Power Virtual Agents & Power Automate Truly Powerful!

Introduction

Power Virtual Agents (PVA) and Power Automate (PA), formerly called Flows, are Microsoft’s latest AI innovations and a part of their Power Platform. Enterprises can use these tools separately to solve unique challenges but can also integrate and leverage them together to accomplish a common goal. In this article, we explore the different capabilities of these technologies and how they can be more powerful when integrated with each other!

Understanding Power Virtual Agents

PVA is a low-code chatbot building tool with which you can build and deploy chatbots in the shortest time possible. This democratises the technology to non-technical users and reduces the dependency on IT expertise.

Using PVA, powerful chatbots can be built using a guided, no-code graphical interface that can be deployed for sales, HR, finance, customer service and virtually on all channels where customers need to be engaged. Bot Framework and Azure Bot Service and Cognitive Services provide the technological foundation for Power Virtual Agents.

A power business user can go from zero to a working bot in a matter of minutes! IT experts with extensive knowledge in the development of chatbots can also code on PVA for additional customization.

You don’t have to retrain AI models – just provide the bot with a few examples of the conversation topic, use the graphic editor to build conversations and your bot will be ready to perform tasks and take requests! PVA also provides a test pane with which you can play around with changes in real-time.

PVA provides the end-to-end experience of bot development, from the creation of the dialog to deploying it on online platforms like Slack, Teams, Facebook Messenger and MS Teams among many others.

PVA can also be integrated with several other apps including but not limited to, Office 365, Dynamics 365, Salesforce, ServiceNow, OneDrive to gather information from these systems. PVA also provides AI-driven dashboards with which you can track and improve your chatbot’s performance.

Learn More: Why Are We Excited About Power Virtual Agents?

Understanding Power Automate

Power Automate is a low code AI-based solution that allows users to build time-saving workflows for various systems and processes with seamless integration using hundreds of prebuilt connectors. UI flows, the new feature in PA provides Robotic Process Automation (RPA) capabilities that can automate repetitive tasks in Windows and web applications.

Power Automate can currently connect to more than 275 apps and services. With Power Automate, you can automate diverse rules-based tasks like handling data entry, performing calculations, handling queries  and back-office operations in HR, Finance and accounting. Power Automate offers the low/no code experience of creating automations with point-and-click operations. PA can not only automate tasks across APIs, SAS platforms, databases but also do UI-based recording on Windows desktop and have that run in your automation workflow.  

Power Automate’s UI Flows feature or Power Automate RPA helps you integrate business apps with each other and create automated workflows with an intuitive, no-code interface. The tool provides both attended RPA and unattended RPA and enables you to focus on more high-value work by automating boring, repetitive tasks like front-office activities.

To better understand Power Automate, let’s take the example of an insurance claims processing company where clients fill out digital and paper forms and send emails to communicate. The claim usually gets processed on the cloud but employees also have to maintain paper records and legacy apps. This entire process could be automated by Power Automate: AI can process the digitized data in scanned paper forms and RPA can process legacy systems.

Integrating Power Virtual Agents With Power Automate

Trigger bots to take action!

Chatbots can have conversations with your employees and answer their queries. This is great. But what’s truly powerful is enabling chatbots to act on users’ behalf. Integrating chatbots with back-end and legacy systems is now made easier with Power Virtual Agents  – you can do it either out-of-the-box or using custom connectors available on Power Automate.

Integration  with legacy enterprise systems which lack modern APIs was a huge challenge for many organizations that are excited to deploy chatbots.

But with the launch of Power Automate this is solved.

The RPA capabilities of Power Automate enable it to create a flow between your Power Virtual Agent and your backend systems. You can design flows where based on a user’s request, the chatbot can trigger an action in the needed backend application.

Learn More: Add actions to a bot using Power Automate

This combination of PVA and PA can solve several common problems enterprises are facing today.

It helps organizations to meet the rising customer and employee expectations at lower costs by combining the automation capabilities of RPA and the self-service features of a chatbot.  This also results in increased agent productivity as agents don’t have to spend time on mundane and routine activities like gathering customer data, copying information, completing paperwork, etc.

Some key benefits include:

  • Improved employee and customer experience
  • Reduce business costs
  • Reduced time to complete tasks
  • Increased employee productivity
  • Increased competitive advantage

Power Virtual Agents and Power Automate synergistically produce an end-to-end automation that can automatically perform complex operations through natural language commands .

Conclusion

Through PVA and PA, Microsoft has democratised the technology to produce virtual agents and intelligent workflows to professional developers and citizen developers alike.  A Power Virtual Agent provides a platform to build enterprise chatbots with minimal coding. Power Automate is a multifaceted RPA platform  to automate enterprise-wide repetitive, rules-based tasks. These applications have a simple to use user drag and drop and point-click interface.

PA and PVA complement each others’ functionality. By integrating PVA and PA, you can enable end-to-end automation of processes, streamline workflows, improve agent productivity, improve ROI from your legacy systems and more!

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Acuvate helps enterprises in the effective implementation and adoption of the Power Platform.

If you’d like to learn more about this topic please feel free to get in touch with one of our Microsoft and AI experts for a personalized consultation.


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