Nowadays Project Management Software is a necessary technology, that is widely used many people searching for user friendly, productive software solutions with dependencies, resource allocation, project management and recurring tasks. One of the most popular automated workflow systems is the Microsoft Flow, but people are looking for other automated systems that offer more features for lesser costs.
Microsoft flow is a cloud-based system with which a user can create automated workflows, simply their business processes and manage them more effectively. Microsoft Flow is a new app that is a part of office 365 suite and allows users or employees to automate business processes by building workflows based on certain triggers and actions.
Once the flow is built in the device, it can be managed on the desktop or even through a mobile app. Microsoft flow can be integrated with various Microsoft services and apps such as Power BI, Dynamics 365, PowerApps and Office 365. One of the main reason’s employees use Microsoft Flow is because of its services like automation for notifications, synchronize files, alerts, data gathering, and communication that will help them spend less time.
How can Microsoft Flow be used
One of the main uses is that it automates everything from a simple push up Notification, alerts, data gathering and importantly content management. So, for example, an automated workflow can send sales representatives an email or text message with details about the lead. It can also be used to copy files, as when a new file is added to dropbox for business, the workflow can instantly transport the file to SharePoint.
When it comes to Collecting data, for instance it helps it users find out what people are saying about a particular service, product or brand by capturing new tweet that mention the product, service or brand and putting a copy of those tweets in a SNL database. Microsoft flow bots can also help employees trigger flows within Team’s conversations.
Anyone that has a Microsoft account can use flow, it also comes along with business versions of Office 365 and Dynamics 365. Microsoft Flow has three pricing plans that come with certain number of runs and checks.
- The free version: Allows the user to create unlimited flows, but they only get 750 runs per month with checks happening every 15 minutes.
- The mid-tier level, Flow plan 1: It costs $5 per month and allows 4500 run per month with checks happening every three minutes. It also gives users option to use services like MailChimp and Salesforce.
- The business level, Flow Plan 2: It costs $15 per month and allows 15,000 runs per month with checks happening every minute. It also offers its users many exclusive premium features and add ons.
Features of Microsoft Flow
- Flow can integrate with the other Microsoft products, software and apps like as Power BI, Dynamics 365, PowerApps and Office 365.
- It can also be used with other apps such as Salesforce, SQL Server, Twitter, Box, DocuSign, Slack, Skype and Google Drive.
- Flow offers a wide arrange of prebuilt flows known as templates depending on what the user wants.
- Save Gmail attachments to OneDrive or dropbox.
- When the Power BI data alert is triggered, flow will send emails to the audience.
- Save tweets with specific hashtags, brand, service or products names to a SharePoint list.
- Get notifications when you receive an email from your employees or boss.
- Make your own (personalize) flows depending on what action you want, for example it will manually press a button when the flow is triggered or schedule action based on time or day.
Many of these alternatives come for a wide variety of platforms like Online / Web-based, Windows, Linux, SaaS and iPhone, etc. There are many low code or codeless automation tools and cloud-based apps that helps users connect apps, use drag-and-drop tools and prebuilt connectors, automated office processes and mundane tasks with ease.
Here are the top alternatives to Microsoft Flow
IFTTT also known as If This Then That is a popular platform that provides services that allow a user to program response to events in the world. IFTTT can be used as web interface or as apps in both iOS and Android. The platform was first founded by Tibbets and Jesse Tan and launched in 2011.
This tool uses syntax and conditional statements to automate workflows, not only that it also offers single action workflows. One of the main features of IFTTT is that the user can create automation chains between many of their apps so that certain events trigger other events to occur automatically.
IFTTT was initially free, but in 2020 it switched to limited freemium model with a subscription-based version known as "IFTTT Pro", which allows services to use conditional statements and query data for more complex tasks.
Zapier is well known company that allows end users to integrate web applications that they use. Zapier was started by Wade Foster, Bryan Helmig, and Mike Knoop as part of the first Startup Weekend Columbia in 2011. The company is currently based in Sunnyvale, California and has over 350 employees in US and 23 other countries.
Its main features are that it provides workflows to automate the use of web applications together at the business or personal level. The platform can not only automate multistep workflows, but also provide its users with third-party apps. Zapier has a free option, as well as two levels of monthly paid subscription plans for businesses.
