Currently, 97 percent of the Fortune 500 uses the Microsoft Power Platform in many remarkable ways. Today, I want to share a solution developed by GSK, which is part of the global Fortune 500 and one of the world’s leading healthcare companies. As part of their digital transformation journey, they launched the Digital Factory Transformation initiative in their manufacturing facility in Ware, UK. Part of the initiative’s success required increasing their technical capabilities in a decentralized manner and being able to blend state-of-the-art technology with crucial older processes and components.
Imagine, build, and deploy
Worker safety is a fundamental requirement for any business, but certainly not a simple problem to solve. Imagine being tasked with designing a solution that eliminates safety hazards across the company, and also being tasked with doing it quickly, efficiently, and making it accessible to everyone. This was the challenge identified by Simon Owen, GSK’s “digital factory” product manager.
Prior to the Power Platform, creating an end-to-end solution that eliminates safety hazards would require integrating disparate technologies, professional developers, and a lengthy project. The Power Platform transformed the availability of technology, enabling those closest to the problem to create the solution, without the need for coding skills. GSK business users leveraged the Power Platform to create an amazing solution as part of their Zero Accident Promotion (ZAP) program.
Simon and the GSK team designed a seamless solution that showcases the amazing possibility of the Power Platform. The multi-component solution includes four core Power Platform capabilities:
- Microsoft Power Apps: To create the ZAP mobile application, complete with mixed reality.
- Microsoft Power Automate: To automate legacy applications with robotic process automation (RPA) which includes advanced new error handling capabilities.
- Microsoft Power Virtual Agents: To engage with users inside of Microsoft Teams.
- Microsoft Power BI: To create insightful data visualizations.
These four services benefit from over 350 data connectors, the low-code AI capabilities offered with AI Builder, and the Common Data Service which is the database shared across the platform. With this end-to-end solution, GSK now has a way for its employees to observe, catalog, and respond to any safety hazard they see onsite.
Jeremy Chapman and the Microsoft Mechanics team were interested in learning more about GSK’s solution, so I sat down with them and demonstrated it end-to-end. Take a few minutes to check out the Mechanics Show where I show how quickly and easily this solution was created with the Power Platform. I’ll even show new Power Apps integration with Teams through the freely available Crisis Communications app.
New features and capabilities covered in Microsoft Mechanics
To further enable our customers to continue creating new solutions to transform their business, we recently announced the following features:
- Teams integration: We are adding deeper integration between Teams and the Power Platform.
- Deeper RPA capabilities with Power Automate through the acquisition of Softomotive.
- Explore your data with the T-SQL Endpoint for the Common Data Service.
- Visualize your data with Power BI direct query for the Common Data Service.
To get more updates and information on some of the feature announcements, watch our recent Microsoft Business Applications Summit and Microsoft Build conference sessions. For a more detailed look at our roadmap, please check out our release plan.
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Also, check out these other great Microsoft Mechanics videos featuring the Power Platform:
- Inside the Microsoft Power Platform | Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, and more
- Power BI – AI and Q&A updates, decomposition tree, and data prep
- Robotic process automation with Microsoft Power Automate, UI flows, and AI Builder
- How to build (automated, no code) chatbots with Microsoft Power Virtual Agents