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Microsoft’s rapid innovation, frequent updates and new products can make it challenging to stay on top of changes. However, Microsoft’s pace of innovation often means that Microsoft solutions are exciting and updated frequently. The Power Platform is no exception!
What is the Power Platform?
The ‘Power Platform’ is a united term for a stack Microsoft products: Power BI, PowerApps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agent and Power Portal. They provide the means to help people quickly and easily manipulate, surface, analyse and automate data and can be used with Dynamics 365, Office 365 as well as other Microsoft Services and other third-party apps. The Power Platform is possible thanks to the Dataverse, which provides a unified and simplified data schema so that applications can inter-operate with each other.
Why is the Power Platform so important?
As our reliance on data continues and the amount of digital storage increases, companies need to take into account its usefulness. Simply being able to store data is not enough today; it must be used for meaningful insights or else it’s just wasted space.
Historically, developers and IT teams would build tools for data analysis, app creation or automation. Staff would outline their requirements and aims to their team members internally or externally. The request would then be approved, built and released for use. Waiting for weeks to meet an immediate need would have a negative impact internally, and it could be expensive if done externally. Those requesting the solution would usually have an immediate need and waiting for weeks could lead to internal delays.
The Power Platform is exciting because it democratizes data by enabling anyone to access and use this information without having any level of development expertise. The platform includes capability that facilitate end users in accessing their data faster, easier, and more efficiently. While it still allows the complexities and flexibility of custom development, it does provide a straightforward approach for most users to be able to create, analyse or automate their data in ways that have never been possible before.
How is the Power Platform key to Microsoft’s overarching strategy?
The Power Platform can connect to a variety of data sources, including third-party software like Google Analytics and Twitter. It is most powerful when working with Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics 365. Microsoft position the Power Platform as a way to “unlock the potential” of Dynamics 365 and Office 365, making it easy to extend, customize and integrate these services. It is however so much more than that!
With its promising future, the Power Platform is a huge area of investment for Microsoft. However, as it’s still in development and maturing over time, it will continue to be updated and improved. As Microsoft continue to concentrate on bringing all products closer together, the Power Platform will be an important platform for pulling together services like Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure all with an easy low-code/no-code approach.