Prudence Pitch

14:00 06/11/2019 |

Total post : 1,355

Microsoft integrates the Power Platform more closely with Microsoft Teams

(Tech) Microsoft’s Power Platform is a business tool that lets anyone analyze, act, and automate across their organization. In 2019, that means more AI features, analytics, and data visualization. Microsoft’s pitch for the Power Platform is that anyone at your company can be a developer.



UI flows in Power Automate is now in public preview. Creating a UI flow is a point-and-click experience, though it does require some coding experience. The RPA feature turns manual tasks into automated workflows by recording and playing back human-driven interaction with software systems that don’t support API automation. 

Since Power Automate has prebuilt connectors for more than 275 apps and services that do support API automation, Microsoft claims it now has an end-to-end automation platform capable of reinventing business processes for a wide range of workloads across industries.

RPA is a form of business process automation that relies on bots or AI workers. It’s supposed to eliminate repetitive tasks so humans can do what they do best. Scaling and automating business processes isn’t easy - Power Automate is Microsoft’s attempt to offer API-based automation and UI-based automation in one tool.

Microsoft offers an example of an insurance claims processing company with clients filling out digital and paper forms and communicating through email. The claim is processed on the cloud while staff also maintain paper records and legacy applications. Power Automate could theoretically automate the whole thing: digitized data from scanned paper forms processed with AI, and legacy systems processed with RPA.

Power Virtual Agents let subject matter experts in your company  create bots with a guided, no-code graphical interface. Think of it as democratizing bot creation. No data scientists, developers, coding, or AI expertise is needed. Because Power Virtual Agents are part of the Power Platform, you can use the prebuilt connectors to have your bot talk to your backend systems or call an API.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because Power Virtual Agents rely on Microsoft’s Bot Framework, which lets developers build chatbots. So if you do want to add some code or more complex capabilities, Azure Cognitive Services and Bot Framework are just a few clicks away.

Separately, Microsoft is bringing its workplace collaboration tool Teams closer to its Power Platform. Power Platform dashboards, apps, and automations are available within Teams - adaptive cards and bots can be accessed directly through conversation. Power Apps creators can now publish their apps directly to their company’s app library in Teams. By the end of 2019, Microsoft will let users pin Power Apps to their Teams’ left rail. Furthermore, new Power Automate triggers and actions are now available within Teams for common team and personal tasks.


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