Microsoft PowerApps for innovators who want to create apps with business value
Microsoft PowerApps gives you, the business leader, a digital solution that's tailored to your business Do you sigh at the cost of developing software and letting old practices and apps live on as long as possible? Is your desk drawer full of good ideas scrapped because it's too hard to recruit programmers? There is hope! Read about the company that developed an onboarding app quickly, easily and cost-effectively with Microsoft PowerApps.
Mikael Roos, Application Integrator at AddPro, helps companies build customised solutions for their IT environment. He often meets customers who venture into the cloud in the hope of improving their business processes, but can't find the tools their organisation needs. Out-of-the-box solutions are often complicated, rely on costly licensing solutions and, most importantly, are difficult to customize for your own business. Until now, developing your own bespoke system has meant increased risk and high costs. PowerApps makes it easy and cost-effective to develop advanced apps that make business processes run more smoothly.
Big wins with Microsoft PowerApps as an onboarding tool
The first day on the job doesn't just mean a flower on your desk, it's the start of an onboarding process. The new employee must be guided around the premises to find their desk, conference room and coffee room. With coffee cup in hand, the new hire also needs to get their tools and IT environment in place, a massive task with many players. A whole series of tasks and processes start, all of which need to be performed, monitored and reported.
Mikael tells us about a company that used to carry out the entire onboarding process using emails, Excel sheets, phone calls and sometimes even post-it notes. All the work of ordering keys, access cards and alarm codes was manual and lists of computer, phone and authorisation requests were sent between departments. Everything was followed up via email and entered into Excel sheets for feedback and reporting.
- We could not find a system that was adapted to Swedish conditions and met the company's wishes. It was not possible to get all the features the customer wanted at a reasonable cost. Connecting systems, databases and functions becomes complicated for a developer who has to code a system from scratch, with the risk of it becoming a large and costly project," says Mikael.
At first glance, the requirements of the system look simple: order everything a new employee needs with a checklist to be approved by the immediate manager. This seemingly simple wish is complicated by the need to communicate with multiple departments and systems.
Build apps in PowerApps without coding
In order to develop a customised solution quickly and cost-effectively, Mikael and his colleagues at AddPro opted instead to use Microsoft's PowerApps platform. This allowed integration between different systems to be done easily without the need to involve a large development team.
- The strength of PowerApps is the flexibility in how you build apps. It's as simple as dragging-and-dropping functions into a graphical interface. Connect data sources, cloud services and systems to get the data you need without building a complicated solution from scratch. Although it's easy to get started, it's possible to build complex apps.
With PowerApps, there's no need for parallel development tracks for mobile and web, everything can be run in the PowerApps shell and will be directly compatible with Microsoft Teams.
Not all at once - the app was developed one sprint at a time
By working in sprints, the work got underway and an app with the basic functions was quickly rolled out in the company. In the first version, it was possible to order keys and the app added the new employee to the payroll system. Users then helped with wish lists of features. New sprints added functionality by priority and new views by function were added.
- HR talked about the relief they felt when the first version arrived and management could see the potential. It is often difficult to get money for new systems and HR is constantly referred to Excel sheets. Thanks to the app, they are now more efficient without increasing costs. It's always fun when we start a sprint. First to see how they have actually used the previous version and what features they want to develop with Microsoft PowerApps in the next one, concludes Mikael.
Curious how Microsoft PowerApps can help your business harness innovation and streamline your operations? Sign up for our OptimizeIT workshop and maybe the next app you install on your phone will be tailor-made for you and your business.