The artistry of the Microsoft Power Platform: Four new master works
- Posted on September 17, 2020
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
This article was originally published on MSDynamicsWorld.com
Do you need greater innovation in your business? Imagine your company as a creative masterwork. Claude Monet is at the top of most lists of master impressionist painters. Monet’s Water Lilies oil paintings of his flower garden in Giverny, France are prized for their use of harmonious colors, light, and brushwork. Viewed up close, they are a blur but, from a distance, they tell a cohesive story that immerses the viewer in natural beauty. A few years ago, just one of these paintings sold at auction for over $50 million.
Your company, too, is a valuable work of art resulting from the complementary blend of your people and teams contributing to deliver value to your customers. Now imagine equipping them with Monet’s palette and brush.
Like Monet’s palette, your enterprise technology should complement your organization's competitive advantages, not work against them with one-size-fits-all solutions. The Microsoft Power Platform’s unique components – like an impressionist’s colors - empower your people to be citizen developers who can craft an infinite array of apps from the same set of tools. They have the creative freedom to choose which Power Platform elements to mix and how to apply them.
The four components of Power Platform — Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents — each cover a key area of capability for modern business software: data and analytics, graphical interfaces, process automation, and intelligent, conversational interfaces, respectively. Not every team or company needs capabilities in all these areas, but Power Platform ensures that tools built from any of these parts will work together to get the job done. Their modular nature also ensures that your organization’s tools built with Power Platform can interoperate with your existing software — your marketing automation tools, for instance — or with other cutting-edge technologies like the head-mounted AR experiences of Microsoft HoloLens 2.
You’ve probably never imagined enterprise software in anything close to these terms. But, like Monet, your colleagues are waking up to today's reality that they aren’t limited to the conventions of the past. Skillfully mixing colors not only enables the artist to render new scenes, it gives rise to whole new ideas of what to paint. Likewise, with the tools of the citizen developer provided by Power Platform, you’ll be able to act, automate, analyze, and ask/answer questions in entirely new ways as an organization.
Here are four examples that really show off the breadth of possibilities unlocked by combining a few fundamental Power Platform tools in interesting ways:
- One example comes from an Avanade client that is a multinational corporation working in robotics, power, heavy electrical equipment, and automation. Its customers do big, tricky jobs, and it’s hard to provide them good support, especially when it can only be done remotely. By combining Power Platform apps with Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 hardware, this company was able to build a mixed-reality support guide for remote maintenance work and employee training in just a few days.
- Another is a major healthcare provider with over 80,000 skilled caregivers in all kinds of medical facilities and care centers. Scheduling and staffing were a major challenge made even more major by pandemic precautions. By combining the clear interface-building tools of Power Apps with the responsive back-end services of Power Automate, this company built its own system for managing the redeployment of underutilized employees, resulting not only in higher productivity but in better and more consistent care for patients who need it.
- A major U.S. federal agency used Power Platform to quickly spin up a way to coordinate and allocate the delivery of critical healthcare equipment and supplies to state governments. Power Apps Portals provided the apps the stakeholders used to get what they needed, and Power Automate hooked up all the executable procedures with little to no code required.
- A Fortune 50 health and wellness provider built its own process and tooling for booking healthcare providers for remote telehealth appointments. Power Automate handled the back-end procedures (like matching provider and patient availability and scheduling confirmation), and Power Apps enabled intuitive software interfaces for patients and doctors.
Each of the aforementioned Power Platform creations are high quality innovations. But at today’s pace of change, companies need quantity as well as quality. The cool thing about Power Platform is that it enables both. Another of Avanade’s customers is regularly recognized as one of the world’s most innovative companies — a global business providing product solutions for the fields of industry, worker safety, U.S. health care, and consumer goods. They’ve been using Power Platform for the past four years and now have 5,000 apps and 10,000 Power Automate flows deployed. That’s big innovation volume.
And, they’re doubling down. The company just purchased 95,000 Power Platform licenses to equip all of their employees for more powerful innovation.
To create a masterpiece, an artist needs a range of tools - palette, paints, a canvas, brushes. Power Platform gives organizations the creative, analytical, and management tools to produce a new generation of solutions. I’m always on the lookout for the most innovative uses of Power Platform because they motivate me to push the envelope further for our clients. Microsoft, too, always wants to hear about innovative uses of the platform. Their Power Platform customer success stories portal spotlights the most exceptionally creative Power Platform uses. Will yours be next?