In the last few years we’ve seen many predicting an exponential growth in the adoption of Robotic Process Automation. It’s no surprise then to see Microsoft re-enter into this market by enhancing its Flow platform which has been rebranded as “Power Automate.”
Does it only work with Microsoft products?
Power Automate can work with the entire Microsoft suite but it can also be connected to over 350+ third party apps. Some of these connections are free where others will require a premium subscription. Although it can add automation across a variety of platforms, it doesn’t work particularly well with bespoke or custom software. If your business is using “off the shelf” software and particularly if it already has a subscription to the Microsoft suite then this could be a useful tool.
Do you need a developer?
In terms of complexity, we would think this is similar to Automation Anywhere or UiPath in that if you have a very simple process and a little training, you may be able to automate yourself, but anything above and beyond that then its quite likely you’ll need a professional developer.
- Integrates with Microsoft products easily
- Would suit small scale attended automation projects
- Price for license is affordable vs competitors
- Would suit SMEs who are using ‘off the shelf’ software
- Not suitable for bespoke programmes
- Lack of qualified programmers in marketplace (at this time)
- Ui functionality not as robust as competitors
- Unattended offering not yet fully developed
This is an exciting offering from Microsoft and PowerAutomate could be a viable alternative to RPA platforms, for organisations which:
- Already have Microsoft365 subscription
- Most of their potential automation candidates do not involve any bespoke software (only popular off the shelf software or software offered as a cloud service)
- Most of the potential automation candidates do not require UI/Surface automation (automated resources can be accessed seamlessly using other channels than UI -> API, database connection, web services, libraries etc.)
It’s a perfect choice for organisations which processes are heavily dependent on Microsoft stack (Outlook, Word, Excel, SharePoint, Teams, Dynamics, Azure services etc.).
Power Automate is more an iPaaS (integration platform as a service) than RPA platform. In some cases Power Automate will not be able to replace RPA and maybe that’s the reason Microsoft decided to acquire Softomotive…
If you’re looking for ways to automate processes and not sure which technology or which vendor can help then be sure to ask our team.
Written by Senior developer, Arkadiusz Starczewski