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Microsoft Power Automate OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Microsoft Power Automate is #3 ranked solution in best RPA tools. IT Central Station users give Microsoft Power Automate an average rating of 8 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 71% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 26% of all views.
What is Microsoft Power Automate?

Microsoft Flow is now Power Automate—a versatile automation platform that integrates seamlessly with hundreds of apps and services.

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

Microsoft Power Automate Buyer's Guide

Download the Microsoft Power Automate Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Microsoft Power Automate Customers

SNCF, Air France, Avanade

Microsoft Power Automate Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Microsoft Power Automate pricing:
  • "This solution can save money when used for simple tasks specifically using only Microsoft products."
  • "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."
  • "You pay for use and if you want a premium connector or adapter, but a lot of things are available for free."
  • "Its licensing cost is comparatively less as compared to Automation Anywhere. We have bought a two-year license agreement."

Microsoft Power Automate Reviews

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Earlgarth Greaves
Principal Consultant at The Bluestone Corp
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
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 technical 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.

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.
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Vinai Sankunni
IT Team Lead at Kantar
Real User
Top 20
An RPA specifically for Microsoft applications, but very limited in process complexity and integrations

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is that it is very easy to use."
  • "The tasks that can be automated are limited to Microsoft applications only."
  • "Any task that is automated needs to be very simple. This tool does not seem to handle complicated tasks very well."

What is our primary use case?

The reason why we are using this product is that we like to use it where we have automation projects specifically for Microsoft products. We can automate to improve productivity and for those applications and simple tasks, it is easy to use.  

For example, suppose I get my email with Outlook. There are certain times I will get specific Excel files from a pre-determined output which I have to always place into a particular SharePoint folder. From there, some other automation gets triggered and the file is processed in a certain way. Those are the sort of things we can automate with Power Automate. It is very good at working with those simple Microsoft-product-related processes.  

We use it wherever we have workflow processes in which Microsoft products are interacting. Before using this solution, people would get those emails and the recipient had to download the file and then manually put it into SharePoint. Now, as soon as it comes into the inbox, Power Automate gets triggered and it automatically copies the file to the correct SharePoint. There is no reason that a repetitive task of this sort needs to be done manually.  

How has it helped my organization?

It offers a different option than using UiPath which is much more complicated and more expensive for simple tasks that Power Automate can do more easily.  

What is most valuable?

It is very hard to say what the most valuable features are in Power Automate because we are still exploring the product and utility. I like the simplicity of how we can create those automated activities quickly. For now, the most valuable feature is that it is very easy to use.  

What needs improvement?

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.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Microsoft Power Automate (formerly Flows) for the last three months.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not created anything complex, so we have not faced any issues in the form of glitches or any bugs to this point. When we start doing more sophisticated workflows, that may end up being a different story.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not really had much of an opportunity to test the scalability of the solution yet. If we find a particular workflow that requires a change or something, it is easy to drop that version and recreate something new from scratch. It does not take much time. Scaling the number of processes up or down at this point does not seem to be an issue.  

The number of users in our company right now remains pretty small. I think there are only around 15 to 20 of us are actually exploring the capabilities. Eventually, that group should be much larger.  

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not had any reason to work with the technical support team at this point. One of my colleagues did drop them a note asking if there is a way we can use Power Automate to connect to any of the custom tools that we created. I do not believe that we have got an answer to that question yet, so it is taking some time.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was quite good and went smoothly. It was not complex at all. It is good that it was relatively easy because we understood that it would mostly be used for easy processes to do some small tasks. We went that way and are using the tool only for working with simple automation processes. We did spend some time trying to automate more complex processes, but as the processes became more complex the tool became more complex to use. It is much easier to use it to do non-complex things. The setup for the processes themselves is fairly easy to do.   

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

This solution can save money when used for simple tasks specifically using only Microsoft products.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are currently working on evaluations of various products. The thing is, we have just started to embark on our journey into RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and we have brought in UiPath to act in that capacity. We are very much, at a nascent stage of the discovery of what we can do and what the product is capable of. We are identifying processes that can be automated and we are planning to work mostly with UiPath on those solutions. We have already engaged in a contract with UiPath for use of their product at this point in time.  

