Recently Microsoft hosted the largest partner event of the year; Microsoft Inspire 2021.
One of the sessions I found most insightful was on Power Automate, where Microsoft shared why customers are choosing their solutions and how they are investing in the ecosystem to drive customer success with Microsoft solutions.
This blog takes a closer look at how Microsoft Power Automate can help your business transformation following on from that session.
Power Automate is all about intelligent human-centric automation.
Beyond simple workflows, Power Automate can send reminders on past tasks, move business data between systems on a schedule, talk to almost 300 data sources or any publicly available API, and can even automate tasks on your local computer like computing data in Excel. All of this can be done by all skill levels from typical business users to IT using Power Automate's no-code/low-code platform.
To achieve higher efficiency, we all have witnessed a focus on enterprise-wide processes, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus on automation has accelerated even further.
As outlined in the below diagram, we have more remote workers, higher workloads, capacity constraints and higher customer demands than ever before.
Automation can help in optimizing the digital workforce and achieve faster time to value. As a result, employees get more time for innovation, creative and strategic thinking rather than performing repetitive and manual tasks. In short, it helps businesses achieve human excellence.
As explained in the diagram below, beyond automating day-to-day regular tasks, Power Automate can also help organisations securely and reliably scale business processes through automated workflows with the power of Artificial Intelligence. For example, in the case of customer services centric organisations, Power Automate can help in cost management by off-loading some of the regular support queries via bot and only involving staff members in case of complex queries.
Power Automate is a Cloud-first automation platform comprising of a wide variety of technologies all in a common platform, that is connected to the rest of the Microsoft ecosystem. It works with Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, Power Platform, Microsoft Azure.
RPA is a little genius used for User Interface based automation for legacy applications that do not have an API.
Many legacy applications do not have a method for accessing their data or functionality except through their user interface. RPA solutions operate by generating a list of actions by capturing the steps that a user performs in an application's user interface. The RPA solution then performs the automation by repeating the steps in the application's UI, effectively simulating the user's actions in software.
Power Automate is a great way to automate AI Builder usage and exploit Prebuilt or Custom AI model results at scale.
Using AI and Power Automate together businesses can save a considerable amount of time spent on various routine tasks. Below are few examples –
You can use Power Automate to automate processes in over 380 applications by using API-based connectors provided out of the box. Additionally, new, custom connectors can be created for any application that has an API available. Modern applications (including cloud-based services) use APIs to provide programmatic access to data and functionality.
Over and above Robotic and Digital Process Automation, there will be processes that need human interventions. In this case, Business Process Management and Approvals come into the picture.
Power Automate has a feature called, business process flows. It guides a user through stages within a process and shows progress toward process completion. A user can also see which stages that they have completed and which stages that they still need to complete within an instance of a process.
Power Automate comprises Process Advisor, a process mining capability that reveals insights into how people work by providing rich visualizations where users can identify repetitive, time-consuming processes best suited for automation.
Today over 350,000 organisations are using Power Automate each month and are launching millions of processes every day.
The below diagram gives an idea of Power Automate solutions that could be implemented across your business verticals. These solutions can be automated, and your workforce can get their quality time back for creativity, new ideas and innovation.
According to the commissioned Total Economic Impact™ study conducted by Forrester Consulting in April 2020, businesses significantly reduced development costs and increased overall efficiency using Power Automate. In over the first three years, the organisations achieved nearly 200% Return on Investment, saving millions in over three years, and reducing human errors with reliable automation.
To read the full study to help you make an informed decision, click here.
References: Microsoft Inspire 2021 session ‘Grow Your Automation Practice’.