With technology evolving so rapidly, there’s always something new coming along to help businesses improve the way they work and how they interact with their customers.
One technology tool making waves right now is PowerApps. Not heard of it?
PowerApps is part of the ‘Microsoft ‘Power Platform’ that can be used to create forms and applications to transform how you do business. They can handle anything from simple data entry to more complex business requirements, such as ticketing systems and procurement management.
MWA partner, Engage2, has helped a variety of businesses implement PowerApps and modernise the way they do business. Some real-life examples are below.
What exactly are PowerApps?
PowerApps can be thought of as a mash-up of PowerPoint and Excel. Business users familiar with those Microsoft Office 365 programs can easily create one themselves, although it helps to have a trusted partner on board to fully realise their potential for your business.
When creating a PowerApp, you can drag-and-drop icons, text and pictures across each screen (hence why it’s like PowerPoint). To create the logic behind the app, you just need to know how to create an Excel formula (hence the similarity to Excel).
Gone are the days of building systems from scratch or dealing with infrastructure hassles when you try to digitise a manual process. As PowerApps are already included in your Microsoft Office 365 licence, the barrier to entry and time to market for PowerApps is significantly reduced.
This also means that they can easily connect to your data, whether it be in Excel, SharePoint or Dynamics. Plus, you can also connect to data outside Office 365. With over 200 connectors already configured into PowerApps and Microsoft Office 365, businesses can instantly access their data and develop innovative ways to use it. Read more about the benefits here.
PowerApps and Yarra Valley Water: Making life easier for mobile safety workers
Engage2 recently worked with Yarra Valley Water to implement a Safety PowerApp.
Yarra Valley Water have mobile safety workers who are out in the field every day doing vital checks on their water network. These checks include pre-work safety checks, hazard and incident reporting and stress testing. After each check is complete, the safety workers need to report back to the main office.
Until recently, they would report back by filling out a paper form while on site, then emailing or calling the information in to the main office. It was very manual, time-consuming and subject to a high degree of human error.
Yarra Valley Water knew they needed a mobile app to reduce errors, increase efficiency and give their workers modern tools to do their job.
“Engage2 held workshops with Yarra Valley Water and walked the team through PowerApps,” says Engage2‘s Robert Carrington. “We all agreed a PowerApp would work well for what Yarra Valley Water was after. It would transform the way their mobile safety workers were able to work, engage with the main office and handle information.”
Prior to contacting Engage2, Yarra Valley Water had spent a year and a half scoping solutions but had yet to settle on a plan forward. Engage2 was able to deliver the Proof of Concept to pilot users after only two weeks.
The PowerApp uses the mobile safety workers’ mobile phone capabilities, such as GPS – to log the location of any issues; and the camera – to take photos of problem areas. This means the main office can easily see problems without needing to send someone out to review – saving significant resource hours. Overall the Safety PowerApp has modernised their business and transformed the way they work to great success.
PowerApps and QBE: improving their global recognition program
Engage2 also helped QBE to transform their global recognition program – The 10/10 Program – with a PowerApp. QBE wanted to improve the way people were able to endorse their colleagues for good work.
Using a PowerApp together with Microsoft Flow, another part of the ‘Power Platform’, made endorsements much easier. The PowerApp Engage2 created drew on existing employee data in Microsoft Office 365 so that the people doing the endorsing didn’t need to input their own details. Plus, the team managing the program didn’t need to follow up with managers or send out reminders.
Everything about the 10/10 Program, from the initial endorsement to the official recognition, became automated. It cut down the resources required to manage the program significantly and was such a success it increased endorsements from 800 nominations over 8 weeks, to 1600 nominations over 6 weeks.
PowerApps and RACV: streamlining procurement
At RACV, the Procurement Team would spend up to one week every month preparing spreadsheets on procurement for the leadership team. Engage2 worked with them to connect to SharePoint data via a PowerApp. Now, all the information is live and easily published.
The time taken to prepare and validate the reports has been cut down to only a few hours a month. The team also uses their new PowerApp to manage forecasting, making it easier for RACV to track procurement activities the qualitative and quantitative benefits they create.
Ready to see how a PowerApp can transform your business?
Having a trusted partner on board to help scope out and develop your PowerApp gives you the best of both worlds. It could be live in as little as a matter of days or weeks, and be custom-fit to your business. A partner, such as Engage2 and MWA, can design, build and support your PowerApp, as well as map out deployment methods for future changes in the technology.
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