Industry 4.1 based on Microsoft Power Apps – The Business Apps Platform

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The state of Industry 4.0 is a broad topic, and the conclusion we have made is that people do not need to make the transition to it. Opportunities for businesses become even greater when immersed in the environment of Industry 4.1.

The technology with which we achieve this goal has been gaining popularity in the last year – Low-Code, and it was at the center of the topics of discussion at the webinar “Industry 4.1 based on Microsoft Power Apps – the platform for creating business applications”, which we held together with our partners ALSO Bulgaria.

The thirst for a new work methodology: Smart Low-Code applications automate the daily lives of professionals

In 2019, Satya Nadela made the statement:

‘500 million new apps will be built in the next 5 years – more than all apps built in the last 40 years!’

Satya Nadella, Microsoft FY19 Q4 earnings call – Jul 2019

The demand for solutions to automate everyday tasks and parts of whole systems is growing at such a rate that it exceeds the ability of IT departments to deliver them five times!

With these impressive statistics, Angel Georgiev – CEO of sappience, introduced the audience to the first part of the webinar.

The rapid entry into the heart of the Digital Renaissance fueled the development of transformative technology for creating business applications – Low-Code. It is enabled by the respective Low-Code platforms:

“A technological set of tools and services that enable business users to participate extremely active in the creation of a desktop and web application. This type of software can be created by people who are not programmers and do not have a developer set of skills. ”

However, business experts have the know-how and requirements needed to create this type of industrial solution.

Microsoft Power Platform – Freedom for every user and innovation

In the first part of the webinar, we looked at the essence of Microsoft’s Low-Code platform and its capabilities, which made it a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant in 2020.

Angel looked at its four compelling components – Power BI for analysis, Power Apps with which you can create smart web and mobile apps, Power Automate for automation, and Power Virtual Agents, where users take advantage of the capabilities of Robotic Process Automation.

Leverage Automation with Power Automate

Aimed entirely at the automation of processes from different and unified systems. With over 330 connectors, people achieve a different level of automation by integrating data from core systems into their business.

Power Virtual Agents – Robotic Process Automations at the tips of your keyboard

You don’t need to be a web developer and be able to create custom applications to have a virtual workforce. With Power Virtual Agents you can create your chatbots and robotic automation to:

  • Communicate with your customers in the web space;
  • Create internal continuity in working with your team and cross-department collaboration;
  • Take the burden off of repetitive manual tasks and focus your efforts on more important things.

Why implement Low-Code applications in your business

We answered the question with the help of the main technology that comprises the platform and is focused on creating Low-Code apps – Power Apps. With its help, experts from all departments in a company can build applications within a day to a few weeks, starting from scratch:

  • Standalone web and mobile applications;
  • Expansion of existing systems in the company – ERP, CRM, databases, cloud services;
  • Artificial Intelligence solutions with AI Builder;

All this can be built using mainly business logic, knowledge of business processes, intuitive interface, and a pinch of ingenuity.

Create end-to-end solutions without the need to code

Angel explained why the platform user, as part of the business experts in the company, can be considered a stakeholder in creating applications without necessarily being part of the IT team. We looked at how, with the right tool in hand, business users can be actively involved in the process of developing a digital solution without having to write a single line of code.

The Low-Code platform helps to connect the technical aspects of app development with business know-how and end-user requirements. It’s really impressive to see the astonished look of the customer watching how you can add custom functionality to the application in real-time once he has told you what he wants.

‘The overall process of creating, testing, and implementing low-code solutions has been optimized many times over, as the link between requirements and result is not lost. This allows an extremely complex business process to be best understood, built, and implemented by the citizen developer himself.’

Angel Georgiev, CEO of sappience

The role of the IT department remains leading, but thanks to the capabilities of Low-Code platforms, professional development skills become necessary as a last resort.

An example is our Industry 4.1 solution – Asset Insider for enterprise asset management, which construction consists of 80-85% citizen developer efforts.

Artificial Intelligence: More intuitive than you can imagine

A topic that is no less interesting than Low-Code and also related to it is the solutions that allow you to create and use Artificial Intelligence in your daily life.

