Office 365 for business is popular among businessmen nowadays because of its advantageous tools and features, and one of them is the online workflow service called Microsoft Flow. This tool enables businesses to automate certain events to trigger a workflow process across commonly used apps and services. For instance, when people with more than 150 followers tweet about your products and services, Microsoft Flow can automatically add them as a lead in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and add them to Mailchimp for follow up purposes.
There’s more to Microsoft Flow than meets the eye. And with this guide, you’ll be able to maximise this tool’s capabilities and further understand how it works.
How to Use Microsoft Flow in Your Office 365?
Microsoft Flow enables businesses to automate workflows between applications and services like Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, Twitter, etc. This tool can be used to automate triggers to get notifications, sync files, collect data, and many more. The application provides templates of common business workflows that can be automated, but you can also customise your very own according to your business needs.
Aside from the ones mentioned, here are practical ways you can use Microsoft Flow in your business:
Scan Images and Transcribe the Text in It
One common scenario in the workplace is scanning an image that contains text and transcribing them afterwards. That process can be tedious and time-consuming for office workers. And for that reason, Microsoft Flow became a game changer for businesses. With the help of Flow, you won’t just get the image you just scanned, you would also get an email that contains the recognized text within the image. Flow enables employees to spend more time on income generating activities.
Selectively Post Photos on Instagram to Facebook
The business world moves in a fast-paced manner. And when it comes to social media visibility, it can be time-consuming to selectively post Instagram photos to Facebook. But with Microsoft Flow, you can set special words or phrases that will trigger the posting of the same photo on Facebook. That way it would be easier and faster to attain your social media visibility goals.
Manage Social Media Reputation
Negative posts and reviews are inevitable in social media, but it can create a huge impact on your business image when not managed properly. That’s why it’s important for businesses to keep track of how they are perceived on social media. One template in Microsoft Flow enables organisations to receive an email informing that a negative or positive review or statement has been posted on Facebook. By doing that, it helps businesses to respond to negative posts promptly and execute the necessary damage control.
Filter New Messages from Old Ones
Another template in Microsoft Flow enables office workers to filter the new emails from the ones they already read. They can set Flow to forward new emails to a designated slack channel where they can be reviewed easily. That way employees can make sure that there are no unread emails buried under the ones they have read. And not just that, it can also help them save time in locating unread messages that they might have overlooked.
Enjoy A Vacation Without Missing an Important Email
Often times when employees are out of the office, they tend to miss out on important emails. Without any doubt, office workers do deserve to have a break, but sometimes urgent matters that involve them may sprout up. So to avoid chaos in the office while allowing them to enjoy their break, your employees can set Flow to notify them when they receive emails from specific people. That way, they can have their well-deserved fun and business owners can contact them when they’re needed.
Easily Track Expenses
Other than the ones mentioned above, Flow can also help businesses to keep track of their expenses on the go. That said, this template enables employees to track their expenses with ease even when they’re outside of the office. Moreover, they could also set it to automatically add them into an Excel spreadsheet to make it easier to report.
Automatically Save Attachments in A OneDrive Folder
In the office, employees receive emails every now and then. And when it’s time to look for a specific email attachment, it became a familiar scenario for office workers to search through their inbox for a buried email. With Flow, you can say goodbye to those instances and set incoming email attachments to be saved automatically in a certain OneDrive folder.
Know Immediately When It’s a Done Deal
Waiting can be nerve-wracking, especially when you’re waiting for a client’s response. With Microsoft Flow, you can get a push notification the moment an online document is signed by a client. And it can even notify you if a new employee signed the contract. That said, Flow enables you to know immediately when you get a done deal.
Automate the Workflow of Approval
Aside from the ones mentioned above, Microsoft Flow can also automate approval loops for requests like vacation leaves in SharePoint. And these requests can easily be viewed by supervisors in the Approvals centre. That said, with the help of Flow, businesses can have a smoother workflow of request approvals.
It’s as clear as day how Microsoft Flow promotes productivity in business organisations. All its benefits can be enjoyed by downloading the Microsoft Flow app on your phone or desktop. Through the application, you can create flows and perform administrative tasks necessary for your organisation.
With the mobile application, you can turn on or turn off flows on the go and check whether a flow is working or not. Furthermore, when needed, the application also enables businessmen to review a detailed run history report.
Get to Know the Menus in the Application
Now that you know the benefits you can get if you download Microsoft Flow, it’s time for you to be acquainted with the menus you find in the application.
As you sign in, you will see that it has a user-friendly interface. Organisations that utilise this tool can easily search for automated workflow templates once they sign in to start the flow of productivity. And before you create your first flow, here are the things you need to know.
In the upper left corner, you will find the menus My flows, Approvals, Templates, Connectors and Learn. Let’s have a brief introduction of their uses.
The My Flows menu is where you find the flows you are using. This is where you can turn them off or on. Moreover, this is also where you can define your flow with the edit option the app provides.
This menu is where organisations automate and streamline approval processes. With this, the workflow of approval becomes faster and smoother.
When you click this menu, you will find popular templates that are commonly used in businesses all over the world. This is where you can gather flow ideas that you can apply to your organisation.
The Connectors menu is formerly known as the Services menu. This is where businessmen can connect from one service to another with ease.
In this menu, you will find options that can help you ramp up on Microsoft Flow. This is where you can gather information to maximise your utilisation of the application.
Here are the options the Learn menu provides:
In this option, you can find advanced topics regarding Microsoft Flow. This is where you can learn about a feature or function in depth. With this option, you can have a better understanding of how a feature or function works.
Another option the Learn menu offers is its learning paths. It can guide beginner users on how to use Microsoft Flow. Moreover, it can also walk through users on how to handle advanced scenarios.
This option is an immediate go-to for users who need help. This is where you can connect to Microsoft’s IT support to get the IT assistance you need.
The Community option is where you can see how other end-users are using Microsoft Flow. This is a good place to get ideas from other businesses on how to utilise Flow.
This option is where users and developers can interact. This is where you can send comments and ask questions about Microsoft Flow. And these comments and questions can be entertained by developers and experienced users.
The Blog option gives you access to the latest information about Microsoft Flow. This is where you can read about updates regarding the Flow’s ecosystem developments and its releases.
The pricing option can serve as a guide in choosing the right plan for your business. This option is ideal to look at before you plan your company’s budget.
Explore the capabilities of Microsoft Flow and your business can gain a competitive advantage. If you’re planning to migrate to Office 365, seek the help of trusted managed IT services in Australia like House of IT. With the help of IT professionals, you are guaranteed to enjoy the features and tools Office 365 provides.