Working out the true cost of Microsoft Power Apps and Power Automate

Investing in any new technology means considering your budgetary needs and restraints. On one hand, investing in the latest technology for AI and automation gives you a crucial edge over your competition – one which can help you to save money and earn more long-term. On the other hand, the initial costs can be hard to justify, particularly in today’s world of economic uncertainty. 

Microsoft’s Power Platform is a state-of-the-art selection of tools designed to help companies adapt and evolve at a pace that suits them. The question is, how much can you expect to pay for Power Apps and Power Automate, and what does the ROI look like?

Power Apps Pricing 

Let’s look at the pricing for the two services. 

Power Apps is a solution designed to help companies build their own apps within the Microsoft ecosystem. There are different ways to pay for this service. The most common plan for agile businesses is the pay-as-you-go plan, which starts at $10 per month, per app, per active user. 

The “subscription” plans offer a more consistent and predictable pricing structure. The “per app” plan costs $5 to run one app or portal per user, per month. The “per user” plan costs $20 per user per month and allows each user to access unlimited apps and portals.

Power Apps also offers “add-ons”. You can increase login capacity for $200 per month, or unlock additional portal capacity for $100 per month, for instance. There’s also the option to infuse all of your apps with AI for $500 per month. 

Power Automate pricing doesn’t have the same flexibility as Power Apps. Here, you have three pricing options available:

  • License by user: $15 per month per user
  • License by user with attended RPA: $40 per user per month
  • License by flow: $500 for five flows per month

Can You Access Power Apps and Power Automate for Free?

It is possible to access the Power Apps and Automate platforms for free. 

How? It’s free to develop your own apps and access Power Automate development tools within the Microsoft landscape. You can get started for free and begin building in no time on a comprehensive developer environment. This environment allows you to develop and test apps, and you get support for premium and custom connectors, access to the Dataverse and more.

The developer platform includes:

  • Multiple tools: Use Power Apps, Automate, Visual Studio, and Azure services.
  • Custom APIs: Connect to custom data sources
  • Dataverse: Build a model for data for your apps
  • Power Automate: Automate workflows between services and applications
  • Power Apps: Design and explore unlimited apps with Dataverse 

This plan is intended just for testing and building the apps you want to validate before production, however. You’ll need a Power Apps pricing plan for distribution.

Alternatively, you could access the Power Automate and Power Apps licensees within your Office 365 Enterprise license. This technically gives you access to Power Apps and Automate for free, as part of your annual or monthly subscription. Pricing for Office 365 Enterprise starts at:

  • Office 365 E1: £6 per user per month
  • Office 365 E3: £17.60 per user per month
  • Office 365 E5: £30.80 per user per month

The E3 & E5 Enterprise plans also come with a host of other applications, including tools for email and calendaring, productivity tools like OneNote and Microsoft Word, and even Microsoft Teams. With Power Apps and Power Automate, you also get a wide range of free standard connectors to link to your various third-party apps. 

Understanding Microsoft Apps and Automate

There are various ways charges are incurred with Power Apps and Automate. Usually, the two main costs are from premium connectors or consuming data. When Azure data is being consumed, there are two charges: one for data itself, and one for the premium connector. What this means is that if the app doesn’t consume data, or need a premium connector, it’s free to use.

We at Resonate have built various apps which now live in Microsoft Teams. For instance:

  • The Resonate Sales Team App: The Sales Team app helps to manage and structure Teams and Channels for customers. It builds Teams channels out and populates them with folders and provides notifications when there are updates. The app can also follow the sales cycle from pre-sales through to support and delivery, replicating content as it goes. This app is free for us to use, and it would be free for customers to use if they purchased it too. 
  • Resonate Teams Creation: Another app, known as the “Resonate Teams Creation app” runs the PowerShell script, and allows IT admins to decide if they want User Groups to create Teams or not. It only consumes very little Azure data when running scripts. 

The Benefits of Power Apps and Power Automate

Gartner and other analytics companies consistently list automation as one of the most powerful and disruptive tools in the digital landscape. For those considering making a financial commitment to discovering the benefits of Power Apps and Power Automate, of course, it’s important to understand what the benefits can actually be. 

If we examine Forrester’s report on the Total Economic Impact of Power Automate, and Power Apps, we learn that the use of these tools leads to an average ROI of around 362%. When you consider how much return on investment you can get for your purchase, the charges don’t seem as high.

Additionally, Forrester also found development costs among teams using the apps reduced by 70% while process efficiency increased by 15%. This is because companies were able to launch a project in seconds and start workflows in no time, thanks to a familiar interface.

Ultimately, the major saving provided by the Power Platform comes in the benefits of automation, which can save companies around $5.32 million over the course of three years. Ultimately, automation gives us a more efficient and effective way to run companies.

Other benefits of Power Apps and Power Automate include:

  • Lower costs: Teams can save time and cost by implementing automated workflows.
  • Improved engagement: Automating repetitive tasks leads to more engaged staff.
  • Intelligent integrations: like your solution to your existing Microsoft ecosystem to collect valuable data and insights.
  • Mobile-ready: Run business applications and trigger automated workflows from a mobile device.
  • In-depth analytics: Connect to multiple data sources for real-time analytics and actionable insights. Easy-to-understand dashboards make it easy to excel. 
  • Streamlined and automated processes: Automate manual processes which would otherwise be subject to mistakes and inaccuracies. 
  • Reduce environmental impact: Minimize paper processes and protect the environment.
  • Improve productivity: Your employees can perform various tasks with less effort.
  • Full Teams integration: Link Power Automate and Power Apps to your current Teams platform with ease. 

Power Platform: Is it Worth the Cost?

Any new investment in the digital world can be nerve-wracking, particularly in today’s economic environment. However, a deeper look at Power Apps and Automate is all it takes to determine the significant ROI these solutions can provide. Each business case will be different, and you should definitely do your own calculations, but fortunately, Resonate can help with that.

We’ll give you a complete guide to the Power Platform, so you can make a better decision for your app and automation strategy. Get in touch to find out more.

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