Microsoft Dataverse and Power Apps have emerged as powerful tools to help revolutionise the way housing providers operate, from managing tenant data to improving communications and service delivery.
Let’s delve into how housing providers can harness the full potential of Dataverse and Power Apps to achieve their goals and serve their communities more effectively.
What is Microsoft Dataverse?
Microsoft Dataverse, previously known as Common Data Service, is a secure and scalable cloud-based data storage and management platform. Tailored to empower organisations with data-driven decision-making capabilities, Microsoft Dataverse offers a unified environment where data from various sources can be consolidated, organised and accessed in a structured manner.
It serves as a central repository for different types of data, ranging from customer information and financial records to operational metrics. In short, if you have data that shouldn’t be in your HMS or finance system, then it should live in Dataverse.
What is Power Platform?
Power Platform is a suite of Microsoft tools for creating custom applications, automating processes, analysing data and collaboration across departments. Comprising Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, Power Pages and Power Virtual Agents, Power Platform provides a comprehensive set of capabilities that enable housing providers to innovate and transform their operations.
More specifically, Power Apps enables non-developers to create custom apps. For example, housing providers can use it to design intuitive and user-friendly apps to manage tenant interactions, track maintenance requests and streamline administrative tasks.
Leveraging the data stored in Dataverse and beyond, this should be the default option to digitise processes, rather than subscribing to yet another third-party SaaS application. Let’s dive into what Dataverse and Power Apps can do in more detail.
Streamlining tenant data management
One of the core challenges faced by housing providers is managing vast amounts of tenant data efficiently. Dataverse provides a unified platform that enables housing providers to centralise tenant information, from contact details to maintenance requests and rental agreements. By creating custom tables and entities tailored to their specific needs, housing providers can ensure accurate and up-to-date records.
Power Apps, in conjunction with Dataverse, empowers housing providers to develop custom applications for tenant data management. With its user-friendly interface, even those with limited coding experience can create intuitive apps that facilitate data entry, updates and retrieval.
Enhancing tenant communication
Power Apps can be leveraged to design apps that allow tenants to communicate with their landlord, report problems and access important announcements. Push notifications can be integrated into these apps to keep tenants informed about upcoming events, policy changes or maintenance schedules. Power Apps can also be used for interactive surveys.
Optimising repairs and maintenance
Dataverse and Power Apps can greatly enhance the efficiency of repairs and maintenance processes. Housing providers can create apps that allow tenants to submit maintenance requests, complete with details and photos, via their smartphones. These requests can be seamlessly integrated into Dataverse, enabling maintenance teams to prioritise and address problems promptly, alongside providing real-time updates to tenants about the status of their maintenance requests.
Empowering staff productivity
Power Apps can also empower housing staff by streamlining their administrative tasks. Custom apps can be created to manage employee schedules, track project progress and automate routine processes. Power Apps also supports remote working and collaboration, allowing staff to access essential information and complete tasks from any location.
Dataverse and Power Apps present housing providers with a transformative opportunity to optimise operations, enhance tenant experiences and drive organisational success. Adopting a Microsoft-first approach gives you, your staff and your tenants a seamless experience with the apps you build.
Steven Osprey is the partnerships and alliances director at TSG.