The Power Automate Change: Rebranding Microsoft Flow

By | 2020-05-13T14:48:43-06:00 May 13th, 2020|

Nowadays, there is a cloud service or application to do just about everything. But what good are the services if they cannot work together?

Disconnected apps and services are much like a company conference call where no one says a word; you make no progress. But with Microsoft Power Automate, your apps, services, and employees can work together seamlessly. When technology and your team are talking together, you can work smarter, work less, and do more.

What is Microsoft Power Automate?

Microsoft Power Automate, formerly known Microsoft Flow, is one of the newest members of the Microsoft Power Platform. With Power Automate, you can streamline time-consuming tasks and paperless processes. Automate is a workflow automation engine that focuses on Business Process Management (BPM), which is a discipline that aims to optimize, enhance, and automate business processes.

Why Did Microsoft Rebrand Flow?

In 2019, Microsoft announced the rebranding of Microsoft Flow as Power Automate, an addition to the Microsoft Power Platform. The rebranding better aligns with the other Power Platform products while adding new capabilities to improve upon the business process flows in Microsoft Flow.

Microsoft Flow vs. Power Automate

Microsoft Flow users often expressed dissatisfaction with specific limitations such as starting a second flow as a continuation of the primary one, the inability to reorder the steps in each flow, the complexity of recreating a new flow, or reconnecting it to new lists, formatting of approved emails. Microsoft remedied the limitations and added new features to extend the capabilities of the Power Automate platform.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a vital technology in addressing the challenges organizations face when trying to digitize pen and paper processes. Power Automate uses RPA to simplify end-to-end scenarios through a unified automation platform that can connect API-based automation and UI-based automation.

Microsoft calls this Power Automate UI Flows. Users can combine the power of UI Flows with pre-built connectors for more than 275 apps and services to reinvent business processes.

Power Virtual Agents

Microsoft Power Virtual Agents is another new capability of Power Automate. Virtual Agents intends to enable anyone to build a no-code, no-AI-training required intelligent bot. It combines the Microsoft Bot Framework technology with the Power Platform Technology. The new feature allows subject-matter experts such as customer service, sales, marketing, finance, or HR to create virtual agents that improve their workflow quickly.

Types of Flows and Features of Power Automate

The low code nature of the Power Automate platform enables users of any skill level to create workflow and process automation. At the Power Automate start page, you can choose from a diverse set of templates and learn the key features of each flow. Choose your favorite flow from a model or get creative and use the more than 150 data sources that Power Automate supports.

Let’s explore the types of flows you can create with Power Automate.

Automated Flows

Users can create a flow that performs one or more tasks automatically after a specific event triggers it. This flow allows you to connect cloud or on-premise services.

Button Flows

Your team can run repetitive tasks anytime, anywhere, by using a mobile device.

Scheduled Flows

Users can create a flow that generates one or more tasks on a set schedule.

Business Process Flows

Create flows that increase the efficiency of human processes. Users can define a set of steps for people to follow so they may arrive at the desired outcome.

Power Automate UI Flows

User Interface Flows record and automates the playback of manual steps on legacy software. Users can leverage this feature for Desktop and Web applications that do not have APIs available for automation. You can combine legacy apps, modern apps, and manual processes in a singular automation

Significantly Impact Your Business with Power Automate

It’s not breaking news that automation can dramatically improve the efficiency and productivity of your company. But Power Automate takes it to another level, forever changing the way you interact with your business. Let’s uncover how your business can benefit from one of the newest members of the Power Platform.

Boost Workforce Productivity

Your team can create time-saving workflows for everything, including individual tasks to scalable systems while using hundreds of pre-built connectors. Power Automate helps your business save time, improve organization, and work more effectively by automating repetitive tasks that take up time within the day.

Streamline Repetitive Tasks

Instead of thinking about every single email or tweet you receive, Power Automate alerts you when a high priority message is received or sends a template for those you do not necessarily need to review. This automation ensures you never miss essential messages while everyone who interacts with your business is personally engaged.

Enhance Collaboration by Sharing Data Quickly and Easily

Your team can easily share files by connecting apps and creating flows to copy data from one location to another. Integrate Power Automate with the Common Data Service to store and manage data used by business applications.

How Can You Reap the Benefits?

With Power Automate, the possibilities are just about endless. For your business to reap the benefits of this dynamic platform, users must create the necessary workflows. Create workflows that keep track of email attachments, get action items approved quickly, stay on top of relevant emails, and monitor brand-related posts and events on social media. Although this would just be scratching the surface, it is a great place to begin the transformation.

About the Author:

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