Microsoft Power Automate: What? Why? How?

Microsoft Power Automate: What? Why? How?

This article discusses what Microsoft Power Automate (Power Automate) is, why it may be advantageous to use it and how to get started and to get help with it.

What is Microsoft Power Automate?
Microsoft Power Automate (formerly, “Microsoft Flow”) is an app for creating approval and other workflows within one or between multiple apps. Microsoft Power Automate is a part of Microsoft Power Platform.

Why to Use Microsoft Power Automate?
The purpose of Power Automate is to help companies build software workflows that help with their day-to-day business processes.

For example, every time a user receives an important email, Power Automate can be set up to notify the user via a text message. Another example is approvals: if sales quotes need to be approved before they are sent to the customer, Power Automate can take care of the approval workflow which can happen via Outlook email.

Another advantage of Power Automate is that it has numerous connectors which means that it can be connected seamlessly with different software, including the other Power Platform tools (Power BI, Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents), Microsoft Dynamics 365 (e.g. Business Central, D365F, D365SCM, etc.), and other programs by Microsoft and beyond.

How to Use Power Automate?
Power Automate does not require development knowledge or prior programming experience to get started. Therefore, companies may be able to set up their own Power Automate flows without external developer’s help. This is especially true with the preset Power Automate flows that are available to users. Specific flows that go beyond the preset ones can be created too.

Power Automate does have its own licensing guidelines and the associated costs. At the time of posting this article, the prices were $19.00 CAD per user monthly (Per User Plan) and starting at $ 611.00 per month (Per Flow Plan) – more information is available via link A in the “Further Reading” section of this article.

While still relatively new software in Microsoft portfolio, it already has its own documentation (link B in the “Further Reading” section of this article) and online community (link C in the “Further Reading” section of this article) to help end users and partners get started and maintain Power Automate flows.

Bottom Line
Power Automate is a tool to create approval and other workflows within one or across multiple software platforms. This tool can help increase business efficiency and effectiveness by saving time on certain reoccurring business tasks which users otherwise would have to perform manually. In order to help users and partners get started and maintain Power Automate, the related website, documentation and online community have been created. At the same time, companies wishing to start using Power Automate should be prepared to spend time and money to set up and maintain their Power Automate flows.

If you have questions about Power Automate and your ERP system, you can contact Edocation team.