workflow automation - what is power automate

What Is Power Automate?  

Microsoft Flow, now rebranded as Power Automate, is a tool that lets users automate tasks and processes within their Office 365 workflow.  Microsoft Office 365 has a wide range of apps that are essential to business operations and thousands of organizations.  Applications like:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Microsoft OneDrive

and other Microsoft products perform their own function, but each app exists in its own “lane” and doesn’t generally communicate with other apps.  Power Automate/Microsoft Flow lets each of these apps talk to each other and take actions based on triggers from other apps. 

What Does Power Automate Do? 

Microsoft Power Automate is a tool for automating processes and tasks by connecting different applications and platforms.  Users can connect Microsoft Office 365 applications to each other or to a large library of other applications, but in the cloud and on-premises environments. 

Automations can be quickly and easily created, meaning users with even a basic understanding of Office 365 can create basic automation to make day-to-day business life easier.  Advanced users can leverage Microsoft Power Apps or Power BI to create custom business processes.   Using workflows (also known as flows), users can easily map out how applications should interact with each other.     

Workflows, Templates, and Connectors 

 A workflow, at a basic level, is defining an action which in turn triggers an event. An example could be that when a user receives an email from a colleague with an attachment, the attachment is uploaded to SharePoint.  The event is receiving an email from a team member, and the event is uploading the attachment to SharePoint.  Workflows can be as simple as 2 steps or incredibly complex, involving multiple steps and applications.   

Flow templates are pre-built automation provide by Microsoft that cover the most popular uses for Power Automate.  Hundreds of pre-built templates are available, covering some of the most popular applications like Salesforce, Google Drive, Dropbox, social media platforms, SQL server, and more. 

Connectors allow users to integrate and connect directly into a vast number of apps within the Microsoft Office 365 suite and across the web.  The ever-growing list of connectors includes Facebook, Salesforce (and other CRM systems), Azure, Google products like Drive, Gmail, and Sheets, Slack, and more. 

Using Power Automate Workflows in Business 

Power Automate is a valuable skill within any business. Automating business processes can increase productivity across departments, keep stakeholders informed, and make day-to-day operations easier.  Power Automate automate workflows can;

  • Notify sales teams of new opportunities and deals in the CRM 
  • Push notifications when high priority emails come in
  • Archive and organize documents
  • Monitor social media accounts and automate marketing functions
  • Remind users to take daily, weekly, or quarterly actions 

 Ready to learn how to master Power Automate and improve your automation skills?  Power Automate courses from ONLC Training Centers can teach you the skills to master flows, Power App integrations, and more.     


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