With so many apps and so much technology available to us today it can be hard to make use of everything. A common complaint is how these apps only do half the job and that it requires us to do something with the information or the task to make it useful to our business.
As soon as a human is involved in that process it can fail as that person forgot to add that appointment or was sick that day and couldn’t add the records to the Excel spreadsheet.
Introducing Microsoft Flow
Microsoft Flow is an automation tool that connects all your favourite apps together and automates tasks into a “flow”.
For example, if every time someone followed you on twitter you wanted to reply with a thank you tweet automatically and then have a rule check if they have more than 1000 followers and if so add them to your CRM and then add them to your email marketing list you can do that 100% on autopilot.
This becomes a flow that you can set and forget. The possibilities are endless and with over 100 apps you can connect to date and more growing every day.
Now some of these apps are classed as premium and therefore need a subscription.
How much does it cost?
Microsoft Flow is included as part of Office 365 on the free edition this means using the standard apps and you can create unlimited flows, however, these flows can only run 2000 in total per month which is more than enough to start with it also checks to run your flows every 5 mins.
If you want to use the premium apps the subscriptions plans are simple to understand.
Flow plan 1 gives you access to the premium apps and lets you run the flows 4,500 times a month and with a 3-minute check cycle. This costs $5 per user per month and has a 90-day trial available.
Flow plan 2 is the same as above but with 15,000 flows a month and a 1-minute check cycle. And is $15 per user per month again with a 90-day trial available.
Is it complicated?
No, it is quite simple, there are two routes for using Microsoft Flow.
1) Use one of the hundreds of predefined flow templates that have already been created using the wizard. You simply connect the services and edit it where you need and away it goes.
2) Create your own from scratch once you get your head around the possibilities.
How is this different from Zapier?
Zapier does the same kind of thing and in fairness has more connected services available as this is a more mature product however the difference is the integration into the other Office 365 apps and services is so much more granular using Microsoft Flow. There is another product on the market call IFTT which stands for “If this then that” this is again very similar in the same way as Zapier.
So, what’s stopping you from getting started simply head over to https://flow.microsoft.com and sign up and have a play and soon you will be hitting new heights of productivity and automation genius