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MS Power Apps

Build apps in hours—not months—that easily connect to data, use Excel-like expressions to add logic, and run on the web, iOS, and Android devices.

With the recent launch of Microsoft PowerApps, a lot of organizations will start exploring this new way of building business applications. Therefore it's important to understand the benefits of using PowerApps within your organization.

1. Agility of software delivery


Building new software or performing modifications to existing software can often be a hussle. It takes a lot of time, specific competences and multiple cycles to deliver what was expected. PowerApps will drastically increase the speed of delivering business apps. Why?



First of all because it reduces the amount of competences you need to build it. Learning PowerApps is way more easier than learning how to code in one or even multiple languages. In fact you can compare it to using excel & access. This is also one of the reasons why Microsoft is aiming to business power users & roles like a business analyst to become the "app builders of the future".

Second, PowerApps comes with a big number of out-of-the-box connections to multiple SaaS applications. This allows the oranizations to reduce the amount of time that is needed to build specific interfaces drastically

Even though you have much more capabilities of integrating with other applications, I'm convinced that with the standard connections you can get far in building advanced business apps.

2. Enterprise mobility & cloud


Even though a lot of the employees in an organization are fully mobile in their private environment, the organizations itself are lacking in mobility of their business apps. Main reason is that the applications itself are not 'mobile' proof (even the ones which are mobile proof are often only working on Windows or Android or iOS). Some of them even need a 'fat' install on the computer.

Business apps that are built with PowerApps are immediately mobile & cloud proof. Once you have finished building your app, it is very easy to distribute it to any smartphone, tablet, laptop & desktop. The only thing you need is the PowerApps client & your cloud user license and you are ready to use the app.

For sure this will allow organizations to speed up their mobile & cloud roadmap.

3. Cost allocations and savings


As mentioned in the first benefit, a software development (& management) lifecycle can be quite complex. It's not a surprise that complexity brings a high cost of building & maintaining your ICT landscape.

PowerApps will, through faster delivery and out-of-the-box connections/functions, reduce the cost of building & maintaining business apps. However it also means a shift in budget allocation, from traditional ICT budget to budget for powerusers & analysts.

At the end, organizations can expect a faster/higher ROI by using PowerApps.

4. Bigger fit between the business process & the application

One of the biggest pitfalls in a software delivery project is the mismatch between what was needed & what is delivered. (Read needed, not asked for... a good analyst is capable of catching the essence of what they really need). Nevertheless the needs still need to be translated into functional requirements, a technical design & architecture, and a briefing towards the developers. You guessed it, a lot of stakeholders that allow misinterpretation of the business needs!

Again here PowerApps will significantly reduce this gap. I'm not saying it will vanish, however as the powerusers & analysts are capable of building apps themselves (in support of ICT in case of additional connections etc.) it will decrease the amount of involved stakeholders and thus reduce the possibility for misunderstandings.

A second important argument is the combination of PowerApps and Microsoft Flow. Flow allows you in an IFTTT (If this then that) approach to model & automate your business processes. This means that the same powerusers & analysts will be in control of mapping their own processes.

5. Bridging the gap between business and ICT

Everyone knows these funny stories between "Business" & "ICT" stakeholders... The ICT squat keeps on complaining that these guys from business can't make up their mind, don't know what they are doing, never have enough budget, ... I can keep on going on for hours here! Same thing on the other side... Business questions why it takes so long to deliver something, why it never corresponds to what they asked for (or needed...), and why these apps still contain bugs after such a long test cycle?!



Now think about it, in a way it's normal that we face difficulties in aligning these two worlds, no? Well, guess again, thanks to applications like PowerApps & Flow these stakeholder groups will get much closer to each other. This will without any doubt remove a lot of the perception issues that live between these stakeholders!

MS Dynamics 365

What is Dynamics 365?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a new cloud-focused service that repackages and rebrands what was formerly called Dynamics CRM Online into applications (apps). To put it into context, think about what Microsoft recently did by putting its Office suite online with Office 365? That’s what Microsoft is doing now with their line of business software. Microsoft intentionally included “365” in the product suite’s name. The reality is that Dynamics 365 is built to work closely with Office 365.

