What Is Power Automate

What do you think when we hear business process automation?

Business process automation is transforming organizational operations with ease to do more with less while scaling in alignment with business growth. So, automation is all about turning outdated processes into automated ones. There are many good tools in the market that we can use to automate most repetitive tasks example Power Automate, Zapier, IFTTT, KissFlow, etc.

In this article, I will elaborate on Microsoft’s Power Automate,

What is Power Automate?

Microsoft’s Power Automate (Previously called Microsoft Flow) is all about automation. In very simple words it’s a tool that allows you to automate any task or process.

Power Automate can be a very simpler task or process

Consider sending automatic reminder emails about weekly meetings to your team Or a complex process like downloading all attachments from a specific type of email and putting it into google drive for let's say 90 days and after that archive it. It can be automated with Power Automate.

Task or Process can go between any kind of applications

The cool thing is you can use any kind of application with Power Automate, like take an Outlook email and post it on Teams or like based on specific keywords in slack messages send an email to someone. Power Automates have hundreds of connectors for applications like Slack, Skype, Twitter, File System, Outlook, OneDrive, Google Drive, etc. If you don’t find any connector available, Power Automate supports third-party API to connect two different types of applications.

Task can be personal or business one

Task can be very personal like sending reminder daily or monthly for some medicine or birthday. It can be business specific for any complex process like automating invoice process.

Tasks are interactive

Tasks can interact with different people or events. Consider invoice payment we don’t want to automate if payment is in million. So, we can have an approver flow. We can have conditional flow if the invoice amount is greater than $500 it will seek permission from the Manager.

Task can be on desktop or website

Power Automate’s Flow can take control of your desktop, then can control mouse, access files, do backup, etc.

What is Power Automate

What skills do I need to use Power Automate?

Any basic business users who know how to use Office 365, IT Professionals can create automated business processes using Power Automate’s no-code/low-code platform

Features of Power Automate

  1. Ease of use - No code/Low code, very simple interface so you can define workflow, just with drag and drop.
  2. Comprehensive - Power Automate has UI to design flow, provides hundreds of connectors, and Supports third party.
  3. Powerful - We can design any complex workflows with many conditions, loops, and approvals.
  4. Scale - Highly scalable. For example, a new employee can use existing Flow instead of learning complex business processes.

What is Workflow/Flow?

Workflow (also known as Flow) basically stating an action which in turn triggers an Event. Every task has a Trigger on which Action is done. For example, you want to create a flow where on some Tweet we want to send email to yourself. In this case, Trigger can be a Tweet and Email will be Action. Trigger can be just based on Button click or Time based. For example daily at 9 am you want to move a desktop file from Location A to Location B.

Types of Flows

  1. Instant - Triggered on Button Click
  2. Automated - Triggered with an event. Can automate any tasks
  3. Scheduled - Triggered on the scheduled time and mostly it is recurring
  4. UI - Triggered by a Button click or an Event or specific recurring Time

What is Power Automate

What is Power Automate Templates?

Power automate templates are pre-built Flow provided by Microsoft that cover the most popular uses. It will allow you to automate a process in minutes.

What are Connectors?

Connectors allow users to integrate and connect directly to any kind of apps within the Microsoft Office 365 suite or third party.

What is Power Automate

Conclusion

Microsoft Power Automate is a great tool for business process automation. It's very easy, powerful yet scalable, and comprehensive. Any basic business user or technical users can use it to automate repetitive tasks whether it's simple or complex.

Microsoft provides ready to use Workflow Templates that cover the most popular uses and there are hundreds of connectors to use.

I will soon publish another post about creating your first flow. Stay tuned.

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