Microsoft Power Automate Review

An easy initial setup but lacks maturity and isn't very robust

What is our primary use case?

We have clients in a number of different industries. We were evaluating Power Automate for a hospital in Kansas City. We were looking at a couple of different use cases with regards to their vendor onboarding and some of the back-office processes. 

What is most valuable?

The initial setup is pretty easy.

The entire product is pretty easy to pick up and learn. We've got some developers and some software engineers that have picked it up. We have RPA specialists that are are deep specialists in UiPath, and they picked up Power Automate relatively quickly. We have guys that are trained in multiple platforms such as Automation Anywhere or Blue Prism and they got it right away.

What needs improvement?

The solution lacks maturity. That will come with time.

The complementary suite of capabilities with regards to task capture and being able to self-document a process needs improvement. The whole document handling aspect, OCR recognition and capabilities, need to incorporate some more of an AI type of approach with document extraction and document handling. 

Being able to handle various types of forms and complex documents is important. Obviously, we handle a lot of documents like invoices that could have multiple formats and multiple pages of content, and very complex material contracts. That area is where it shows that UiPath has come a long way and Microsoft has a ways to go. 

If I look at the suite of tools that UiPath has, it's very robust and extensive. There are complimentary tools that help determine the applicability of a process. Being able to have tools that help assess things like a business case, savings, applicability, etc., relatively quickly, which we see with UiPath, for example, is integral to a good product. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for less than a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

A criticism of Microsoft is that they typically bundle everything together, like with the Office 365 or Dynamics 365 or whatever the package of all the different options are. You get it whether you want it or not. The problem with that is, the content that you're giving away in the bundle is either not fully baked, or fully thought out or all that valuable. Some might be buggy or not do exactly what they are supposed to.

Clients are frustrated that they're getting stuff that they don't want. They'll ask us "why am I getting all these other packages as part of my bundle, that don't make sense?". I would rather see a really innovative and leading tool, rather than a whole bunch of tools that do lots of things. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't really reached out to technical support. We haven't really gone into production. Most of the issues, anything that we've had to do technically, we've figured out.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. Our team picked it up really quickly. The question is if it's really solving the trickier problems on not. The more complex problems, is where the value is going to be. Process automation is becoming a commodity. Therefore, the differentiation is in really being able to handle the more complex problems, especially at an enterprise level.

What about the implementation team?

We're able to handle implementations ourselves. We're a reseller and gold partner with Microsoft.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I'm unsure as to what the licensing costs are. It's not something that I generally deal with.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We're a vendor, therefore, we tend to use various solutions according to our client's needs. We've evaluated UiPath against Power Automate, for example.

We have evaluated Power Automate and we're trying to get some competency there. I don't believe it's to the same level as where you have the maturity as UiPath.

We've also looked at Blue Prism and found their capabilities quite mature.

What other advice do I have?

I'm using the latest version of the solution.

We would typically evaluate the solution as an on-Cloud deployment. However, we would use either cloud or on-premises deployment models, depending on the situation. It's not implemented in our organization. We're a vendor or a partner. We provide services to implement it.

I'd advise other organizations that if you are looking for industrial strength, I don't think this solution is quite it. However, if you're poking around and are going to use it lightly, it might be a way to venture into process automation. It would allow you to try it out without a big commitment. If there are companies that are serious about it, it's probably not the right option. It's not ready yet. Microsoft is maybe trying other ways to build out the capabilities, through acquisition avenues. Therefore, I'm not sure if that's the platform to get. There will be too many growing pains.

Overall, I'd rate the solution five out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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