creation of interconnected applications and processes. Dataverse organizes data into a set of tables, each consisting of rows and columns, which can store various types of data such as text, numbers, dates and more.

It offers both standard and custom tables, allowing organizations to tailor the data structure to their specific needs. With features like logic and validation, rich metadata and productivity tools, Dataverse ensures data quality and drives business processes. Additionally, it provides easy-to-configure integration features, making it possible to connect with a wide range of devices, apps, systems, services and popular SaaS offerings. Dataverse is globally available, compliant, scalable and secure, making it an ideal choice for businesses looking to enhance their data infrastructure with agility and efficiency.

Power BI: Business analytics

Microsoft Power BI is a comprehensive business intelligence platform that provides a suite of tools for data analysis and sharing insights. It enables users to connect to a wide array of data sources, ranging from simple Excel spreadsheets to complex cloud-based and on-premises hybrid data warehouses. With Power BI, users can transform raw data into visually immersive and interactive reports and dashboards, making it easier to visualize trends, patterns and insights.

Power BI Paginated Reports

Paginated Reports are a specialized reporting feature that allows for pixel-perfect report rendering, ensuring that reports are formatted precisely for printing or sharing. These reports are ideal for scenarios requiring a highly formatted, print-ready output optimized for printing or PDF generation. Paginated reports are unique in that they pull real-time data from Dataverse, providing up-to-date information each time a query is called.

When designing a paginated report, report creators define a report layout that specifies where to get the data, which data to retrieve and how to display it. The report processor then takes this definition, retrieves the data from Dataverse in real-time and combines it with the report layout to generate the final document. This process ensures that the data displayed is always current, making paginated reports a powerful tool for organizations that require timely and accurate reporting.

Power Apps: Application development

Microsoft Power Apps is a robust suite of low-code development tools that empowers users to build, customize and deploy custom business applications without extensive coding knowledge. The platform offers a wide range of pre-built templates and connectors that seamlessly integrate with various Microsoft and third-party services and its user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop functionality makes app development accessible to anyone within your organization. Whether it's creating apps for data management, tracking, or automating repetitive tasks, Microsoft Power Apps provides a versatile solution for enhancing productivity and streamlining business operations.

Canvas Apps

Microsoft Canvas Apps offer a flexible and user-friendly platform for creating custom business applications without the need for extensive coding. These apps allow users to design and build applications using a drag-and-drop interface, similar to creating a slide in PowerPoint. Canvas Apps provide significant flexibility in designing custom input forms, which can be tailored to specific business needs with ease.

This level of customization typically requires professional coding development when using other platforms. However, with Canvas Apps, users can create complex input forms using simple, Excel-like expressions to manage data, logic and workflows. This empowers businesses to develop bespoke applications rapidly and efficiently, catering to unique requirements without incurring the high costs and development time associated with pro-code solutions.

Power Pages: Website development

Microsoft Power Pages is a sophisticated low-code development platform designed to empower organizations and individuals to create and deploy external-facing websites with ease. Power Pages is equipped with capabilities that allow for secure data uploads, the incorporation of input forms to capture user information and the ability to embed interactive Power BI reports directly into web pages. This enriches the user experience by providing dynamic content and actionable insights.

With its user-friendly design studio and a variety of customizable templates, Power Pages enables businesses to increase operational efficiency and uphold a high level of security and compliance. It offers a cost-effective and rapid development alternative to fully custom website solutions, allowing organizations to deploy robust websites without the extensive time and resources typically required.

Power Automate: Workflow automation

Microsoft Power Automate is a dynamic automation platform that streamlines repetitive tasks and processes within organizations. It enables users to create automated workflows that integrate with various applications and services, enhancing productivity and efficiency. A key feature of Power Automate is its ability to automate the upload of data to Microsoft Dataverse, incorporating custom business logic into the process. This is achieved through the creation of flows that can handle data transformation, validation, and insertion into Dataverse tables.

For instance, Power Automate can be configured to retrieve rows from a file uploaded in Power Pages, apply necessary transformations as per business requirements, and then upload the processed data to Dataverse in real-time. This automation not only saves time but also ensures that data integrity is maintained, and the latest information is always available in Dataverse for further use within the Power Platform ecosystem.

Power Virtual Agents: Intelligent chatbots

Microsoft Power Virtual Agents is an artificial intelligence (AI) platform allowing organizations to easily create and deploy intelligent chatbots for interactive user engagement. Utilizing natural language processing and machine learning, businesses can build dynamic chatbots without extensive coding, automating tasks from answering FAQs to guiding users through processes. Integrated with Microsoft's ecosystem, Virtual Agents offer a versatile solution to enhance customer engagement and support.

Real world example

This state government division, working in collaboration with nursing home facilities within the state, was faced with an outdated Microsoft Access database system and required a swift and secure solution to enhance their compliance reporting system within a six-month window to meet the strict demands of healthcare regulation adherence.

Read our case study to learn how the state's strategic deployment of Microsoft Power Pages lead to a refined, efficient and secure system for generating essential cost reports while laying the groundwork for enhanced productivity and data management.

How we can help

In collaboration with Microsoft, Baker Tilly Digital can help your organization successfully leverage Microsoft Power Platform’s comprehensive suite of low-code tools to enable users, both technical and non-technical, to build custom applications, automate workflows, analyze data and create intelligent chatbots to enhance productivity and efficiency in the digital workplace.

Interested in learning more about Microsoft Power Platform? Contact one of our professionals today.

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