Automation of operational tasks frees the workforce to strategize and innovate in their respective quarters and develop new mechanisms to accelerate an organization’s overall performance. That paved way for low code platforms to become a new reality in the realm of app development. Microsoft’s Powerapps is one such platform whose usage has flared up in recent years as a solution that enables app building with zero knowledge of codes and programming. Powerapps makes it possible for employees with basic technical prowess, to create apps for task automation.
By definition, Microsoft Powerapps is a low-code, drag and drop, app-building environment that aims to reform app development from being a professional skill to a basic aptitude for citizen developers.
Here are a few use cases to demonstrate how Microsoft Powerapps can be employed by organizations to boost operational excellence and task responsiveness.
Use Case 1 – Workflow App
Let’s say a company runs a program with multiple projects. Each project team provides daily or weekly status in an excel file. Let’s presume they share the files through email or over SharePoint library. One person is put in-charge of consolidating all this data in a single file and send it to the supervisor as a final report. The person in charge of this task needs to constantly go and check if the files of progress have been shared by members of each group. If this process can be automated, it easily frees him to focus on something more productive and creative.
Using the component of automated cloud flow in Powerapps a user can automate the entire process of maintaining the progress tracker. It enables them to create and customize the table as per the dynamics of the task down to what information needs to be written and how in specific columns of a specific worksheet.
Once the flow has been set and deployed, it will be automatically triggered when an excel sheet is uploaded to the SharePoint space. This not only frees the manual workforce for other more important tasks but also creates an avenue for streamlining and systematically recording everyday team progress with minimal errors.
Use case 2- Automate Onboarding
Being a Microsoft brainchild, Microsoft Powerapps can seamlessly tap into data from other Microsoft apps like outlook, 365, tasks, and calendars. A common application of Powerapps that can benefit businesses at large is creating an employee onboarding app that automates routine onboarding procedures. Powerapps hosts a free template that can be customized with onboarding tasks specific to your company. This comes as a colossal relief to the HR department of any enterprise. It eases the job for both the staff in charge and the new employee to share information and access documents with rudimentary effort.
Use case 3 – Automate Sales
Microsoft Dynamic 365 has proven very resourceful in sales where it allows sales reps to strategically engage with potential customers. It intuitively guides a salesperson to find new buyers and even highlights customers who need attention.
Considering Dynamics mechanic accomplishes this using the data gathered and recorded by the sales reps on various field visits, it is only relevant to alleviate this task of data accumulation. Instead of filling out comprehensive forms in Dynamic 365, a federal system with easy-to-use forms can be created for sales reps to summarily record client information.
Employees from different levels in the sales hierarchy can easily use this app to generate a goldmine of customer databases. This will enable efficient analytics and report generation to inform the top brass on sales figures and target completions at large.
Use case 4 – Expense Approval
In the remote working scenario, helping employees ease into a new space and work without hindrances required companies to invest in tools and assets that needed procurement on the employee’s behalf. Such investments need clear records to ensure unambiguous, transparent transactions on both ends. However, achieving this feat through a complex exchange of physical receipts and clarification calls is far more taxing on the time management front.
In addition, one uninformed decision from either party may lead to company capital taking a significant hit. To avoid the mishaps of complex and exhausting methods, augmenting this process by creating an app for the exchange of proof of payment and acknowledgments bodes well for the organization.
A well-rounded Expense Approval app can be built using Powerapps for both web and mobile interface, enabling employees to claim, and the company to reimburse expenses with zero hassle. Throwing in an additional notification feature will allow both, the requester and the reviewer to seamlessly complete tasks in a favorable time span.
Use case 5 – Service request application
System disruption is a universal crisis that mitigates operations on numerous occasions. Engaging with the help desk staff on a conventional level may not be capable of summoning instant aid. However, an app that creates a ticket for service requests may prove highly efficient and impactful.
An interactive app with basic request submission functionalities can be easily put together using the Microsoft Powerapps platform. Departments across an organization can benefit from such an application since service requests are commonplace proceedings in multiple divisions like IT, HR, purchasing, and facility management.
Powerapps is an ingenious solution that lets you get creative with app building. As a citizen developer, with no knowledge in coding beginners training with the platform, is an inescapable phase. But once you’ve learned the ropes, you can work around the concept; employ your own ideas, and create an app with maximum efficiency.
The beauty of Microsoft Powerapps is that there is no hardcoded way to build an app meant for a specific task. It allows you to experiment and innovate to drive efficiency. There are ample components, actions, and triggers you can choose from. This expands the scope of use cases for which apps can be created. The components can be used and placed in any order that you feel is optimal to accomplish the task you intend to mechanize.
In general, there are two types of apps you can create with Powerapps- Canvas and model driven. The choice entirely depends on your use case.
If you must know, goal-oriented applications with more user control are well accomplished with the canvas structure. Model-driven apps are aimed at automating distinct business processes and come with pre-built structures while following a data-first approach. So before diving into the act of development it’s important to identify and categorize the goal which forms the core idea behind the app.