Where to look for savings and employee happiness?

Where to look for savings and employee happiness?

In today's business world, most companies face the constant challenge of how to increase employee performance while improving employee satisfaction. Process automation, and thus the upgrading of employee tasks, is key to achieving these goals. In this context, the question often arises of how to enable non-technical individuals to create customized applications without the need for coding.

Power Apps, Microsoft's innovative platform, is proving to be the answer to this challenge. It allows users to create their personalized apps without the need for programming or development expertise. The advantage of building your own apps using low-code platforms is that companies can make sure they are perfectly tailored to the unique needs of the organization's users and the way employees work.

According to a Microsoft survey, 92 % of Fortune 500 companies - the 500 richest companies in the world - use Power Apps in at least one department.

Forrester Consulting found that companies using Microsoft Power Apps achieve the following results:

  • 188 % ROI (return on investment) over three years,
  • 74 % reduction in application development costs,
  • saving staff time by an average of 3.2 hours per week.

Tools included

The platform contains a comprehensive set of Microsoft environment applications, services, connectors and data platform, providing a fast environment for developing business applications. A key benefit is the ability to build applications based on M365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365. This allows different parts of the Microsoft environment such as SharePoint Online, Excel and Dynamics 365 to be integrated into one convenient experience.

The Power Apps platform is equipped with several features and tools to help you create apps that don't require coding.

These tools include:

  • a library of sample applications that can be used as a starting point and then customized,
  • a library of more than 200 connectors for connecting data and systems, including those from Office 365,
  • a simple, drag-and-drop interface for creating apps,
  • tight integration with other Office 365 and Dynamics tools, good support structures, including an active Power Apps community.

Canvas & models: a world of customized applications

Canvas-based applications are a type of application in the Power Apps platform that are built using a web template. Users have full control over the look and functionality of the application, as they can use various controls and add-ons.

The main feature of canvas apps is that they are user-driven. This means that users can define how it will look and how it will work. This makes them an excellent choice for applications that need to be tailored to specific user needs.

Benefits of canvas applications:

  • user-friendly building: applications can be built without prior programming experience. Users can use a web template to create an app and then adapt it to their needs.
  • High flexibility: apps are highly customizable and can be used for a variety of purposes. Users can create their controls and add-ons and use their code.
  • Access to different data sources: applications access different data sources, including cloud services, local databases and other applications.

Model-driven applications are a type of application in the Power Apps platform that are built using a data model. This defines the structure of the application, including tables, columns and views. Users can use a variety of controls and add-ons to create the user interface but have less control over the appearance of the application than with canvas-based applications.

The main feature of model-driven applications is that they are data-driven. This means that their structure is defined by a data model. They are an excellent choice for applications such as CRM, project management applications or warehouse solutions.

Benefits of model-based applications:

  • fast build: they can be built faster than on a canvas, as the structure of the app is determined by the data model.
  • Standardised user interface: they have a standardized user interface similar to other Microsoft business applications.
  • Multi-business process support: support different business processes (sales, marketing, customer support, project management).

In summary, canvas-based applications are more flexible and suitable for many scenarios with fast development cycles. Model-based applications, on the other hand, contain a structured approach that ensures consistency and is often used in data-centric development.

Solutions for business success

At Stroka Business Group, we have been actively working on the development of applications using low-code platforms for several years. They can be used for multiple processes, including workflow, automation, data visualization, reporting, collaboration and more.

Our experts have developed apps for:

1. help in busy locations:

  • modernizing the existing MS Excel-based system to better control the deployment of workers.
  • User interfaces for workers and administrators with support for different events.

2. Well-being monitoring - iFeel:

  • tracking employees' well-being at work (anonymized list of feelings via GUID).
  • A simple SharePoint frontend.

3. Records of attendance at events and attendance records:

  • electronic registration of visits to events.
  • Mobile app for attendance management.

4. Submit challenges and ideas:

  • an app for submitting and rewarding innovative ideas from employees.
  • Mobile version of the app for easier accessibility.

5. Change management process:

  • data entry and overview for all domains, including historical data.
  • Keeping users informed.

6. The guest reception app (eGatekeeper):

  • the visitor fills in an electronic form, the printer prints a sticker with a QR code and a registration number.
  • the visitor takes the sticker and returns it to the doorman upon departure, who scans it and checks out.

New capacities

As with most of the tools and services in the M365 suite, Microsoft continues to invest in Power Apps, and the latest announcements on near-term capabilities are very advanced.

New capacities announced:

  • improved Power Fx formula bar: the Power Fx formula bar will be turned on by default for new applications. This will make it easier to create and edit formulas in Power Apps.
  • Microsoft Copilot extension: Microsoft Copilot will now support Power Platform plug-ins. This will allow Microsoft Copilot to help users create and edit applications.
  • AI Builder capability: this capability allows apps to take advantage of Microsoft's AI and machine learning frameworks to develop smarter and more advanced apps.For example, AI can analyze and categorize customer responses to feedback and then take specific actions.
  • Portals: portals allow you to create websites for external employees in the same way as Power Apps. They can be used to create customer feedback portals, customer support portals or training portals.

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