8 Highly Creative Ways to Use Microsoft PowerApps

There’s an app for that. At least, that’s what we’ve been told. Still, with 1.95 million apps available across platforms, there isn’t always one that does exactly what we’re looking for. This is why a number of businesses turn to PowerApps, part of the Power Platform, to find the solution they’re looking for.

Businesses are finding that it’s no longer convenient to have their employees utilizing 10+ different work platforms just to get the job done. Not to mention, employees are not motivated to take on these time-sucking tasks either.

PowerApps is a smart way to enhance your business’s productivity, organize projects, engage customers, or do whatever else you can dream up.

If you’re ready to create the perfect app solution for your business but aren’t sure how PowerApps can help, read on for more information.


What is PowerApps?

Before we dive into what PowerApps can do, it’s important that you understand what PowerApps really is. Say you’ve finally decided on an app idea, whether it be for in-house or for the public. Immediately some questions or going to follow:

  • How will you design the interface you want?
  • What kind of team are you going to need to pull this off?
  • Are you going to need another team to collaborate your app’s backend with other platforms?
  • Are the design process, engineering, and testing going to take ages?
  • How are you supposed to get your app on all the right devices once it’s finally created?

Fortunately, PowerApps can help you answer all of the above. While you will want an app developer to help you polish the whole thing off, PowerApps makes app design and testing easy. Its user-friendly platform is designed to help you quickly identify what you want the app to do and how you want it to communicate with other devices. From there it’s as simple as adding in a few credentials and letting the magic happen.


The Benefits of PowerApps

There are a number of benefits when it comes to using PowerApps. First and foremost is its flexibility. PowerApps can be integrated with a number of the platforms you’re already using in your business, and the list continues to grow. This means you can mix and match platforms in a way that’s more efficient for you and your team.

The software behind PowerApps also makes the design process one that anyone can be a part of. When it comes to the front-end UX, you’ll have your say in what goes where saving you time and money on working with a developer on the design process.

Finally, PowerApps takes the guesswork out of how you’ll share your finished app with the public. It makes uploading to app stores incredibly simple and creates apps that work across all devices. This means you’ll spend less time in the testing stage and more time enjoying your app.


How It Works

The first step in working with PowerApps is to isolate the problem you’re trying to fill. Look at the current workflow or your customer’s experience and strategize on an app that can fill a void you’re facing.

Can’t think of anything right now? Don’t worry, we’ll be going into some ideas on how to use Microsoft PowerApps next.

From here, you may want to sit down with your team to get a concept of how the app will look. Take time to consider the UX and get detailed on where you’ll place your call to actions and any controls.

PowerApps gives you two options on how to go about building your app, you can start with Canvas Apps or a Model-Driven App.

Canvas apps allow you to have more customization and control in designing your user experience while model-driven apps base the app design on a pre-existing structure.

Once you have your design where you want it, choose the platform you want to link it to or the storage options the app needs.

There may be some additional details that need to be handled by your developer, but PowerApps will handle most of the process.


Idea 1: Make Data Entry a Breeze

If you’ve worked with CRM’s like Salesforce or Dynamics before then you know that data entry can be a time-consuming process.

Sure, filling in individual profiles may seem fast, but when you multiply that by 80 or even 1,000 it’s easy to see where a good chunk of your employees’ hours go.

Not to mention…it’s not fun. Keeping employees motivated and excited about working with mundane tasks like data entry is a challenge in itself. Fortunately, you can create an app that bypasses all of this.

It’s as easy as building a system that your team can easily navigate and telling PowerApps how you want the data communicated from Salesforce.

Not only is this more efficient, but it also reduces the chance of errors that are likely to come with manual data entry.


Idea 2: Enhance Your Customers Experience

There is no industry that can’t benefit from creating a more engaging experience with its clientele. And brands are finally starting to notice.

This is why businesses are incorporating UX into everything from their marketing campaigns to how their consumers shop for their products.

Through PowerApps you can create a robust app that allows your customer to build a more engaging relationship with your brand. Allow them to shop, stay on top of events, or even receive alerts on upcoming product launches.

The key here is to get creative. Put yourself in the role of your customers or hold a research group and see where their experience is lacking. Then build your app around this need.

With the ease of PowerApps, you can even add to your app as time goes by and you collect more insight on your customer’s experience.


