Microsoft today announced that Power Automate’s robotic process automation (RPA) feature UI flows will hit general availability on April 2. The company also detailed Power Automate’s support of attended and unattended RPA scenarios, as well as their pricing.
At Ignite 2019 in November, Microsoft renamed its IFTTT competitor Microsoft Flow as Power Automate to align with its Power Platform, a business tool that lets anyone analyze, act, and automate across their organization. That’s when the company added UI flows to Power Automate in public preview.
RPA is a form of business process automation that relies on bots or AI workers. It’s supposed to eliminate repetitive tasks so humans can do what they do best. Power Automate already helps organizations automate millions of processes — adding RPA is meant to let them also automate their legacy apps and manual processes. In short, Microsoft is attempting to offer API-based automation and UI-based automation in one tool. Power Automate’s AI Builder lets you parse structured and unstructured data from paper-based invoices, images, and other analog sources. Prebuilt connectors for more than 300 apps and services support API automation for working with information stored in the cloud or in on-premises apps and databases. And for the applications that are too old or expensive to support API connectivity, UI flows let you record manual tasks, such as mouse clicks, keyboard inputs, and data entry.
Pricing: Attended and unattended RPA
Attended and unattended RPA options mean you can record and play back actions with or without human interaction. Microsoft today shared that it will license these capabilities as two new Power Automate offers, both of which include UI flow authoring, bot orchestration, and management. Here’s the breakdown:
- Attended RPA for $40 per user per month: The per-user with attended RPA plan provides the ability for users to run an attended RPA bot on their workstation. The plan is optimized to span legacy and modern applications by enabling users to combine UI and API-based automation. Additionally, attended RPA includes access to several AI Builder capabilities, like forms processing, object detection, prediction, text classification and recognition, and more.
- Unattended RPA for $150 per bot per month: An unattended RPA add-on will be available for the new per-user plan with attended RPA, as well as the existing per-flow plan. Organizations can choose to scale the number of bots running autonomously as needed.
Microsoft also noted that it retains the right to change pricing between now and April.
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