There is a saying, “Don’t work harder, work smarter!”. This is where Microsoft Flow, Zapier, and IFTTT come into play to automate your work life. Here we shall look at these three programs and help you figure out which ones will help you work smarter.
Programs to automate processes
These smart programs are based on a simple concept of cause and effect. One action will cause another action. There have been several attempts at this since the dawn of computing. Does anyone remember ‘Yahoo Pipes’? You set up what actions you want to pair with another. Once running these programs perform the actions until you stop them. If you want all your tweets saved into an Excel sheet, or get to daily weather reports sent via email, then these programs can automate these processes for you.
“If This Then That” is the full name of this nifty program. The first one launched in the trio we are looking at. It is very easy to use. You choose from ‘recipes’ some are all ready to go, and some are created and posted by other users. IFTTT works with many services and programs including Twitter, DropBox, Facebook, WordPress, and Drive. You will not find many business services in the lineup though. There are over 320 services in all so, there is sure to be a ‘recipe’ for your choice of an automated process. There are apps for both iPhone and Android. Free to use too.
Whereas IFTTT calls the actions ‘recipes’ Zapier calls them ‘Zaps’. Zaps can be multi-step, IFTTT is just two step processes. The big advantage of Zapier is the integration with some of the more niche business apps, such as Office 365, Trello, Salesforce, Xero, and Monday.com. Over 3200 services are available. As you can imagine, there is a cost to Zapier. You can set up, up to 5 2-step zaps for free, but if you want the multi-step zaps and the premium program integration, there are monthly costs. Zapier is the most expensive of these three.
The newest member of the automation process family. As such the number of services Microsoft Flow works with is fewer, around 264 at present, Flow calls these connectors. As you can imagine, Flow works with all the Microsoft Office programs. The ‘flows’ are created from ‘templates’ and you can create multi-step ‘flows’ from the off. A ‘run’ is counted each time a ‘Flow’ executes. The basic free package gives you 750 runs and unlimited flow creation. Office 365 customers have 2000 runs and unlimited flow creation. There are two higher pricing brackets starting at £4 per month for access to premium connectors and 4500 runs. This is still a lower cost that Zapier. Microsoft Flow has added security with data from certain in-house programs, such as SharePoint, protected and kept in-house.
Want to know more about Microsoft 365 programs and how they can make your business work together smoothly? Talk to us here at Jolly IT or read our blog, as we continue to explore the Office 365 services and programs.