One of the many benefits of an Office 365 subscription is the number of features Microsoft packs into a single license. Businesses now have access to a wide range of available features, from email to voice over IP. The best part: All of these features integrate with one another, providing even more efficiencies than stand-alone apps do. Today, we’re sharing a feature combination of Microsoft Power BI (business intelligence), PowerApps, SharePoint Online, and Flow in Office 365.

Office 365 Subscription: Feature Definition

Microsoft’s Power BI is a set of tools that help businesses analyze data and share insights. Users can build dashboards and reports, without needing more than a SQL backend or a Power BI desktop app.

In an Office 365 subscription, Microsoft’s PowerApps is a design set that allows you to connect to data sources and create user-friendly, feature rich applications that run either in a browser or mobile device. With PowerApps, you can either drag and drop features or use Excel-like functions to create the front end, while connecting to your data seamlessly.

Microsoft Flow is a connector service that allows users to hook up disparate data sources, like email, SharePoint, and even third-party platforms like Twitter and DropBox, and automate data transfer. When you receive an email, Flow would automatically upload that attachment to a SharePoint Site for accounting documents.

Working Together

Along with SharePoint as the main point of entry for your users, an all-encompassing data reporting solution in an Office 365 subscription is easy to see. Say you’re a construction company looking to manage your business more efficiently. You’ve got a process in place from proposal to close-out, but you’re missing the management along the way. That’s where this collection of features comes into play.

You can create a SharePoint list containing a form for your project proposal process. Your managers can use a PowerApp on their phones to walk through the estimation process for a proposal. Using Flow, submit a proposal and your managers will receive a notification to review and approve.

Once an individual signs a contract,  SharePoint could provision a new site from a pre-existing template. That template would contain information that managers need on-site, from template permits and regulations to monitoring estimated expenses versus actuals. A PowerBI web part may be used to track expenses at a low level, but also at a company level, so it’s easy to spot where projects are going off track. As the project moves forward, workers can use their phones to provide daily reports through PowerApps.

As you can see, Microsoft’s integrated software can do a lot toward helping your business run more effectively. If you’d like to know more about how this and other services work, contact eSoftware Associates for a quote.

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