Microsoft Flow – this is the new name of Microsoft’s ‘Workflow’ system – is a platform that can automate business processes, such as marketing and sales, procurement and payments, HR and payroll, and customer service. It can also be used to create and track complex workflows with multiple child steps.
With the rise of the chatbot, the conversational interface, and automation, many companies are increasingly choosing to use platforms like Microsoft Flow to help them manage their tasks and processes. What is Microsoft Flow? Let’s have a quick look, shall we?
Key Facts About Microsoft Flow
- Platform built on Azure.
- Supports both web and mobile apps.
- As part of the Microsoft suite, it integrates with other apps in the company.
- Cross-platform (i.e., works on both Windows and MacOS).
- Compatible with both Gmail and Outlook.
- Browser-based, so no client required.
- Free to try for development and up to 10 GB of storage space.
- Microsoft Flow is evolving rapidly and will continue to do so.
Why Use Microsoft Flow?
Microsoft Flow provides a number of features that make it the ideal choice for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. Here are just a few reasons why you might choose this toolset:
- Secure communication with customers.
- Reduced workload for employees.
- Faster business processes.
- Eliminates manual data entry.
- Improves data accuracy.
- Reduces business risk.
How Can Microsoft Flow Help With Business Growth?
Marketing And Sales
One of the significant benefits of Microsoft Flow is that it provides a central location for all your marketing and sales efforts. You can set automated tasks in different areas of the platform, such as email marketing and sales. You can also set up automatic tasks for follow-up actions, such as scheduling meetings or making calls to introduce a new product or service.
Why is this important? It allows you to standardize your marketing and sales activities, and ensures they are all organized and easy to access. This, in turn, makes it easier for you to track your progress and ensure you are providing the best possible service to your customers.
Procurement is the process of acquiring goods or services for the purpose of resale. If you’re involved in procurement at your company, you’ll want a toolset that can keep track of all your contract details and also facilitate follow-up actions, such as sending out reminders or invoices. There is also a large opportunity for business process improvement through the use of technology in procurement.
Why is this important? Employees in procurement can spend 80% of their time on administrative tasks, such as entering purchase orders, managing payments, and following up on delivery. Using technology to reduce repetitive tasks and increase accuracy saves you both time and money, which allows you to focus on more strategic activities.
Payroll is the process of paying employees for their work. Similar to procurement, there is a lot of opportunity for process improvement through the use of technology in payroll. This is mainly due to employees spending a lot of their time on administrative tasks, such as filing payroll taxes, processing payroll, and following up with managers about delayed salaries.
Why is this important? As a business, you’ll want to improve the payroll process to save time and ensure payments are made on time. Technology can help significantly with this, especially if you employ people to do simple tasks, such as data entry, which frees up your time to focus on more strategic activities, such as growing your business.
Payroll also provides you with an excellent opportunity to ensure your employees are aware of the company’s policies and procedures. You can set up automated reminders and notifications for key events, such as new hires or employee promotions, as well as for general payables, such as quarterly payroll tax payments.
Human Resources And Payroll
Human Resources is the process of managing people, such as employees and contractors. Payroll is a subset of human resources, dealing only with employee compensation. Similar to marketing and sales, there is a lot of opportunity for technology to improve processes in human resources, such as hiring, training, and development. You can also use automation to streamline the payroll process.
Why is this important? Similar to marketing and sales, technology can help significantly with recruiting and onboarding new employees. You can also set up automated communication and engagement cycles with new hires, such as sending them regular progress updates or inviting them to team events, like company celebrations or product launches.
As a business owner, you are bound to meet resistance from employees when it comes to new processes or technologies. In order to reap the benefits of Microsoft Flow, you must have an open mindset and be prepared to navigate some growing pains. However, the payoffs can be invaluable.