The user access level and user account part of this product needs to be developed. For example, if I'm a line manager and I have multiple approvals that are automated then I can't log into a dashboard and see all of my requests. I would like to have a user account so that the staff can see all of their requests, including the status and other details for each one, on the dashboard. This solution does not work well with external people who are outside of the organization, like suppliers. It needs support for external email addresses. It would be difficult to do a supplier onboarding with Power Automate, whereas you could do it with Nintex, and this is a big drawback. I would like to be able to set security and permissions on who can see request-specific details.
I think that the thing which needs the most improvement is really just their documentation. It should have better details of the processes. Right now it is on the lower end of the scale and does not have enough depth. So just adding more details and examples in the documentation would be helpful to users. It could really use some more capabilities with the OCR and UI functionality of the automation. Right now it is pretty good, but with that, it would be great and easier to use.
To improve the product, I think it would be great to see even more connectors available out-of-the-box and more maturity in that direction. I would also like to see some readiness for creating test and production environments so that you can differentiate which environment is you are working in. As far as additional features I am not sure what could really improve the product. It could maybe do with some more insights like triggered alerts.
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.
I think the language Microsoft Power Automate uses when you do expressions could be better. What they use is not a popular programming language. It would be better for Microsoft to find a more popular programming language, such as Python. It would take away the whole no-code aspect of the solution but you don't need to write that many lines of code to improve something in a process. Instead of no-code, they could be a low-code environment.
From an improvement perspective, Microsoft just needs to make sure that they have a real enterprise RPA tool. PowerApps and Power Automate are still not at the level of UiPath and Automation Anywhere. It could be because Automation Anywhere and UiPath have been in the market for quite some time. It's just about Microsoft increasing their focus in terms of product reviews and development and making them competitive products that one can consider at an enterprise level. Right now, their use cases are limited as compared to what one would consider doing with UiPath and Automation Anywhere.
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.
Their connector to Oracle or premium data sets that aren't Microsoft would often fail for me. The information given back about why it failed wasn't always robust to understand how to fix it and why it happened. Sometimes, Power Automate's flow would turn off when it got fired incorrectly or misfired, but we didn't always get a notification of when it was turned off, and that was a problem.
The solution should offer similar features that users can easily access if they use Automation Anywhere or UiPath. It would be great if it was able to integrate more with various other platforms. It would make development easier.
One area of improvement needed for the solution is regarding the cloud source versus desktop flows. The desktop flows are not as absent, and there are other limits in features when it comes to comparison between the two solutions that Power Automate provides. So perhaps the desktop could also start including features like Connectors and Builder because these are the more frequently used. But both of the tools have their own utility. It's evolving well. I have seen Power Automate eight months ago and have seen it now. So there is definitely a big step ahead. It's improved and it's rather helpful. There is one feature I'd like to see added in the next release. Their OCR capabilities are not as evolved as the other tools. They do allow some AI Builder methods to achieve that. But in the desktop tool, the OCR functionality is not very useful. Everything has to be done on our text-based outcome. I'm sure they're already working on it.
The license cost could be better. The PMU connectors we can use cost extra, and the RPA also costs extra. So hopefully they can let go of that way of working and allow us to use the entire tool in a better way. That's what we're looking for.
There should be more transparency when it comes to which features accompany the pricing, as there appear to be hidden features of which I am not aware. There are factors we must consider when scaling up, such as whether we are using full or partial features. Were I to buy an additional premium, another license, I would lack clarity what I could expect to get in exchange or whether the features would help me to scale up. This is why better transparency is important. Scalability can be improved and this is why it is key to know how the features can be integrated into the scalable solution.
I heard from my team that it's quite immature. If you compare it against Automation Anywhere and Blue Prism, it seems there is less experience in the product. The desktop version of the on-premise solution seems as if it's not as mature as Automation Anywhere. We need a more powerful desktop option.
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.
Power Automate is not suitable for connecting other applications like browsers and third party applications and there are a few features not available on this solution. They are working on improving that. Power Automate cannot handle high end projects and, from a developer's perspective, it's a little difficult for enterprise size companies.
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.
