Fast forward to the future: Enabling business agility with Microsoft Power Platform’s low-code/no-code technology


Picture this. You want to develop a mobile application for your fashion retail business to speed up the delivery of purchases. Traditionally, such a project would require extensive coding expertise and a lengthy development cycle. However, with a low-code platform, your company can streamline the development process significantly. Using drag-and-drop interfaces and pre-built templates, non-technical staff can contribute to app development, enabling your company to bring the app to market faster, and at a lower cost. By leveraging low-code development, your company will gain a competitive edge by swiftly adapting to changing customer demands and technological trends. This blog explores how low-code/no-code solutions like Microsoft Power Platform can help boost agility for your business and adapt to the accelerated pace of change.

More power to you: optimizing development cycles with Microsoft Power Platform

Microsoft Power Platform is an indispensable solution to any organization – it offers a set of low-code tools needed to innovate and thrive in a fast-paced digital world. Comprising four integral components— Power Automate, Power Apps, Power BI, and Power Virtual Agents—this integrated suite empowers businesses to create tailored solutions that address their unique challenges.

  • Streamline processes with Power Automate

Power Automate emerges as a key driver for process optimization. By automating repetitive tasks and workflows, Power Automate enhances operational efficiency, freeing up valuable human resources for more strategic endeavors. This not only accelerates business processes but also ensures accuracy and consistency, mitigating the risk of errors associated with manual interventions. The agility afforded by Power Automate allows organizations to adapt to changing business landscapes swiftly. Users are able to connect Power Apps to the suite of products offered by Microsoft 365 for example, which ensures seamless integration with existing systems. This provides a unified ecosystem for collaboration, productivity and customer relationship management. The cost-efficiency of the Platform also ensures a scalable, integrated entity by eliminating the need for extensive custom development.

  • Age of agility with Power Apps

Power Apps redefines application development by empowering users to create customized solutions without requiring advanced coding skills. With a user-friendly interface, individuals can effortlessly design applications tailored to specific business needs. The platform’s pre-built templates further simplify tasks, such as creating expense trackers or project management tools, allowing users to prototype rapidly and deploy solutions that align precisely with their unique requirements. Power Apps democratizes the application development process, enabling non-developers to actively contribute, fostering innovation, and significantly reducing the time and resources traditionally associated with coding-intensive projects.

For example, a leading global professional services and consulting agency demonstrates how the low-code environment helps drive agility and innovation. Decentralizing functions; the platform, integrated with Microsoft 365, grants all employees licenses, enabling real-time problem-solving. The Power Platform Center of Excellence strategically implemented Power Platform, fostering a vibrant developer community. The platform accommodates both citizen and professional developers, promoting a culture of innovation and problem-solving. The company used the Platform to measure success through ROI metrics and found significant time and cost savings.

  • Data-driven & AI-enabled with Power BI

Through Power BI’s advanced analytics and reporting features, companies can employ interactive dashboards to visually represent complex data sets. This facilitates the identification of trends and patterns that might be difficult to find through traditional analysis methods. With its real-time reporting capabilities, Power BI empowers decision-makers to stay updated on KPIs, facilitating timely and well-informed decisions. Additionally, the platform’s predictive analytics functionality enables companies to anticipate challenges and opportunities by extrapolating from historical data. For instance, businesses can use Power BI to analyze customer behavior trends, forecast demand, or identify potential bottlenecks in operations.

Microsoft Power Platform, specifically through Power Virtual Agents, streamlines collaboration by enabling intelligent chatbot creation. Organizations can leverage this for various purposes, such as automating customer queries, assisting employees with internal processes, or handling routine tasks. This not only improves response times, but also enhances information exchange across teams. This improved collaboration significantly boosts productivity and adaptability amid a rapidly changing technological landscape. For instance, with chatbots managing routine inquiries, frontline employees can focus on more complex tasks, increasing overall efficiency.

Integrate and integrate more: Businesses winning on Power Platform

Power Platform’s seamless integration with both Microsoft and third-party applications ensures a smooth transition and coexistence with existing systems, highlighting its capability to future-proof an organization’s tech stack. Leveraging Microsoft Power Platform’s 500+ built-in connectors, users can connect to cloud and content services, databases, and APIs. By effortlessly connecting with Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and other external databases, Power Platform enables the creation of comprehensive solutions that cater to specific business needs. For example, integrating Power Apps with Microsoft Teams allows teams to collaborate more effectively by accessing and updating data within their familiar communication platform. Here’s how some customers have leveraged the benefits of Microsoft Power Platform to boost business agility:

1. A leading 3PL provider faced challenges with shop floor operations due to the limitations of their existing ERP system and Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which primarily served their accounting needs. While NAV lacked support for manufacturing and repair execution, an in-house custom application attempted to address these gaps. However, critical features offered by NAV were absent, hampering operational efficiency.

To overcome these hurdles, Fortude offered a comprehensive solution. Leveraging the Power Platform suite including Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI, Fortude developed a tailored application that seamlessly integrated with NAV. This ensured that standard manufacturing functionalities were incorporated while accommodating the business’s unique requirements. Specific modules were designed for receiving, repair, reclaim/harvest, and quality control to streamline operations and enhance visibility across the shop floor. By embracing digital transformation through the Power Platform, the 3PL provider successfully simplified shop floor operations and improved its overall efficiency.

2. A prominent apparel manufacturer in Asia faced significant issues with optimizing production efficiency and reducing machine downtime. The absence of a comprehensive downtime tracking system hindered effective disruption management, resulting in productivity losses and operational inefficiencies. Real-time data on machine downtime was lacking, leading to production delays and customer order fulfillment issues. Additionally, the absence of breakdown repair time data made resource allocation and maintenance scheduling difficult, increasing maintenance costs and prolonging production downtimes.

Fortude intervened by developing a comprehensive system comprising four components to enhance operational efficiency and minimize downtime. This solution included an Admin Panel for managing master data, ensuring system accuracy, and offering access to historical data for in-depth analysis and reporting. The Power BI Dashboard provided real-time visualizations to monitor downtime patterns and make informed decisions. The Team Leads’ View enabled efficient breakdown reporting with a dedicated table near production lines for real-time data entry. Lastly, the Mechanics’ View allowed mechanics stationed at the waiting area to promptly attend to recorded downtime incidents, thereby streamlining operations and driving efficiency across the manufacturing floor.

Transform today

Microsoft Power Platform is a transformative force in modernizing organizational operations for the dynamic tech landscape.

Its scalability caters to businesses of all sizes, ensuring adaptability to evolving needs and technological shifts. Furthermore, advanced analytics and reporting capabilities foster data-driven decision-making, vital for staying competitive in today’s data-centric environment.

Integration enables seamless data flow between ERP and Power Platform components, facilitating real-time data analysis, custom application development, workflow automation, and user-friendly interfaces. This synergy empowers organizations to enhance efficiency, make informed decisions, and navigate the rapid pace of technological evolution with agility and innovation.

Want to get started, but don’t know how? If you are based in Australia and New Zealand, register to join us for Power Up in a Day, a complimentary Microsoft Power Platform Masterclass on Monday, 26 February 2024 at 2 – 4 PM, AEDT. The 2-hour hands-on, online session will help you leverage low-code platforms and speed up innovation in your organization: