Last week at Ignite 2019 Orlando, Microsoft released a brand new app Power Virtual Agents to join the other three apps Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate the app (formerly known as Flow). Charles Lamanna, CVP of the Citizen Application Platform, demoed it live in Satya’s keynote. If you want to watch the demo check it out here and fast forward to 53:05 to pick up where Satya talks about the Power Platform and then introduces Charles or take a look at it here on YouTube. This will give you an excellent introduction to the product and an understanding of how you can use it in your own organization. As of writing this, it is in preview.
Check out this video from Microsoft with a breakdown of what it can do.
Notice that, once again, this is a low code/no code experience that requires zero AI skills or pro dev skills to get up and running. It also allows you to use Azure Cognitive Service and the Microsoft Bot Framework to extend once you reach the limits of what is available out of the box. Also note that because Microsoft already has over 275 connectors to various micro services, you can take advantage of these using Power Automate to bring your bots to life. In fact you could connect to any API that you may want to interact with.
Let’s Get Started
The first thing I did was to spin up my own trial to get a feel for how it worked. You can do it yourself here. Note that it requires a work email address to do this. ☹ I prefer my trials to be unattached to my company.
The domain name from this point forward is https://powerva.microsoft.com so you can use this to get back into your trial/production setup in the future.
In no time at all I was able to setup nzBOTguy, and my bot was ready to go.
In a future post I will aim to get Power Virtual Agent setup on this Blog and put it to good use. I can see this tool being used to make websites more useful for companies to learn from the visitors to their site. Also, I can see it being used on internal intranets (the modern term for this is portals 😊 ) for on boarding new staff or when staff need access to training or documents that they use often and needed guidance on what is required. I have not tried it yet, but I would like to see how easy it is to do a contextual handoff to a live chat session and to use the knowledge base of Dynamics 365 Customer Service. Does Microsoft have their own live chat that is not CaféX?
My wife, Meg, and I love visiting the world, we want to make sure we finish life empty and have experienced everything this world has to offer, we try and get away as often as possible and have spent the last seven years …