23.1.2023 • Business digitalization and knowledge management
Power up your business with self-coded apps – finally it’s really possible!
Back in 2004, Microsoft released — more than 15 years ago — a Report Services extension for its popular SQL Server database server. From the first test version, I consider this to be a completely game changer and so did my advanced customers, especially in the financial sector. For the first time, it was a tool that anyone could use to make diverse reports – without an expensive implementation project and huge investments in a new product.
One of the key uses of self-service reports was already at that time to make meetings more efficient. The idea that while the management team always has up-to-date information available instead of cut-and-paste PowerPoint slides presented at meetings, it was really appealing. Working on these presentations takes a huge amount of time and they are always outdated. In the worst case scenario, different participants have had different versions and views of the same information at their disposal before the meeting, and instead of making decisions, time is spent wondering whose figures are correct. In addition, it is never possible to drill down into more detail from the membranes.
Unfortunately, many management teams, boards of directors and any other team are still working on incomplete information even in 2023. Power Platform, as the name implies, provides a powerful (self-service) platform and permanently transforms both work, work management, and reporting. Finally.
What is Power Platform?
Power Platform is an extension to the Microsoft 365 family and includes, in a nutshell, four key services:
- Power BI, tools for self-service reporting
- Power Apps, low code/no code solutions that allow you to quickly build apps even without any coding knowledge. Yes, these can be done without us consultants by business experts.
- Power Automate, application robotics for automating various routines, workflows, and communication between processes and applications.
- Power Virtual Agents, self-service virtual assistants that can extend any existing services and applications – for example, making meetings much more efficient and organized, asking SAP for their own holiday balances, or serving customers in a whole new way online.
What can these be used for?
Finland has been a pioneer in the utilisation of cloud services. This was one of the key reasons why our nation was able to smoothly switch to remote working mode in the spring of 2020 as the COVID situation worsened. For this reason in particular, it is still a complete mystery to me why Finland has still not been able to take advantage of the opportunity offered by Power Platform to make work more efficient, achieve significant cost savings and increase the self-service rate in work.
Perhaps one of the reasons is that automating these takes billable work from many consultants and makes many expensive services and software products unnecessary. In fact, Power Platform is the only area where our UAE customers seem to be taking a real and significant digital leap ahead of our Finnish customers. But I wonder if we are still showing the rest of the world a model here!
However, we also have dozens of great success stories in Finland. For example, YIT has for years been streamlining work, work management and reporting with the help of Power Platform. Kotikatu avoided the system jungles that traditionally plagued the industry. HUS started remote appointments in an instant due to COVID-19. Terrawise built a modern and lightweight system for project management. Stora Enso manages maintenance shutdowns clearly, cost-effectively and safely.
With Power Platform, you can create, for example, time- and place-independent (mobile) services, make all-new kinds of meetings — that is, extend the functionality of Teams, automate both internal and external customer service, revolutionize reporting, integrate systems in minutes and days, streamline their own personal work, and especially directly provide businesses with the tools and model to digitize and streamline their work.
In fact, the question is what Power Platform couldn’t be used for. My answer to this is that, for once, even your imagination is not the limit. Utilizing the platform is not limited to the members of a single project and is not entirely behind an expensive army of consultants. Absolutely every member of the organization is able to participate in the ideation of applications and services and even their implementation. A good starting point is a meeting with us and then our business digitalization course, for example.
E -Guide: Power Platform – How to make and save money with low code / no code automation
How do I get started with Power Platform? Which solution is most suitable for my company? Download the popular Power Platform guide!