Microsoft Flow is a cloud-based app included in most Office 365 subscriptions.

It provides a graphical interface for non-technical people to automate processes by building workflows based on certain actions and triggers.

For example if you create a News item in your SharePoint intranet, an automatic request could be sent to your manager to review and approve the content, then publish. Or if someone tweets about your company, you can add their email address to a spreadsheet, emailed to you for approval, then added to Salesforce or Dynamics 365.

Unlike SharePoint designer, Flow allows you to create workflows across different apps and services including DropBox, To-Do, SharePoint and OneDrive. There are templates to help you get started or you can get creative and build your own. Use the app to monitor or manage flows on the go.

Helps with

Process management: Use Flow to save time when working through a business process.  Auto-copy certain files to Dropbox to share those files with colleagues, clients or suppliers. If you have the right version of Visio, you can create a Business Process Model visio diagram and export to Flow.

Optimise O365: With many connectors, Flow can help tie O365 tools together.

Communication: Set up text message pings for important emails from certain addresses such as senior managers or clients.

Track and follow up on sales leads and connect to Dynamics 365.

Record work hours to a spreadsheet.

Beware of

You can’t just set up a Flow for any app or service, only the supported ones. Some require a premium subscription.

While there is currently no option to include html markup in the Approval Email body, this option is available in a standard Flow Outlook Email.

Group approval processes are still quite clunky although Microsoft is working on this.

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