Idea 3: Save Time on File Sharing

If your company manages several different departments, chances are files are everywhere. While you can use a file storage platform like OneDrive or Dropbox, that doesn’t help much when those files need to be shared outside of Microsoft Teams in Trello, Slack or emails.

Save time on communication and file sharing by creating a “one drop” app that shares files across several platforms in one go.

Since PowerApps works with so many communication devices, you can easily create an app that shares files to all of your departments in one upload.

Not only does this save time on sharing, but it also makes it easier to find the files you’re looking for at the drop of a hat!

This is particularly useful if your business involves sending clients contracts or presenting materials to potential customers on a regular basis.


Idea 4: Upgrade Your Project Management Process

Talk to any business and they’ll each have their own project management system in place. More often than not they’ll use a hybrid of two or more of these platforms. Why is that? Because no one has created a project management system that does it all.

As a result, you’ll find yourself using Trello or Microsoft Planner for assigning tasks, Teams for communicating, Salesforce or Dynamics for holding client data and the list goes on. The worst part about this process is that it means you’re spending more time hopping from one platform to the next, and less time actually getting work done.

Let PowerApps – combined with Power Automate – handle this productivity labyrinth for you by creating a Swiss Army knife app. One place that easily pulls together your favorite features from each of your platforms while communicating to them smoothly. That means one place to input and find the information you need for you and your team. That also means a whole lot less clutter on your smartphone.


Idea 5: Celebrate Your Wins

Research has shown that employees are motivated when their wins receive just as much attention as their errors. This is particularly true in businesses that are sales-driven.

Unfortunately, when you’re running a business you don’t have the time to stay on top of every sale that’s made, nonetheless take the time to celebrate it.

This sounds like a PowerApps opportunity. Keep your sales team motivated (and competitive) by creating an automated app that links your CRM platform to your sales team group.

This way an announcement will automatically be sent out every time a sale is made. You get to play the role of the attentive and supportive employer without having to steal time away from your other tasks.


Idea 6: Never Miss a Beat

Did you send over that file? Did you upload that information? Do you have the PDF I asked for? These emails are not only time-consuming, but they are also annoying.

However, this may have become your status quo as it’s typically easier to send an email than to actually log in and search for the file. Your employees may also be too busy to stop and email you anytime a specific file has been uploaded. Save time (and give your employees a little breathing room) by creating a quick app that will automatically send you an email notification when a new file is uploaded to OneDrive or Dropbox.

This is particularly useful for real estate or other paperwork-heavy industries where you’ll need to know the moment a contract is in, but don’t want to overwhelm your clients. You can use this in reverse as well as a way to keep clients updated that specific steps of their paperwork process have been completed without stopping to send out individual emails.


Idea 7: Find What Works on Social Media

Remember the hashtags you used on that tweet three months ago? The one that got such a great response? Of course, you don’t. But you would if there was an app that helped you.

You can now use PowerApps to create an app that will automatically save the hashtags from your best-performing tweets onto Microsoft Planner. This is a great way to gain insight into what forms of content are performing well with your audience or to help guide your social media team.

The best part is, it requires zero effort on your part. You continue to deliver what your audience is looking for without having to guess or repeatedly scroll through your feed.


Idea 8: Fill the Missing Cog

Maybe you have several great app ideas but aren’t sure which app would make the biggest influence on your team. You want to enhance productivity and grow your team, but you’re just not sure where to put that missing piece.

This is a great time to work with a PowerApps consultant that has experience in getting the best results from custom-created business apps.

Your consultant will be able to get a clear view of your current business and functioning and can help you create the multi-tool app that’s the game-changer your team needs.

This means you won’t have to repeatedly create a new app for each department or have to switch from one app to another.

Your PowerApps consultant can also help ensure that you’re building an interface that’s easy to navigate and fun to engage with. After all, apps are supposed to be fun.


The Help You Need to Build the Ultimate Power App

PowerApps is an effective tool that’s been designed to help any type of business. However, the real fun of PowerApps is in the collaboration of several different platforms in one spot.

Building the app of your dreams doesn’t have to be difficult. With the help of our PowerApps consulting services, you’ll have the guidance you need for a high-performing app.

Contact us today for more information on how we can help you with your app.

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