Microsoft Power Automate OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Microsoft Power Automate is the #3 ranked solution in best RPA tools. PeerSpot users give Microsoft Power Automate an average rating of 7.6 out of 10. Microsoft Power Automate is most commonly compared to UiPath: Microsoft Power Automate vs UiPath. Microsoft Power Automate is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 69% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 17% of all views.
Microsoft Power Automate Buyer's Guide

Download the Microsoft Power Automate Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2022

What is Microsoft Power Automate?

Microsoft Power Automate is an intelligent, cloud-based solution that allows users to boost their productivity by creating automated workflows between multiple services and applications.

These workflows are used to synchronize files, receive notifications, and retrieve data. The system creates workflows by recording user actions, like mouse clicks, data entry, and keyboard use, which are processed into intelligent, secure workflows.

Users can easily add intelligence to their workflow automation with AI Builder. AI Builder has a set of AI tools which range from language comprehension to image recognition, as well as hundreds of pre-built connectors and thousands of templates.

Power Automate utilizes triggers and events to create chain reactions within each workflow so that all manual and repetitive tasks are carried out without any human intervention. The automation of time-consuming manual tasks frees teams up to focus on other strategic opportunities for their organization.

The workflow creation tool allows users to easily set up custom integrations and processes between Office 365 and third-party applications by using pre-built connectors. These integrations are typically services like data loss prevention and access management services.

Microsoft Power Automate seamlessly integrates and automates tasks with hundreds of out-of-the-box data sources. Some of the more popular third-party applications include:

  • SharePoint
  • Microsoft BI
  • Microsoft Office
  • Asana
  • Mailchimp
  • Twitter
  • Trello
  • Google Docs
  • Salesforce
  • OneDrive

Microsoft Power Automate was designed to allow non-technical business users to create their own automated processes with AI builder’s easy-to-use drag-and-drop-based interface, using four different types of automation flows:

  • Cloud flows: Automations that are triggered by a specific event in the cloud or on-premises, such as an email or a social media post related to your organization.
  • Scheduled flows: As soon as a designated time is reached, a scheduled process is triggered and continues to run until it completes all of its assigned scheduled tasks.
  • Desktop flows: This allows users to automate their desktop by recording their screen. The visual flow designer automates mouse and keyboard clicks. Desktop flows can be used for extracting text from files, retrieving files from folders, and more.
  • Business process flows: This automation can be designed in order for employees with different security roles to have a smooth work experience that best suits the tasks they need to perform.

A few of the major benefits of Microsoft Power Automate include:

  • Automated processes improve workforce productivity and reduce human error.
  • Streamlined repetitive and time-consuming tasks.
  • Constant access to the solution via the mobile app to create, run, and monitor automated workflows from anywhere at any time.

Reviews from Real Users

Microsoft Power Automate stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Several major ones are its user-friendly interface, its automation capabilities, and its integration options.

Thiago R., the head of Digital transformation at Zaact, writes, "Workflow management is what clients select the most. It is very intuitive and pretty much drag-and-drop, so we can create escalation, decision flows, and if-else conditions pretty much by dragging and dropping boxes. Even someone who is not technical can develop a workflow for the business."

Microsoft Power Automate was previously known as Power Automate, Microsoft Flow, MS Power Automate.

Microsoft Power Automate Customers

SNCF, Air France, Avanade

Microsoft Power Automate Video

Microsoft Power Automate Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Microsoft Power Automate pricing:
  • "The licensing cost for us at this time is between $8 and $20 per user, per month."
  • "It depends and varies a lot according to the licensing terms. There is no cost to maintain if we have less than 10 forms. Microsoft only charges if there are more than 10 forms. So, most of the companies can survive without paying anything extra. It is included in the Office 365 licensing."
  • "At the moment, from our experience with the two, Power Automate is a lot more expensive solution than Automation Anywhere, but it is also a far more reliable solution. With the price increases and with the current pandemic situation going on worldwide, a lot of the prices have fluctuated, but the packages and the all-encompassing features you get with the Microsoft package far outweigh the benefits from the Automation Anywhere side. Each package on the Automation Anywhere side is cheaper, but we need to continuously purchase subsequent packages to continue with our automation to the extent that we require. So, the Power Automate solution is a bit more pricey, but it does offer us a far better range of capabilities."
  • "Its licensing cost is comparatively less as compared to Automation Anywhere. We have bought a two-year license agreement."
  • "I believe one of the advantages of this device is its low cost."
  • "We've got a subscription package. We are on a monthly package of $40. We've got some discount because we're a big corporate client of Microsoft 365 and other solutions, but the standard price of the package that we use is $40. For the product, you don't have to pay anything extra. If you're using a partner, you need to pay for their coding, advice, and services, which is a separate cost. The majority of the features are available for free for anyone who is on Microsoft 365."
  • Microsoft Power Automate Reviews

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    Earlgarth Greaves - PeerSpot reviewer
    Principal Consultant at The Bluestone Corp
    Real User
    Top 10
    Very user-friendly and easy to use but requires better user training at first
    Pros and Cons
    • "Power Automate Desktop allowed me to quickly visually identify parts of a screen and record it. So I can see that I know I'm going to have to click this button here, this field there, and this tab here, and I can literally go and quickly just record all of them and identify them and have them in a list that I can see and say - there's my list of things."
    • "I was working on it for around three days and then took a break of about two days. When I went back to it, all of the Excel, and all the Excel functions, just disappeared. Completely vanished. When I looked up the help, it said that sometimes that happens when you're not connected to the internet."

    What is our primary use case?