Its licensing model should be improved. The pricing should be more visible and transparent. When you consume services, there are too many criteria to figure out how much it is going to cost you to use the product to its full extent. It should also support visual process editing, which is a standard feature for BPMN 2.0 compliance. They should improve the visual designer.
They can improve the description of errors and provide more details. Sometimes, when I receive an error, I can't understand what is wrong. It would be useful to have a desktop version to modify or edit workflows. Its scalability can also be better.
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.
When comparing with Automation Anywhere, there are a couple of things that this product doesn't have. One of the major things is the key management system. It would be great if they improve this. Its documentation can also be improved.
They can build more templates and more connectivity with other platforms. They can provide a more user-friendly way to connect with other platforms. They have their own in-built plugins for certain third-party vendors, but there are still a lot of third-party vendors that are not there.
The BPM component needs improvement. Microsoft doesn't have certification training for Microsoft Power Automate, like other solutions such as UiPath, Kofax, and Automation Anywhere. All of these products have certification training available. Power Automate is part of a suite called Power Platform. Power Automate can integrate into a business intelligence component like Power BI, a flow component like Flow, and a bot component like Virtual Agents. Power Automate can make that cross to these components for better results of all the data that the client wants to see, and wants to automate.
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.
It is mostly integrated with the Microsoft environment. Unlike UiPath, we cannot really use external tools with Microsoft Power Automate. There should be a possibility to integrate it with external tools or systems.
I had some experience in the past with the solution having some difficulties with large loads, it is already better but it could still be improved. Another area that needs to be improved is when calculating the quotes of your API calls and flow steps, they are currently not available on the dashboards where you can follow. The API limits will be enforced at some point, at this point you should buy all the add-ons to extend them. This was promised by the end of last year, but it is still not added. Every community is waiting for when this is going to be inforced. It is important because it will contextually be a big step to understand the economics behind your flows and steps, etc., and how to do it more efficiently to save your API calls and steps. The question is, what is the real end cost of how much add-ons you will need to purchase. In an upcoming release, it would be nice to see bigger integration of cloud and desktop flows.
There are some gaps and a few areas of the solution that are still a bit complicated and confusing. I've had issues with reordering columns. When I tried to do it, it seemed to take a long time, and then, later, it gave me some kind of error.
You do need to either get a bit of IT support or do a bit of coding in order to implement the solution successfully. Something lacking is Microsoft Office plugin, however, it's my understanding that their Office plugin is out now or coming soon. We're just trying to understand the use case. If they can make it integrated into Microsoft's Office Suite, that would be great. It would be better than lining it up with the Office plugin application. I'm sure it exists in some form, however, maybe not for the mainstream things. The solution is still maturing very quickly and it's going to take no time for this to be Enterprise RPA.
The issue lies more in how you learn the solution. The information is very generalized. It could be extremely useful to have more specific information about how to use various features within the platform. The solution has a lot of moving parts and aspects that need to be understood. Making the training process easier would help people onboard faster. The desktop interface is a little rough to manage. You can't view the bottoms or the menu or the characteristics of what you need to use. It's very unclear in the desktop application. That said, the cloud application it's more useful. It's much neater and more organized. Their AI builder has improved, however, it could be interesting to look into how to build a project that can make projections about a task or a process. If that feature could be more user-friendly, that would be ideal. Right now, it's not very clear how to use it. Maybe a person that has more knowledge wouldn't be as confused. I'm not like a developer. I'd need it simplified for me.
For simple use cases, it is easy to use but as soon as it becomes complex then it doesn't fulfill the requirements. It doesn't have any OCR capabilities. It doesn't really work with our ERP system, where we can log into the ERP system and have a robot updating it directly. Microsoft is early on in this game and not really very far yet. They just need to mature their solutions. In the next release, I would like to see a centrally-governed system, where you can access fully automated processes. This would include the ability to connect to other systems and log into them. I would like to see it as a centrally managed solution.
The availability could be a bit better. Technical support needs to be able to respond quickly to queries. Right now, they are much too slow. I'd like it if it were possible to have the solution as an on-premises installation, however, that is not possible. It only is available on the cloud.
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.
Looping can be a bit tricky in Power Automate. In addition, the solution doesn't provide an option to view two to three conditions, you can only view one condition. It's not like that in UiPath. Deployment should be improved so that it integrates with WinAutomation. We can't write .NET code and we can't schedule the bot without using WinAutomation. If they could include that it would be helpful for our users. Right now we do the development in WinAutomation and later integrate with Power Automate.
