Sebastián Barbosa O./October 20, 2022 /Power Platform/Power Virtual Agents/ 3 min read

Power Virtual Agents: An innovative evolution

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Power Virtual Agents: An innovative evolution

Microsoft Power Virtual Agents has delivered transformative and elevated new capabilities throughout its evolution, facilitating collaborative work for professional developers and subject matter experts. Amongst its several updates announced at Microsoft Build 2022 and for the second release wave this year, the one that still awes experts is the new intelligent bot authoring experience. 

Before delving into this helpful capability, let me highlight the most crucial updates for Power Virtual Agents that will support employees’ productivity and collaboration. 

With the latest release wave, Power Virtual Agents allows everyone in your company to create robust custom bots with a simple, code-free graphical interface —enhancing the authoring experience with the following:  

  • Commenting and Power Pages integration  
  • Data loss prevention options  
  • Proactive bot update messaging in Teams. 

What’s new in Power Virtual Agents 

Bot configuration: 

  • Bots can use AI natural language features with simple topics from a website to speed up your initial development time  
  • Bot authors can now add processing logic at crucial events within a bot  
  • Perform data management tasks and system integration with an extensive range of authoring personas that author low-code expressions  
  • Reduce the needed time for inputting long multi-character sequences by enabling voice customers to answer bot questions with their phone keypads using multi-digit DTMF inputs  
  • Bots can reach users and notify them of daily health check-ins reminders or when a time-off request is approved.  

Core authoring:  

  • Deliver a more natural experience with optimized text and speech talk track experiences  
  • Bot authors can now create interactive and actionable rich media content with: Adaptive Cards 
  • Improve specific customer scenarios by creating bots with better customization using list variables and looping in conversations.  

Service and runtime:  

  • Design bots in new locations, meeting specific needs and scenarios while growing your business. 

Power Virtual Agents bot evolution 

The innovative new intelligent bot authoring experience allows pro developers and subject matter experts to build a bot in a single Microsoft bot-building studio collaboratively while unifying: 

  • The Microsoft Azure Bot Framework Composer’s pro-code sophisticated capabilities 
  • The Power Virtual Agents’ low-code straightforward platform 
Image taken from Microsoft 

This powerful innovation emphasizes four capabilities available in Power Virtual Agents worldwide: 

1. Unified bot building 

Azure Bot Framework Composer and Power Virtual Agents were optimized to build bots, bringing advanced conversational experiences. To enhance this optimization much more, both bots are now unified into a single bot-building studio to simplify end-to-end bot-building experiences. 

Now the comprehensive advantages of the Bot Framework Composer can be leveraged by developers and experts within the ease-of-use of Power Virtual Agents. Both roles can quickly collaborate in the same studio while building conversational bots. 

2. Digital fusion teams & collaboration 

Considering fusion teams of collaborative builders are critical for the digital project’s accomplishment, Microsoft keeps strengthening collaboration across fusion teams while making them easier for everyone involved.  

Power Virtual Agents’ vision continues to evolve with capabilities like Office-like commenting, multi-authoring, and more to elevate conversational bot-building tools for teams. 

3. Advanced authoring 

With new powerful and rich authoring capabilities, Microsoft now focuses on features for developers to low-code experiences, such as: 

  • Richer conversations: Rich multi-media responses with integrated support (adaptive cards, quick replies, images, and videos). 
  • Data: Easy to work, store, transform, and reuse data for professional developers (integrated Power Fx editor). Builders can now connect to a custom API utilizing the Power Platform connector and quickly work on the information with Power Fx within the conversation. 
  • Conversation flows and logic: Utilizing advanced conversational flows, loops, and variables. 
  • Bot event reaction: With event extensibility and contextual triggers, enabled bots quickly react (e.g., a location opens or delivery is completed). 

4. Multi-modality with speech authoring 

Handling speech scenarios side-by-side is now easier for authors while creating multi-channel dialogs with messaging. With advanced capabilities such as inserting Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) to tune extra customizations and speech features, creators can build once and use it anywhere, with: 

  • Silence detection 
  • Configurable timeouts 
  • Voice fonts variations 

Undoubtedly, Power Virtual Agents keeps bringing a number of capabilities that take bots to a whole new level. It’s worth noting that most of the mentioned features in this blog are available today, while some will be ready for the Public Preview coming soon. 

Get a firsthand glimpse of Power Virtual Agents’ evolution by experiencing this free demo! 

Thank you.

Harness the many capabilities that Power Virtual Agents brings you and build professional yet easy-to-create conversational bots.

Sebastián Barbosa O.

Read more blog entries by Sebastián Barbosa O.

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