Microsoft PowerApps: A Simple Platform to Build More Powerful, Customized Apps

by Nagarajan Anandan

In an effort to introduce a, quicker and easier, no-code development platform at a reduced cost (if not altogether free) Microsoft has introduced a powerful, agile, user-friendly, and incredibly helpful tool for both non-professionals and experienced coders: Microsoft PowerApps.

Microsoft has introduced a powerful, agile, user-friendly, and incredibly helpful tool for both non-professionals and experienced coders: Microsoft PowerApps.

It’s another way of making application development available in largely a drag-and-drop environment to those organizations that don’t have the manpower, budget, or resources to utilize the traditional application development model. It’s also a way professional developer can create apps quickly and with more flexibility. With Microsoft PowerApps, companies who don’t have a developer budget or even a developer at all can quickly build a customized app from scratch, which they can easily share with their team.

Consider these benefits:

Usability

In the past, app development was an endeavor that only a small number of professionals could accomplish. The skill level and experience needed for even the most basic business solution applications was too high. Companies could only code when someone who could code was available to code. That meant specialized personnel and increased cost. With PowerApps, new apps can be conceived, built, and distributed all within the group that needs them. There is still a level of expertise and skill needed to create a workable, useful app, but all the necessary parts and instructions are built into the PowerApps for anyone to use.

Speed

In today’s fast and furious pace of business, the lack of speed kills. Projects need to be completed yesterday and hesitation and slower-than-necessary practices can not only cost accounts but also an organization’s livelihood. That’s one of the greatest benefits of PowerApps: how little time it takes to create a functional, customized app. PowerApps eliminates many elements from the traditional app development process and it can prototype the app right in the interface. Speed is a virtue when it comes to customized business app development.

Agility and ease of use

Coding can be a much-involved, intimidating process for a non-programmer. PowerApps replaces that difficult coding with a process that is largely drag and drop-based. Whether it’s a mobile or in-house desktop app, PowerApps enables all the usual work associated with creating the app fit the organization’s environment. It deals with the issues of frameworks, dependencies, and libraries for you behind the scenes, so that you can concentrate on the who, what, where, and why; they’ll handle the how.

Integration

You’re probably asking the question, Is it too good to be true? It’s a great platform and all, but will it work for our organization to meet our purposes and goals with our infrastructure and systems? The fact that it’s a Microsoft product should put your mind to ease. They’re compatible with just about everything, right? Because of PowerApps integrates with Office 365, Microsoft Flow, and Microsoft BI, it’s easy to get data into and out of Sharepoint, Excel, or any of the other apps on which your business depends.

Mobility

And since so many people are using their phones as their go-to communication centers these days and some apps just don’t look or operate the same from a desktop to a mobile environment, it’s important that PowerApps is mobile friendly. PowerApps allows you to develop a phone form factor right in the same interface so you’ll always know that those accessing it on either a desktop or mobile will enjoy the same experience.

Empathetic Expectations

One of the greatest challenges to digital transformation success is the human factor of change. Few people like it. Information meetings and constant reminders that the change is not a threat but a necessary step toward improved performance is essential. How are you preparing your staff for change?

Cost

Last but certainly not least, and in some cases, the most attractive characteristic of PowerApps is the cost. Individual users can run applications for a specific business scenario with full PowerApps capabilities for around $10 per month or individuals can run an unlimited number of apps without any feature restrictions for $40 per month. PowerApps for Office 365 licenses are even included in many of the business-level Office 365 subscriptions—which means it’s free for basic apps using basic connectors. Chances are you may even have access to it now.

There are no more excuses anymore for developing that perfect app for your workgroup. You no longer need to hire or wait for the expertise and availability of a seasoned developer. With Microsoft PowerApps, the ability to create customized apps quicker is now possible through an easier process and interfaces, the cost is minimal if not nonexistent, and the up-side of having your own customized app for efficiency and improved productivity—and profitability—is just too great to pass by.

Amazech Solutions Joins the Dallas Business Journal Leadership Trust

The Leadership Trust Is an Invitation-Only Community for Top Business Leaders in North Texas

Frisco, Texas (December 17, 2019) — Shanthi Rajaram, president and CEO of Amazech Solutions, has been invited to join the Dallas Business Journal Leadership Trust, an exclusive community for influential business leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs in North Texas.