Huginn is another popular alternative to Microsoft flow as it is a web-based scheduling service that runs workers knowns as agents. Huginn was created by Andrew Cantino in 2013 to help users create agents that monitor and act on their behalf. Huginn is very similar to Zapier and IFTTT but is an open source.
With Huginn, a user can automate simple tasks such as watching for air travel deals, constantly watching for certain topics on Twitter, or scanning for sensitive data in your code. The agents are responsible for performing functions like sending an email or requesting a website and can be scheduled or executed manually. After installing Huginn, the user can extend it by using one of the many available agent gems, or by creating their own.
n8n.io is a free is open node-based workflow automation tool which can be self-hosted, easily extended and used with other internal tools. It can also be used with 3rdparty web applications and custom in house tools to automate repetitive tasks. The platform was founded by Jan Oberhauser in 2019 with its headquarters based in Berlin.
Users of n8n.io can move beyond making simple integrations to build multistep workflows that can be combined with third party APIs and their own internal tools to create easy to use automations. It is the best for small startups to enterprise as it is available to self-host, and allows you to add your own custom functions, logic and apps.
Integromat is a another well known mobile app/automation tool that allows its users or businesses to automate tasks that are currently done manually. The company was founded Michal Toman, Ondrej Gazda, Patrik in 2012 and is currently freemium. It provides services such as connecting to any app or service, unlimited checks unlike microflow flow and over 1500 ready to use templates.
Not only that its users can track real time scenario executive to complete visualization of the data, schedule according to their preference, have multiple teams work on the same scenario, work with different kinds of files, etc among the various services. It also has triggers which can return bundles that were newly added or updated and has modules that can split a large bundle into multiple smaller bundles.
Skyvia is a widely preferred freemium cloud data platform for many people as it has no coding data integration, cloud to cloud backup, management via SQL and even data access through OData interface. Skyvia was founded in 1997 and has its headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic. This SaaS data platform is a quicker and easier solution for many data related tasks without the requirement of coding.
Its known for its solutions to Data Integration, cloud data Backup, data management with SQL, CSV import/export, Query, and Connect. Skyvia does not require a local installed software except for a web browser, however these products come with their own set of pricing and priced separately.
Automate.io is known to be the world easiest workflow automation and iPaaS platform. The platform helps many small to medium businesses in automating repetitive tasks and workflows by connecting their cloud applications. Automate.io was founded in 2016 and has its headquarters in San Francisco, California.
With the help of Automate.io users can send automated emails, run campaigns, automate social and mobile messages, run smart twitter campaigns, etc. It has over 200 plus connectors for all leading cloud and SaaS apps available. Other features include formatting data, time delay into your workflows, data encryption, etc.
CloudHQ is an IT company that was founded by Senad Dizdar in 2011 with its headquarters in San Francisco, California. This website offers a huge suite of productivity tools can also be integrated with Gmail. It main tools are email tracker, email templates, and email sharing. It comes in two options one way sync to two-way sync.
One way sync replicates from one main cloud service to a secondary account, while two-way sync adds and does revisions in main account that will eventually be replicated to the secondary account. The main objective of the company is to synchronize data for companies make it easy for sharing of files and data across multiple platforms, integration between cloud services, project collaboration and backup of data, etc.
Many of these workflow automation platforms usually have similar features like automation for notifications, synchronize files, data synchronization, alerts, data gathering, and communication, etc. And that exactly what Microsoft flow is known for, but the best apps like flow can be costly and complicated to use.
Which is why the alternatives above can be used as they help small businesses get these features at an economical price so they can automate away your tedious and repetitive tasks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Microsoft Flow?
Microsoft flow is a cloud-based system with which a user can create automated workflows, simplifying the business processes and machining it easier to manage them more effectively.
What are some of the features of Microsoft flow features?
Some of the features of Microsoft flow are that you can integrate it with the other Microsoft products, Save Gmail attachments, save tweets with specific hashtags or names, get notifications, and make your own flows, etc.
How much does Microsoft flow cost?
Microsoft Flow has three pricing plans that come with certain number of runs and checks. Which is the free version, The mid-tier level, Flow plan 1 costing $5 per month and The business level, Flow Plan 2 which costs $15 per month.
What are the alternatives of Microsoft flow?
The alternatives for Microsoft flow are CloudHQ, Automate.io, Skyvia, Integromat, n8n.io, Huginn, Zapier and IFTTT.
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