Power Virtual Agents

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Keeping with the AI theme of late:

A dedicated Microsoft Cloud Search engine

and

Need to Know Q and A Bot

I’ve also been playing around with the ability to create bots in the Power Platform. You can try out what I’ve created here:

https://bit.ly/ciapowerva

Again, remember this is a chat bot not a search engine. I have also been able to integrate this chat bot into my Microsoft Team but the process isn’t as straight forward as clicking a single link and I’ll try to cover that off in more detail in an upcoming article for you.

In many ways the Power Virtual Agent chat bot functions like the Q and A bot mentioned earlier, but it does have some major differences. Behind the scenes there is more flexibility programming than with the Q and A bot:

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I like the ability to visually create branching logic. This makes it a lot like Microsoft Power Automate to my mind. You can also create your own custom reposes as well as import from web site information, which is what I have done in my case. I also like the follow up and after event survey responses:

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Which is all built in.

However, from what I can see, it is also much more expensive – https://powervirtualagents.microsoft.com/en-us/

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Given that price plus the fact that you have to invest your own time to build something, I think this isn’t likely to be too widely adopted in the SMB space as yet. I do like the platform, compared to what I have seen so far but not sure whether it is really appropriate for a ‘casual’ play. If you are serious into automation and have lots of need for this type of thing, then it is probably going to be the platform of choice. We’ll see. I need more time will all of these tools.

I can see how all of these AI platforms utilise the same core abilities that Microsoft is building underneath. They are simply layering different interfaces over the top in essence. Some are aimed more at developers, while others are aimed at power users. I am still working out where all these fit in what I am looking to achieve and I’m sure they will all continue to improve over time. That’s kinda why I’m jumping on the AI band wagon now.

I’ll be diving deep into more of what I have found and how set all this up for yourself in upcoming articles. In the meantime I suggest you go and have a think about what you’d like to automate in your business and then look at what I’ve covered so far. It is all certainly possible, but as with anything in technology, you have to determine the best tool for your own needs.

Microsoft did a good overview video on Power Virtual Agents here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWxguR5B5-s

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