One of the frustrating things is that you can't use a lot of connectors without having a premium license. I would like them to increase the AI capacity. Currently they are using AI Builder which is significantly reduced because it's based on models which are not similar and it's really narrow. Surface information, like going through Citrix, would also be good.
It would be good to have some kind of on-premises solution for BPMN users, but I don't think Microsoft will ever go back to the on-premises solution. They all train their clients to use their online services. It is easy, but it doesn't follow the industry-wide standards. I can only use the processes that Microsoft gives us. I can't map a business process by using other standards or notations, such as Business Process Management (BPM). I have to use whatever Microsoft gives us. I would like to have support for some standards because if we decide to use another BPM tomorrow, we will have to remap everything in notation to transfer from this solution. This is the only block or obstacle that I see in using this solution. It is closed in its infrastructure.
The biggest problem right now is the fact that, when you use only the trial version, you don't have the whole power or capacity of what you can do with the Power Automate. The price of the license isn't that cheap. We want to see what it can do, fully, before purchasing. If you get a license, you can only have one developer or one user on it. If you want to be more precise and the jobs to be more complete, it's somewhat complicated and there are some complex tasks that can't be done so easily by a business user. You'll need to get someone that's more highly skilled. You need to pay for the ability to customize the solution. That's not an option on the free trial. You also have to be able to read some code in order to customize it. You need to be slightly skilled. You can only customize it on your own, only for you, and not for the other users. When it comes to using UiPath or Blue Prism, there are more tools you can use. For example, Java or tools. It's easy to interact with them with UiPath and not so much on Power Automate. While Microsoft has a way of integrating well with itself and its own internal tools, it could do more to include external options and add them to the mix.
It can have customizations like enterprise solutions. In the approval section, there should be an option to reassign approval to some other employee. It would be good if we are able to create custom tables by linking to an item, and there is an integration with the HTML table through HTTP calls or Swagger connectors.
The solution lacks maturity. That will come with time. The complementary suite of capabilities with regards to task capture and being able to self-document a process needs improvement. The whole document handling aspect, OCR recognition and capabilities, need to incorporate some more of an AI type of approach with document extraction and document handling. Being able to handle various types of forms and complex documents is important. Obviously, we handle a lot of documents like invoices that could have multiple formats and multiple pages of content, and very complex material contracts. That area is where it shows that UiPath has come a long way and Microsoft has a ways to go. If I look at the suite of tools that UiPath has, it's very robust and extensive. There are complimentary tools that help determine the applicability of a process. Being able to have tools that help assess things like a business case, savings, applicability, etc., relatively quickly, which we see with UiPath, for example, is integral to a good product.
If someone was just about to start using it, it would be better if it was a bit more user-friendly in terms of understanding function references. I come from a bit of development background. To me, it all makes quite a lot of sense, but someone using it for the first time would probably battle understanding how the functions work. This might be something they could improve on. It would be really useful if it could publish data to Power BI. We like to use Power BI for our reporting, but we can't directly integrate the data across. If there was a way to automate the collection of the data and push it straight into the Power BI platform, it would be quite useful.
We expect Microsoft Power Automate to work like any other RPA software, but at present, it is fairly lax, especially in the RPA space. We have a very limited set of use cases today for Microsoft Power Automate. Microsoft should make it a full-featured RPA product like other solutions that we use, such as Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, and UiPath. This is predominantly the area that they need to improve on. Microsoft Power Automate is quite complex to use as well, especially if you want to do advanced workflows or advanced automation. The regular simple workflows are quite easy and straightforward, but the moment you want to do something complex, it is almost impossible for one of our employees to work on it.
I'd like to see an improvement in the execution of workflows, which is currently an area of concern. It takes a lot of time and when you integrate these workflows, you have to be very careful because even a tiny error can break the workflow. Microsoft needs to make it more resilient. An additional feature should be interoperability. It's the idea that you should be able to leverage other Microsoft technologies, let's say .NET, C#, VB macros, so that they can be integrated. It will make the solution more powerful, and they could provide a facility where we could run scripts written in other languages through Power Automate seamlessly. That would make this a very powerful product.
