Building Business Automation Policies in Microsoft Office 365
It has never been so easy to integrate various cloud-based apps and services to build workflows allowing you to streamline and automate your business processes using Microsoft Office 365 (specifically SharePoint & Microsoft Flow).
Using Microsoft Flow, you can connect to over 100 data sources ranging from Microsoft apps such as SharePoint or Excel Online through to 3rd party apps like Dropbox, Docusign and Google Drive.
Building automated processes in Microsoft Flow can save time by cutting out repetitive manual work, reduce mistakes by removing the chance of human error and increase visibility and reporting by collecting data from numerous sources and creating alerts or monitoring pages.
Start with a template – Microsoft has Hundreds of templates that you can use to start your automation journey. Let’s have a look at some of these now:
#1 Send yourself a reminder:
Simple template that you can use to send yourself a custom delayed reminder which can be triggered with a button tap – for example, when you are close to completing a meeting or when you step into the office.
Fairly simple workflow for this, the workflow is triggered by a button press > flow is delayed by a set amount of time > push notification sent to your mobile phone.
#2 Start approval when a new item is added:
Use this template for processing approvals on SharePoint list items. The approver can view their approval requests in the Approvals Centre and over email. Once an item is approved or rejected, the item creator is sent a confirmation email.
OK this is slightly more complex, in this template the workflow is triggered by a new item being added to SharePoint let say it’s an Excel timesheet for one of your employees > this then sends the timesheet off to an approver (HR department) > if the timesheet is approved the user who submitted the sheet gets an email to say it’s been approved.
You can then build on these processes, for instance after the timesheet is approved it could add the amount of time for that particular use to a master Sheet that totals their annual hours worked.
#3 Genmar PC Order Process:
Now this is one I put together myself for our computer ordering process.
When one of our customers approves a quotation for a new computer, I fill out an entry in a SharePoint list which includes information such as the customer name and the order details.
Once the item is created the workflow is triggered, a message is sent in Microsoft Teams to our workshop to make them aware of the delivery and how-to setup the new computer. A confirmation email is then sent directly to the customer informing them the order is processed and asking them to confirm the provisional installation date.
Now these are just two examples of how we can use Microsoft Flow to automate our processes and save us time, there are many more uses for workflows and many of them are specific to how you work. If you are interested in finding out more, get in contact and we can work with you to build processes and automation. We have already done this for multiple customers and the results are impressive.