Most of our work is going towards UiPath currently but we also have this Microsoft Enterprise licensing. There seems to be no reason we should not use that as well if there are ways it can provide an advantage. We are also exploring if the enhancements we would need to tie in other applications and processes to Power Automate are something that we could do internally. At this time we are working with a combination of solutions that falls somewhere between our existing processes and new capabilities with automation tools.  

What other advice do I have?

I have a few comments and advice for people considering the addition of RPA in their workflows. I would suggest that they do as much streamlining of their processes as possible. If they can get smaller things up and running by creating the process with a simple tool it may help their efficiency as well as their bottom line. When you go for big tools like UiPath and all the other robust RPA solutions, the cost of creating those smaller processes will be higher than they need to be. If people have a Microsoft Enterprise license, they could actually use the Power Automate tool to make their processes much more lean and efficient. Doing the same thing by employing any of the RPA-related solutions and tools might be a lot more effort.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate Power Automate, overall as a product as a six-of-ten at this point. It has got a lot of room for improvement.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid 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: Partner
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Power Automate. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
554,873 professionals have used our research since 2012.
VS
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
Thiago Roque
Head of Digital Transformation at Zaact
Real User
Top 20
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.
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SF
Digital and E-Business Analyst at a construction company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Out-of-the-box connectors make it easy to use and it has good reporting

Pros and Cons

  • "This product is a really easy-to-use solution for quickly developing prototypes."
  • "If the product had onscreen help, it would be easier to learn and use."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for this product is for the automation of manual tasks that may require some small integrations between systems. An example would be something like automatically sending an email from an action that is performed on our online system. Another might be writing data to our CRM database based on the input from an online form.  

How has it helped my organization?

The thing that this product has provided is a solution for quickly developing prototypes. We can create some new solutions really fast, test it to understand exactly which data is needed and then deploy the solution moving forward quickly through the process. That has been important for us. It is not necessarily that we all use Power Automate as a production-ready solution. It is more that we can use it to make prototypes that we can test with.  

What is most valuable?

I think the most valuable thing about this product for me is that it is really quick and easy to use. You do not need to have a lot of development skills to be able to create solutions. There is very little code involved, which is great, and it is very logical. It has also got great reporting. You can see the success and failure of each item that has been run through it. There are a lot of out-of-the-box connectors as well that make things easier.  

What needs improvement?

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.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this product for about a year.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far we find that the stability of the product is really good. There is also good reporting if it is down for any reason. We have not really experienced stability problems or had any complaints about that.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is really good. We have been able to use it for lots of different kinds of things. We do think that Power Automate is more for prototyping than for production-ready applications. You should probably upgrade to using Power Apps if you need something production-ready. You can build something quickly as a prototype in Power Automate and then upgrade to Power App to create a more refined application. Using those together means that what you develop is more production-ready. But in general, I think it is really scalable. There are lots of different use cases and lots of different solutions you can build and make available.  

There are not a lot of people currently using the product in the company — maybe like 10 or 12. We really want more and more people to use it, but it is not our job to roll it out to everybody. We just found it and thought it was interesting. We share it with people when they want to know how to try and automate something. But it is not something we had planned to really roll out company-wide as a solution initially.  

We will eventually roll it out to more people as we grow with it and discover more uses.  

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

We did not really use a different solution before Microsoft Power Automate. We were using Flow originally, which is what the same product was called before it became Power Automate. The name change was just within the last two months.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is really straightforward. It is immediately available out-of-the-box when you have Microsoft Cloud. You just click on the button and it is there ready to use.  

Our deployment took maybe a week or so. Most of that was just to play around and get familiar with it and become ready to start doing actual projects. Because you are building your own little mini-applications inside of it and the framework is available already, it is just a matter of learning how to work with the tool. You need to learn how to use it to build what you want to build.  

There were only two people involved in the deployment process. It did not require a lot of effort. It was just a couple of minutes to be ready to start using it and a week to get to the point where we could be productive.  

The framework for the product is maintained by Microsoft. Any applications that we build inside of it is all we need to maintain ourselves. So we do not have to maintain the framework at all.  

