Blog Automate recurring tasks and become more efficient with Power Automate
By Insight Editor / 8 Nov 2022
By Insight Editor / 8 Nov 2022
Without realising it, we perform an endless series of repetitive tasks every day. Time that could be better spent on more important things. Imagine if you could automate some of this work without intervention of your IT department. Now you can with Microsoft Power Automate, a cloud-based service that lets you quickly build workflows for time-consuming tasks.
Every day we receive dozens or maybe even hundreds of emails. Replying could be a full-time job, but fortunately not every mail is that urgent. Yet to know which emails require your immediate attention, you still have to scan them by looking at the sender/subject or opening and reading the message. What if you could automate this task? Microsoft’s Power Automate has a prebuilt template that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to determine the language of an email, analyse the message and define the sentiment.
Once the analysis of an incoming message is complete, the result is published in your Teams channel. You quickly see the subject, sender and sentiment of the message (positive or negative). In the next step, you can add rules and define conditions. For example, it could be interesting to distinguish between an angry email from your manager and a negative message from another sender. You can even indicate that you want to receive a notification on your smartphone if the email is from your manager. That way you can respond quickly and do not have to constantly read your emails.
The above is just one simple example of the many tasks you can automate. Power Automate is part of the Microsoft Power Platform, which also includes products such as Power Apps and Power BI. What makes it very user-friendly is the fact that users do not need any coding or IT experience to start automating processes. You can even add flows by describing in natural language what you want to automate. The AI-based co-pilot will then do its magic by turning your request into an automated flow. For example, just write something like ‘Every time someone responds to a Microsoft Forms survey, post a message to Teams and send an email’, and the system will make it happen.
In addition, there are many actions and connectors that can be applied immediately. Connectors provide a way for users to connect their accounts and leverage a set of prebuilt actions and triggers to create apps and workflows. Only if you engage in more advanced activities, such as building your own connectors, is some degree of IT experience still required.
To automate your tasks and processes, there are three different flows you can choose from in Power Automate. First, you can create cloud flows if you want your automation to start automatically, instantly or on a schedule. An automated flow means that an event will trigger an action. For example, if an email with an attachment lands in your mailbox, this document can be automatically stored. Or when someone mentions your company in a social media post, you can ask to receive a notification.
An instant flow starts an automation with a click of a button. For instance, if you want to instantly send a reminder to your team from your mobile device. Finally, a scheduled flow takes care of automations that need to happen on a schedule and are now done manually, such as a daily data upload to SharePoint or a database. Each of these automations takes away time-consuming work.
In addition to cloud flows, you also have the option of desktop flows. These broaden existing robotic process automation (RPA) and allow you to automate all repetitive desktop tasks. For example, you can organise documents or accurately extract and store data in files. Desktop flows are essential for anyone who performs rule-based tasks on their workstations. Business process flows provide a third option in Power Automate. These can help an organisation ensure that people consistently enter data and follow the same steps every time they work with a customer.
In short, Power Automate is a tool that enables organisations to become more efficient and productive. With little training, users can automate simple or more complex repetitive tasks and use the extra time to focus on more challenging work. The platform’s prebuilt features make it easy to find applications and put them into practice immediately. The set of connectors is updated regularly, but you can also build your own versions. Be aware that there is a distinction between standard connectors that are free, and premium connectors that require you to have an account. But for most applications and automations, the free versions will get you very far.
If you need help getting started, you can count on our team of experts at Insight. We have experience with many different customers and scenarios. This means we have already encountered most of the questions you may have and can give you faster access to all the benefits of this tool.
Do you have a question or want to learn more about the Power Platform’s capabilities for your company? Then feel free to send an email to our specialist: email@example.com