What’s new: The evolution of Power Virtual Agents

Shares

What’s new

This year at Microsoft Build 2022, we are excited to announce a set of transformative and new capabilities for Microsoft Power Virtual Agents.

Power Virtual Agents’ new intelligent bot authoring experience now unifies the sophistication of Microsoft Azure Bot Framework Composers pro-code capabilities with the simplicity of Power Virtual Agents low-code platform-making it even easier for professional developers and subject matter experts to collaboratively build a bot in one unified Microsoft bot building studio.

Unified bot building for Microsoft

Last year we enabled bot builders to use Azure Bot Framework Composer and Power Virtual Agents together to build bots. Both products are optimized for different audiences and have a complementary set of strengths:

  • Bot Framework Composer allows professional developers to write custom Bot Framework Composer adaptive dialog code, manipulate data, use eventing, and embed conversational cards.
  • Power Virtual Agents allows subject matter experts to easily create a bot, publish it to a channel, get analytics and insights and manage it end-to-end-all from a multi-tenant software as a service (SaaS) experience.

Bot builders have used the existing integration between Power Virtual Agents and Bot Framework Composer to create advanced conversational experiences for over a year now-and it’s proven very popular. So, that’s why I’m excited to announce that we’re bringing these complementary strengths together into one, single unified bot building studio.

This new bot building approach combines the advanced functionality of Bot Framework Composer with the ease-of-use and end-to-end bot building experience of Power Virtual Agents. Now, professional developers and subject matter experts can easily collaborate within the same studio to build powerful conversational bots.

And with this evolution-and the deep and continuing integration of Bot Framework Composer and Microsoft Cognitive Services-it’s also the single, unified conversational AI studio from Microsoft for subject matter experts and developers alike.

Fusion teams and collaboration

Gartner® describes digital fusion teams as “multidisciplinary teams that blend technology and other types of domain expertise and are often designed to deliver products rather than projects”. With this growing trend, Gartner also claims that at least 84 percent of companies have set up fusion teams.1 We believe these fusion teams of collaborative builders are pivotal to the success of digital projects such as conversational bot building.

As Power Virtual Agents is part of the Microsoft Power Platform suite, we are continuing to invest in making collaboration across fusion teams easier with capabilities like multi-authoring, Office-like commenting, and more-furthering the vision of Power Virtual Agents as a collaborative bot building tool for teams.

Advanced authoring

Our third area of focus is adding rich and powerful authoring capabilities-from developer focused features for complex dialog management to low-code experiences such as engaging multi-media responses. These include:

  • Making conversations richer with integrated support for rich multi-media responses (images, videos, adaptive cards, and quick replies).
  • Making it easy to store, transform, reuse, and work with data, a common need for professional developers. Using the integrated Power Fx editor, builders can connect to a custom API using Microsoft Power Platform connectors, get back a response, parse it, and easily transform the information using Power Fx for use within the conversation.
  • Advanced conversation flows and logic using variables, loops, and advanced conversational flows.
  • Enabling your bot to react to events-such as when a spot opens up or a package arrives-with event extensibility and contextual triggers (coming soon).

Multi-modality with speech authoring

I’m excited to announce that authors can create multi-channel dialogs to handle speech scenarios side-by-side with messaging, meaning you can truly build once and use anywhere. This will include sophisticated capabilities like inserting Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) to tune speech characteristics and additional customizations including silence detection, configurable timeouts, and the ability to choose from a variety of voice fonts.

Summary

Get access to the powerful governance management and compliance capabilities of the Microsoft Power Platform. Admins can utilize the unified admin center to control their bots and data, all within an easy-to-use multi-tenant SaaS. Features coming soon include:

All of these capabilities continue to be available in Power Virtual Agents globally distributed, multi-tenant SaaS. There’s no infrastructure to manage, no services to stand up, no models to train-just sign up, work together with your subject matter experts and developers to build your bot, connect it to your backend systems, publish it to Microsoft Teams, Websites, Facebook, or the channel of your choice, and get built-in analytics and insights on what to build next-all from the same pane of glass.

And with that SaaS, of course, comes all the powerful governance, management, and compliance capabilities of Microsoft Power Platform. Power Virtual Agents is available in government clouds and is Fedramp certified. It’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) certified for healthcare scenarios. It’s payment card industry (PCI) compliant to handle payment scenarios. It is available across geos, has configurable data loss prevention policies, and gives admins complete control over their data.

You can launch the Power Virtual Agents click-through demo to explore the features we’re bringing to Power Virtual Agents.

Be sure to watch these sessions below to learn more or continue reading to find out more about the features we’re lighting up in each of the themes above.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *