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Boost Productivity: Workflow Automation

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Unlocking Efficiency with Power Automate: A Guide for Businesses

In today’s digital era, businesses are constantly seeking innovative solutions to streamline operations and enhance productivity. Introducing Power Automate, Microsoft’s robust automation platform that empowers organisations to create automated workflows with ease.

What is Power Automate?

Power Automate is a cloud-based service that enables users to automate repetitive tasks and integrate systems and data across various applications. It’s part of the broader Microsoft Power Platform, which includes Power Apps and Power BI, and offers a low-code approach to process automation. With its intuitive design and AI capabilities, Power Automate simplifies the creation of workflows, making it accessible to both technical and non-technical users.

Business Case Examples

The versatility of Power Automate is evident in its wide range of use cases. Here are a few examples:

  1. Automated Email Notifications: Trigger emails based on specific events, such as new form submissions or updates to documents, ensuring timely communication and reducing manual effort.
  2. Data Migration and Synchronisation: Seamlessly move and synchronise data between applications, databases, and cloud services, keeping information up-to-date and consistent.
  3. Approval Workflows: Streamline decision-making processes by automating the approval of purchase requests or expense reports, saving time and reducing delays.

These practical applications demonstrate how Power Automate can transform business operations, leading to increased efficiency and productivity.

Performance Wins from a Commercial Perspective

Quantitative and qualitative studies have shown significant performance improvements when businesses implement Power Automate. For instance, the Power Platform automation maturity model by Microsoft outlines how organisations can scale successful automation implementations, aligning them with business outcomes. This model has helped businesses improve their automation capabilities, leading to enhanced operational metrics and business resilience.

Moreover, real-world automation stories highlight the impact of Power Automate. US Acute Care Solutions, for example, automated the processing of 20 million medical records annually, saving over 100,000 hours of work each year. Similarly, Komatsu Australia implemented an RPA solution with Power Automate, saving 300 hours a year in invoicing for one supplier alone.

Conclusion

As businesses continue to navigate the complexities of the digital landscape, Power Automate stands out as a powerful ally. By automating routine tasks and fostering seamless integration across systems, Power Automate not only saves valuable time but also unlocks new opportunities for innovation and growth. With the introduction of our Power Automate course, we aim to empower our customers to harness the full potential of this transformative platform.

Sources:

1 microsoft.com

2 learn.microsoft.com

3 en.wikipedia.org

4 insights.imperiumdynamics.com

5 learn.microsoft.com

6 powerautomate.microsoft.com

7 powerusers.microsoft.com

8 matthewdevaney.com

Training manual sample

Below are some extracts from our Power Automate Introduction manual.

1 - Getting Started

What is Power Automate

Microsoft Power Automate is an application available as part of Microsoft’s 365 suite of apps that allows end-users to create and automate workflows. A process in Power Automate is referred to as a Flow. Flows can be used to automate almost any business processes. Flows can trigger notifications through emails or text messages, copy files between platforms or send documents through an approval process just to name a few examples. To be able to execute these automated processes, Power Automate uses Data Connectors (described in the next paragraph). There are different licenses available for Power Automate, each with different features and permissions. For an overview of the licenses available for Power Automate, so you can choose the best plan for your organisation, click the link below:
https://emea.flow.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/

So Power Automate allows you to record step-by-step actions such as mouse clicks, keyboard use, and data entry, and then replay those actions and turn them into intelligent workflows.

Data Connectors

A Data connector allows information to pass between different computer platforms. Each data connector usually requires you to add a username and password. For example if you were to create a flow where you want an email attachment to get  saved to OneDrive, the flow would need your Outlook credentials as well as your OneDrive credentials.
A flow uses these Data Connectors to enable information to pass between systems. Therefor, a Flow would use multiple data connections to save an email attachment to OneDrive or a PowerApps form entry submitted to a SharePoint list.

 

Elements of the Power Automate Home Screen



To create flows we can click the ‘Create’ link in the Navigation Pane. This gives us three options to create a new flow in the main window. They are:

1.     Start From Blank

2.     Start from a template

3.     Start from Connector

 

 

2 Create, Run and Manage Flows

Create a flow from a template

Flows can be created two ways:

1.     Based on an existing Flow template

2.     Created as a Blank Flow.

For the first flow we will use one of the provided templates. Flow templates are provided by Microsoft as part of the Power Automate app. Each template is a ready-made workflow that you can use to create the basis for your own Flow.

You can start with a template and completely alter the different steps of the flow by adding, editing or removing steps, rather than starting from blank. This is a good way to learn about the different flows, how they are set up and what sort of steps are included.

 

Running a Flow

To test a flow after you created it, it must be ‘triggered’. A trigger specifies the conditions that starts a flow. When the trigger condition is true, the system starts the flow.

 

Triggers

There are different types of triggers that can cause a flow to initiate. In the table on the next page you will find an overview of the types of triggers available and what the condition is for them to start a flow.

 

Record Triggers

Created

Starts a flow when a record is created in a specific table

Updated

Starts a flow when a record is updated in a specific table.

Created or Updated

Starts a flow when a record is either created or updated in a specific table

Date Triggers

Daily

Starts a flow at a specific time every day

Weekly

Starts a flow at a specific time every week

Monthly

Starts a flow at a specific time every month

Run Once

Starts a flow once at a specific time but does not repeat. If you select a past date or time, the system schedules the flow to run as soon as possible

Repeat

Starts a flow at regular intervals you define

Application triggers, not discussed in this course

 

For a detailed overview of the full list of trigger types please click the link below.
https://docs.servicenow.com/bundle/orlando-servicenow-platform/page/administer/flow-designer/reference/flow-triggers.html

 

 

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