    It's a pretty big learning curve with Microsoft Power Automate and I'm trying to do a couple of other things. But I really have made some progress. I've actually started creating some bots. I've run into some snags. I haven't found my way out of the snags as yet. That's kind of why I'm not quite ready to publish because I'm not an expert yet, but I am actively working on it.

    Microsoft Power Automate is on-premises because I'm using the Power Automate Desktop. So it's a desktop piece that I'm actually using and that's definitely on-premise. What I'm actually doing is interacting with actual systems. I run a clubby cloud system for moving data back and forth.

    There are some very long processes that are happening now, where we need to move data from one system to another and do some analysis, and all of that. We're trying to automate some of that process to link the systems together. So some of it is actually reading the webpage, taking information off of the webpage, and doing things with it.

    What is most valuable?

    Power Automate is very user-friendly, it is easy to use. I find it very easy to use, easy to follow what's going on, to navigate around and get things done. I really like it. 

    One of the features I like is the elements. Let me describe it. With Power Automate Desktop you're interacting with other pieces of software. That's kind of the whole point. You're grabbing information from other software so that you can then pull it together and move it back and forth between systems and do other things with it. Power Automate Desktop allowed me to quickly visually identify parts of a screen and record it. So I can see that I know I'm going to have to click this button here, this field there, and this tab here, and I can literally go and quickly just record all of them and identify them and have them in a list that I can see and say - there's my list of things.

    Now when I'm actually pulling the logic together, it's really, really simple to just grab it from my list of elements and just fix things together. So I'm able to move faster than I can with Help and with the other solution. I really, really like that about it. I like its integration with other apps

    Well, not integration. Because the whole point of Power Automate desktop is to grab information from other apps. So it's not a side feature, that's what it's designed to do specifically. So, that makes it easier to visually capture information from other applications, and then reuse those fields from other applications. I think it's the reuse that's really useful. Because I can see that I've done it. Whereas with the other one, did they do it or not?  But I really like that it is easy to capture visual elements of other applications and reuse them. 

    The other good thing was the trial period. There's a much more realistic trial period of 90 days. So it encourages you to dig in on your own, and try and figure it out, because if something doesn't go right, you don't have to figure it out in 30 days, like all the others. So it's a 90 day trial, which makes sense to me because if it works, trust me, you'll never give it up. You going to use it, going to be hooked anyway, so 90 days make sense.

    What needs improvement?

    The problem with Power Automate is what happened when I had it set up to read web pages and Excel workbooks. But that was my first test, and I was working on it for around three days and then took a break of about two days. When I went back to it, all of the Excel, and all the Excel functions, just disappeared. Completely vanished.

    I had installed it on my laptop. I had the spreadsheet there and all the features, because you have to do things like tell it to open the spreadsheet, tell it to read the cells, that kind of thing. And then you tell it to go to this webpage, and when you get to the webpage, log in, put in a username and password and then click on a button. So you have to put all of these steps and sort of link them together. And then when I came back, the flow was there, but it said all the steps that had to do with Excel were invalid. Anything that has to do with the web, it just said invalid. The whole tree, all instructions are still there, but the components that talk to Excel and the web were just gone. Just totally vanished.

    When I looked up the help, it said that sometimes that happens when you're not connected to the internet. So it was kind of straight forward but complex as well.

    It was straight forward, and then it just crashed, essentially. It just went. And I couldn't figure out a way to get the modules back. What on earth? So I switched to HelpSystems Automate, which I had also installed on my machine about a year ago. But now that I'd started working with Power Automate, that gave me the confidence to launch into the other one. So I launched into that one and that's where my HelpSystems Automate review would start. But if I would just stop by Microsoft Power Automate Desktop, that's where I'm stuck. I literally have not gone back to it. I actually find its easier to use. I prefer to use it, but it's just not working. It just stopped working. I don't know how to get this part back.

    That's why I told you  I don't want to give a full review as yet because I don't know if it's something I did. I don't think so. But it just stopped. I'm still trying to give it a little grace, trying to figure out, trying to make it work.

    What was difficult though, the weirdest thing, was just simple things like manipulating strings.

    In terms of what features should be included, what would really help would be more help navigating webpages. What would help would be the help itself - if there would be lots of official walk-throughs. If it would say, for these scenarios, this is how you should do it, with the screen screenshots and the step-by-step thing. With other products I've used, even as a programmer back in the day, nothing ramps up learning faster than walk-throughs. It's not really the product itself, but more walk-throughs to help people ramp up their learning much faster.

    That would be really great. Especially around web automation and services automation. Hooking into the EPI's of other solutions would be great. Right now we're just relying on the community of YouTube videos. People just set them up and do YouTube videos, and that's how they're hoping it will get solved.

    It's not the type of setup, but it's the training on using the product that I would like to see more of. Better training on using the product itself, walk-throughs in particular, as a training method.

    So I tell people that with Power Automate, you you can record the interview, that we're doing here, and fill out the forms automatically. All you have to do is sit down and engage the client with the right questions, and the system would listen to the interview and fill out the screen for you. So you thought, that would be really cool. Now you've downloaded it, and you're trying to figure out how on earth you do it. A walk-through is where you would go and this thing would literally say, "Capture audio and video." They give you a scenario and then they would have a little video that you can watch that shows you how to actually set it up. And then, in addition to that, you'd have a detailed scenario. This is what you want to do. Then it would have all the steps that you would need to actually do it end-to-end. If you follow the steps at the end of the walkthrough, you would actually have a working solution by just following the steps. By doing that, you're learning the product. You're learning how to use it. You learn so many things by using walkthroughs. And it's just training. It's not the actual product itself, it's training that goes along with the product.

    How are customer service and support?