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

Power Automate is really cost-effective. You pay for use and if you want a premium connector then you just pay for a premium connector. But a lot of things are available for free. If you want to use an adapter that is not available for free, then you have to pay the provider for it. I do not know how much that costs.  

What other advice do I have?

My advice to people who are considering implementing Microsoft Power Automate is that I think it is a really great tool that allows you to get started quickly on prototyping and integrating solutions that will simplify some redundant tasks. The best idea would be to just get started with it and experience what it can do.  

The biggest lesson we have learned from using Microsoft Power Automate is that there is just so much that is possible to automate. Thinking about the potential scope of what the tool can do, we now look at a problem and think that maybe we can use Power Automate to resolve the issue.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate Microsoft Power Automate as a nine-out-of-ten at this point. To become a ten they would just need some more maturity with the test and production environments and making things more production-ready. Also, some additional guided help would valuable for new users to orient them and get started building their own applications. But other than that, it is perfect.  

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: Partner
AG
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.
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MA
Smart Automation & RPA Tech Lead at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Great automation capabilities, good drag and drop functionality, and easy to use

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is pretty customizable. Even big automation tasks are done rather simply."
  • "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."

What is most valuable?

The solution seems to have a good drag and drop functionality. 

It's very well automated.

The solution is pretty customizable. Even big automation tasks are done rather simply. If you want to do more, we've found that anybody can do it. Even a business user that has no knowledge of IT can jump on and figure it out.

Two or three years ago, in all IT products, there were a lot of standards that were missing. Now, using the cloud and using some EA tools, there is a huge scope of possibilities. It's much better.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for one to two months. It's pretty new for us.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's largely stable. When Microsoft updates, it tends to update everything at once. Your Excel, Work, Power Automate, etc., everything updates automatically. That makes everything align so that nothing is out-of-date and affecting the stability of everything else at any time. In general, stability seems to be absolutely fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If it's on the cloud, it's generally easy to scale. The volume of data is viable. However, we haven't really attempted to scale anything. I haven't put everything onto Power Automate at this time.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't really reached out to technical support yet. I don't have experience with them, so I can't gauge if they are better than other options.

From my experience, for example, UiPath technical support was not that good. I've used Automation Everywhere and I didn't find them to be very good either. Each time we have a problem with Automation Anywhere, they wouldn't give any explanation. They would always blame the issue on a problem with Microsoft and never with their own problems. Therefore, historically, we haven't had a good run with support at other companies. I'm not sure if this will be the case with Microsoft.

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

We've looked at and worked with UiPath, Blue Prism, and Automation Anywhere. We're doing comparison POCs with UiPath and Power Automate now. We're not likely to just choose one solution; we may end up using two. We'd like to have options to choose a few depending on the needs.

How was the initial setup?

The initial implementation is not that difficult. It's on the cloud, so there's nothing to install. It's not exactly user friendly, however. UiPath is much more user friendly if you compare it to Power Automate.

In any case, you just connect it with your Microsoft login. If you want to automate a task, it's easy as everything is connected due to the Mircosoft account. It's easy to set up and concentrate your automation tasks.

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

Since we are on the trial version, we haven't bought it yet, or paid for anything.

If you are a small company, you can have a Power Automate license for as low as $30/month if you want to run one bot per month. It's pretty inexpensive.

With solutions like Blue Prism or UiPath, you need to think in one or five-year terms and many small companies can't just throw down $10,000 upfront.

What other advice do I have?

We're a Microsoft customer. We don't have a business relationship with the company.

We're using the trial version of the cloud deployment model. We haven't paid for it yet as they have to do a benchmark within or the solution for some POCs on UiPath and on Power Automate to see the differences. 

In a lot of companies, they use Microsoft products. It's easy to demonstrate how it's important to have a Power Automate type of solution on hand.

Overall, I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. Power Automate definitely offers the best automation scenarios due to the fact that it's a Microsoft product for Microsoft products. I tried automating something, for example, in SharePoint, using both UiPath and Power Automate, and Power Automate was the clear winner. It was just so easy and seamless.

It's also great from the perspective of a small company as there aren't high costs up front.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RE
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
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