When people hear the word “Automation,” the thoughts of complex solutions and James Bond-like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) tools often come into mind, as well as the expense.  But believe it or not, as technology has rapidly evolved in the last few years, so has Automation.

Today, with just a few clicks of the mouse, you can easily make all of the routine and mundane processes that you face into ones that literally run themselves, and best of all, for a very affordable price. Most of these processes are accessible to a user without them having to know to write any code.

One such Automation tool like this is available from Microsoft and is known as “Microsoft Power Automate.”

Breaking Down What It Is

There are five basic automation processes that can be achieved with this tool, which are as follows:

1. Automated Flows:

This is a process that can be automatically triggered by an anticipated event that is about to occur, such as the arrival of new Emails from your client to the Project Management team giving feedback, or if any of your products/services are mentioned in Social Media posts.  The primary goal here is to provide an alert mechanism that will notify when these events actually occur.

2. Instant Flows:

With just a click from your wireless device (especially that of your Smartphone), you can very quickly and easily automate all the routine tasks that you usually do, thus freeing up your time to accomplish more mission-critical tasks.  For example, you can send out a mass email blast that will quickly send a reminder to your Project Management team members to join in a last-minute scheduled meeting.

3. Scheduled Flows:

These are tasks that can be automated that are deemed to be more complex in nature.  For example, you can schedule the time, create the flow to make backups of your databases on a daily regimen, upload new documents into SharePoint whenever they become available, etc.  The specific timing as to when these tasks need to be accomplished automatically can be established based upon the following changes:

  • On the hour, minute, and even second;
  • Any specified date;
  • Recurring dates (for example, uploading new documents every Tuesday and Thursday after your Project Management meetings).

4. Desktop Flows:

These are the tasks that can be automated, commonly done on your desktop computer at your office and/or your wireless device. With this kind of Flow, you can even automate those tasks that are web-based.  The concepts of Robotic Process Automation (also known as “RPA”) are used in this regard to help out with Automation.

5. Business Process Flows:

With this, you can create an automated guide instructing your employees on how specific tasks should be done using a defined set of interactions.  A Cybersecurity example might be that you can create such a flow for your IT Security team when it comes time to deciding which alerts and warnings need to be triaged and escalated further up the Incidence Response chain.  Or, as it relates to your Finance and Accounting Department, you establish these flows that instruct your employees in how to get proper approval for an invoice so that it can get paid out.  If you have a call center, you can establish the rules of etiquette on how your employees should treat people who are calling in with questions, needing help, etc.

More details on these types of automated flows can be seen here.

The Advantages of Power Automate

One of the most significant advantages of using this tool is that you can also collect data from well over 200 sources, ranging from your CRM to your databases and even Social Media profiles, and integrate them into your automated processes.

For an entire listing of these external sources that Power Automate currently supports, click here.  Best of all, these sources can then be connected to and integrated with M356, and Microsoft Azure with no coding required.  It can be all done with a few clicks of the mouse.

Some of the other strategic benefits of Power Automate include the following:

  • You don’t have to be a programmer to use it. Microsoft provides pre-built templates and actions.
  • A boost in productivity: With almost everybody now working from home, you want to make sure that your employees will be productive during their assigned work hours.  This tool can help you to achieve this goal.
  • A greater sense of security: When creating the automated workflows and processes, they are always done in a safe and secure environment so that only authorized individuals will have access.
  • The automation process is not static: This means that whenever you update one portion of the workflow or process, the other components of it will also automatically be updated on a real-time basis, making use of both AI and ML.

Conclusions

To help you learn more about Power Automate, please contact us today by calling 503-726-5933 or emailing us at info@kamind.com.

Sources