    This is Microsoft technical support. I'll try them. I haven't called Microsoft technical support in years. It's usually not a very good experience, but I will try. I will reach out to them and see what happens. When you go to support they tend to lead you to communities where other users are having issues. It's sort of, "see what you can find in the community." I will get back to it because I have to desperately get this thing to work. No matter which tool I use, I have to get it to work.

    Buyer's Guide
    Microsoft Power Automate
    November 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Power Automate. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2022.
    653,522 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The price is why I even considered it, because HelpSystems Automate was winning all of these awards and was supposedly the easier tool to use. That's what it says. But Power Automate's pricing model had a more gentle incline. That's why I went to the Microsoft Power Automate Desktop in the first place, because the pricing seemed to be more favorable. It the end, once you're using it for the whole organization, you end up paying the same thing for both products anyways. But to get started, Power Automate Desktop seemed better priced. But then it stopped working and I don't know how to get it back working yet.

    I'm using the HelpSystems Automate now, and I'm stuck on another step. I mean, it's hard and that's good. If it's hard, it means you'll get paid. So the bit being hard is not the issue. I just have no idea how to get Power Automate to work again. So when I do, I guess I'll let you know.

    The licensing was on a monthly basis. I liked it because it gave me a more reasonable per user cost. So I can set up one user like me, and then quickly set up all the workflows that I need, and it allows me to evaluate better and longer. I can onboard two or three other logins at a very reasonable price. Ultimately everybody wants to just dominate the entire organization anyway, and so the price is going to get ridiculous at some point. But by the time it gets there, the organization would be benefiting so much from it they don't mind. Whereas with the other solution, you have to bite the bullet a little sooner.

    I think you have to have an office license. I'm not sure actually. Maybe you can just use it by itself, but I'm not sure.

    What other advice do I have?

    Right now, on a scale of one to 10, I would give Microsoft Power Automate a six since I can't actually use it. I really can't go past six. Maybe once I actually start using it, I'll rank it much higher. I think it has great potential if I could just get it back working.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Practice Principal - Cloud and Automation at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Integrates well with other Microsoft products but there are many features lacking and it is not scalable
    Pros and Cons
    • "The integrations that are built into Power Automate for those different Microsoft functions are good."
    • "When compared to other workflow automation tools out there, it's just not as mature."

    What is our primary use case?

    Internally, we're doing a lot of workflow automation. This includes creating documents inside of SharePoint, updating SharePoint lists, taking templates in Microsoft Word, and then pulling data from SharePoint to populate different fields in the Word doc using the approval workflows.

    When somebody is done reviewing a document, they click a button, and then it goes to the next person in the workflow. It sends me emails, sends notifications, posting from an email, stripping out all of the extra content in the text message, manipulating it, and then posting it to Microsoft teams, channels.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature of this solution is the native integrations with other Microsoft products. These include SharePoint, Office 365, and Microsoft Teams. 

    The integrations that are built into Power Automate for those different Microsoft functions are good.

    What needs improvement?

    This solution has many areas that have room for improvement.

    There are many features that are lacking compared to other Automation tools.

    There is an inability to group different variables. When you have to establish all of your variables, you can't group them all.

    The notifications when there are failures need improvement, as well as being able to start a process midstream.

    The licensing is convoluted in understanding what license is needed.

    There's just not enough error handling natively, so you have to build in a lot of workarounds for error handling. 

    When compared to other workflow automation tools out there, it's just not as mature.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Power Automate for one year.

    We are using the latest version, it's a cloud solution.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    For the most part, it is pretty stable. We made one change that created a licensing error just out of the blue that stopped all of the processes that were in progress.

    It created a problem, where we had to restart all of them and do a lot of manual cleanups, and backtrack to the ones that were canceled.

    If there's a licensing issue, there should be some notification versus saying, "your licenses are out of compliance," and shutting down that process. When we checked the licenses, there was no issue.

    I don't know if it was a bug or what that was, but that happened one time. Luckily it was when we started the rollout, and we didn't have as many processes in flight.

    If we had hundreds of different processes in flight and that canceled my flow, that would not be acceptable for a production-type solution.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's not scalable.

    For some of the processes that we're building right now, we are asked to add a button for this additional piece, and it adds so much more complexity with the way that I have to build it out. It doesn't allow me to break up a process into multiple processes, and then call sub-processes, which would make it a lot easier to scale. When I break up these different processes, I have to redefine every variable. 

    I can't take information from one process and then pass those variables to the next process.

    Your workflow then becomes this very long, single process, that can't be started from the middle. It has to be long and convoluted, and it doesn't make it simple to scale and have sub-processes to make it more complex.

    Currently, we are limiting the number of additional features and functionality. 

    We don't want to add to it because it adds complexity and doesn't give us the ability to call a sub-process.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The couple of times that we have called, they haven't been able to solve anything.

    In many cases, we try to figure it out ourselves or rebuild the workflow, if we can't reproduce the issue. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is pretty straightforward.

    We built out the workflow, completed the testing, the user testing, and completed a production rollout. 

    I would say part of the challenges was with the production rollout. The tool is not as easy to work with because it's a hundred percent cloud-based.

    A lot of the error handling and some of the things you would normally have aren't built-in, and so we ended up finding a lot of bugs and issues and things after the fact.

    For example, it was set up where we needed to send an email, and if you put the two email addresses, but you don't put a semicolon between it, then it was just killing the process, saying, "that it couldn't send the email," so it just failed. The entire process failed.

    It didn't send a notification and we had to find out two days later.

    Those are the types of things where it just needs to have better handling for those types of situations to be able to say, "this is an error that happened," or let me kick off that same process from that point, and then restart the process from there; whereas, right now I have to restart the entire process.

    All the steps that happened before, need to be able to go manually and clean up. It eliminates the point of automation.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The price depends on the features that we are using.

