Webinar Recap | Supercharge your Intranet with the Power Platform.

Thanks for your interest in “Supercharge your Intranet with the Power Platform.” If you were able to join us for the webinar, we sincerely thank you for being there. We hope you had as much fun getting to learn about the Power Platform as our speakers did sharing their knowledge with you.  

Didn’t get a chance to catch our session live? We’ve got you covered.


This Session:

A company intranet breaks down silos, bringing transparency and productivity to your team. But what if we told you you could superpower your intranet to deliver even more value with tools right at your fingertips? The Power Platform empowers anyone—coders and non-coders alike—to accelerate things like building apps to manage time-off requests, automating approval workflows, analyzing and displaying sales data, creating a bot to answer common HR questions, and more.    
  

But what is everything that the Power Platform has to offer? And how can you use it to automate repetitive, time-consuming workflows? In this webinar recording, Microsoft Service Adoption Specialist Carolyn Gjerde and Microsoft MVP + Creospark CTO Noorez Khamis walk through the practical application of the Power Platform to level up your internal communications and processes. 

 

Episode Takeaways:  

  • Understand what makes up the Power Platform: Power Automate, Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents, Power Pages, and Power BI   
  • See the Power Platform in action on an intranet  
  • Learn Power Platform adoption best practices 


Show Links:


Key Takeaways 

8:35– What is the Power Platform? 

The Power Platform combines the robust power of Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents into one powerful business application platform – providing quick and easy app building and data insights. 

“When you think about the Power Platform, it’s this rapid application development platform that enables the regular organizational employee, or what we now call this new class of developer called the Citizen Developer. The citizen developer normally doesn’t have these coding abilities. They have limited coding abilities, but they have the ability to build solutions faster now, with the Power Platform. They’re able to do it in a user experience that feels like Excel and PowerPoint, that they’re used to using on a daily basis. The Power Platform is bigger than the sum of its parts. Power Apps, along with Power Automate, Power BI, Power Virtual Agents and Power Pages make up the Power Platform, which is that end-to-end platform for low code and rapid development for Microsoft 365, Dynamics, Azure, or your own custom app development or customization as well.” 

10:40 Power Apps 

What is it?

10:41 “Power Apps really helps users build low code, web, and mobile applications based on their data sources that they have, whether they’re on-premises in the cloud, whether they’re Microsoft or non-Microsoft. It helps organizations easily build web and mobile-friendly apps, with full-featured low code, no code development experience as part of the Maker Studio. It enables businesses to respond faster to requirements and opportunities for optimization. If a team has an idea and they want to improve a process, they can quickly build an application point to wherever that master data lies, whether it’s SharePoint, Dataverse, Dynamics, Excel, SQL, non-Microsoft data sources as well.”

Types of Power Apps 

11:29 “There’s two types of Power Apps. There’s model-driven. If you or anybody on the line here is familiar with Dynamics 365, it’s all based on dataverse and the underlying model first. So you could create a table first, and then you create a model-driven Power App. You start with the model first, that’s why it’s called model-driven. The next type of Power App is a Canvas app, where this is kind of where you can create these pixel-perfect apps, and you could drag and drop your buttons in the perfect X and Y. You give it the colors you want, you can connect to many different data sources and connections. All mashed up into a beautiful interface.” 

Use Cases

12:07 “And there’s from an intranet perspective, there’s practically unlimited use cases for Power Apps. With Canvas apps, since you can embed the Power Apps directly into your SharePoint pages, you could do things like expense reimbursements, time off requests, reserving your time back into the office, office locations, property searches. Your benefits forums searches, event registrations, and recognition systems are all examples of Power Apps that we’ve built and embedded in corporate intranets.”

12:42 Power Automate 

What is it?

12:44 “Power Automate really enables you to enable business processes across your organization, and lets you securely connect to your on-premises data in cloud-based services. You’re able to model your business processes and automate your workflows across your apps and services, whether they’re hosted in Microsoft or not. You can go deep or broad from simple individual automation. So, I want to post the document from my OneDrive to SharePoint intranet to more advanced organization scenarios, so with multiple levels of approval, with conditions and loops – and a lot more. Then, you can also do things like trigger actions, grant approvals, and get notifications right where you were.” 

Use Cases

13:28 “You can do simple things like a Content Page approval workflow, where if somebody from a department pushes a news item, you need to get it approved before it goes to the homepage. You can schedule and archive pages and news items after a certain amount of time using a scheduled cloud flow. You could do feedback loops for your employees to give feedback on their corporate intranet. You can also send reminders to take action on outstanding items, on lists, or on your libraries. For example, a reminder to a policy owner to update the vacation policy that’s been pushed online to your SharePoint intranet on a yearly basis.”

