Every business runs into mundane, time-consuming tasks every now and then. Maybe your team members keep repeating the same navigation steps, clicking the same buttons, just to pull a report. Or perhaps they’re constantly forced to look up information in one app so they can manually enter it into another. Whichever the case, there’s certainly a better, more productive way of handling such tasks.
Wouldn’t it be nice if your team members could have their own personal attendant running on their individual desktops? Well, it’s time you stopped wishing because that level of automation is right here with us.
Thanks to Microsoft robotic process automation tools, your employees can easily automate tasks and other repetitive processes, freeing them up to focus on higher-value work. Think of the productivity gains you could achieve by letting your team members work side-by-side with a personal robot on their computers.
Keep reading to answer the question, “What is Microsoft RPA?”
First Things First, What is RPA?
Before we dive into the definition and benefits of Microsoft RPA, let’s first talk about the concept of RPA (robotic process automation) individually.
RPA is essentially a building block of business process automation that deals with configuring software “robots” to trigger responses, manipulate data, and communicate with other digital systems.
Capable of mimicking human interactions, RPA tools can quickly and accurately open, close, and switch between desktop or web applications. But that’s not all. Here are some of RPA’s additional use-cases in a typical work environment:
- Copy and pasting activities
- Clicking on buttons and links
- Inputting data into fields
- Executing keyboard shortcuts
- Taking results-based actions
And with 53% of organizations globally already underway with their RPA journey, there’s no better time to invest in this automation technology than now. Who knows, this could be the one thing that (finally) kick-starts your rise to industry domination.
Thankfully, if you’re an MS Power Automate user, your RPA journey is already cut out for you. In the subsequent sections, we’ll highlight what RPA Microsoft can do for you (hint: it’s a lot!).
So, What is Microsoft RPA?
In the simplest of terms, Microsoft RPA is Microsoft’s way of making Power Automate more scalable, versatile, and ultimately more powerful.
In Microsoft’s own words, RPA in Microsoft “delivers an end-to-end automation solution that spans AI, APIs, and UI on the Microsoft Power Platform.”
Put differently, Microsoft RPA is an additional, all-action tool that was bolted onto the Microsoft Power Automate service back in 2019. Power Automate is fundamentally part of the Power Platform ecosystem that allows you to connect services and build flows from one service to another. Flows are then triggered to run based on schedule, events, or time intervals.
Before the inception of Power Automate in December 2020, it was Microsoft Flow that ruled the automation world. No wonder people still ask whether there’s such a thing as “Microsoft Flow robotic process automation.”
To answer that question, we’d say no. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that RPA now exists in Power Automate as UI Flows (more on this in the upcoming section).
UI Flows: The Microsoft RPA Tool You Didn’t Know Existed
Now, don’t get us wrong. While it’s true that Power Automate is indeed an RPA platform, not every feature within the platform is RPA-oriented. If you’re looking for an individual Microsoft RPA tool within the vast Power Automate ecosystem, that’d be none other than UI Flows.
By recording and playing back human-driven interaction with software systems that do not support API automation, UI Flows effectively transforms manual tasks into fully automated workflows.
As we all know, scaling and automating processes isn’t a walk in the park-UI Flows is Microsoft’s attempt to deliver API-based automation and UI-based automation in one platform.
Beyond that, it’s important to remember that UI Flows can execute in two different manners: either as attended RPA or unattended RPA.
Attended RPA: Here, the UI Flow runs on an employee’s computer to automate repetitive and otherwise cumbersome tasks, allowing the employee to conveniently correct errors if and when they pop up.
Unattended RPA: The UI Flow in this setup basically runs on autopilot. In other words, it runs with no user logged in. Workflows automatically trigger in the background based on events that happen and then run at any time in the cloud. So if you’re looking to automate high-volume, repetitive tasks with no human supervision, this type of UI Flow is undoubtedly your best bet.