    The licensing cost for us at this time is between $8 and $20 per user, per month.

    It's a monthly cost for every user that touches one of the flows or is kicking off a workflow.

    Licensing can get expensive.

    There are premium connectors, where if you want to connect to external data sources, there is an additional cost for that.

    I think one of the big issues was for an Azure SQL database or for SQL databases that used to be part of the standard connectors, and then they converted those to premium connectors, which increases the cost and limits the functionality for what you would be paying for it.

    What other advice do I have?

    Use it for basic workflows, but I wouldn't recommend it for anything that is mission-critical. I don't think that it is ready for mission-critical type processing. 

    It's a good product. They just have a lot of functionality they need to add.

    People have posted on their feature request board, and on their community board.

    The vast population that is using it asks for the same features. They are either very slow to implement those features or they are not interested.

    I would rate this solution a six out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Microsoft Power Automate
    November 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Power Automate. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2022.
    653,522 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Thiago Roque - PeerSpot reviewer
    Head of Digital Transformation at Zaact
    Real User
    Top 10
    Improves operational efficiency, integrates with all sorts of databases and Microsoft solutions, and is easy to use
    Pros and Cons
    • "Workflow management is what clients select the most. It is very intuitive and pretty much drag-and-drop, so we can create escalation, decision flows, and if-else conditions pretty much by dragging and dropping boxes. Even someone who is not technical can develop a workflow for the business."
    • "While working with big data, when we have structured data like logs, we have to work with an ETL tool before manipulating the data and creating the workflows and the forms. This can be improved. Big data support is something that I'd like to be covered a lot."

    What is our primary use case?

    The most common use is for digitizing Excel forms or Excel spreadsheets. We use Power Automate to digitalize all Excel-based processes on a SharePoint page and link the libraries with the transactional data from the client.

    It is cloud-based. It can be deployed on a public, private, or hybrid cloud. It depends on the client. It is linked with the Microsoft license that a client has. If the license is hybrid, then Automate is hybrid as well.

    How has it helped my organization?

    By digitizing Excel spreadsheets, we reduced the errors in information transactions. We also reduced the time for the internal processes and improved operational efficiency.

    The cloud solution on Azure makes it easy for us to take care of the security, which is a big deal for us. We can use the same permissions that we already have in place in Azure Active Directory and just duplicate them for the forms in Power Automate and the SharePoint page, so managing security is very easy for us.

    What is most valuable?

    Workflow management is what clients select the most. It is very intuitive and pretty much drag-and-drop, so we can create escalation, decision flows, and if-else conditions pretty much by dragging and dropping boxes. Even someone who is not technical can develop a workflow for the business.

    It is very easy to use. It doesn't need a technical resource to create and maintain forms. The UX/UI is very similar throughout the Microsoft platform, including SharePoint and Office 365

    It integrates with all sorts of databases, such as SQL Server and Oracle Database, which is a plus. 

    What needs improvement?

    While working with non-structured data (like logs and user tracking information that usually fits the criteria of big data), all the data sources must pass by a data quality process via any ETL tool before linking and publishing any information to the automation workflows and forms. This process is important to standardize all the content and format types for the columns and fields in the tables that will be used to show data in the front end.

     The ability to read non-structured data and provide insights into how to sanitize and organize data automatically is something that I'd like to be covered in the next releases.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for two and a half years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We never had any downtime, so it is pretty good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is very scalable. We are working with hundreds of forms at the same time, and some of our clients have thousands of people working simultaneously on the same form, so it is very scalable.

    Most of its users are function-based. They are process leads in their companies. We currently have more than 1,000 users.

    It is being used a lot. It is currently our most important tool for team efficiency. We plan to increase its usage in the near future. We have lots of other internal applications and processes in the pipeline, especially for functional areas, which can be moved from paper and Excel to a SharePoint form by using Power Automate.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The response time depends on your license level. If you are a gold partner, the response time is in a couple of hours, which is pretty decent. If you are an individual user or a company that doesn't have any L1, L2, or L3 licenses, the response time is up to 48 hours. So, it all depends on your license level with Microsoft, but whatever they say in the contract, they do respect that, which is good.

    We were already users of other Microsoft solutions such as SharePoint and Teams, so when Power Automate became decent for the market users, we just adopted it naturally. Our experience with their technical support was good. They were able to answer our questions and solve our issues within the response time in our contract.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I used Blue Prism a couple of years ago, and now I'm using Power Automate. Blue Prism is bigger and way more expensive, and they charge by the number of users. Microsoft was cheaper, and they charge by the number of forms. So, it was way cheaper for us to move to Power Automate from Blue Prism.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was pretty straightforward. Microsoft had two solutions: Microsoft Flow and Power Apps. Microsoft combined these two solutions and called it Microsoft Power Automate. It is pretty seamless because if you're already using Microsoft licenses, everything integrates with Office 365, SharePoint, and Teams. So, it is very seamless.

    It took some days to create the front end of all the forms. Creating a whole page takes a couple of hours for a SharePoint administrator or developer or even a functional person, and we have hundreds of those. It took a few weeks to create the entire front end, but the connections were done in minutes. They were very simple.

    What about the implementation team?

    It was done in-house. In terms of maintenance, once the forms are created, we have just one full-time employee taking care of the maintenance of those 100 forms, and that's enough because it is pretty much adding or deleting fields. It is pretty simple to maintain.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I don't know the exact number. It depends and varies a lot according to the licensing terms.

    There is no cost to maintain if we have less than 10 forms. Microsoft only charges if there are more than 10 forms. So, most of the companies can survive without paying anything extra. It is included in the Office 365 licensing.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would advise others to first look at the process and then the technology. The biggest issue is that people think that whatever they have in the current system can be digitized and automated, but it is better to first do the roadmap, understand the process from A to B, and then design the flow on paper. After the flow on paper seems okay, then go to the tool and create the form.

