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What is the Power Virtual Agent

It is an continuation video article of our Microsoft Power Platform introductory course for Beginners series? Where we will learn about What is Microsoft Power Platform? This is an short introduction about Microsoft Power Virtual Agents. Well officially as per Microsoft

What is Microsoft Power Platform?

“The Power Platform is a low code platform that enables organizations to analyze data, act on it through applications, and automate business processes. It allows everyone, from the professional developer to the frontline worker, to participate in driving better business outcomes by building apps.

Microsoft Power Platform
Microsoft Power platform
Microsoft Power platform

What is Microsoft Power Virtual Agents?

Respond rapidly to your customer and employee needs—at scale—using intelligent chatbots built with Power Virtual Agents. No coding required.

  • This is a new addition to the Microsoft Power Platform. Virtual Agents are the bot building services provided by Microsoft for business users.
  • Respond rapidly to your customer and employee needs—at scale—using intelligent chatbots built with Power Virtual Agents. No coding required.
  • Power Virtual Agents are also integrated with the other tools within the Microsoft Power Platform such as Power Automate.

Microsoft Power Virtual Agents Overview

Power Virtual Agents
  • This is a new addition to the Microsoft Power Platform. Virtual Agents are the bot building services provided by Microsoft for business users.
  • Using this, the users can build a virtual chat agent from scratch without having to write a single line of code. All the integration and logics can be implemented in the graphical user interface of the Power Virtual Agents portal.
  • Power Virtual Agents can handle the entire chatbot development life cycle, starting from the dialog creation to the deployment of the virtual agent to a channel like Slack, Skype, Teams, etc.
  • This service is also integrated with the other tools within the Microsoft Power Platform such as Power Automate. Based on the user’s replies, the virtual agents are capable to trigger any workflow from the Power Automate and get the job done as intended.
  • You can also build a FAQ bot by using the QnA Maker and deploy your bots to any channels that you need. Finally, we can also use adaptive cards in the bot to make the user interface more intuiting and easier to understand.
  • The license cost of Power Virtual Agents is 1000 USD per month for every 2000 sessions.

First Look At Microsoft Power Virtual Agent

Companies introducing Conversational Interfaces are looking to scale as quick as possible. Huge focus is placed on the UX and CX and often due diligence is not followed regarding the chatbot framework and basic architecture.

As the chatbot in specific and the Conversational AI environment in general are growing, more often than not problems are encountered in scaling the chatbot. It becomes hard to extend the environment.

This is especially the case when a graphic environment is used for the dialog management and conversational node instead of native code.

Benefits of Power Virtual Agents

  1. Simple to build – With its no-code interface, anyone can build and deploy their own chatbot, regardless of technical capability
  2. Integration –There are hundreds of pre-built connectors available, allowing you to deploy your chatbots to your website, social media, Microsoft Teams, or your own apps.
  3. Offer 24/7 customer service – Agents are available across time-zones which is particularly useful for international organisations
  4. Personalise the experience – Vary responses based on the user input to ensure a natural conversation flow
  5. Increased customer satisfaction – A chatbot provides instant answers/responses to queries but can also escalate enquires that require further assistance to customer service personnel, to ensure that a customer is satisfied

How does Microsoft Power Virtual Agents works and what sets it apart from other tools?

Microsoft Power Virtual Agents forms part of the Power Platform and is a SaaS solution which enables businesses to create customisable artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots for both employees and customers. The clever solution requires limited set-up, allowing you to get started with bots quickly using a graphical, easy-to-use interface. This provides the ability to populate appropriate FAQ content, order topics and natural language queries, using entities and slot filling to jump to important questions. To ensure your Power Virtual Agents chatbot can follow the required actions, it takes on specific conditions based on Power Automate and connectors to link to your back-end systems. Additionally, you can monitor your chatbots to review their performance, allowing you to make improvements and get the most out of the solution.

Where can Power Virtual Agents be used?

There are multiple uses for Power Virtual Agents, but we have listed a few common examples below to give you an idea:

  • Store/office open hours – as detailed in the example above
  • Employee helpdesk – Search a large database of knowledge-based articles to retrieve answers quickly
  • HR policy documents – Search quickly for appropriate employee-specific related policies and respond with the relevent documents
  • Facilities manager – Create a chatbot that answers the common questions they are receiving about coming back to work after a pandemic
  • Microsoft Teams – Transform how your business engages with employees and quickly automate frequently asked questions and common business processes within Microsoft Teams.

Is power virtual agents free?

You can also start a 60 day free trial of Power Virtual Agents to try out all the capabilities. You’ll be prompted to sign up for a trial if you try to create a bot without a license. The option to create a free trial may be disabled. For more information, see the Self-service sign-up disabled section.

Licensing for Power Virtual Agents

This topic includes details about Power Virtual Agents Licensing. You can also review the Microsoft Power Platform Licensing Guide to learn more.

If you already have licenses, see the Assign licenses and manage access to Power Virtual Agents topic.

Power Virtual Agents is available in the US Government Community Cloud (GCC) plan.

For more information and to request assistance, visit the Power Virtual Agents Community

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