Microsoft’s no- to low-code Power Automate service assists creating automated flows for popular apps and services, freeing organizations to focus on more pressing tasks

The COVID-19 pandemic’s shown organizations seeking to thrive and survive should embrace new ideas, workflows and business models. Finding new ways to connect with employees, suppliers and customers has become an important skill, as organizations navigate rapidly evolving business landscapes, widespread supply chain disruptions and unprecedented hiring and retention challenges. Fortunately, cloud computing, low-code development platforms and automated technologies have evolved, dramatically, the past few years and can work together to significantly enhance and improve the way your organization operates.

These aren’t pie-in-the-sky innovations that will one day receive sufficient development and polish that they’ll be ready for general business adoption. Organizations of all sizes and from across all industries are right now leveraging existing investments in common Microsoft tools—including Excel and OneDrive—with select additional Microsoft technologies—such as Power Automate—to eliminate repetitive manual processes by automating workflows, moving data (including as information is refreshed and updated) automatically between applications, streamlining workflows, surfacing sales team alerts when receiving new website leads and generating reminders when an important task becomes overdue. Best of all, organizations are introducing such enhancement and improvements using Power Automate without having to hire developers, migrate to entirely new platforms or disrupt other operations.

Microsoft’s Power Automate enables using a low-code tool, hundreds of prebuilt data connectors and even workflow templates to eliminate time-consuming manual processes, speed reporting and simplify sharing and making sense of data and analytics across teams. Just what does low-code mean? The lingo refers to application platforms, such as Power Automate, that permit non-developer employees to quickly build applications and processes without learning programming languages. Because Power Automate supplies the tools, data connectors and templates, your organization’s employees can focus on their business knowledge and expertise to implement automated workflows that best meet the organization’s needs.

These “citizen developers,” as they’re being called, can create compelling new business flows and processes without programming experience or having to study programming. Anyone, from a basic business user to an executive, can create effective workflows using Microsoft’s low-code Power Automate platform.

For example, a financial coordinator can build a Power Automate workflow using Microsoft’s preexisting data connectors and templates that automatically processes expense requests. The human resources director can use Power Automate to create a process whereby approved vacation requests automatically update employees’ remaining paid-time-off balances. And, in another instance, sales representatives can automatically be assigned new sales leads based on the lead source, client industry or customer location.

Because so many applications are supported, and because so many data connectors and templates exist, getting started is easy. Getting up to speed is simplified, thanks to ample Microsoft documentation.

Popular pre-built Power Automate data connectors include those for Microsoft Excel, Outlook and OneDrive. Hundreds of additional connectors are available, including for:

  • Amazon S3
  • Hubspot services
  • Microsoft Azure Applications
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Salesforce
  • ServiceNow
  • Twitter
  • Yelp

Numerous workflow templates, meanwhile, further assist creating and implementing Power Automate solutions. Examples of Power Automate templates include:

  • Completing custom actions for specific files
  • Triggering flows based on Power BI data-driven alerts
  • Sending an email for new Tweets containing a specific keyword
  • Notifying and emailing whenever a new file is loaded to OneDrive
  • Saving Outlook email attachments to OneDrive
  • Sending push notifications when a SQL Database condition is met
  • Creating a Planner task when a form is submitted
  • Posting a Microsoft Teams message when an email arrives matching a specific condition

As you can see, Power Automate solutions can be created quickly for an astonishing array of tasks regardless of industry. By creating a Power Automate account, selecting a template, adding a flow step or series of steps and using preexisting data connectors providing access to a vast array of applications, platforms and even common and popular third-party solutions, you and your organization can eliminate time-wasting practices, automate formerly manual tasks, gain efficiencies, improve productivity and free time for more important work.

Available to existing Microsoft 365 business plan subscribers for just $15-per-user-per-month, Power Automate is a compelling service held back only by an organization’s lack of understanding as how best to use the new solution. Don’t get left behind. If you have questions or are curious as to how Power Automate might assist you, contact Louisville Geek. We’re believers and use the platform to assist running our own operations, and we’d be happy to help get you up to speed at a time the agility Power Automate provides is more important than ever.