Power Virtual Agents

January 12, 2021 Edgar Valvert

power virtual agents

Power Virtual Agents (PVA) is a new technology from Microsoft that empowers anyone in your business to build versatile, adaptable chatbots, with no coding or AI expertise required. Power Virtual Agents can help with everything from HR to sales, on many of your existing sites, team channels, Microsoft Power Apps and more.

What is PVA?

Power Virtual Agents lets you create powerful chatbots that can interact with your customers, other employees or visitors to your website. These bots are easily created from a visual authoring canvas designed to provide business people the ability to build, test and maintain a chatbot from within the same graphical interface.

Power Virtual Agents use a universal language model trained on a huge amount of data and it’s optimized for the way people use language when interacting with chatbots. This helps PVA to interpret what users mean when typing. Even if user wording doesn’t exactly match a trigger phrase, chatbots can still understand and launch topics correctly.

Thanks to integration with the Microsoft Power Platform, there is a wide range of prebuilt connectors (over 300) that let you interact with other systems. To go even further, you can use Microsoft Cognitive Services and Bot framework. This would allow your pro developers to extend the capabilities of PVA, which is especially useful if you have complex scenarios.

Where can I create Chatbots?

PVA is available as both a standalone web app and as a discrete app within Microsoft Teams. Checkout the breakdown below, courtesy of Microsoft:

Power Virtual Agents Version  Use Cases
Web App
  • You’re an IT admin and want to create bots for your customers to engage with
  • You’re familiar with advanced chatbot concepts, such as entities and variables, and want to create complex chatbots
Microsoft Teams App
  • You’re an employee or member of an organization or team and want to create chatbots to answer common questions posed by other employees or teammates
  • You want to use advanced concepts, such as entities and variables, but have the chatbot available for internal uses only

PVA can be used by both internal employees through teams and or sites and by customers (when chatbots are published on a public website). PVA can seamlessly handoff the interaction to a live agent in Dynamics 365.

How to Get Started

The best way to get started is with a free trial of Power Virtual Agents, which lets you start building your first chatbot in a matter of minutes. As you mature in your journey, you may be interested in adding the power of Bot Framework Skills to your Power Virtual Agents authoring experience. To do so, simply leverage your existing Azure subscription, or start a new one to begin integrating Bot Framework Skills.

Want to know how Power Apps can enhance your business?

This online event takes place on Thursday January 28th at 10am EST, running for forty-five minutes.

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