The Dynamics 365 Business Edition is the perfect solution for companies with minimal financial requirements who are looking to grow sales, manage finances and streamline operations with familiar Microsoft tools.



Microsoft combines their top-of-the-line Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)  , Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions into a single product offering which is all online. The Dynamics 365 Apps are:

Sales


Simplify complex data to learn more about your customers. Automate your sales processes. You’ll shorten the sales cycle, boost productivity and reduce your costs. Get a better view of your sales team’s performance so you can meet your objectives.

Financials


Get a complete view of your company’s financial situation, all from one application. Dynamics 365 make it a lot easier to monitor cash flow, manage inventory and invoice your customers. Stay up to date on your Account Schedules, Budgets, Sales Orders and Vendor Management. When you can have a complete view of your business, you can make better business decisions.

Customer Service


Say goodbye to repetitive content and inaccurate information about your customers. Get a 360-degree view of each client. You’ll have a full history of their interactions with your department, plus their personal preferences. For customers who want to do their own research, Dynamics 365 has a self-service portal with a user-friendly knowledge base and online community.

Field Service


Keeping your customers happy and making sure your team is productive is a tall order. Dynamics 365 Field Service will help you be more efficient. Track customer warranties, view repair history and maintenance schedules from one application. You may even manage your inventory from your mobile device. Need a specific technician for a job? Find out who has the right skills with Dynamics 365 for Field Service.

Project Service Automation


Do you struggle to deliver your projects on time and stay within your budget? Project Service Automation makes it easier. Build plans with specially designed templates that can be used again and adjusted for each project. Get a clear view of what stage you’re at and who is working on what. Determine at a glance if the project is profitable and will meet the customer’s expectations. All project details — from the quote to the invoice — is stored in a single system.

Operations


Change the way you operate your warehouse, transport your company’s products and control your inventory. Consolidate your shipments to reduce transportation costs. Give your warehouse managers automated workflow tools so they can respond quickly to changing demands in your business. Manage your workforce and streamline your hiring processes to help reduce errors, saving time and money.

 
Two new apps have also been added, Flow and PowerApps, allowing users to further customize the Dynamics 365 platform.

Flow is a cloud-based service that makes it practical and simple for line-of-business users to build workflows that automate time-consuming business tasks and processes across applications and services.

PowerApps provides a no-code approach to building mobile apps with specific functionality.

 

What are the Benefits of Dynamics 365 for Business?

A list of benefits that a company should consider when evaluating the purchase of Dynamics 365.

1. Say goodbye to siloed operations

Since Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based, seamless application; it removes traditional barriers and helps to create a united front and back office. This means you can control single system and manage all aspects of your business.


2. Only use the apps that you need

With Dynamics 365’s modular approach you can use individual apps that work on their own or together. This affords you the flexibility to create the solution that will best fit your needs. When your solution or business needs change and new needs arise, then you can leverage additional applications that will help your business grow. Dynamics 365 is based on AppSource, Microsoft’s new app market, where you can easily search and find the apps that you need.


3. See the whole picture, not part of it

Dynamics 365 brings together all types of customer data, allowing you to access critical information at all times. You can also use various KPIs to better understand your customers’ journey.


4. Better sales and marketing capabilities

Having a complete view of clients and prospects allows sales and marketing teams to identify sales opportunities which drive revenue. Since Dynamics 365 is accessible on mobile devices, sales teams can easily access the CRM data that they need.


5. Familiar Tools

Let’s be honest. The reality is that most people are already familiar with Microsoft productivity applications such as Microsoft Office. Dynamics 365 seamlessly integrates with these well-known applications which creates a lower learning curve and increases user adoption.


6. Your sessions are secure

Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based solution that features industry leading security and access controls for apps and data that are built into the cloud services.


7. Increase productivity

Dynamics 365 provides users with access to both the insights they need to make better-informed decisions and the tools they need to effectively do their work.


8. Subscription Model

The “365” way is providing users with scalable pricing. Dynamics 365 comes with a monthly subscription, which gives you the ability to scale up or down whenever the needs of the business change.

