Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reportedly said to developer team that they should join the company not to be cool but make others look cool.
Being one of the first and leading tech companies has never been easy and for Microsoft, it has been a rather difficult position. Microsoft has had to appear technically intricate as well as being able to sell its products for their user-friendliness, writes Forbes in a report about Microsoft’s Power Platform.
This duality shows in Microsoft’s latest power play, which is a blend of technologies under the Microsoft Power Platform.
And Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella balances the act perfectly.
Microsoft CEO says not to be cool
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reportedly said to developer team that they should join the company not to be cool but make others look cool. By this, he means that it is more important to build a technology that enables people to that technology to make something even better.
This can also be referred to as a business strategy where software products come and go with time, however, platforms are foundational and expansive, and perform as a long term business asset.
Microsoft Power Platform
Although the basic parts of the Microsoft Power Platform were distinct entities, the new Microsoft Power Platform marks the grouping of Microsoft Power BI, Microsoft PowerApps, and Microsoft Flow besides Microsoft Azure cloud services.
Microsoft CEO Nadella said in a press statement, “Our Power Platform – spanning Power BI, PowerApps and Flow – enables anyone in an organization to start building an intelligent app or workflow where none exists. It is the only solution of its kind in the industry – bringing together no-code/low-code app development, robotic process automation and self-service analytics into a single, comprehensive platform. And it enables extensibility across Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 as well as the leading third-party SaaS business applications.”
Now, if we look at the at the component parts, explaining their functions, Microsoft Power BI, Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow make it obvious how the company’s focus is on creating a foundational base.
Microsoft Power BI, a self-service Business Intelligence (BI) app, connects and analyses business data to present a graphical visual on the screen. The app supports 43 languages, as well as the data from Excel spreadsheet, SharePoint list, Oracle database, SAP or Salesforce application. It must be noted that each month about 10 petabytes of data is uploaded to the service that has over 10 million reports and dashboard queries accomplished against the data every hour.
Microsoft PowerApps makes up its citizen application development platform. Microsoft says that ‘anyone’ can make use of PowerApps to create web and mobile applications without even writing code. The company made sure that a Power BI and PowerApps are connected enabling users to put insights from Power BI and conveying it to maintenance workers and others in apps which are built using PowerApps.
And then there is Microsoft Flow that lets users work with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). It is designed to automate simple tasks, thereby, reducing operational errors via automated workflows.
Microsoft Power Platform – ‘Triple-A Loop’
James Phillips, who is Corporate vice president in the company’s business applications group, says that the vision for Microsoft Power Platform started from the fact that the “data is increasingly flowing from everything”. It came with the belief that organisations can harness their data in order to gain insights and analyse it to “drive intelligent business processes.”
Philips and his team called Microsoft Power Platform a framework they referred to as a ‘Triple-A Loop’, which is, in essence, a closed-loop system that lets users gain insights from data and drive intelligent business processes through apps they create and automate.
“We also recognise there aren’t enough programmers, data scientists and tech professionals to go around. So our goal was to build a platform not targeting these technology experts but for [ordinary] people – and the millions of other frontline workers who see opportunities every day to create something better than the status quo, but who’ve never been empowered to do anything about it,” wrote Philips in a lengthy Microsoft cloud blog post.
The games of platform
Why is Microsoft focused on creating platforms? – a question the report asks.
Microsoft is known for platforms and Windows is one such example where users can run databases, apps, and other computing services.
Microsoft has also poured a lot of money in Azure cloud platform, which also happens to feature a key element of Microsoft Power Platform and it also has been working to build large chunks of its stack like Office – as a platform.
Microsoft led by CEO Satya Nadella is focussed on the power of platforms – both within the Microsoft ecosystem and outside of it. For example Linux, Android or other major data platform suite from SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, among others.
And this is why this platform is a strategy Microsoft is interested and hence the current philosophy – make others cool!