Power Automate 101: What Is Workflow Automation and How Can It Help Your Business?
If you’re looking for practical ways to improve productivity, workflow automation is a great place to start.
But what is workflow automation, and what does it look like in practice? In this blog, we’ll answer those questions by taking a deep dive into Microsoft Power Automate, one of the leading tools on the market. Then we’ll offer a few real-world examples of how workflow automation can help you streamline your operations on a day-to-day basis.
What is workflow automation?
Workflow automation uses technology to automate repeatable tasks. It can be applied to a wide range of processes — everything from data entry to customer onboarding to lead nurturing. However, that kind of automation can be technically challenging without the right tools, because coding skills are necessary to build an automated workflow from scratch.
That’s where Microsoft Power Automate comes in. Formerly known as Microsoft Flow, Power Automate is an easy-to-use platform that enables non-developers to create automated workflows without any coding expertise. The platform’s visual interface gives you everything you need to design workflows using a combination of conditions, triggers and actions.
4 use cases: How Microsoft Power Automate works in practice
Here are a few examples of how the Fairdinkum team has applied workflow automation to improve our clients’ efficiency and productivity:
- Scanning to SharePoint. Legacy scanners don’t have native support for scanning to SharePoint folders. As a workaround, we can set the scanner to send an email to a mailbox marked “Scans.” Then we can leverage Microsoft Power Automate to download the attachment and save it in a “Scans” folder in SharePoint.
- Automating SFTP downloads. Secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) is a common way to protect data in transit. We can help you save time by automating downloads from SFTP sites to SharePoint or on-premise servers. We can even schedule the downloads at whatever intervals you require.
- Importing emails to Microsoft Teams. At many organizations, Teams is often the central hub for internal communication and collaboration. Power Automate enables you to add relevant emails to a Teams chat so you can keep all the necessary information in one place.
- Customizing flows to other Microsoft 365 applications. Microsoft Power Automate is especially useful because it supports connectors, or pre-built integrations that connect a wide range of popular apps and services. This allows you to automate tasks that span multiple applications. Power Automate also integrates with all Microsoft 365 applications — including Planner, Forms and ToDo — to create synergies between each platform.
Here’s the bottom line: as technology continues to shape the future of work, automation isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s a necessity for any business that wants to improve efficiency, reduce error and free up time for more strategic endeavors.
If you’d like to learn more, we’d love to discuss how Microsoft Power Automate can help you streamline your day-to-day operations so you can achieve cost-effective growth at scale. Get started by booking your custom consultation today.