Working out the true cost and ROI of the Microsoft Power Platform in 2023

Companies can no longer afford to stand still when it comes to digital transformation. Rapid innovation in every industry is pushing organisations towards an “Adapt or Die” era.

The businesses that thrive are the ones capable of quickly, and effectively transforming to suit the needs of their target audience, employees, and industries. Failure to move fast enough means threats, in the form of new players and competitors, can leave your business in the dust.

Fortunately, adhering to the age of digital transformation doesn’t have to be as complex as it seems. The rise of innovative low-code and no-code development tools is empowering businesses to unlock new benefits from AI and automation, without access to expensive developer resources.

Microsoft Power Apps, the all-in-one ecosystem ranked as a leader in the 2023 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Low Code Application Platforms (LCAPs), allows businesses to remain competitive.

To Invest or Not to Invest? The Rise of Low-Code / No-Code

Demand for LCAP technology is growing. Currently, the marketplace is growing at a rate of 31.6%, expected to reach a value of $94.75 billion by 2028. The rise in adoption highlights a potentially uncomfortable fact, if your company doesn’t invest in low-code technology, your competitors will.

As digital transformation becomes a survival priority for virtually every brand, companies need to innovate to remain competitive. Low-code and no-code platforms could be the solution, enabling opportunities for citizen development, rapid growth, and reduced overheads.

However, the landscape is still “pay-to-play”, and the upfront costs of investing in new technology can be difficult to justify in today’s economic climate.

Power Platform could be the most cost-effective way forward. Combining crucial development tools into a singular all-in-one suite, the platform allows brands to evolve at a pace (and price) that suits them. But what’s the actual cost to prepare for, and what’s the Return on Investment?

Power Platform Pricing

The Power Platform from Microsoft is a comprehensive solution made up of various different services which can be accessed independently, or in a bundled package. This means organisations can either leverage the entire ecosystem at once or purchase just the tools they need for specific projects.

Every tool available in the Power Platform is available with pay-as-you-go and subscription pricing, reducing the need for extensive initial investment:

  • Power Apps: $5-$20 per user per month: Helps companies build apps within the Microsoft ecosystem for improved productivity and efficiency.
  • Power Automate: $15-100 per user, or flow per month: Enables companies to automate workflows, reducing internal overwhelm.
  • Power BI: $10-$20 per user per month: Provides access to innovative business intelligence.
  • Power Virtual Agents: Starting at $200 per month: Allows companies to create powerful AI chatbots for a range of use cases.
  • Power Pages: Starting at $75 per month: Enables companies to create, administer, and host external-facing business sites.

Can You Use the Power Platform for Free?

One of the factors that makes the Power Platform such a compelling choice for today’s business owners, is it is possible to access the platform for free. Developer plans are available within the Microsoft landscape which empower users to build, test, and validate apps, before releasing them fully. The developer platform includes:

  • Power Apps: Create and test unlimited apps with premium connectors and Dataverse
  • Power Automate: Automate workflows through services and applications
  • Dataverse: Create a comprehensive data model accessible by all apps
  • Connector: Link to data sources using custom APIs or connectors
  • Developer Tools: Leverage Power Apps, Dataverse, Power Automate, Visual Studio, Azure services and Visual studio code for development.

Alternatively, companies can also access Power Apps and Power Automate licenses within an existing Office 365 Enterprise landscape. This provides full access to Power Apps as part of an annual or monthly subscription, starting at £6 per month.

Understanding the Costs of the Power Platform

Aside from your monthly fees for the Power Platform, there may be additional charges to consider. Charges are usually linked to the use of premium connectors, as well as the consumption of data. When Azure data is in use, there are charges for both the premium connector and the data.

At Resonate, we have our own applications built within the Power Platform to empower modern companies.

The ROI for the Microsoft Power Platform

Automation is quickly emerging as one of the most powerful, disruptive, and valuable tools for the modern workforce. With Microsoft Power Platform, companies can leverage the benefits of automation with a minimal initial investment.

According to a Forrester report outlining the Total Economic Impact (TEI) of the Microsoft Power Platform, the solution delivers an average ROI of approximately 502%. According to the study, application development costs are reduced by around 48% for companies using Power Platform, while efficiency increases by around 5% each year.

Outside of enabling rapid, cost-effective development and innovation, Microsoft Power Platform can also deliver revenue-boosting benefits such as:

  • Improved productivity: With access to automated workflow, companies can reduce repetitive tasks, leading to more engaged, productive staff.
  • Valuable insights: With tools like Microsoft BI, companies can leverage useful insights, to make informed decisions about products, customer service, and growth.
  • Reduced errors: Automation of manual processes can reduce the risk of mistakes and errors in the workplace, which could lead to costly downtime.
  • Lower environmental impact: Employees can minimize paper processes, which not only lowers overheads but improve business sustainability.
  • Efficiency: Companies can link a range of different tools within the Microsoft ecosystem, including Teams, Azure, and Microsoft Teams, reducing the need for multiple systems.
  • Citizen development: Empowering citizen development means companies can build innovative new applications and workflows without hiring new professionals.

Is Power Platform Worth the Cost?

Investing in innovative new solutions for business growth can be a daunting prospect, particularly at a time of impending recessions and economic turmoil. While there are costs associated with running Power Platform, the return on investment is well worth the risk.

Resonate has seen first-hand just how accurate the Forrester Report mentioned above is. Our Teams Voice Tooling solution was recently implemented at a global energy company, resulting in 8% of avoidable issues being resolved before escalation, cost savings of almost £800k per year in staff and licensing, and a 10% improvement in call quality.

This solution was built using Power Automate, Power Apps, and Power BI, automating the joining, moving, and leaving process, and managing frequent changes to call routing for queues and attendants. According to the IT admin team, it has been a work-life-changing innovation.

Resonate is a market leader in process automation with Teams Voice, and offers a Power Platform Centre of Excellence service, ideal for companies in search of insightful guidance on harnessing the true benefits of Microsoft Power Platform.

Learn more about our Power Platform Services here.

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