Meet our Power Platform experts
Joris is a solution architect who has worked with the Microsoft stack for over 20 years now. For the last five years, his main work has been for large Dynamics 365 Sales and Customer Service clients. He’s a former SharePoint MVP and a board member of the Belux Dynamics CRM User Group. Read all about it on his own blog.
Senior Data Insights Consultant and Data Platform MVP, those are the ‘official’ terms for describing Benni’s activities. On a daily basis, he converts copious amounts of coffee into insights on customer data.
Jeroen is a consultant in the Digital Workplace team that specialises in building digital environments to support all business users in their daily activities. His main focus lies with Office 365 and related technologies.
First and foremost, to get the facts straight, what is the Microsoft Power Platform?
'It’s a low-code platform that spans Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamics 365 and stand-alone applications,' says Joris. '"Low-code" means that users without a background in development can create apps in less time than custom development would normally allow. By putting this power in the hands of business users, there is an enormous potential for improving processes which, quite often, still rely on spreadsheets, manual processes and paper.'
From your point of view and expertise, what is the added value of the Power Platform for organisations?
'The usage scenarios are often initiated by business users who want to improve a specific process,' explains Joris. 'I currently work for a large customer in the automotive industry where product engineers have built a mobile app using Power Apps combined with Power BI to perform quality tests on materials used to build cars. Since the business owners are now able to build these apps themselves, it is easier to deliver business value quickly, and they are able to iterate and improve these apps in a matter of days or weeks.'
Benni truly believes that the strength of the Power Platform lies in a combination of each of these tools. 'Alone, they can do some pretty cool things. When combined, they complement each other so well that they're more than the sum of the individual components. Additionally, the Power Platform has seen explosive growth over the past few years.'
'A lot of our customers have migrated to Office 365 and gain access to the Power Platform since it’s included in many Microsoft 365 plans,' says Jeroen. 'We have found that it inspires business users to build modern applications, workflows and reporting for themselves and their team. We review the approach taken for these applications, and we leverage the same technology to implement robust solutions to automate processes.'
What are typical use cases in your domain?
'As a Dynamics 365 solution architect, I am able to use the Power Platform components on top of the Dynamics 365 platform, since all D365 applications use the Power Platform as a foundation. Typically, CRM and ERP applications need to integrate with many different systems. With over 300 connectors available in Power Automate, we are now able to automate processes across application boundaries. At the same time, other applications and processes can also use the data in the Dynamics 365, leveraging open standards like, for example, the Common Data Model.
'My focus is typically on data, and making the most of it,' explains Benni. 'Power BI is the largest tool on my belt, to ensure that we present the insights of the data in a clean and informative manner. Leveraging the Common Data Model for consistent definitions of data truly makes things more efficient. In the past, we've built a set of Power Apps and Flows to help users trigger their own refreshes, set up custom alerting or even perform data extractions for external use. It helps us to think outside the box, and create a richer experience for our customers.'
As a Digital Workplace consultant, Jeroen’s focus is to create a digital environment to support each and every business user in their daily tasks. As a result, the Power Platform can help to optimise efficiency and reduce the time wasted for nearly any repetitive task or business process. These can be very specialised tasks such as managing a lab environment, following up on trials, assisting service teams, supporting onboarding and offboarding, etc. It can also be used for typical mundane tasks like managing reservations for shared equipment, managing resources and training, building a request system and managing documents. 'In all scenarios, the power of the platform lies in its ability to connect to outside applications and systems,' says Jeroen.
Let us guide you
We work for a very broad set of customers in different sectors and in different departments. This allows us to pick up on the best practices and ideas from one sector or department and use this information in others. In addition, we work closely with Microsoft's experts and gain our expertise firsthand.
By combining the acquired knowledge of our Office 365, Dynamics CRM and Data Insights teams, we have created our virtual Power Lab team. This enables us to bring together cross-platform expertise and truly make the 'Better Together' philosophy of Microsoft come to life!