Rajaram was chosen for membership by the Dallas Business Journal Leadership Trust Selection Committee due to her experience, leadership, and influence in the local business landscape and beyond. She brings an uncompromising focus to delivering on client expectations through her collaborative consulting partnerships with clients as well as an uncanny ability to hone in on what provides clients the best technology strategy to achieve long-term business advantage.

“Dallas’s thriving business community is powered by leaders like Shanthi,” said Ollie Chandhok, president and publisher of Dallas Business Journal. “We’re honored to be creating a space where the region’s business influencers come together to increase their impact on the community, build their businesses, and connect with and strengthen one another.”

As an invited member, Rajaram will contribute articles to the Dallas Business Journal website and participate alongside fellow members in expert panels. She will connect and collaborate with a vetted network of local leaders in a members-only directory and a private forum on the group’s mobile app. She will also benefit from leadership and business coaching, an executive profile on the Dallas Business Journal website, select partner discounts and services, and ongoing support from the community’s concierge team.

“This is a great honor from such a well-respected and highly influential organization,” said Rajaram. “It’s also an excellent opportunity to learn from exceptional Dallas business leaders, extend Amazech’s network of quality industry experts, and provide our own expertise and knowledge to strengthen the corporate community in the Dallas metroplex.”

The Dallas Business Journal Leadership Trust team is honored to welcome Rajaram to the community and looks forward to helping her elevate her personal brand, strengthen her circle of trusted advisors, and position her to further impact Dallas and beyond.

About Amazech Solutions

Amazech Solutions is a Frisco-based IT consulting firm that has been driving business transformation through technology and talent since 2007. Leveraging the best technology with a vast network of well-vetted, proven professionals, they help organizations accelerate their business, ensuring data security, productivity, and profitability. Amazech is highly customer centric, learning a company’s needs, developing a customized strategy, and harnessing technology, talent, and solutions to implement measurable, positive change. Learn more at www.amazech.com.

About the Business Journal Leadership Trust

Dallas Business Journal Leadership Trust is a part of Business Journals Leadership Trust — a collective of invitation-only networks of influential business leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs in your community. Membership is based on an application and selection committee review. Benefits include private online forums, the ability to publish on bizjournals.com, business and executive coaching, and a dedicated concierge team. To learn more and find out if you qualify, visit www.trust.bizjournals.com.

Digital Transformation Success: How to Ensure You Get It

by Prasad Thottekatil

According to Forbes,70% of all digital transformation initiatives fail.

Considering that we live in such a digital-centric age, one can imagine what this means to CEOs/CTOs who grapple with the constantly shifting sands of the digital world we live in. Digital transformation is a daunting task, given the multitude of factors one needs to keep in mind in order to get it right. Not just for the here and now, but to be future-ready. Getting it right makes a critical difference in staying competitive, relevant and successful.

One needs only to look at companies who were giants in their fields a few short years ago – invincible but inflexible – who failed to make the leap to digital and are now shadows of who they were – if they’re even still in business. You may have heard of a few of them: Kodak, Nokia, Xerox, Blockbuster, Yahoo, Blackberry, Commodore, Toys R Us, Circuit City, Netscape, Sears, Motorola, and JCPenney.

Effectively launching these much-needed but often complicated projects takes more than wishful thinking and good intentions. Here are several key factors that will ensure your digital transformation undertaking is a resounding success:

A Specific Objective

As with any business project, knowing the why is as important as the what, when, where, and how. Everyone in the enterprise needs to know the essential details and reasons for the mission and their responsibility in its execution. Does everyone know exactly what your objective is?

A Clear Strategy

Once you know the why, it’s important you have a clearly defined set of events, processes, and timetables on how to execute your objective. Many setbacks, delays, and complications can be avoided with a strong and well-defined plan of attack. The clearer the strategy, the more certain its success.

An Organized Organization

Transporting and transforming data is only as good as the quality, organization, and availability of that data to its intended users. The more organized the team in its assets and procedures, the easier and more effective your project will become. Do you have the proper assets in the proper places?

A Motivated Team

Just as important as the right data in the right place is having the right people with the right attitudes on your digital transformation team. Only enlist the most knowledgeable, motivated, and flexible staff and you’ll get an unstoppable team that gets the job done well. Who would best fit on your team?

The Top Tools

With all the priority of digital transformation projects today, there is a world of new technology and tools that are being developed to give you the solutions you’re looking for. Of all the latest and greatest options, there are plenty from which to choose. Do you know what all your possibilities are?

