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Microsoft Debuts Process Advisor for Robotic Process Automation

Now in general availability, Microsoft’s new robotic process automation service helps discover workflows for potential automation via the company’s Power Automate.

After Microsoft made Power Automate Desktop available at no additional cost for Windows 10 users, it looked at the download rate and decided that the user engagement represented a burgeoning demand for robotic process automation (RPA) as a way to offload repetitive tasks and workflows from a human workforce. This reasoning drives the debut of their new Power Automate RPA service and the new Process Advisor feature, announced at Build 2021 last month and now generally available.

The new Process Advisor feature is part and parcel of Microsoft Power Automate, and it exists so end users can identify which tasks are best suited for automation then map workflow tasks and commence automating formerly people-driven workflows.

Among the Process Advisor service’s perks is the ability to identify patterns and trends among apps, find inefficiencies between application switching and usage, and provide deep details in the process that can be reviewed to find the best usage practices in the workflow.

Recommendations from the Process Advisor are automatically generated during the analysis phase and then presented as potential solutions for increasing efficiencies in a particular workflow. Among those recommendations are “automation opportunities,” which show frequently-accessed user actions that can be automated; any discover connectors that can tie together different workflow steps to automate part or all of a workflow; and guided steps, which provide nudges and suggestions to users as they build out process automation flows.

Microsoft’s Stephen Siciliano, the Partner PM Director on the Power Automate team, says the tool eliminates guessing around RPA work.

“Process Advisor is a process mining capability that provides insights into how people work and takes the guesswork out of automation,” he said. According to Siciliano, Process Advisor helps organizations map workflows, identify potential bottlenecks across the company, and target tasks that are good automation opportunities.

Concerned about managing all these new workflows and processes? No need to because system administrators can monitor all processes built in their tenant. In addition, admin functionality includes tools for managing privacy, security and sharing of the automated workflows – and the data they create in an organization.

Process Advisor is available to enterprise customers who subscribe to Microsoft Power Automate and costs $15 per user per month. There is also a license-by-user option that allows individual users to analyze their processes and create unlimited cloud flows – as well as automate legacy applications – for $40 a month. The final option is a license-by-flow plan that starts at $500 per month for five flows. In this plan, cloud flows with reserved capacity for unlimited users across your organization.

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