14:40 Power BI 

What is it?

14:41 “Power BI allows you to see those interactive, real-time dashboards, and gives you insights for the information that you’re trying to see. With Power BI, you can gain insight, regardless of where your data lives – connecting and consolidating that data to give you that fuller view across your business. Power BI really allows you to make sense of your data, and drive that confident decision across your organization, based on the data no matter where we exist. It allows you to reduce the amount of time spent in Data Prep and spend more time on getting the answers you’re looking for with AI driven Insights. You’re able to remove the complexity of managing all the multiple analytic solutions you have with a single unified platform that gives everybody in your organization access to those insights.”

Use Cases

15:32 You can embed your Power BI dashboards within your SharePoint pages and make them targeted with the audience targeting capability in SharePoint. You can target executive reports to the executive you target CRM reports from. You’re able to embed reports that give you a view into all the Teams, team sites, and you can even go down to the document level within your tenant. You can create reports that help you see the connections, actions, interaction, and productivity of your people when accessing the Microsoft 365 stack of technology. It could be from the number of engaged departments using and not using Teams, Yammer, SharePoint, to the monthly active users that are on it. You can embed your Power BI reports within a Power App as well and embed that on an intranet to provide a more tailored, customized experience, where the Power App is driving the view of the Power BI dashboard – where they’re working together.” 

17:11 Power Virtual Agents 

What is it?

17:11 “Power Virtual Agents enables you to create intelligent chatbots to engage with your customers and employees. You can think about it like covering that first wave of customer support for common issues, so your staff can focus on the more complex requests and the high-value interactions.” 

Use Cases

17:30 “You can embed an intranet. You also can embed your chatbot on your intranet for your service requests or ticketing systems, or even HR self-help information.” 

17:40 Power Pages

What is it?

17:48 “It’s the newest member of the Power Platform family. It’s the evolution of Power Apps portals. Which is the platform for creating, hosting, and administering modern, external facing business websites. Whether you’re a low code maker or a professional developer, it enables you to design and configure in a ‘WYSIWYG’ – ‘what you see is what you get’ way. These powerful websites allow you to connect to your business data directly within Dataverse.”

Use Cases

18:15 “You can do some filesharing with your partners, where you can onboard new employees who don’t have an account on your system. You can interact with your customers and surface that interaction on your intranet. You can get information from your vendors as well.” 

22:07 Intranet + Power Platform in Action! 

Microsoft Service Adoption Specialist Carolyn Gjerde walked us through a live demo of the Power Platform in action on an intranet. Check out the recording for details. 

34:55 Power Platform Adoption Best Practices

Find your champions and create champions program

34:55 “In organizations, there might be a few people outside of the IT world experimenting with Power Platform tools. Think back, a long time ago with SharePoint pages, that it was pretty much locked down to a smaller group of people. But now, people in finance are creating content on SharePoint. So, I see this the same way with Power Platform, especially around Power Automate, and Power Apps. There’s more of a need to develop apps than there are professional developers. So, the Power Platform is an easy way to kind of meet that need that all organizations are going to face. So, how do you get from an organization where things are very tightly controlled, or could be tightly controlled through specific silos and channels? It’s similar to building out your intranet platform – it’s to really find your champions and to create a champion’s program around the Power Platform.” 

Hold office hours, events, friendly competitions, or hackathons

36:53 “And it’s also very important to provide ongoing training. One thing that I really want to stress is that Microsoft provides a lot of free training, both through Microsoft Learn, and through these day events, where you can get your feet wet and learn all about the different Power Platform components.” 

Build a Power Platform resource center and Center of Excellence Admin management

38:56 “A dedicated site where you might celebrate what your team’s doing around the Power Platform, or you can give best practice information. Just like with Intranets, where we recommend having a Microsoft 365 resource center, but really building out the Power platform side of this, so that people know where to go for help. And on the Power Platform side, they have created a sister project that is run by Microsoft called The Center of Excellence, where you can manage the administration of the Power Platform more easily.” 


And there you have it! We hope this recap has provided some valuable insights that you can put into practice. Check out the recording for more details on this content. 

Make sure to join us at our next webinar on January 26th, where we will help you unlock 10 hidden Microsoft 365 gems to make you the most effective version of yourself yet. From shortcuts to automation to improved meetings, you’ll walk away with 10 practical tips to help you make 2023 your best year ever. 

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