By now, cloud computing has gone from a cutting-edge technology to a business best practice for companies of all sizes and industries. While migrating to the cloud is generally seen as an advantageous move, too many companies aren’t sure what to do once they get there.
In particular, the cloud presents a new opportunity for you to transform and modernize your legacy IT. Below, we’ll discuss three different Microsoft Azure cloud technologies—Microsoft Flow, Microsoft Power Apps, and Azure Functions—and how you can use them to enact digital transformation within your own organization.
Microsoft Flow is a tool for automating tasks and processes by connecting separate applications and services. Although Flow supports many cloud apps and services, it can also run on-premises, potentially serving as a “bridge” for your legacy IT.
Microsoft Flow makes it simpler for organizations to achieve business process automation (BPA) through built-in connectors between apps and services. Flow includes over 100 pre-built connectors, including Salesforce, Microsoft SQL Server, Outlook, Twitter, Slack, and many more. Flow also includes dozens of pre-built templates, such as saving Gmail attachments to Dropbox or sending weather updates to Microsoft’s Yammer social network.
The potential use cases of Microsoft Flow include:
- Sending a notification such as a text message or email when a certain event occurs (e.g., when a new customer prospect is added to Microsoft Dynamics CRM).
- Collecting data (e.g., monitoring social media for posts that mention a certain keyword, and then performing sentiment analysisto determine how popular opinion changes over time).
- Copying files between different locations (e.g., between SharePoint, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive).
Microsoft Power Apps
Microsoft Power Apps is a low-code solution for building robust, production-ready, mobile-friendly enterprise software applications. Power Apps empowers even non-technical employees to create and launch the software they need to become more productive and effective in their jobs.
Power Apps benefits from a user-friendly, drag-and-drop visual interface, automatically handling the business logic behind the scenes. The Power Apps platform also easily integrates with other apps and services in the Microsoft ecosystem, including OneDrive, SharePoint, Microsoft SQL Server, and third-party services such as Google Docs and Oracle.
Azure Functions is Microsoft Azure’s serverless computing solution. The term “serverless computing” is a bit of a misnomer: applications still run on servers, but developers don’t have to worry about the tasks of provisioning and maintaining them. Instead, smaller functions are run only in response to a given trigger or event, and then the server is shut down once execution is complete.
“Function as a service” solutions such as Azure Functions have multiple potential benefits:
- Applications are decomposed into smaller, lightweight functions.
- Functions are only executed on-demand, saving resources and cutting costs.
- Serverless computing requires zero support and maintenance obligations for developers.
Microsoft Flow, Microsoft Power Apps, and Azure Functions are three Azure cloud technologies that can help digitally transform your business—and we’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible with Microsoft Azure. Here at Datavail, we should know: we’re a Microsoft Gold Partner who has already helped hundreds of our clients successfully migrate their applications and database workloads to the Azure cloud.
To learn how we used Flow, Power Apps, and Azure Functions for one client to modernize their CRM software, download our case study “Financial Services Company Modernizes Their CRM with Azure Cloud.” You can also get in touch with our team of Azure experts today for a chat about your own business needs and objectives.
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