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Microsoft Power Automate adds robotic process automation in April

Woman sits at desk using laptop and second monitor.

In case you missed our announcement at Ignite 2019, we launched the preview of UI flows, the new robotic process automation (RPA) capability in Microsoft Power Automate.

Today we’re announcing that UI flows will be generally available worldwide on April 2.

Power Automate already helps hundreds of thousands of organizations automate millions of processes every day. With the addition of RPA, Power Automate will help these organizations to also automate their legacy apps and manual processes through UI-based automation. The key Power Automate capabilities we are announcing today include RPA general availability for attended and unattended scenarios, along with a flexible business model to support any business scenario.

Automate legacy and modern apps on one platform

Power Automate—the most comprehensive cloud-based automation platform—unlocks analog data with AI, automates UI with RPA, and automates cloud applications and databases with built-in connectors. This comprehensive set of capabilities represents the next generation of automation and will be accessible to everyone in an organization including coders and non-coders alike through a low code development environment and uniquely affordable licensing.

With Power Automate, we’re putting automation into the hands of all workers so that everyone can automate repetitive tasks across legacy and modern applications, and simplify how they work in a scalable, more secure way.

Example of dropdown menu for inputs in Power Automate.

Completing the low-code automation portfolio with robotic process automation

Across the software industry, numerous technology solutions help people do their job. But the widespread adoption of technology also means that businesses can end up with disconnected solutions that require them to patch together processes across siloed applications. In the past, joining disparate systems together was difficult or too costly because it required professional developers, especially when some of the data could still be on paper or locked in decades-old Windows or web applications.

Power Automate provides a single solution for end-to-end automation that spans on-premises systems and the cloud. This approach addresses three primary areas:

  • Intelligent understanding of data: Structured and unstructured data from paper-based invoices to images can be easily understood and integrated with other critical business applications. With AI-driven capabilities like forms processing in AI Builder, end users can parse data from analog sources.
  • Connecting to over 300 modern apps and services: It is easy to work with information stored in the cloud or on-premises apps and databases. We offer native connectivity to common apps or a company’s APIs with over 300 connectors out-of-the-box and a no-code way to connect to any internal services.
  • RPA connects to enterprise applications without APIs: Some applications are too old or expensive to support API connectivity. With UI flows, end users can automate their work in these applications by recording manual tasks such as mouse clicks, keyboard inputs, and data entry, and then automate the replay of these steps to integrate with more complex process automations.

The ability to use AI, API connectors, and RPA make Power Automate the most comprehensive automation platform available in the cloud today.

Ingram Micro, one of the world’s largest distributors and IT leaders in technology products, is using Power Automate to improve and automate workflows spanning multiple systems and functions such as new account creation and onboarding, management of customer credit lines, transportation optimization, event management, and integration of external partner data into their internal processes and workflows.

“With Power Automate, we’ve been able to improve the customer and internal associate experience, and at a much faster rate than before, with 75% of Power Automate projects completed in less than 30 days. We are excited to see that Microsoft is investing and delivering in the area of RPA as Power Automate has been an important factor in modernizing our business and we look forward to exploring opportunities with the new RPA capabilities coming this spring.” – Jim Annes, Vice President of US Business Operations and Transformation, Ingram Micro

Democratizing automation for all organizations with attended and unattended RPA

Power Automate offers both attended and unattended RPA. This means you can record and playback actions with or without human interaction (attended and unattended, respectively). And, just as we democratized access to app development with Microsoft Power Apps, and BI with Microsoft Power BI, we are democratizing RPA with Power Automate.

RPA capabilities will be licensed as part of two new Power Automate offers that provide organizations with the flexibility to address a range of attended and unattended scenarios. UI flow authoring and bot orchestration and management are included in both offers, with no add-ons required.*

Attended RPA

The per user with attended RPA plan provides the ability for users to run an attended RPA bot on their workstation. Priced at $40 per user/month, the plan is optimized to span legacy and modern applications by enabling users to combine UI and API-based automation. Additionally, attended RPA includes access to several AI Builder capabilities like forms processing, object detection, prediction, text classification and recognition, and more.

Unattended RPA

An unattended RPA add-on will be available for the new per-user plan with attended RPA, as well as the existing per-flow plan. Each unattended RPA bot is priced at $150 per month, and organizations can choose to scale the number of bots running autonomously as needed.

Both the Power Automate per-user plan with attended RPA and the Power Automate unattended RPA add-on will be available early April. Visit our pricing page to learn more.

Get started now!

Watch an overview of RPA in Power Automate and visit the UI flows web page to learn more about getting started with the RPA preview by clicking ‘Try preview‘. Be sure to stay tuned to the blog for updates like these and future updates to Power Automate and the Power Platform.

*All pricing information provided is intended solely to be a non-binding estimate as of the date this guidance is provided. It does not constitute an offer by Microsoft. The actual pricing will be reflected on the EA Price List, when this offering becomes available.