Cloud- based Process Automation with Microsoft Power Automate: Applications and advantages

With Microsoft Power Automate you create cross-application workflows and tasks to automate work processes without additional developers. We are going to explain all the possibilities and advantages of the cloud-based automation software in this article.

Automate Processes with Microsoft Power Automate

Microsoft Power Automate (formerly known as: Microsoft Flows) is a suite of different tools to comprehensively cover various process automation requirements within an organization – from simple standard processes to the complex cross-departmental operations.

Digital Process Automation

A core component of Microsoft Power Automate is Digital Process Automation (DPA). The tool provides both templates and interfaces to hundreds of popular business applications to link them together and automate the process.

Robotic Process Automation

While Digital Process Automation allows for the automation of processes at one level, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) goes a step further. Using AI technologies, RPA can automate processes with multiple levels from the enterprise to the end customer.

Process Advisor

Process Advisor helps you better understand internal processes. To do this, Process Advisor provides process mining tools that allow you to identify and visualize the actual processes taking place within the organization. Desktop actions of users can also be mapped with the Process Advisor tool.

AI Builder

With Microsoft Power Automate, you can also implement applications from Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). For this purpose, Microsoft provides AI Builder, a powerful tool that enables even non-developers to create intelligent programs via a graphical interface that can understand and create texts, recognize objects in images and evaluate data. The Machine Learning technology used thus creates the basis for automation routines that become better and better by themselves as they are used more and more.

Microsoft Power Automate: All advantages at a glance

As one of the largest IT companies in the world, Microsoft is now a leading player in the field of business software. With Power Automate, the company offers its customers a range of benefits in the implementation of digitization in their own companies:

  • More Productivity: The use of Microsoft Power Automate frees employees in all departments from standard tasks that interrupt core activities, enabling greater productivity in everyday work.
  • Efficiency with Standard Tasks: Standard tasks require standard solutions. With process automation based on Microsoft Power Automate, many standard tasks can be easily automated.
  • Uniform Processes: Different ways of working in different departments lead to problems in communication and data exchange over time. By automating recurring processes, you create a uniform structure across departments, which opens up the space for later optimization.
  • Cloud-based Infrastructure: Because Microsoft Power Automate runs in the cloud, there’s no need for in-house maintenance or additional infrastructure.
  • Fewer Errors: Many processes are prone to error when handled by humans. Machines – when programmed correctly – don’t make mistakes.
  • Intuitive Operation: Microsoft Power Automate has a graphical user interface throughout, making all of the suite’s features accessible. Additional developers – or in-house expertise – are not required. Instead, for the most part, the software controls itself like normal business software that employees are already familiar with from their day-to-day work.
  • Templates for a Quick Start: Creating a workflow with Microsoft Power Automate typically begins with selecting from one of the many templates the cloud software provides users. Templates contain the structure of a process, which you can then customize to fit the specific process in your organization. This way, even inexperienced employees can have their first positive experience right away and learn about the added value of process automation for themselves.
  • More Employee Satisfaction: Knowledge workers spend a significant portion of their working hours working on standard tasks that are neither particularly challenging nor fulfilling. Automating with the help of digital and robotic process automation can lift some of that workload, contributing to happier employees in the future.
  • Happier Customers: Customers can also benefit from process automation – for example, through shorter processing times in customer service or better support in sales.

Areas of application for Microsoft Power Automate

The possibilities for using Microsoft’s process automation solution are limited only by the organization’s infrastructure and resources. In addition, which use cases provide a positive return on investment depends on the specific organization. These are three common use cases for process automation with Microsoft Power Automate:

First Contact in Customer Care

In many companies’ customer care operations, first contact with customers takes up a lot of resources – especially when there is no standardized process for making contact. With Microsoft Power Automate, for example, companies can develop a chatbot that recognizes customer inquiries, handles them when possible, or forwards them to the appropriate customer service representatives.

Automated Notifications

In stressful situations of the workday, tasks sometimes get lost. To ensure that employees don’t forget important tasks, you can use Microsoft Power Automate and a simple template to create an automatic reminder that will be sent to your Outlook email account every day. Thanks to numerous existing interfaces, such automations are also possible with mail accounts from other providers.

Accounting / Invoice Receipt

Incoming and outgoing invoices need to be processed by the accounting department as well as prepared for the legally required archiving. With a template in Microsoft Power Automate, you can set up an automated routine with just a few clicks that checks incoming email attachments for the keyword “invoice” and then automatically moves the files to a specified location or sends them to the responsible person.

Automate Claim Processing

Microsoft Power Automate can also be used to implement complex workflows – for example, when customer input is involved in the process. Robotic Process Automation tools allow users to digitally map each step of the process within the tool to automate it. Beforehand, use the integrated tool for Process Mining to get an accurate picture of the process and its real flow in the company.

Conclusion: Process Automation with Microsoft Power Automate – for whom is it worthwhile?

With Power Automate, Microsoft offers small, medium and large organizations a powerful toolbox for getting started with process automation. With a comprehensive tool set, the suite covers both linear processes and complex End-to-End Processes. The entire functionality is brought together in an intuitive interface that makes it easy to get started, even for IT laymen. Without knowing any programming language, employees are able to learn to automate the processes with the tools and improve their everyday work.

Microsoft Power Automate is therefore worthwhile for all those companies that want to delve deeper into process automation, but previously lacked the resources or infrastructure. Thanks to the cloud-based solution from Microsoft, even small companies will be able to automate entire workflows and network internal systems in the future.

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