Microsoft Power Apps allows companies to build and share professional apps without having any programming knowledge. Put simply, businesses can create their own app for any purpose without a single line of code.
Why is the ability to quickly build apps so powerful? Well, apps have the power to hugely impact the customer experience for the better – assuming your app is built well! Nowadays, almost everything is available or controlled by apps. Users no longer wait to install software to get a program. Instead, they expect to simply install an app and gain access to their desired content via their mobile device right away. You’re probably aware that you can have an app for just about anything, and that businesses across the world are increasingly utilizing apps to improve processes and increase the level of accessibility their customers have to them. The result? Increased engagement, improved user experience and in turn, customer loyalty.
But it’s not just the customer experience that is impacted by apps. Just as importantly, you can use apps to drive internal digital transformation for your business – saving time and money as a result. This article is going to look at three use cases for Power Apps and explain how they can be useful to your organization. The article will then dive a bit deeper to look at how you can build an app using a contact record from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement.
3 Use Cases for Power Apps
We all know timesheets are critical for a lot of businesses, but they take up a lot of everyone’s time, having to manually insert information and review it. Utilizing Power Apps to build a personalized timesheet management app for your employees can be a great answer to this issue. Employees can benefit from the app by easily being able to insert the time and descriptions into their timesheet! Managers can then receive the data in real time and approve, reject, or edit information for their direct reports.
If your organization is heavily sales-focused, then you’ll know just how critical it is to make sure your personnel are not unknowingly overselling inventory. One way to avoid overselling is to utilize Power Apps to build an app for your team that empowers them to keep track of products they sell. Building an app for their portable devices can ensure they can keep track of all products. It can also provide them with real time information on price and promotions, so they can ensure they are always providing their customers with the most up to date and relevant information.
There is nothing more annoying for a Sales Representative at the end of a long conference than having to spend hours manually updating business card information into a spreadsheet or CRM. Using Power Apps, you can develop a content management app that empowers your Sales Representatives (or any employee for that matter!) to add contacts and even manage accounts within your CRM whilst at a conference or remote. The beauty of Power Apps is that it allows you to link all your data sources from within your CRM through a library of connectors and the Common Data Service (CDS) giving organizations a real competitive advantage. Your employees can update information in your database in real time from any location. They can even build an app to predetermine questions to ask customers or prospects at an event, making sure they do not miss any crucial information that might help with their event follow up!
These are just a few short examples of where you can use Power Apps to build apps that improve the overall performance of your employees and drive efficiency within your organization. As mentioned above, you can link a data sources with your app, such as Dynamics 365 SharePoint, Office Suite (yup the full suite!) plus a few other sources outside of Microsoft that have an API to connect themselves to it.
Building an App for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement
We’re now going to take you through the process of creating an app within Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement using Contact records. This example builds upon the aforementioned use case of contact management. It’s going to look at how you can create an app that empowers you to manage Contacts in your CRM, allowing you to add, edit, or delete contacts from any advice. This example shows basic functionality, but it can always be customized afterwards (for example, you might decide you want to add or subtract fields to forms, or even add a full form or entity). When it comes to Power Apps, the options for you and your team are infinite.
The first step is to click on the link make.powerapps.com and login with your Microsoft credentials. The user-friendly home page will show you a large number of options, but in this example we are focusing on building a new app, so we will simply click on + Create button from the left side bar.
Then Common Data Services and select “Contacts” form the table and click on connect.
Power Apps will do the work for you and nicely shape your data into a customizable template so that you don’t have to start from scratch.
By default, you will be presented with 3 mains screens, with a list appearing on the main screen.
You then have the ability to view each record in detail.
You are then given the option to edit records.
From the canvas you can test your app by pressing Alt+ and clicking in the button that you want to test.
By default, Microsoft has placed a small bar of options at the top of your main screen, to refresh, sort of even add new records. Because it is directly connected to your database, any record created in your app will populate in your CRM.
Power Apps is a user-friendly platform that empowers you to access your system from anywhere, with no barriers between OS or devices, with one simple connection to access your app. You’re not limited on the type of features you want to build on Power Apps, making it possible to build different apps based on the requirements of your organization and customers.