How much time do you spend sifting through streams of messages for the few notifications that matter? How much manual labor is spent transferring information from one place to another or entering data into tracking systems? Too often these tasks are done manually or not done at all. Do these issues sound familiar?

“I get hundreds of emails a day, and my notification options are all-or-nothing. It’s hard to keep up with all that traffic when I’m traveling. I’d like to get a text message when specific people, like key customers or prospects, reach out to me directly.”

“Our teams constantly meet people at events and follow up over email. We want to ensure we don’t miss any of these leads, but retyping information from emails into our CRM system is tedious.”

“We work with agencies that create content and upload large files to OneDrive or Dropbox accounts. We’d like to be notified as soon as the latest files arrive, instead of having to check every 30 minutes, and we want to transfer a backup to SharePoint Online as soon as the files come through.”

Microsoft Flow makes it possible for any user to automate all of these scenarios and many, many more. Business users can connect their accounts, take advantage of prebuilt templates and create their own flows in an easy visual designer that works anywhere on the web.(1) The advantage is that you don’t have to bring in a developer to create such efficiencies.

Use Microsoft Flow to streamline activities, such as sending out reminders when high priority emails are received, centralize information by transferring data from inbox or external systems to a CRM application without manual typing, and clone files between storage platforms.

Microsoft Flow Integrates with Dynamics 365 Applications and More

Flow can be leveraged with connections to more than 130 applications and services, including Dynamics 365  for Business and Operations, Dynamics CRM and Dynamics AX, the enterprise resource planning application. Bridging applications in terms of synchronizing data, triggering events and managing content ultimately saves users time that would be spent on entering data and cross checking between databases.

To demonstrate how Microsoft Flow compresses time to value, we will use a common scenario that shows how to quickly set up Flow to create the same account in Dynamics AX whenever a new customer account is entered in CRM.

On the interface where the new Flow is created, we can specify the name, source application (CRM in this case), conditions on which the different actions should be executed (relationship type is “customer”), and the actions to be performed on target applications (create a customer record in Dynamics AX).

Anyone can design their own Flows within minutes, and no programming skills are required. Once the workflow is deployed, it will run in the background, and users will have the ability to track the Flow execution history and detailed error logs for troubleshooting.

Microsoft Flow

Numerous Supported Services Provide Endless Possibilities

Besides the built-in integration with more than 130 applications and services, Microsoft Flow enables users to design and implement custom workflows effortlessly with PowerApps Studio. Here’s a simple example of how Microsoft Flow and PowerApps can be tailored to meet specific business requirements:

An organization utilizing Trello board to track interesting opportunities that users would like to share/discuss with others wants to: build an app that allows users to browse through opportunities in CRM and implement a one-click button to post the desired opportunities to Trello board.

Create a Flow in PowerApps Studio which would trigger creation of card in the board specified.

Microsoft Flow

 

Create an app with CRM online service and opportunities entity. Add a new button named “Add to Trello” to opportunity detail page, tie the Flow created previously to the button and specify the function parameters on the button control.

Microsoft Flow

 

Now when users browse this opportunity via the app, they’ll be able to add a card named “10 orders of Product SKU JJ02” to Trello board by clicking the “Add to Trello” button. Additional properties, such as labels and card owners, can also be specified by configuring the Flow.

Microsoft Flow

 

Automating business processes with the ability to easily access valuable data gives organizations an unprecedented ability to increase productivity and leverage IT to gain a competitive edge. No matter what your business requirements are or which services are vital to your business, customizing your work environment to fit business requirements compresses time to value, enabling you to work less while doing more.

 

References

(1) (n.d.). Retrieved from https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/introducing-microsoft-flow-and-announcing-the-public-preview-of-powerapps/