Empathetic Expectations

One of the greatest challenges to digital transformation success is the human factor of change. Few people like it. Information meetings and constant reminders that the change is not a threat but a necessary step toward improved performance is essential. How are you preparing your staff for change?

Constant and Quality Communication

None of these steps work unless your team communicates clearly, comprehensively, and consistently with each other throughout the process. Effective communication engages, includes, equips, and energizes. The lack of it results in confusion, chaos, and catastrophe. How well are you communicating?

When a client of ours decided to take his business digital, the technical expertise as well as the advisory and mentoring role that Amazech provided not only enabled him to expand his market but today, he says he has more time to focus on the more important things to grow his business. He does his part, we do ours, and everyone benefits—especially his clients.

With the evolving needs of a younger client base who are digital natives, the business case for digital transformation has never been stronger. To stay competitive and successful, the transition to going digital seems an inescapable reality. In fact, it’s a business imperative.  

Digital Transformation to the Rescue

Author: Shanthi Rajaram

I wrote a previous, cautionary blog — Digitization is Transforming Banking: Are You Ready? —about the vastly changing world of banking, one that has to keep pace with the speed and capability of technology as well as the increased customer demands for efficiency and customization. That’s a monumental challenge. Here’s the solution:

Digital transformation – the process where companies modernize legacy solutions and focus on securely automating the customer experience.

Banking today and in the future is about what companies can do to enhance the customer experience – not only what they can do but also how they do it – while being productive and profitable. This will include a widening array of personalized services – no more one-size-fits-all banking – and fundamental changes in how customers monitor, transact, and invest their dollars.

Customer Benefits

Here are several benefits customers will experience from digital transformation:

  • Personalization of the customer experience, focusing on their needs and desires.
  • More efficient and easily-managed services.
  • Self-service enablement for greater customer control.
  • Increased mobility so consumers to leverage capabilities anywhere and at any time.
  • Eco-friendliness. For example, mobile push notifications will replace paper statements.
  • Voice enabled interaction can be completed while driving, saving valuable time.

Bank Benefits

Here are some benefits banks will gain from digital transformation:

  • Operational savings through reduction in customer service calls and routine transactions.
  • Market penetration into areas outside the reach of a traditional branch.
  • Digital interaction enables data collection and analysis for optimized product offerings.
  • Continuity of experience increases customer engagement and potential added services.
  • Better customer analytics ensures more targeted marketing messages with greater success.
  • Increased automated processes like credit risk assessment and loan underwriting.
  • Social media integration enables understanding of consumer behavior, trends, and patterns.

Digital transformation offers the bank of today and the future a win-win situation: customers are happier and more in control and banks are more productive and profitable.

What does your business need to start the digital transformation process?

Digitalization is Transforming Banking: Are You Ready?

Author: Shanthi Rajaram

As with most businesses, banks have always faced the challenge of how to retain and add increasing value to existing clients while trying to attract new ones.

Combine those concerns with today’s lightning-fast speed of information and business operations along with the demands for increased online services, mobile capabilities, and cybersecurity and you’re looking at a banking world that is undergoing drastic changes. Consider these trends:

  • Only 30% of bank consumers 35 or younger chose their bank based on branch location, according to PWC’s 2019 Consumer Digital Banking Survey
  • 1 in 3 Gen Zers with a loan used an online lender — a 2.2X increase from 2018
  • Individuals 35 and younger are more than twice as likely to use an online lender, and they are entering their prime borrowing years

The New Normal

What our clients are telling us is that due to increased technological capabilities, their customers are demanding easier, faster, and better solutions. Quite simply, the banking mentality and methods of yesterday aren’t going to be attractive or viable for clients today and tomorrow. The new look of banking will be:

  • Personal. Customers want customization that seamlessly adapts to their worlds.
  • Faster. If customers have to wait too long, they go elsewhere for services.
  • Easier. Customers don’t want complicated processes or they’ll look for alternatives.  
  • Integrated. Services that work within a cohesive system are much more inviting.
  • Mobile. Customers want to do their banking from their phones. Period.
  • Innovative. The more options and tools available, the better the banking experience.
  • Enviro-friendly. Customers today care about the planet. Electronic over paper.

Are you ready?

The issue in banking today isn’t about if a digital revolution is coming. It’s already here and customers are expecting its availability. The real issue is if the organization is ready for it or not. Does it have the philosophy and mindset for the upcoming change? Does it have the tools and technology to meet customer demands? Does it have the staff and expertise to execute all that will be required?

What are your greatest personnel and system needs in this new world of banking?