The last couple of years brought new challenges to companies of all sizes as they adapted first to Covid-19 lockdowns and now to a post-pandemic environment that looks very different to what it did in the early months of 2020.

March 2020 saw companies around the world scrambling to move their workforces on to remote platforms, an exercise that was accomplished quite quickly and efficiently considering the circumstances.

Two years later, and the new model of hybrid working has become the norm, bringing with it a host of new challenges, says Karin Jones, Director of Business Applications at Microsoft and Business Group Lead for Power Platform at Microsoft SA.

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App development tools for a new age

The war for tech talent is well and truly engaged, with South African organisations competing for scarce skills resources against companies around the world.

The brain drain is nothing new and South Africa continues to lose skilled workers to international destinations but now, post-pandemic, workplace trends have added a new wrinkle.

Karin Jones, Director of Business Applications at Microsoft and Business Group Lead for Power Platform at Microsoft SA, explains that the new models of remote and hybrid working mean that skilled developers can now work for international organisations without ever leaving the comfort of their local homes.

This is happening against a background of rapid digital transformation with new and innovative applications needed to drive the ever-changing digital business.

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Deep dive into Power Platform

Microsoft Power Platform is a group of products to develop and build complex business solutions, analyse, and draw data visualisations, automate a business process, or build virtual agents for communication. All these products offer a platform in which no code is required to build the applications.

Adnan Theba, Business Application Specialist at Microsoft SA, explains that Power Platform is made up of four components: Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate and Power Virtual Agents.

“But the platform is more than the sum of its parts,” he says. “Connecting them together – and to Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Azure, and hundreds of other apps – allows anyone to build end-to-end business solutions.”

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Technology fills healthcare gaps for remote communities

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted an issue that has long plagued remote and rural communities: how to affordably deliver world-class healthcare services to people who live far away from well-resourced clinics and hospitals.

It’s an issue that Dr Raymond Campbell, CEO of Phulukisa Health Solutions, has grappled with for some time, and which he and his team are addressing using technology.

Phulukisa is a group of professionals with the stated aim of transforming healthcare using cloud enabled e-health solutions in a country were much of population remains severely underserved when it comes to healthcare.

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Want a business solution? Do it yourself …

In an increasingly digital world, automation is quickly becoming a prevailing requirement for processes and workflows with a host of low-code and no-code tools coming on to the market in response. The idea is that the business owner/user can use these tools to create their own automated processes. But how easy is it to create apps with low-code tools, and can literally anyone really do it?

Kathy Gibson attended a Power Platform workshop at Microsoft to find out

If you’ve worked in any company environment, you’ve probably wondered why some processes are more cumbersome than others – and wished they could behave differently. You’ve probably even mapped out how they could be improved in your head and experienced the frustration of having to do something that you know is unnecessary.

You are certainly not alone.

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