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When to Use Robotic Process Automation (RPA) within Power Automate

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

You may already use the Microsoft Power Platform, including Power Automate, to tackle the most tedious, time-consuming of processes at your organization. In 2020, Microsoft introduced UI flows, a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) capability that elevates the functionality of Power Automate to be able to automate legacy apps and manual processes through UI-based automation.

If you’re wondering when you should use RPA in Power Automate, read on!

What is Robotic Process Automation?

Not all applications have APIs to connect to other applications. These legacy applications may still function very well other than integrating with more modern systems. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solves this integration problem by emulating the clicks, keystrokes, and typing of a user and repeating those steps in an automated flow. The only requirements are a computer that is always on* and a specific license with Power Automate.

Why would I need RPA?

RPA was added to the Power Automate suite to address integration with legacy applications. By recording how you enter an invoice in your legacy accounting system you can automate the process and free up your time to work on other value-adding tasks.

Ask yourself if you have mundane or highly repetitive tasks that you need to perform on a regular basis. If the tasks are less frequent than once per week, a Power Automate RPA flow may not provide as much value depending on the complexity and time taken by the process.

What can I do with RPA (case study example)

A customer that owns storage units uses Power BI to gain insight into how each of its properties is performing. The data for each property comes from several different providers, of which two don’t have an API from which to pull the needed data.

JourneyTEAM helped create three flows to open a web browser and login to the system, navigate to the location of the data, and download it to a OneDrive folder that Power BI then can import from. Each flow needs to run every day and saves 15 minutes per flow for a total of 45 minutes per day or 22.5 hours per month.

Who can help me get started?

JourneyTEAM has helped other companies set up UI-based automation for cases where they needed to connect to an application without an API. We can walk through your business automation scenario and help you determine which of your favorite or most-used legacy applications may require RPA for connection.

Get Started with JourneyTEAM

As an award-winning Microsoft partner, JourneyTEAM has a proven track record with successful Microsoft technology implementations. Contact us for more information on the benefits of using Power Automate and Robotic Process Automation to automate legacy apps and manual processes at your organization. Contact JourneyTEAM today!


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