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Business processes

Microsoft Flow explained

Have you ever realized how much time is wasted on repetitive work that is not really important but has to be done every day? For example, saving email attachments or archiving documents.  In this article, we will see how Microsoft Flow can help out with these and similar tasks.

What is the purpose of Flow?

Microsoft Flow tool is used to automate repetitive work, so you can spend more time on important tasks. Flow allows software to easily communicate with each other that normally would not be easy to achieve. This cloud-based software improves productivity by creating conditions for everyone without programming knowledge to automate many exhausting and time-consuming tasks and processes.

How much does it cost?

To be honest, it is practically free. If your company uses Microsoft office 365, you already have access to Flow as it comes with Office 365 Business Essentials, Business, and Business Premium licenses. So, the only prerequisite is to have Office 365 for Business license. Difference between licenses is that with Premium you get more external connectors, so you can work with a wider variety of applications.

What are the possibilities?

This tool has really wide application possibilities. To start with, no coding knowledge is required. Also, there is a Flow template library, where you can download Flows created by other users and start using them right away with minimal set-up.

By downloading such template Flows, you will be able to:

  • Automatically save email attachments to cloud-based storage.
  • Receive notifications about bad/good reviews of your business in social networks.
  • Synchronize Google and Office 365 calendars.
  • Automatically send out learning material and welcome email to new employees.
  • Send wishes to employees during a public holiday, etc.
  • Create an easy to use vacation request platform.
  • Speed up action and document approval requests.
  • Simplify signing of a digital document.

 

Actions mentioned above can be easily implemented from the Flow template library.

However, this is only the tip of an iceberg. This tools can do much more than that and its limits depend only on your imagination. For example, a process can be relatively easy created that would automate document management, gather all the required approvals or signatures from managers and would push the data into an external system and archive the document.

What is more, all of these Flows could be used on a mobile phone that runs Android or iOS.

Where to start?

As mentioned earlier, Microsoft Flow is a free tool that comes with Office 365 for Business license. So you can try it out and start using it right away by visiting this site. To start with, we recommend installing template Flow and using “reverse engineering” technique learn how it works. Once you have a grasp on how Flows work, you should try experimenting by creating one from scratch. Of course, you will need to put in some work. However, it is definitely possible to do and could potentially pay up for itself really fast.

 

Of course, bigger projects require higher levels of knowledge and could be too difficult to take on by yourself. But these more advanced Flows can be done by your development team or external contractors. Even if programmers are needed, benefits are still there, since it would be much cheaper to do advanced business automation projects on MS Flow rather than doing a custom application. Most of the job is done in the Flow and only connecting the “dots” is needed.

 

Microsoft Flow is a really wonderful tool, which helped us and many other companies to automate processes. We highly recommend you to try it out in your company. And if any help is needed do not hesitate to contact us for help.
Good luck!

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