The first of the use cases we looked at is forecasting and prediction using historical data that you have. The way we apply this ability in sappience is the predictive maintenance we create with Asset Insider. If you ever have to monitor your machines and assets, together we will be able to display approximately 85-100% valid dates on which asset damage or breakage is expected to occur. Thanks to this ability, your maintenance and repair teams will be able to intervene before the downtime.

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Another example is the services sector, based on capacity and workload, we can say when we will need more people and internal resources.

One of the many abilities of the AI Builder and its solutions is working with data and documents. We talked about:

  • Scanning characters and process forms – digital documents, pdf, structured data extraction, and more;
  • Object recognition and text classification.

You can do a lot with Artificial Intelligence, as it easily acts as the senses of a digital solution for your business.

Integrate and share your Low-Code solutions with the world

With the portals that are part of the platform, Angel explained how the time and effort invested in working with clients can be optimized by creating portals for the various purposes of the organizations, which are a direct path of external users to the respective places to which they lead. Registration can be anonymous or to facilitate the use of existing accounts in Microsoft, Linkedin, and others.

An analysis of the ROI millions of businesses achieved with the Microsoft Power Platform shows that:

  • 70% less are the efforts and financial resources invested in Low-Code app development;
  • The return on investment over 3 years amounts to 362%

Establishing the connection between business and technology

From Industry to 1.0 to Industry 4.1 we are taking a step beyond theory and analysis. The slow global spread of Industry 4.0 can be attributed to 3 weaknesses:

  1. Technology and other necessary resources to enable the transformation are too expensive;
  2. The knowledge of most professionals extends to statistics on return on investment and the potential for success;
  3. The readiness of businesses and sectors to accept this new reality.

On the other hand, Industry 4.1 is more economical, more affordable, and includes the end-user, who has so far been lost in the shadows. The Digital Twins are at the forefront of the new version – 4.1. They are based on business logic and the knowledge we find in Low-Code technology. As defined by the Digital Twin Consortium we shared the following three definitions:

  1. ‘A Digital Twin is a virtual representation of real-world entities and processes, synchronized at a specified frequency and fidelity.’
  2. ‘Digital Twins use real-time and historical data to represent the past and present and simulate predicted futures.’
  3. ‘Digital Twins are motivated by outcomes, tailored to use cases, powered by integration, built on data, guided by domain knowledge, and implemented in IT / OT systems.’

We explore the potential of this technology in sappience with the development of Low-Code Asset Management software, with which we connect business with technology and digital with the physical.

After the conceptual and theoretical part, the CTO of sappience – Atanas Yanakiev, put into practice the qualities of the considered low-code solutions in asset management.

Digital Twins: The Digital Renaissance Engine

Atanas introduced the audience to the Low-Code software – Asset Insider, starting from the dashboard, where the user can see an overview of the status of their assets, we moved to the maintenance part and finally took on the role of the owner of SpaceX Starship, which is about to launch.

After reviewing the 3D model of one of the rocket engines and the parameters that are monitored, Atanas went through the dashboard with more detailed data on the state of the component and demonstrated the creation of an asset workshop using IoT sensors with the following data:

  • Asset, type, availability, location, owner
  • Who will carry out the repair;
  • Other details;
  • Deadline;
  • Trigger.

Find out more about what can the Asset Insider do. Get our detailed resources and learn how you can apply the technology in your business for operational efficiency.

Predictive maintenance is the most advanced form of this activity, which we considered later when comparing predictive, preventive, and reactive maintenance. Again with the help of sensors and AI Builder, Atanas had set a condition to trigger the predictive maintenance plan and create a recorder the day before the limit engine temperature is exceeded.

This hands-on demonstration perfectly embodied the benefits of the Digital Twins’ contribution to the value chain and was the occasion for some of the follow-up questions to the Q&A session.

Connect the dots of your digital transformation

We want to thank our partners at ALSO and the participants in the webinar for the wonderful experience! With the end of the year, the final line for opportunities for innovation is approaching.

Join us this December on the 10th and 15th for the ‘Connect’ Webinar Series. We will reveal the methods by which you can connect your business with technology and we will show you the Digital Twins in action again. Register on the official event page.