As a small business or startup, you may not think you have the time or budget to implement a new custom software solution. We are here to make a rebuttal.
Microsoft Power Apps is a low-code app development platform that empowers the citizen developer. Even if you have no prior coding experience, an organized and savvy member of your organization can leverage a tool like Power Apps to create custom applications on the cheap.
This Power Apps licensing guide is designed to help you learn the best way forward with licensing options and understand how to get started.
Is Power Apps the Right Move for Our Team?
If you’re wondering whether or not Power Apps is the right move for your team, here are some benefits to consider.
With Power Apps, your team is able to…
1. Create useful business applications in a low-code environment.
This approach eases the burden for technical development. It also makes it easier for your business to build and adopt the custom software you need in order to gain a competitive edge while fully supporting your business operations.
2. Use a very powerful tool with a limited budget.
Compared to the hefty licensing costs of a lot of third-party software out there, Power Apps licensing options come at a low cost per user. So, Power Apps is a cost-effective option that you can skillfully fit within your budget constraints.
You might be looking at leveraging Power Apps if you already have a Microsoft 365 Business plan…and this will save you money in a number of ways.
3. Get more value from data.
Power Apps is also a strong introduction to the Microsoft Power Platform and its suite of business products, which work together to help you get even more benefits out of data you collect or modify in Power Apps.
4. Customize Power Apps to meet your business needs.
The great thing about writing your own Power App is that you customize it to meet your business needs. Many off-the-shelf applications require you to change your business process to work with the software.
By building your own app you only collect the data you want…without having to enter “required” data that you won’t use. Need to collect some additional information? Just add it to your form. There really is no need to pay a vendor top-dollar to have them customize their application just for you.
The Best Way to Leverage Power Apps
As a small business or startup, the best way to leverage Power Apps is by creating an internally facing app that supports your core competencies and magnifies your competitive advantage.
Use cases that are simple to implement might include:
Eliminating paper forms.
Power Apps saves you time since you don’t have to deal with the perils of paper files. Instead, you enter the data once and facilitate quicker reporting by making the future lookup of the data more timely. You also no longer need to worry about what happens when a paper copy is inadvertently lost or destroyed, because your data is safe in one place…Power Apps.
Dispatching service teams or couriers.
Stop making your field service team call into the office for dispatch information or call customers when scheduling or updating information. With Power Apps, you can easily do everything through a mobile app or online in real-time and even do things like include maps with driving directions directly in your Power App.
Collecting quality control data.
Collecting quality control data is a great use case for a Power App. Reporting occurs in a timely manner and your customers will appreciate how quickly you respond to their inquiries.
Getting customer signatures.
Need to get your customers’ signatures for approval or authorizations? No worries, Power Apps can do that too. You’ll make transactions smoother for you and your customers.
Is Power Apps Included with My Microsoft Office 365 License?
Small businesses and startups commonly use Microsoft Office 365 because it includes Outlook, Word, and Excel—three of the most popular business productivity tools available today.
Microsoft Office 365 comes in many different flavors, with a variety of features at a variety of cost points. You may have a flavor called Microsoft Office 365 Business. This is an entry-level business product with per-user licensing costs ranging from $5 to $20 per user each month.
At this level, you’ll quickly learn that Power Apps is not included and requires additional licensing fees. Even though Power Apps is not included, don’t let that put the brakes on your plans. The business benefit you can derive from a carefully crafted app pays for itself very quickly and could represent a significant return on your investment.
In the event that you have upgraded to Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise E3, you’ll be pleased to learn that Power Apps is included when using standard data connectors.
Power Apps Licensing: Per App vs Per User Plans
So, you may be asking yourself, since Power Apps isn’t included in my current Office 365 license, just how much will it cost? You probably know the answer already…it depends.
At this juncture, you have two pricing plans for your Power Apps licensing options. By answering a single question you will quickly learn which of the two options is best for you: How many different applications do you want to develop?
1. Per App Plan
If you plan to develop 1-3 applications, your most cost-effective option is the per app plan. The per app plan costs $5/user each month for the first two applications. The third application will cost an additional $10/user each month.
Let’s say you have ten users and each user will use only a single app. The per app plan will cost $50/month for your entire team.
2. Per User Plan
If you want to develop four or more separate applications, then the per user plan is more cost-effective. The per user plan allows an unlimited number of applications and costs $20/user each month.
Let’s say you have ten users—some users will use four apps, others will use ten apps, and a few will use 15 apps. Go ahead and assign all users to the per user plan, which will cost $200/month for the entire team.
The good news is that you can switch plans at any time, so you’re not locked into one single plan. Even better, you can mix and match these plans as needed.
If you have some users that need to use four or more applications, assign that group the per user plan. For those users who only need three or fewer applications, you simply assign them the per app plan.
Resources to Help You Get Started with Power Apps
Ready to get started with Power Apps? Our advice is to jump in and start playing around. Use the Power Apps developer plan to get your feet wet and walk through some of the documentation on Power Apps.
Below are links to the official Microsoft Documentation on getting started with Power Apps, which are all helpful for digging into how to use the platform to build solutions:
- Microsoft Learn – Introduction to Power Apps (Part of Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals)
- Microsoft Learn – Create a canvas app in Power Apps
- Microsoft Learn – Get started with Power Apps canvas apps
- Microsoft Learn – Create a model-driven application in Power Apps
- A formal documentation library can be found at Microsoft Power Apps Documentation
- What is Power Apps? is another great resource
- If you’re a real go-getter and want to drive the digital transformation at your company, look into the PL-900 Power Platform Fundamentals Certification
Here are several fun and practical resources on YouTube:
- Guy in a Cube (Microsoft Stack)
- Shane Young (Focuses on Power Apps)
- CSG Pro (Our channel with Power Apps, Power BI, and many other Power Platform video resources)
Don’t forget to take advantage of local user groups, meetups, and forums:
And, be sure to check out these Power Apps resources right here at CSG Pro:
- The 5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts of Getting Started with Power Apps
- Why You Should Convert Macros to Power Apps
- Low-Code No-Code Movement: What’s Real and What’s Hype?
If you have additional questions about Power Apps or need more support, reach out to SkyPoint CSG.