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Microsoft 365 Underutilised Apps – Power Automate (Flow)
One of the many things that has seen a big change during the pandemic is something we all know – paperwork. A lot of businesses and organisation have used the opportunity to go paperless – or at least to reduce paper documents as much as possible, and get as close at they can to being paperless.

While it’s true that there’s still a time and a place to use paper documents, many are reaping the benefits of going digital – including enhanced automation possibilities for their data and processes.

 

 

Microsoft Power Automate (Formerly known as Flow) is a set of tools designed to help people with no coding or programming skills create automations to run some of their simpler or repetitive day-to-day tasks. In using AI and software to automate these kinds of “busywork” tasks, you can free up a significant amount of time to concentrate on more important tasks that require direct input from a person. If it often seems that time is the one resource you are lacking, using some of these tools might help you to streamline these tasks. The process can be compared to creating and using macros in Microsoft Word to automate tasks – only it’s far easier to accomplish.

While Power Automate can be a very powerful tool for advanced users, it is also very easy to get started with – examples and templates are provided, along with a drag-and-drop interface to help you create your automations (referred to as flows).

Here are some examples of what you can do with Power Automate:

  • Get a unique push notification on your mobile device when a specific contact emails you.
  • One-button sign-off request – save and send your item for approval with one click.
  • Use social media for customer service or marketing? Get a message in Teams when someone uses your hashtag or @mentions you on twitter. Post your new content to all your social media channels at once by publishing to just one.
  • Track Forms responses in an Excel spreadsheet for easy data analysis. Notify the team when a new response is received.

Power Automate’s Process Advisor can also help to monitor your workflow and provide tips and insights on what to automate or suggestions on steps you can take to streamline your workflow.

Advanced users can go a step further and use the AI Builder tool, which allows you to leverage AI to perform tasks, for example, recognising text in an image, an image subject, extracting data from a scanned document, or even assessing responses in forms – language processing allows the AI to infer tone and sentiment in forms responses and record or forward them appropriately – such as when receiving positive or negative feedback. You can even customise its settings by helping it to learn good and bad responses to particular questions. Once your AI is built and trained, you can add it into any of your flows.

 

Need help with hardware or software to help keep your team organised and productive while working remotely? Need assistance moving back to an office-based environment, or implementing and managing a hybrid system? We can help! Give us a call on 0121 312 1500 or email us at info@geek-guru.co.uk
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