The solution lacks certain items. I'm not really qualified for judging the solution. A developer could give better pros and cons. We would not miss Microsoft Power Automation that much. As still has a long way to cover tasks when it comes to the ease of use like UiPath, which is pretty user-centric. The solution needs to improve its integration with SAP and Oracle models. The solution's automation is still evolving and still has a way to go. The solution could benefit from mirroring Oracle's use of videos and community forums to help users get acquainted with the product. It could use better online training and/or documentation.
I am now a member of the digital transformation team, so we are making various products. We are just making the new projects, and developing them in the store. However, everything is new to us. We have are not working with this tool for more than six months. Therefore, it's hard to really know how well it works or what is lacking. The solution needs more features so that it can better compete with competitors that have been on the market longer and are more mature. Tech support could be more hands-on. Right now, they simply direct users to documentation instead of directly dealing with issues.
There is definitely a lot of enhancement that Microsoft can incorporate into Power Automate. For example, we have quite a lot of .NET applications that we created. These are custom applications that we created using something like VB.NET or C#.NET. These are obviously applications that are not published by Microsoft. I would like it if Microsoft could enhance the capabilities of Power Automate to allow users to connect to other tools and applications in some way. That will help us create better processes without making them more complicated or having to use another automation tool. Right now, we have to use UiPath to help us make processes such as the one described. I have not seen any way that Power Automate can do that type of integration. So if we could get better integration with non-Microsoft solutions as a feature for Power Automate, that will be very useful.
I'm still new to Microsoft. I don't know if there are features or aspects of the solution which are lacking. I need more time to work with it to really decide if there's anything I'd like to have on the solution that's not already there. All the services on the Microsoft platform are great. If we want to try something like with SharePoint or Azure or the 365 CRM, then we can't with the everyday community edition of the Microsoft Power Automate. It would be a good thing if there was some sort of trial period. Let's say you have 14 days. That way, can log into the loading screen with Power Automate, and get to utilize services like SharePoint, OneDrive, 365 CRM or etc. to see if they like them. It would be a good way for Microsoft to cross-sell or up-sell. Otherwise, it's expensive, to buy all these extra applications, without knowing if or how you could use them or integrate them into your work. One thing that I would really like to recommend is that they should get an actual learning environment or LMS where we can go and find all the different tools, how to utilize the different tools of Power Automate, and documentation or tutorials in video form on how we can create our own custom templates. Right now, what we have to do is we have to navigate to a different platform, for example, YouTube, and search on YouTube to see whether there are different kinds of techie guys that have updated their information about the Microsoft Power Automate. Microsoft Power Automate needs its own in-house LMS, where we can get the entire knowledge of the product from beginning to end.
I would like to have chatbot assistance available, where you can open it and receive help on the spot. For example, if you are struggling in the middle of implementing a flow, you can easily communicate with the chatbot, perhaps providing the error message, and it will search for a resolution. In my case, I posted my error message on Google and saw that other people had similar problems. I was able to check the community platforms and I found the solution in one of the posts. The documentation can be improved because although they do have a manual of about 500 pages, it does not cover all of the possible scenarios. It would be good to have one that covers different scenarios or different commands, provides basic knowledge about the commands, and even basics about JSON. Also, the user manual and learning guides that they have can be made more user-friendly.
The licensing model is difficult to understand and is something that should be improved. When you are implementing a project, it's quite difficult to comment on what it is that you are doing. For a simple project it is fast, but to have a better overview then it gets complicated. I would like to see more integration with other products.
I work as the Unit Business Director-FICO-PM at a Consumer Goods company (size: 1000+ employees).
At the moment, I'm working on a comparison between two RPA solutions (Microsoft Power Automate and Blue Prism) to present for my management.
I'm new to the RPA and I need some help/inpu... Read More »
Ram ChennaAdding to the answer here are the finer points:
1. Workflow technical… more »
There are a lot of great reviews of RPA (AA, UiPath, Blue Prism, Kryon, etc.). If you haven't shared a review yet, would you please share with us your favorite use case for RPA?
Whether you're using RPA for sales ops or customer service or data manipulation/management or something ... Read More »