Great apps begin with a spark of inspiration, a vision of solving a specific problem or scratching a particular itch. Think Uber; think Airbnb; think Bumble; think Snapchat, Whatsapp, Facebook, YouTube… the list goes on and on! While the tech makes it happen, they all start as an idea. Do you have a winning idea that you want to set free onto the marketplace. PowerApps may be the key to bringing it to fruition. Let’s explore a few different types of PowerApps – and ways to use the tool for maximum results.
What Is PowerApps?
PowerApps is part of the Microsoft Power Platform; it empowers you to create custom apps. It is completely suitable and robust enough for developers, but it can also be used by non-technical folks. They will need to feel comfortable with technology and have some training, but the point is that PowerApps is accessible to a wide range of people.
For more advanced functionality, it’s a good idea to bring in the pros. That said, PowerApps is an innovative “low code” way to build apps efficiently and effectively.
Now let’s take a look at three types of PowerApps:
- Canvas Apps. Canvas apps focus on user experience and allow you to create a tailored, targeted interface. You essentially have a blank canvas that you can connect to your choice of 200+ data sources. This is a great option for creating apps that deliver a great UI and UX while staying completely on-brand.
- Model-Driven Apps. Here you start with your core business data and processes (using Dataverse, Microsoft’s answer to storing and modeling business data) and build out using a pre-existing structure. This option allows you to develop apps with great UI and responsiveness across devices.
- Portals. Build an app that allows users outside of your organization to sign in, create, view Dataverse data, and browse content.
What’s the right solution for your app? Talk to the MVP.dev team; we’ll discuss your unique needs and goals in order to find the optimal path.
Ways to Use PowerApps
How do you put this power to use for you and your business? We have some ideas:
1. Improve and Enhance Customer Experience
Want (and need) to create a compelling, engaging user experience? Of course you do! There is no industry, no business, and no professional that cannot benefit from a strong connection to its customers and clients. PowerApps can help you create apps that empower your customers to shop, stay current, receive alerts and updates, chat with you instantly, and much more.
Put it to work: think about your customers, and really get into their minds. What do they need for a better experience with your brand? What’s currently working, and how could you make it even more effective? What’s lacking, and how can you fill the gap?
2. Pack a Punch on Social Media
So, you hit a homerun with a great hashtag campaign. That was great! But… What was it again? It was a few months ago, and either you don’t remember what exactly it was or you’ve completely forgotten about it. Why does it matter either way? Because you are missing out on a chance to make an impact on your social media audience – and on your bottom line. You can create an app that saves your best-performing hashtags; you’ll be able to see what’s working and resonating with your audience so you can create more of that excellent, compelling content and conversation.
3. Shore Up Operations
You’ve got solutions and systems and processes for everything from file storage to project management. It can seem like different platforms and programs dominate your day, and you’re constantly navigating between them. PowerApps can make it more streamlined and easier to do what you need to do. For example:
- Create a one-drop app. Think of this as a one-stop shop for all of your OneDrive, Dropbox, Trello, Slacks, and emails. It can share files across several platforms in one easy step. Plus finding that file you absolutely need and seems to be in hiding? Done.
- Make data entry less of a nightmare. Let’s put it this way: would you rather your people spend endless hours on filling in individual entries for the dozens, hundreds, or thousands of data points you need to record. They’re not working on the business – and they’re bored out of their minds. There’s an app for that… if you build one!
- Build a project management system that does it all. You might use Microsoft Planner to assign tasks, Teams to communicate, Salesforce for client data… and more. Navigating from one platform to the other and back and then to yet another is a time-waster and energy-sapper. With PowerApps, you can create an app that combines all the features of your platforms and allows them to communicate seamlessly. One place to go when you need to get work done: it’s brilliant.
4. Motivate Your Team
Unsurprisingly, when employees are recognized for their good work and wins, they are more motivated. This is especially true in sales-related roles. You may not be able to track every single sale that your people make – but you can build an app that does. This way, you can acknowledge, celebrate, and motivate.
5. Think Swiss Army Knife
With a clear view of your business and its goals, you can create a “Swiss Army Knife” app. That is, it is one app that does… everything! Or close to it anyway. This allows you to avoid wasting time hopping from solution to solution and platform to platform. It also reduces items that slip through the cracks and erroneous entries and mistakes. At the same time, it’ll be easy – and dare we say fun – to use.
PowerApps is a powerful tool, and it can help you reach your business-building goals. To put your ideas into action and explore even more ways to use PowerApps, contact MVP.dev.