Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Teamsfest 2020 - Building no-code chatbots for Microsoft Teams

Presented by: Tomasz Poszytek

Session Summary:
Chatbots are a good solution for employees to find answers to their questions, help them onboard, participate in processes and much more! We used to think that building a bot requires development. With Virtual Agent this is not true anymore! If you want to learn more how to create a chatbot without a single line of code and give it to Teams users, join this session! You will learn what is Power Virtual Agent is, how you can build your own chatbot, how you can integrate that chatbot with other sources using Power Automate and how you can embed chatbot in Microsoft Teams. Well designed and operating chatbots can save you hours on solving simple employees' problems and answering the most common answers.


My Notes:

Power Virtual Agents (PVA) was first announced in 2019 under the name "Virtual Agent for Customer Service" and have now been incorporated into the Microsoft "Power-" family. PVA combines the Power Platform and the Azure Bot Service and is used to create bots without programming skills. It can also integrate with Azure Cognitive Services. Conversations with the bot can be converted/escalated to chats or voice calls with people. A PVA used within an Organization will not be billed, but a stand-alone PVA is incurring cost depending on the number of sessions connecting to it.

A PVA editor can be added as an app in Teams, and it is possible to start developing the bot right in Teams.

A demo of how a bot is built using the graphical tools followed.

  • Trigger phrases and responses
  • Call actions from Power Automate
  • Catching UserID to do look up’s
  • Publishing the bot

Building a Power Virtual Agent in Teams

Roadmap

  • Adaptive cards, video support
  • Topic suggestions from documents
  • Voice interactions
  • Basic theming
  • List variables


Questions and Answers

In which situations it is recommended to use standalone (paid) Power Virtual Agent?
The most common use case is if you want to interact with users outside of your organisation - you can add a PVA to a webpage.

Is it possible to query the cds database of the team, without premium?
No, the premium license is needed for this.

How soon can we see the published changes?
Normally around 15 minutes.

Is there a possibility to access chat history in order to improve our bot responsiveness?
No.

Can we publish a bot to the left menu in Teams?
Yes, that should be possible. Manage app setup policies in Microsoft Teams

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