Microsoft Renames Flow to Power Automate - Excelerator BI

Microsoft Renames Flow to Power Automate

Last week in Orlando Florida, Microsoft held its annual Ignite conference. I have never been to Ignite but it is on my list of things to do in the future. There are always lots of announcements at this conference but there was one announcement that I haven’t seen much publicity about, so I thought I would share it here along with my opinion.

Microsoft Flow has been renamed “Power Automate”

There are various articles on the web that refer to the announcement, including here

And here

Why did Microsoft Rename Flow to Power Automate?

Well this is just my opinion, but I think it makes sense to make this change. I first heard about the Power Platform at the Microsoft Business Application Summit in July 2018. I tweeted about it as shown below.

Given the Power Platform was the new collective noun for the 3 products, Power BI, Power Apps and, ehm Microsoft Flow, it was obvious that the name of Microsoft Flow was the odd one out. At the time of the announcement I remember thinking that they should rename the product Power Flow. So why not? Those of you that know my background would know that I used to work for Coca-Cola. Back in my Coke days, we launched a “new” sipper cap (new at the time) on the PowerAde Bottles. That sipper cap was called “Power Flo”. Now I don’t know if this term was ever trademarked by Coca-Cola, but stranger things have happened. My guess – some company somewhere has Power Flo (or a close derivative) registered as a trademark, hence the new term Microsoft came up with was Power Automate.

Business Applications or Power Platform

While I am at it (giving my unsolicited opinion on stuff), I might have a dig at Microsoft bundling MS Dynamics with the Power Platform into a bundle it calls “Business Applications”. I am referring to the way that Microsoft holds its Annual Business Applications Summit/conference, actually. I am not a big fan of the way it combined these 2 conferences (Dynamics and Power BI – originally the Microsoft Data Insights Summit) into a single conference. I went to the first BA Summit (the one with the tweet above) and I think I heard the word Power BI mentioned once in the key note speech – it was all about Dynamics. Then after that there was a scramble to attend the Power BI mini keynote that followed. Inevitably not everyone could fit into the smaller room (as just one example of the lack of Power BI focus) While I understand that Microsoft would like some of the success of Power BI to rub off on Dynamics, I believe the audience is different. Bundling Dynamics with Power BI in a single conference is not good for Power BI professionals. I can see the benefit of bundling Power BI with the Power Platform however, and I would love to see a change in the official Microsoft conferences and have Dynamics and Power Platform split apart again. JMO of course.

3 thoughts on “Microsoft Renames Flow to Power Automate”

  1. When I first heard about the Power Platform I thought “that’s great but what about Excel?”. I still feel there’s so much potential in bundling Power BI and Excel but that doesn’t seem to get much attention from Microsoft anymore (what happened to ‘Power BI and Excel better together’?).

    Simple things like this need to work:
    https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/274580-excel-for-the-web/suggestions/33793252-pivottables-created-with-power-bi-using-analyze-in

    And the BI functionality in Excel needs an update as sam mentions.

  2. Good comments. If Power BI is the most viewed Microsoft product blog, why is it under Dynamics? Shouldn’t Dynamics be under Power BI in the hierarchy of products?

    1. Daniil
      If Excel is the most widely used Desktop application in the World and it is where the Power Query and Power Pivot began their journey why is it that today it has an outdated version of the Mashup engine and the Vertipaq engine compared to Power BI Desktop
      Answer is simple – weak leadership and vision in the Excel Team

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