    I would rate Microsoft Power Automate a nine out of 10. Big data support is something that I'd like to be covered a lot. The other piece that my business needs is already taken care of by the solution. Big data support is the only piece that is missing currently.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Meindert Van Der Galiën - PeerSpot reviewer
    Information Technology Software Developer at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Runs efficiently and fast, and is extremely easy to use and extensible
    Pros and Cons
    • "Its ease of use is most valuable. A lot of the bulk functionality is done either through standalone or custom connectors and standard API processes."
    • "There are two versions of the automation suite. You've got your cloud functionality, and you have got your on-premises functionality for legacy systems. There are a lot of functionalities between the two systems that don't cross-correlate with each other. A lot of the functionality in the cloud system is not there on the production side in the on-prem system. If they could implement some of the similar functionalities and streamline them for integration, it would be a lot easier. There should be seamless integration between the two systems."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using it for automating legacy systems as well as email verifications. I haven't touched on the APIs yet, but the use case is for user accessibility to and from data sources.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The solution is still in the development phase. It is not in the production run at the moment. Therefore, at the moment, there is not a significant visible improvement.

    In terms of deployment, it is a mix of hybrid cloud and on-premises. Microsoft is the cloud provider. It is a single environment deployed over multiple branches in each province of the country. Currently, the version that we are using is the latest Microsoft release.

    What is most valuable?

    Its ease of use is most valuable. A lot of the bulk functionality is done either through standalone or custom connectors and standard API processes. 

    What needs improvement?

    There are two versions of the automation suite. You've got your cloud functionality, and you have got your on-premises functionality for legacy systems. There are a lot of functionalities between the two systems that don't cross-correlate with each other. A lot of the functionality in the cloud system is not there on the production side in the on-prem system. If they could implement some of the similar functionalities and streamline them for integration, it would be a lot easier. There should be seamless integration between the two systems.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for three months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is highly stable with good performance.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is extremely scalable. It integrates with a lot of existing systems, both Microsoft-related and non-Microsoft-related, and it is extremely extensible. The additional support validation and software integrations that are available are limitless.

    How are customer service and support?

    Our experience of the technical support on the solution has been minimal because there have not been a lot of technical issues with the implementation. The turnaround time for any type of technical query is usually a day to two days, but before that time period is up, they either have a solution or a guaranteed workaround.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We previously used Automation Anywhere. We switched because of the ease of use. The functionality of Automation Anywhere is for a very specialized use case scenario. They focus on a lot of areas, but Power Automate has a lot of simpler solutions and easier approaches. For example, we have a solution in place that has three or four RPA scripts for a single process. With the Power Automate solution, we have a single script running for maybe five sub-processes. It is a lot more streamlined and consistent.

    How was the initial setup?

    At the moment, it is still in development and is a matter of integration. It does require a bit more technical know-how, but it is mainly done from the environment perspective and from an administrative point of view. 

    From a development point of view, the crossover is pretty much the same for going, for instance, from Blue Prism to UiPath, or UiPath to Automation Anywhere. There's a transition period level of difficulty. So, from a development point of view, it's fairly the same, but from a technical point of view, Microsoft does require a bit more technical know-how to get the environment set up.

    With some of the integration conversions we've done from one platform to the other, from a development standpoint, it has taken us close to a month in the development environments, and this is interrupted. If we had an uninterrupted conversion, I would estimate a maximum of a week. We just need to get it converted and implemented.

    What about the implementation team?

    We've been doing everything in-house with direct help from a Microsoft representative. We have a single person to take care of it. It doesn't require a massive deployment team.

    What was our ROI?

    So far, based on the development calculators that we've been running, it's running far smoother and far more efficiently and faster. So, the estimated return on investment over the past three months that we've been calculating has been looking far higher than the Automation Anywhere solution.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    At the moment, from our experience with the two, Power Automate is a lot more expensive solution than Automation Anywhere, but it is also a far more reliable solution. 

    With the price increases and with the current pandemic situation going on worldwide, a lot of the prices have fluctuated, but the packages and the all-encompassing features you get with the Microsoft package far outweigh the benefits from the Automation Anywhere side. Each package on the Automation Anywhere side is cheaper, but we need to continuously purchase subsequent packages to continue with our automation to the extent that we require. So, the Power Automate solution is a bit more pricey, but it does offer us a far better range of capabilities.

    There are different development plans that you can use. Additional licenses might be required for additional features, such as your Azure Logic or your Dataverse capacity. There is a limited capacity package that you can purchase, and then you have to have an additional license for added capacity.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would advise paying critical attention to the environment that you're setting up. User access roles, either through Active Directory or through the database control method, should be the key focus. After that, you need to assign roles and licenses as necessary. From there on, you need to integrate the system. 

    The Microsoft documentation portal for both cloud and on-premises is going to be the easiest to follow. All the solutions are there. For technical assistance from the Microsoft side, contact details are available on the documentation portal for any type of query.

