Ballarat Council embraces Microsoft Power Apps
Ballarat Council employees are using Microsoft Power Apps to develop low-code or no-code applications aimed at improving service levels for the region’s residents.
As part of its digital transformation initiative, the council has transitioned to a cloud environment powered by Microsoft’s Azure, Dynamics 365 and Office 365.
The council now has 38 Office 365 power users who between them have created 335 Power Apps and 592 Flows, although not all are in production.
Applications include solutions to automate and streamline council’s gift register obligations, manage rostering for council swimming pools, libraries animal and shelter, and simplify the collection of data from school crossing inspections.
Ballarat Council Manager for ICT Solution Design and Development Rhett Nunn said council employees have been enthusiastic adopters of Microsoft’s Power Apps solution.
“When we first got Office 365, we saw that Power Apps and Flow (Power Automate) were there, as well as Power BI. We thought we’d just try and dabble and see if we could solve some simple problems,” he said.
The council started by developing the digital gift register, aimed at bringing the process of disclosing gifts received by local government employees online via a lightweight smartphone app.
Nunn said since launching the well-received app “demand just exploded. Everyone wanted to remove paper and improve their services and processes with automation, apps and reports. And that’s when we knew we were onto something.”
The council has now created two teams of power users — a collaborators group for simplifying and enhancing collaboration with Office 365 tools, and a makers group focused on transforming council processes using the Power Apps framework.
Now any end user identifying a challenge needing to be resolved can work with the makers group to develop their own solution.
“If you can use Excel and PowerPoint, then you can make a Power App,” Nunn said. “We’ve really hit the mark by leading and equipping the organisation with the right tools, practices, data and knowledge to enable bite-sized innovation and transformation from within.”
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