Now that we have exhaustively answered the question, “Does Microsoft have an RPA tool?” let’s quickly shift gears and look at what this game-changing invention brings to the table.
What are the Benefits of Microsoft RPA?
The new age of digital transformation is well and truly upon us. Where humans are lacking in accuracy and speed, robotic process automation RPA tools are stepping in to save the day, helping organizations get more done in a way they’ve never seen before. Whatever way you look at it, this is a bandwagon that you can’t afford to miss out on.
As we speak, 61% of business leaders who’ve adopted RPA report that their expectations of cost reduction have been met or otherwise exceeded. Beyond these rather obvious cost efficiencies, Microsoft RPA adoption could benefit your organization in the following ways:
Benefit #1: Better Accuracy
A staggering 76% of employees are frequently tired at work, and this is in large part due to the massive amounts of repetitive tasks they have to tackle every other day.
While that may sound like too much of a stretch, the sad truth is that tired employees will hardly add value to your bottom line. If anything, they’ll only prevent your organization from attaining true greatness.
In contrast, software robots powered by Microsoft RPA never get tired and never make mistakes. They are compliant, consistent, and will always bring their A-game to the fore. What this means is that you’ll always have near-perfect workflows, an important prerequisite for any successful organization today.
Benefit #2: Improved Efficiency
Speaking of near-perfect workflows and processes, accuracy is only one part of the equation. Another aspect is, of course, their efficiency. And Microsoft robotics process automation can help improve your workflow’s efficiency even as it boosts their accuracy.
That’s mostly because efficiency and accuracy often go hand in hand. For example, imagine the frequency with which employees make mistakes when tackling repetitive tasks-after all, human is to err. Now imagine Microsoft RPA removing all those mistakes completely, even the tiniest ones.
From a management perspective, the aspect of increased efficiency is a dream true. Every mistake that Microsoft Power Automate RPA removes represents another human saved from the hassle of reduced data quality and high overload.
Thanks to Microsoft Apps, you’ll never have to choose between doing it accurately and doing it efficiently. Instead, you get to have it both ways!
Benefit #3: Better Use of Human Resources
Did you know that the average employee spends 10-25% of their time on repetitive computer tasks?
Going by the typical 8-hour workday, that’s a whopping two hours wasted every day on things like reporting, scheduling, and data entry!
It may not seem like a lot of time when you’re in the moment. But when you multiply all of that wasted time by all of your monthly workdays and for each team member, the hours really add up.
By deploying Microsoft RPA, you could free up your employees from repetitive, low-value tasks, so they can fully focus on work that delivers the greatest value for the organization. And with software robots in the driving seat, you’ll never have to employ new faces every few months.
Benefit #4: Improved Compliance
Try as you might, it’s almost impossible to fully and accurately manage your compliance requirements using human help. Somewhere down the road, there’s bound to be a complaint, as humans are largely prone to compromise and complacency. People are also harder to watch and train.
Enter Microsoft RPA.
Robots log every single action performed by them and the humans they work with, allowing your organization to have a 100% audit trail that auditors can access any time, any day. Each log captures which processes were executed and how. Additionally, auditors can see where and when robots generated exceptions and how your team handled those exceptions.
The beauty of it all is that once a robot learns a business process or workflow, it’ll do it over and over again in the same way, every time while being 100% accurate. Admittedly, this level of automation and consistency is hard to come by. But it’s what your organization needs to achieve robust, top-tier compliance.
Benefit #5: Happier Employees
We’ve all heard or read the mantra “customer first” more times than we can count.
However, in today’s sensitive work environment, where employees are vacating their positions at the slightest provocation, that mantra has taken on a different dimension, and it’s now “employee experience first.” After all, it’s nearly impossible to achieve or maintain satisfied customers if the team behind the curtains-your employees-are working in an unfulfilling and unengaging environment.
Fortunately, having happier employees is one of the greatest benefits of Microsoft’s robotic process automation tools. In fact, 57% of executives say RPA increases employee engagement several-fold.