    I would rate it a solid eight out of ten. For me to give it a ten, there should be seamless integration between both the cloud and the on-premises solutions. There should be the exact same or similar functionality between the two to make the entire automation process a bit more streamlined.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Digital Strategy Manager at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Easy to create automated workflows, good integration with Microsoft tools, and stable and scalable
    Pros and Cons
    • "The best part is the automated workflow, which is quite good and easy. It is just drag-and-drop. We are able to create workflows quite quickly. We are able to directly integrate the data that it generates with Power BI dashboards. Its integration is quite good with other Microsoft tools, such as Power BI. The visualization of the data has become helpful for us."
    • "Microsoft shouldn't charge extra for the database license if you want to store the data in the database during the trial. We wanted to have a historical trend of the data, and we started with the trial version of the tool. The database license is not included with the trial version, and you have to purchase it separately. Because we had a budget constraint, we had to pull all the information manually from the system, massage it, and push it to the dashboard. About two months ago, we have upgraded to the full-fledged version in which the database is integrated. The database license should be there in the trial version, but they have totally decoupled it. They should have provided a bundle, at least for the trial version, so that once a person or a firm gets a sense of it, they can start building. It might be because they wanted to sell additional licenses or premium licenses, and that's why they have added it in the premium version. It should have more cognitive features. Automation Anywhere and UiPath are different because they have cognitive functionality plus intelligent automation. The cognitive functionality is currently not there in Microsoft Power Automate. It is just for workflow automation and basic bot-level tasks. It should have more cognitive features, which probably will be launched in a couple of years."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have been using Power Automate specifically for the COVID situation. The use case is mainly to automatically fire an e-mail every Monday morning requesting the employees of our firm to provide a response regarding their well-being. After the data is captured by using an MS form, the subsequent workflows get triggered through Power Automate. If somebody has mentioned that they have a fever or shortness of breath, we send this person's entry to our health and safety officer and our plan manager. All this is automated.

    We also have another use case related to procurement where an automated flow was required for invoice processing for an external vendor.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have been able to automate the form filling, form dispatch, and data collection activities, specifically for the COVID situation, across all offices within our firm. It is a global process covering all zones such as Europe, India, and Australia. We have also been able to define workflows for particular use cases, such as when there is a high volume of cases in a specific zone, such as India. We have created workflows so that our emergency team is directly able to connect with the R3 team that directly connects with the employee to provide the required support.

    We have also gone a bit far with respect to the access part. The Power Automate flow also connects with the physical gates of our offices. Last year, we were able to control our physical gates with the data generated by the Power Automated workflow. We were prohibiting or allowing the entry of the people based on their responses that they had put in the Monday morning form. It was quite a complex use case, but we were able to roll it out globally, and it has helped a lot with the COVID situation.

    What is most valuable?

    The best part is the automated workflow, which is quite good and easy. It is just drag-and-drop. We are able to create workflows quite quickly. 

    We are able to directly integrate the data that it generates with Power BI dashboards. Its integration is quite good with other Microsoft tools, such as Power BI. The visualization of the data has become helpful for us.

    What needs improvement?

    Microsoft shouldn't charge extra for the database license if you want to store the data in the database during the trial. We wanted to have a historical trend of the data, and we started with the trial version of the tool. The database license is not included with the trial version, and you have to purchase it separately. Because we had a budget constraint, we had to pull all the information manually from the system, massage it, and push it to the dashboard. About two months ago, we have upgraded to the full-fledged version in which the database is integrated. The database license should be there in the trial version, but they have totally decoupled it. They should have provided a bundle, at least for the trial version, so that once a person or a firm gets a sense of it, they can start building. It might be because they wanted to sell additional licenses or premium licenses, and that's why they have added it in the premium version.

    It should have more cognitive features. Automation Anywhere and UiPath are different because they have cognitive functionality plus intelligent automation. The cognitive functionality is currently not there in Microsoft Power Automate. It is just for workflow automation and basic bot-level tasks. It should have more cognitive features, which probably will be launched in a couple of years.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for the past one and a half years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is quite a stable product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is scalable. There is no doubt about Microsoft products in terms of scalability. Because of its scalability, we are able to have use cases that require a higher load.

    From the build perspective, only our team builds it. We have around 10 to 12 developers who create and support Power Automate solutions. In terms of its usage, we are currently using it only for two use cases. We also have other tools, but we are using Power Automate for the use cases with less budget. Its license cost is comparatively less as compared to Automation Anywhere.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have annual support, and there is also a community. My team connected with the community forums, and most of the things got resolved there. They connected with the support once for an issue, which got resolved. Their support is good.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We are also using Automation Anywhere, but we needed a tool that is cheaper than Automation Anywhere. Power Automate fits there well.

    How was the initial setup?

    Its deployment was quite easy. We already have Microsoft suite across our company. Our complete ecosystem is Microsoft-based, so it was not a challenge. It took one or two days to get things in place. For complete documentation and implementation, it hardly took two weeks.

    What about the implementation team?

    As per our current agreement, Microsoft is supposed to provide support. So, we had an external consultant who helped us out.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Its licensing cost is comparatively less as compared to Automation Anywhere. We have bought a two-year license agreement.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend this solution to others. It is one of the powerful tools. The best part is that it fits very well with the Microsoft ecosystem. It is not at the same level as Automation Anywhere and UiPath, but being a Microsoft product, I see a bright future for this. In one and a half years, it will be one of the key players in the RPA industry.

    I would rate Microsoft Power Automate an eight out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    WilliamBowers - PeerSpot reviewer
    CEO at Vertical Symmetry
    Real User
    Top 10
    Well integrated, functional and low cost, but it is intended for a single-user
    Pros and Cons
    • "With the desktop version, we can automate many things. The ability to do a lot of things is one of the most valuable features."
    • "The debugging tools require improvement as well as the monitoring which goes along with it."

    What is our primary use case?

    We've primarily used it to update some legacy systems for our client, as well as government compliance systems and web-based reporting systems that don't have APIs.

    What is most valuable?

    With the desktop version, we can automate many things. The ability to do a lot of things is one of the most valuable features.  

    For our clients with web-based reporting systems that don't have APIs. There was no other way to get the data into the systems than to manually enter it. We were able to automate that process entirely. We now collect information on a front-end power app, store it in a cloud database, and then push it into these external systems. 

