Microsoft's plan to turn its Power Platform into a 'Power House'
Microsoft is working on a new set of apps that its officials hope will help the company sell customers outside of IT on the benefits of Microsoft's Power Platform low-code toolset. The deliverables, known internally as "Power House," will include both first-party, Microsoft-developed apps and third-party-developed ones, all built on top of the Power Platform.
The "House" component of the Power House name aligns with the "Rooms of the House" concept that Microsoft uses internally in sales, marketing, and engineering to develop and sell products based on personas, according to contacts of mine who asked not to be named. Microsoft's initial targets with Power House apps include sales, customer service, finance, and supply-chain business-decision makers.
Microsoft's current plan is to start with two or three Microsoft-developed Power House solutions, which it will introduce in preview during the first part of 2023, my sources say. Microsoft plans to include these Power House apps in premium Power Platform plans, rather than introduce them as separate SKUs, I hear. By some point in its fiscal year 2024 (which runs from July 2023 to June 2024), Microsoft is hoping to have more than 10 announced Power House apps and to get third-party developers to introduce their own Power House apps via Microsoft's AppSource online marketplace, people say.
Microsoft is counting on some Power Platform-based apps the company already has developed for internal use to help fill out its Power House line-up. Microsoft's internal finance department, for example, has built a number of apps for its own use as part of its work to modernize its own processes, which potentially could become part of the Power House family. Potential Power House apps could include solutions across auditing, cash-distribution approval and contract management, my contacts say.
Power House apps will be more than just templates, but still customizable by customers and Microsoft reseller and integrator partners. external auditing app for processing and sharing documents; a cash-distributions approvals app; supply relationship management app; and contract management app—any of which could become part of the Power House family.
I've asked Microsoft for more information on Power House, including when it will start making the first apps available in public preview. No word back so far.
Over the past year, Microsoft has been getting more involved in building and selling apps and services to companies in targeted industries. Microsoft already had been going vertical with (members) its growing family of Industry Clouds, which are bundles of apps, services and templates for companies in areas like healthcare, finance, retail, manufacturing and more. At the same time, with Viva Sales, its CRM companion app—and its expected other Viva horizontal apps in finance, IT and marketing. I wonder if Microsoft will shift gears here and use Power House branding and strategy instead of introducing more Viva-branded horizontal apps such as "Viva Sales," as it moves forward.