When your employees no longer have to engage in repetitive, mind-numbing tasks, they’ll inevitably become more appreciative of their work environment. They’ll make far fewer mistakes, perform work that actually requires their brainpower, and ultimately engage in richer interactions with others. Before you know it, they’ll be coming in earlier, asking for fewer leave days, and signing life-long contracts with your organization.
Benefit #6: Surreal Scalability
As a business owner, you may feel as though you’re always stagnating in the face of change. More often than not, change finds you unprepared, consequently disrupting critical business operations and causing you to spend a ton of money on employee re-skilling or re-staffing. Thankfully, Microsoft RPA can remove this stumbling block from your way once and for all.
It’s simply not possible to scale a team of employees the way you can scale the scope and reach of a group of automated bots. Using RPA software like MS Power Automate, bots can easily be duplicated and programmed to perform a similar but slightly different set of procedures in parallel. Best of all, you can deploy additional RPA bots quickly and conveniently.
And when the smoke clears, your business workflows will be timely and supercharged, instead of feeling like they’re dated!
Is Microsoft RPA Free?
Sadly, Microsoft RPA is not free. But it’s not costly either. Depending on your organization’s automation needs, you can subscribe to attended or unattended RPA at a fairly competitive price.
Attended RPA: Typically priced at $40 per user per month
Unattended RPA: This plan is available for $150 per bot per month. However, you can only access it if you’ve already subscribed to the per-user plan with attended RPA, as well as the existing power-flow plan.
Now that you know a thing or two about Microsoft RPA pricing, let’s wind up today’s article by looking at yet another popular question.
Who Can Use Microsoft RPA?
Literally, everyone can take advantage of RPA in Microsoft. If your organization constantly grapples with repetitive tasks and rigid workflows, then Microsoft RPA could very well be what’s holding you back.
Specifically, though, here are some industries that can potentially benefit from RPA adoption:
- Supply chain management
- Human resources
- Customer service
In addition, industries that rely on voice recognition or automated online assistants are perfectly suited for Microsoft RPA. Recent developments now allow bots to provide answers in human language rather than code as was previously the case. Undoubtedly, this is a huge perk for large call centers and other organizations that have a lot of interaction with customers.
Don’t Wait. Now is the Perfect Time to Make the Leap to Microsoft RPA
If there’s one takeaway to learn from this article, it’s that Microsoft has excellent RPA capabilities that can benefit any organization. It doesn’t matter if you have a rigid or repetitive task. Microsoft RPA can supercharge them all. Ultimately, moving your organization one step closer to total digital transformation. So, don’t sit back and wait for this game-changing wave of automation innovation to pass you by; act now.
At IncWorx, we are tried-and-true RPA specialists. Learn firsthand how we can help by talking with our consultants. From the start, we will swing into action, helping you implement digital process automation using Microsoft RPA, primarily Microsoft Power Automate). We won’t rest until we can give you the power and insight to keep getting better.
Contact us today to start working smarter, not harder, for your business!
Transform Your Business with the Microsoft Power Platform
Microsoft’s no-code/low-code suite of tools is designed to build cost-effective end-to-end business solutions faster.
Comprehensive consulting and managed IT services for PowerApps, Power Automate, Power BI and Power Virtual Agents.
Reduce your development time and costs using pre-built services, connectors and data sources.
Connect to data, add business logic and build interfaces that work in your web browser or on your mobile device.
Increase your productivity and cut your costs with powerful apps designed to automate processes.
Benefit from hundreds of pre-built connectors available for popular apps and other Microsoft cloud services.
Expand your business intelligence capabilities and improve your business results.
Create drag and drop dashboards and reports that give leadership and business users visibility to both local and cloud data sources.
Power Virtual Agents
Improve your customer service and your employee satisfaction with self-service chat.
Custom chatbots immediately respond to repetitive questions and requests, freeing your team to focus on value-added tasks.