    The fact that we can do that for them is probably the most powerful piece for the people. 

    We have removed an entire repetitive business process that didn't add any real value to the business but was required for compliance reasons.

    What needs improvement?

    There is a lot that could be done to improve the product. With debugging, sometimes things don't work because of timing, and just learning how to do that.

    We were able to use a lot of JavaScript in that product using the desktop version, which was a huge help in terms of speed. 

    The debugging tools require improvement as well as the monitoring which goes along with it. 

    When things don't work as they should, it's usually because you're dealing with third-party websites. The importance of timing cannot be overstated. These are the areas that need to be improved.

    One of the issues was that there wasn't a lot of documentation when we first started because Microsoft had purchased the product and began integrating it.

    We started when Microsoft's product still used Selenium, and then they bought this product and switched over to it, which is a much better product. However, it is a third-party product. It has not yet been fully integrated.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We are using the most up-to-date version of Microsoft Power Automate.

    We use Microsoft Power Automate both on the cloud and the desktop. We have done a lot more with the desktop than with the cloud.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability, it's fairly stable. They released a large number of fixes.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is the biggest challenge from my perspective because it is literally designed as a single-user product, at least the RPA piece of it is.

    When you are trying to do what we are doing and running flows on behalf of people, trying to make it enterprise-ready and hardened is probably the most difficult challenge right now. 

    Instead of running it on the client's desktop, we are running it on virtual gateway machines on their behalf, and they have support for that. We're doing it now for some other clients, and so far, we have done some pure RPA power automation.

    Getting it enterprise-ready, and running it in the background on behalf of the users is probably the most difficult challenge.

    How are customer service and support?

    I haven't used technical support at all.  have used mostly the web or we have figured it out ourselves.

    I don't have a direct support contract with Microsoft. I've been doing the majority of this.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's been a couple of years or so since it was set up, but I would say that it was pretty straightforward. It didn't take much to get it set up and running.

    What other advice do I have?

    We believe it is a solid product that will continue to improve, and it is well integrated. It is integrated with the cloud, the database data verse, and power apps, with which we have a lot of experience and really like using power apps for doing things quickly. 

    It's the first RBA product that I've really used. I've looked at it for a long time. We have done a lot of RPA work over the years, probably for the last six or seven years, just doing pure JavaScript, literally just writing JavaScript to automate these types of things. From our perspective, this is a huge step forward because we took a lot of pretty complex JavaScript code and logic and were able to put it in a format that we believe may make the code more maintainable and not just sort of stuck in the heads of one or two programmers.

    We have completed a few projects, and just finished another one in which we were able to fill out 10,000 forms for a client who needed to do it as quickly as possible when a system went down. We reduced a process that would have taken weeks to four hours. We believe that the product has a lot of merits when used in the right places,  and I suppose we are still figuring out when it's the right tool.

    I haven't used the UI path or some of the "higher-end" components. I believe one of the advantages of this device is its low cost. It's now built into Windows 11, it's a part of it.

    When they say low code, no code, I would say the downside is that, while this is partially true, you still need to think like a programmer when trying to debug it or set up an enterprise-wide system.

    I think it's functional, but I think it's got a way to go and it's hard for me to wait because I really haven't used those other products, We've been doing it mostly by hand for quite some time. I would rate Microsoft Power Automate a seven out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Director - Analytics and Data at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Offers and easy setup and is stable and scalable
    Pros and Cons
    • "The product is very stable."
    • "It would be great if you could integrate outside of Microsoft environments."

    What is our primary use case?

    I use the solution to not only automate processes but also to be an intermediary or a glue among the applications of Azure in the Microsoft universe.

    What is most valuable?

    The Outlook on the SQL server has been extremely valuable for us.

    The solution is scalable.

    The product is very stable.

    For the most part, the initial setup is quick.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see more integration with the desktop application, and on-premise server as well as the SQL database. That would be really nice.

    It would be great if you could integrate outside of Microsoft environments.

    The initial setup can be a bit tricky if it is a complex environment.

    The product needs a clear integration between the UI recorder and the steps that you do and the codes and the qualification that you do on the RPA there.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used the solution for about three years. I used it even before it was called Power Automate. It's been a while at this point.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I have very high regard for the stability of this product. There are no surprises. It doesn't crash or freeze. There aren't bugs or glitches. It's reliable in terms of performance.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is good. Basically, I deploy it on one desktop, on a system that consists of only one single desktop computer, and then deploy it on a server. That handles a lot of systems and processes at the same time, without any problem, and without having to invest in any additional resource or any additional time.

    Typically our clients are medium to large organizations.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We don't really deal with technical support. We mostly provide documentation to the client and they can deal with technical support if they need to.

    However, we barely have any problems as the solution is very intuitive.

    How was the initial setup?

    I didn't find the initial setup exactly complex. It was more of a common characteristic of Microsoft products. It is easy to learn. As you learn the complexity of the requirements, there seems to be a little bit uphill to climb. 

    The length of time it takes to deploy the solution varies. It mostly depends on the complexity of the requirements. If you have a simple implementation that's a matter of no more than one or two days. On the other hand, if you have a complex implementation, you have to invest about two weeks to two and a half weeks to have everything on production.

    In terms of the number of people you need for the process, that varies too. For just a simple solution, you could have one solo person that is in charge of the consulting and the implementation of the solution. If you have a complex problem, you have to have a person that is the consultant, a person that is building the solution, and then a person that is making the implementation, and a person who is providing maintenance. You can have a team of about four people if there is a complex deployment.

    What about the implementation team?

    We are an implementor and consultant. We assist clients in setting up the solution in their organizations.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did not first evaluate any other options before choosing Microsoft's product.

