One recommendation we provide to all of our customers is to leverage capabilities already available to them in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Recently, we set this practice in our own business, and wanted to share that success story.
How we leveraged Microsoft 365 Internally
We were initially inspired by this story from Telstra:
We quietly launched Calibre One’s internal “Delivery Engagement” PowerApp. This PowerApp hooks into our internal ERP systems called ConnectWise Manage, ConnectWise Sell and more, leveraging PowerAutomate. We pushed out the application to the broader team on Monday morning, and are already planning what other features we can release.
What are the goals of this PowerApp?
The ‘Delivery Engagement’ PowerApp is designed for internal use at Calibre One. The primary goal of this new app was to:
- Extend the capabilities of our current systems, addressing existing gaps
- Increase visibility of data
- Increase interactivity with the data
The new ‘Delivery Engagement’ PowerApp allows for our internal processes to be built with what we consider to be the necessary level of due diligence without being constrained by the current capabilities of the software we use.
We don’t, however, want to reinvent the wheel, and in leveraging wherever possible the data already available in those existing systems via API, we only have to build the functionality we need.
Making the information we have more accessible and interactive to the broader Calibre One team was a critical aspect of this app development. Each different area within the business (Sales, Project Delivery, etc.) have a good level of understanding and capability within the parts of our internal tools they use on a daily basis, but may struggle when they step into an area that is normally handled by another team. This app presents the data in a user friendly and easy to access fashion, and will now enable members from all teams to understand where we have capacity stretched, and likewise where we have additional capacity spare.
What Challenges does this app address?
The first challenge we specifically set out to address in this App was visibility of our quote review and approval process.
Every complex quote produced at Calibre One is required to go through an Engineering Review process, which is undertaken by our Project and Service Delivery Teams. We equip our Sales and Account Management Team wherever possible with a “standard approach” to most of the work we do, the Engineering Review exists to identify where those standard approaches may not apply, or where additional detail is required.
Prior to the development of the Delivery Engagement PowerApp, there were a number of issues with this process:
- Our quoting tool only allowed for one (financial) threshold to require approval for a quote.
- Our quoting tool only allowed for one level of approval. Multiple requests could be sent, but any singular approval was enough to release a quote to the customer.
- None of our systems allowed for visibility around how a quote was progressing through the review process. The quoting tool sent an email to the manager who was approving, and this disappeared into their Inbox, with no one else able to see where this was.
Now that we have introduced the Delivery Engagement PowerApp, we have the following capabilities:
- Manage financial approval in the quoting tool as done previously. This function is now managed entirely by our State Management, without our Delivery Teams needing to be involved.
- All engineering approval is managed via the App. There is an ability to see the status each request is in, and the last notes entered against it. The Sales/Account Management individual who submitted it also receives status updates (New/In Progress/Waiting Sales/Approved/Rejected) via email as their quote review progresses.
How will this PowerApp grow?
We have a list of features to introduce and a plan for ongoing development with the PowerApp.
- Ability for Sales / Account Management to Escalate and Withdraw requests
- Ability for State Management to increase and decrease priority of requests
- Visibility of more data from the quoting tool
- Information capture via forms when submitting quotes for review
- Financial data around the quotes pulled and displayed
The Power Platform is capable of so much more than this, we’re only scratching the surface to achieve our immediate needs. As we recommend all of our customers do, one of the key advantages here is that we’re leveraging capabilities already available to us in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, with minimal additional cost. This means that we can progressively and continuously introduce new features and capabilities to the business without the more traditional upfront outlay for a new software package.
Interested in how you can leverage your Microsoft 365 ecosystem?
If so, contact us or check out our Files & Intranet page, where we discuss utilising SharePoint, OneDrive for Business and Microsoft Teams. See how you can maximise your Microsoft Office 365 Ecosystem today.