The Provance Blog

The Provance Blog will provide you with expert advice, insights and opinions in regard to IT Service Management, Microsoft, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft System Center.  

How to Take Advantage of Microsoft Flow to Connect your Data Silos with Provance ITSM

 

Flow is a new tool just released by Microsoft that lets you automate workflows, synchronize files, collect data and get notifications between various Microsoft and non-Microsoft services.

Some examples of what you can do with Microsoft Flow:

  • Automate time-consuming tasks between services.
  • Simplify and automate approval processes with an in-email approval button.
  • Integrate with Power Apps on mobile phones.
  • Send advanced notifications on actions for certain thresholds.
  • Utilize manager hierarchies in Office 365® rather than replicating them in Microsoft Dynamics® 365.
  • Integrate with other business services such as Slack, MailChimp, Azure, SharePoint®, Facebook, Twitter – both inside and outside the Office 365 platform.

With Microsoft Flow you can start from scratch or choose from a number of predefined templates as shown below

And in the screenshot below, you can see a simple scenario in which if a new record is created in SharePoint, a corresponding record is created in Microsoft Dynamics. 

How to Build a Workflow Using Microsoft Flow and Provance ITSM

In this section, I will show you how to create a flow from scratch.  In my view, Microsoft Flow is not intended for the novice user of Dynamics 365 or Provance ITSM, however, you also don’t need to be an expert in System Administrator knowledge or a developer to increase your productivity. It’s really for the Power Users, people that perform reporting tasks and can analyze to see if there is a need for a workflow or various Dynamic 365 changes. Flow gives them the ability to automate a lot of their daily tasks. In the following scenario, I work for a Managed Service Provider and am using Provance ITSM to manage the services we provide to our customers. I’ll play the role of the Power User. My manager asks me that from now on, when we have a new release, we need to let our entire organization know a new version of our service will be released.

Before Flow, I would need to create the release record in Provance ITSM. Then, I would have to compose an email that details everything in the release. .

Using Flow, I can now just create a flow to do this. Here’s how:

Step 1: Log into https://flow.microsoft.com

Step 2: Select my flows. This screen will show all the flows I have previously created (and I can see if they are successful or if there are any failures). But, since I want to create a new flow, I am going to select Create from Blank so I can work some magic with this requirement.

Step 3: Specify a Trigger. This can be from a number of Office 365 and non-Office 365 services. For this user scenario, we want to review when a record is created from our Dynamics 365 instance.

Step 4: Select the Org and Entity we want to monitor. For this instance, our requirement is "When a Release is Created”. So we will select the Release entity for the trigger when a release record is created.

Step 5: We need to add a new step and we have the following to choose from:

  • Add an Action (Create or update Records).
  • Add a Condition (Perform logic against certain records).
  • Add an apply to each (Add Content Programmatically against all records under this flow).
  • Add a do until (loop the flow until the records meets a certain criteria).
  • Add a Scope (Simple way to group two or more actions together).

Step 6: For this user case, we will choose "Add an Action" to modernize our communication to our organization. Instead of an email, we will create a Yammer post.

Side note: If you’re not using Yammer you are missing out! Think of it has having your own company dedicated Facebook.

Now that we have posted the message step for yammer, we can add dynamic content directly from the previous step. We will keep it simple and have a message that looks like below;

Now that we have it created let’s give it a name and take it for a run.

Step 7: Testing. We will test by creating a release in Provance ITSM as shown below

Now we can check yammer to see if the message was posted to the all company

 

Want more info? Read our series on how to take advantage of the Provance ITSM and Office 365 integration.

Watch our latest webinar on how to evolve from traditional ITSM to Modern Service Management.

Download ITSM Tools - an indepenent industry analyst firm - conducts a review of Provance ITSM.

 



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