What are Power Virtual Agents?

Posted by: Mark Rackley on January 4,2021

Virtual AgentsPower Virtual Agents (PVA) allow you to create dynamic, powerful chat bots for your organization like never before, often without having to write a line of code.

 

 

Using Power Virtual Agents organizations can quickly and easily create and deploy chat bots that: 

  • Interact with customers, employees, visitors to your website or service 
  • Quickly respond to common questions without having to force users to search for content 
  • Prompt users with follow up questions or possible responses 
  • Gather data from users to use in back end processing 
  • Execute workflows using Power Automate  
  • Extend with code using the Bot Framework 

Power Virtual Agents comes with an intuitive authoring canvas for creating logic for gathering input, presenting messages, and making choices based on user input, again with no code needed.  

Power Virtual Agents is available as both a standalone web app and as an application from within Microsoft Teams. The functionality between these two apps are similar but there are a few key distinctions that you need to be aware if you do not have a Power Virtual Agents subscription as detailed in the table below: 

Feature 

Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft Teams 

Power Virtual Agents Web Application 

Licensing 

Licensed under select Microsoft 365 Subscriptions except for GCC and EDU as part of Dataverse 

Premium subscription required 

Deployment 

Can only be deployed as an app in Teams 

Can be deployed to Teams, Channels, or other sites 

Power Automate 

Standard connectors only without a PVA subscription 

Premium connectors available 

Security 

Secure access enabled by default, no ability to generate secrets to enable secure access 

Ability to generate secrets and turn on or off secure access as wanted by the bot author 

Azure Bot Framework 

Not Available 

Ability to extend PVA’s with Azure Bot Framework 

 

For more information on licensing check out: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-virtual-agents/requirements-licensing-subscriptions  

If you are currently have a Microsoft 365 subscription and are not GCC or EDU you can likely start building Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft Teams today without any additional licensing. To see how to create and deploy one of these chat bots check out the blog post from PAIT Group Partner and MVP Mark Rackley: http://www.attainableai.com/2021/01/an-introduction-to-power-virtual-agents-for-microsoft-teams/

Topics: Microsoft Teams, Chat Bots, Power Virtual Agents

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