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We need to talk about... Power Platform Release Wave 2 for 2023... Power Virtual Agents

It's that time of year again and today I launch my series into updates for Release Wave 2 for 2023. Today I am taking you through the features and functionality we can expect to see released between October 2023 and March 2024 for Power Virtual Agents.

The PDF file also includes information about Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, Power Pages, Power Virtual Agents, Microsoft Dataverse, Microsoft Power Platform governance and administration, and data integration.

The Microsoft Power Platform features coming in the 2023 release wave 2 have been summarized in a separate release plan as well as a downloadable PDF

Bring your Bot Framework bot to Power Virtual Agents

Any of the more experienced bot makers who make use of the Bot Framework have been unable to add to these or incorporate them into existing Power Virtual Agents. Power Virtual Agents now accommodates that need with the new unified authoring canvas, GPT-based AI and copilot capabilities, integration with cognitive services, and utilisation of the Azure Bot Service.

See below an image from a preview document showing an external bot being added as a skill to your Power Virtual Agent experience.

Bringing a Bot Framework bot to the Power Virtual Agents enables users to now have a low-code, no-code builder experience within your tenant. Allowing builders to deploy, and manage bots, either on their own or in partnership with developers.

Power Virtual Agents offers multiple capabilities to make it straightforward and rewarding to bring over your Bot Framework bot, reusing the investment and resources you've already spent without having to start from scratch.

When you bring your Bot Framework bot into Power Virtual Agents, you can:

  • Use the conversational language understanding (CLU) cognitive service: Bring your existing CLU resource and use it within Power Virtual Agents.

  • Use the custom question-answering cognitive service: Ensure your bot always has an answer for your users' requests, side-by-side with the Boost Conversations AI-powered capability in Power Virtual Agents.

  • Bring your own Azure Bot Service registration: Power Virtual Agents can import your Azure Bot Service resource so you don't lose your relationships with your customers on existing channels.

  • Reuse your existing bot through Power Virtual Agents skills: Power Virtual Agents skills can let you start your new bot in Power Virtual Agents but reuse the investments you've already made in your Bot Framework bot.

Use Dataverse as a source for AI-created generative answers

Here are some of the key benefits of being to now plug in your dataverse database to your Power Virtual Agent bots.

  • Bot makers: Reduced time to create or update chatbots from days to minutes

  • System and bot admins: Reduced data loss prevention and data exfiltration concerns. Keep your organization's data inside the organization.

  • Support centre and helpdesk: Improved deflection rate

  • Bot users: Get answers directly from your organization's existing knowledge

In this update to Power Virtual Agents Microsoft has added to the sources that bots can use to generate answers, including a Dataverse search as a source. With the addition of Dataverse search, your bot makers can leverage indexed content in your Dataverse environment, meaning they can create a dedicated knowledge base that your bots can use to generate answers.

View billing and usage details in the Admin Centre

System and bot admins will be able to review billing and usage analytics in the Power Platform admin centre. Using this data, they can identify and report on how teams within your organization are using Power Virtual Agents.

Microsoft have now brought Power Virtual Agents licensing and usage analytics into the Admin Centre. Meaning system admins are now able to report on and carry out analysis on the use of licenses more easily.

System Admins will be able to do this in the same single view where they can monitor and analyze licensing and usage for other Power Platform products.

Hope you all enjoyed this post on the Power Virtual Agents Release Wave 2 for 2024 updates I will continue this series with some additional content specifically related to the remainder of the Power Platform in the coming weeks. Take Care, and Speak Soon!

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