Going from paper-based to digital with Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365’s user base has significantly increased over the past year. The digital demands 2020 has placed on many of us has resulted in a rethink of technology. Tools such as Power BI, Power Automate and Power Apps have played a part in how we work moving forward.

An example of this adoption is Thrive Homes, a client of Business Agility’s.

A housing association previously having spent time inputting processes from paper into systems, Thrive utilised their existing investment of Microsoft 365. Using Power Apps and expertise provided by Business Agility, they were able to free up time from manual data entry.

Thrive Homes and Power Apps within Microsoft 365

John Stenton, IT Manager at Thrive Homes, said: “The back office systems we had were slow, clunky and old. Business Agility gave us the ability to talk directly to Microsoft’s Cloud, store data there and get it into the housing systems electronically.

One of the big problems we had with our users is that they go out and visit customers, doing health and safety inspections for example, and they’re writing all the information down on paper, which isn’t a good option. They’d spend a long time back at the office putting those details into the system before they can act on those details.”

Business Agility were able to work with Thrive Homes to change this way of working. Using Power Apps within Microsoft 365, the speed of response was made faster. Health and safety issues for example can be logged and flagged into the digital system much faster than if they were written down and inputted manually into that system later that day.

You can watch the case study video with Thrive Homes here.

John continues, “working with a reputable partner I think is hugely important. The Power Apps directly interface with our core business systems and the data there. It’s absolutely vital that they not only work correctly but they’re supported if there’s an issue.

“Thrive has four main goals for FY ’21. The first of them is keeping to budget, which means improving productivity. And without a doubt, the Power Apps that Business Agility have developed have really helped with that. The second is customer satisfaction.

The Power Apps really help with that because the data for us to act on is available a lot quicker. The third goal is to build more homes, and Power Apps help with the build process as well. The final of the four goals is colleagues taking responsibility for performance. Power Apps help performance, we know they do – but because they’re systematic we can actually measure it as well. So for all four goals for Thrive, Business Agility are contributing to all four.”

Systems using Microsoft 365 Power Apps not only help logistics, but they’ve helped during the testing times this year too. The pandemic during 2020 hasn’t really affected Thrive at all, John says. “We all have laptops and the ability to work from home as well as a working from home policy. It hasn’t affected productivity at all and I’m really proud of Thrive for that.”

“Business Agility weren’t shy about training the users on how to use the SharePoint site themselves. […] That’s where the trust is built with Business Agility. They don’t charge hand over fist for things that don’t need to be paid for. It’s an open and honest relationship.”