What if there was an application, maybe even an artificial intelligence, that could watch over some of your tasks and do them for you? What if letting that AI do those things for you ended up increasing your productivity so much so that it paid for the whole Microsoft 365 subscription all by itself? What if it also made your job less annoying? Well, there is and most people haven’t started to use it yet. It’s called Microsoft Flow and it’s part of your Microsoft 365 subscription.
Uploading files to SharePoint is so, well, annoying. Stop doing that and let Flow do it for you. We’re going to configure Flow to watch a OneDrive for Business folder and when Flow sees that a new file has been put in the folder, Flow will copy that file into a specific SharePoint library.
Everyone has tasks in their day that essentially involves pushing paper — digital paper in today’s world — but still it’s about taking a file from one place and putting it into another. Microsoft Flow is great at doing this. Harness the power of this everyday AI and save yourself some time and annoyance.
It’s the case for a lot of sales organizations that a quote must be approved by the sales manager before it goes out to the customer. This often involves a lot of back and forth in email. File attachments and file downloads. All of which take up time in the day. Flow can help eliminate a lot of that and return focus time to the sales staff.
Here is what this is going to look like for the manager when a quote is waiting to be approved.
And after the quote has been approved, here is what it looks like for the manager.
And here is what it looks like for me. My file moves into my approved quotes folder. Anything in that folder I know is ready to send to a customer.
Here’s how to set this up.
That’s it! I’m ready to start using this Flow.
What have I accomplished by eliminating the task of asking my manager to approve a quote? I eliminated the need to compose an email and attach files to that email. And qait for a return email, download the approved files, and save them somewhere. On the mangers side I’ve also eliminated the need for the manager to have to remember if there are quotes waiting for approval. The job status is right there in the manager’s email.
Microsoft Flow is your private artificial intelligence tool just waiting to take tasks off of your plate. We all have far too many paper-pushing tasks even though we might not have the paper anymore.
I’ve only presented two examples, but can you imagine how many tasks each person at your company has that could be automated? I have about a dozen of them set up for tasks that I do. Think of it this way: If you can phrase it as an If-Then statement, then Flow should be doing it for you. If I need to get approval for a file, then have Flow do it. If I need to move files from one place to another, then have Flow do it.
Microsoft has a few thousand templates available and you can every create your own. When you get really good at it you can create many more complex multi-step Flow solutions. Imagine the possibilities. Add up that savings and you’ll see that Flow has the potential to pay for your whole Microsoft 365 bill and more. Increasing productivity is no small thing for businesses. It’s the best way to add to the bottom line. So if you’re an IT person who wants to be valuable to your employer, start introducing people to Microsoft Flow. If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription then you own it already. Why not start harnessing the power of everyday AI and be the one who uses technology to add to the bottom line of the company. Put that on your resume!
Featured image: Freerange Stock
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