    The main competitors would be UiPath or Automation ANywhere, for the most part. The main difference is likely the pricing. There are other differences as well.

    If you want to Automation Anywhere, there's not exactly a good availability for a medium-sized business. For example, Automation Anywhere has something called Community Edition, but it is a bit too small. It's better for smaller organizations. Then, from that, they make a big quantum jump to the Enterprise Edition. That is a little bit expensive. There's no middle ground.

    The same thing happened for example, with Blue Prism. It's a little bit expensive. 

    UiPath is a little bit more spacious than Power Automate. I still trust that Power Automate is going to close the gap. It works with WinAutomation and as soon as they get all the features and all these technical aspects of the hardware, it is going to create a stronger Power Automate. Soon Power Automate will be able to reach all business segments, and, at that point, it will be very powerful.

    What other advice do I have?

    I'm not sure of which version of the solution it is. It's in the cloud and therefore constantly updated.

    I'm a consultant.

    I would advise, in general, around any tool, just be clear with the requirements. No matter what sophisticated tool you were using, if you're not clear about data, then the software is not going to work.

    I have customers where we have to make a data governance program or project first before we implement it. You have to be clear with all your data, with all the possible information that's part of your data path. Be clear about how efficient your processes are before you enter into an RPA or process automation project. This is the main thing. 

    As for the product itself, it is easy to use. You're not going to have any surprises.

    I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten. We've been happy with the product overall.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Microsoft Azure
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer
    PeerSpot user
    management leader at International SOS
    Real User
    Top 20
    A modern, fast solution that integrates with almost everything and comes at a great price
    Pros and Cons
    • "Overall, it is a great service at the given price. It is very modern, and it integrates in a great way with pretty much anything. It is also fast."
    • "They can provide a deeper level of feedback about running processes. When I compare it to Blue Prism, the control room has slightly less information about the running processes and possible errors. I'm not a pro, so I am not entirely sure if this is a core feature of the product or if it is because of the way our partners have developed it or set it up."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for processing a stream of incoming invoices.

    It is a cloud solution, but you install the client on your computer, so it is a hybrid deployment.

    How has it helped my organization?

    I can compare it with the same process on Blue Prism. With Power Automate, we've been able to double the speed. It is more user-friendly. It is faster. It is ten times cheaper. There are quite a few things about it.

    What is most valuable?

    Overall, it is a great service at the given price. It is very modern, and it integrates in a great way with pretty much anything. It is also fast. 

    What needs improvement?

    They can provide a deeper level of feedback about running processes. When I compare it to Blue Prism, the control room has slightly less information about the running processes and possible errors. I'm not a pro, so I am not entirely sure if this is a core feature of the product or if it is because of the way our partners have developed it or set it up. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability of the UI section in terms of being able to read the visual elements is either at the same level as Blue Prism or better than Blue Prism. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I don't have experience with scalability, but I don't see any roadblocks for scalability.

    We've got plans to increase its usage, but it is about the decision-makers in our company having a good resource strategy. I'm not the main decision-maker, so I don't really know about the plans, but we would definitely want to increase the utilization. It is just a question of how to do it correctly.

    How are customer service and support?

    We are in touch with a local partner who was a former partner of the Soft MultiTech company that originally developed the tool, which was acquired by Microsoft. They are very responsive. They help us quickly and efficiently with anything we need. We are quite happy with them.

    How was the initial setup?

    It depends on your technical background. People who've got coding experience don't need to do anything. They can take it and work with it straight away. They don't need any partner or anyone else. They can just develop, but that's not the case for business users. 

    Business users apparently need time to adapt and build the knowledge, which is probably the case with any platform, because the background rules need to be followed. In terms of its user-friendliness, it is drag-and-drop from predefined actions. If you know what to do and follow the rules and if you are able to build a strong process, then the product will probably give you everything you need to do that quickly and efficiently.

    Its speed of adoption seems faster as compared to Blue Prism. The development and testing take the same amount of time on any platform, but it seems faster in terms of adoption than Blue Prism.

    The number of people required for its maintenance depends on the process. It depends on the processes that you automate.

    What was our ROI?

    It is quite fresh, but its return on investment would be much better than Blue Prism. The Blue Prism license was somewhere around $10,000 a year, and we're now on $40 a month, which is incomparable, but we're getting the same service.

    It is in fact a better product. So, even if you've got some other costs, such as you need some external coding at the beginning, you will get an ROI. We were positive about our return on investment with Blue Prism, and we would be doing much better than that with Power Automate, but I can't give exact numbers. I don't have them.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    We've got a subscription package. We are on a monthly package of $40. We've got some discount because we're a big corporate client of Microsoft 365 and other solutions, but the standard price of the package that we use is $40.

    For the product, you don't have to pay anything extra. If you're using a partner, you need to pay for their coding, advice, and services, which is a separate cost. The majority of the features are available for free for anyone who is on Microsoft 365.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would suggest others to go for it. It is definitely a great solution, specifically at the given price. It is really hard for companies that are starting with RPA to justify the costs of some of the competing products, which could be 20, 30, or more times more expensive than Power Automate.

    Even at a corporate level, it would be tough to get to a stage where you would find the product having some inefficiencies or some gaps as compared to its competitors. I don't have an experience where we are utilizing the orchestrator, have unattended bots, or are coordinating 20 or more bots, but according to our partners, it is working in such environments. It is about how you actually utilize the product, how well organized you are, how good are your processes, how you are able to build them in the product, rather than the super hard limitations within the product.

    I don't really have a full experience with it, but from what I see and what I've learned, I would rate it a nine out of 10.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Microsoft Power Automate Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: November 2022
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Microsoft Power Automate Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.