 

The Bottom Line

We are very excited about the direction Dynamics 365 is headed in. With its modular, subscription-based approach Dynamics will help improve the efficiency and productivity of organizations around the world.

Power BI

Background

Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. Whether your data is a simple Excel spreadsheet, or a collection of cloud-based and on-premises hybrid data warehouses, Power BI lets you easily connect to your data sources, visualize (or discover) what’s important, and share that with anyone or everyone you want.

Power BI Sources

Power BI can be simple and fast – capable of creating quick insights from an Excel spreadsheet or a local database. But it is also robust and enterprise-grade, ready for extensive modeling and real-time analytics, as well as custom development. So it can be your personal report and visualization tool, and can also serve as the analytics and decision engine behind group projects, divisions, or entire corporations.

Components of Power BI

Power BI consists of a Windows desktop application called Power BI Desktop, an online SaaS (Software as a Service) service called the Power BI service, and mobile Power BI apps available on Windows phones and tablets, as well as for iOS and Android devices.

Power BI Adaptability
These three elements – the Desktop, the service, and Mobile – are designed to let people create, share, and consume business insights in the way that serves them, or their role, most effectively.

Role-based Application

How you use Power BI may depend on your role in a project or on a team. And other people, in other roles, might use Power BI differently, which is just fine.
For example, you might primarily use the Power BI service, but your number-crunching, business-report-creating coworker might make extensive use of Power BI Desktop (and publish Desktop reports to the Power BI service, which you then view). And another coworker, in sales, might mainly use her Power BI phone app to monitor progress on her sales quotas, and to drill into new sales lead details.

If you're a developer, you might use Power BI APIs to push data into datasets or to embed dashboards and reports into your own custom applications. Have an idea for a new visual? Build it yourself and share it with others.

You also might use each element of Power BI at different times, depending on what you’re trying to achieve or what your role is for a given project or effort.
Perhaps you view inventory and manufacturing progress in a real-time dashboard in the service, and also use Power BI Desktop to create reports for your own team about customer engagement statistics. How you use Power BI can be based on which feature or service of Power BI is the best tool for your situation – but each part of Power BI is available to you, which is why it’s so flexible and compelling.


Workflow

A common flow of work in Power BI begins by connecting to data sources and building a report in Power BI Desktop. That report is then published from Desktop to Power BI service, and shared so users in service and mobile can consume (view and interact with) the report. Sometimes, you may want to give colleagues permissions similar to your own (creator permissions) so that they can use service to edit reports, create dashboards, and share their work too.

It doesn’t always happen this way, although this is one of the more common workflows, and it shows how the three main Power BI elements complement one another.

But what if you're not ready to move to the cloud, and want to keep your reports behind a corporate firewall? Read on.
On-premises reporting with Power BI Report Server

Create, deploy, and manage Power BI, mobile and paginated reports on premises with the range of ready-to-use tools and services that Power BI Report Server provides.

Power BI Architecture

Power BI Report Server is a solution that you deploy behind your firewall and then deliver your reports to the right users in different ways, whether that’s viewing them in a web browser, on a mobile device, or as an email. And because Power BI Report Server is compatible with Power BI in the cloud, you can move to the cloud when you're ready.

MS Dynamics 365 - Finance and Operations (AX)

Accelerate your business growth

Elevate your financial performance

Increase profitability

Drive margin revenue growth with a centralized, global financial management solution that delivers robust financial intelligence and embedded analytics in real time.

Optimize workforce productivity

Empower employees with role-based workspaces that provide intelligent automation, task prioritization, and integration with Office 365 applications to maximize efficiency for superior business outcome.

Reduce operational expense

Minimize operational costs across business geographies with financial process automation, encumbrance, budget planning, budget control, and three-way matching.

Adapt quickly to requirement changes

Adjust to changing financial requirements with a flexible, guided, rules-based chart of accounts, dimensions, and global tax engine.

Streamline asset management

Efficiently track values and reduce reporting errors with centralized, automated processes for managing your capitalized assets from acquisition through disposal.

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