Comprehensive guide to power virtual agents
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Guide to Power Virtual Agent to Boost Productivity with Intelligent Chatbots

04 Aug 2023

In today’s era of digital disruption, customer service is a huge differentiator. Today’s customers demand proactive, personalized, and empathetic customer service. When done it right, it can do wonders for your business. Chatbots, also known as virtual assistants, have emerged as a key component of customer experience, allowing businesses to scale their customer service offerings and gain valuable insights into customers.

As more and more businesses are adopting chatbots across digital channels to offer 24/7 around-the-clock customer service, Microsoft introduced AI-powered intelligent virtual agents and bots to stay one step ahead.

Let us walk you through this informative guide to discover what Microsoft Power Virtual Agents are, how they work, their key features, and business use cases.

Note – Effective November 15, 2023, Microsoft incorporated Power Virtual Agents into Copilot Studio and launched Microsoft Copilot Studio. It is a low-code comprehensive conversational AI platform that will allow you to take advantage of the latest generative AI to unlock new Copilot capabilities.

Table of Contents  

What is Power Virtual Agents?

It is an end-to-end multi-tenant SaaS service available within the MS Power Platform suite. It enables businesses to create scalable, intelligent, AI-powered chatbots. Thanks to the integration with Power Platform, more than 1000+ certified connectors[1] let the chatbot connect to your backend system with few clicks and cater to various requests.

PVA can efficiently handle the full lifecycle of the bot-building experience. It eliminates the traditionally complex and time-intensive multi-month bot development cycle process, requiring long content update cycles and a team of experts. Moreover, PVAs combine manually authored topics that deliver on specific use cases with the organization’s knowledge base to fulfill employee and customer needs.

Power Virtual Agents can seamlessly integrate with Microsoft 365 apps and external data sources, streamlining your workflows, automating business activities, and enhancing the customer experience. And if you want to go deeper, you can easily add code or more complex capabilities with Microsoft Cognitive Services and Azure Bot Framework.

The recent Microsoft Build 2023[2] introduced pro-code functionalities, GPT-based AI, and copilot capabilities. Businesses can also use internal SharePoint content and Dataverse as sources for AI-created generative answers.

Whether you want to provide answers to frequently asked questions or drive more complex conversations, With PVA, your bots can engage customers and employees in multiple languages across websites, mobile apps, or any channel supported by the Azure Bot Framework. And these bots keep getting smarter every day, using AI to suggest new topics and boost organizational productivity.

Key Characteristics of Power Virtual Agents

  • PVA is a SaaS solution that enables you to build and deploy agile, AI-powered bots across channels and languages using a guided, graphical interface.
  • Intuitive, built-in recommendations help beginners navigate the complexities and capabilities of the platform with ease.
  • Users can easily track and continuously optimize their chatbots with data-driven insights without coding expertise.
  • With hundreds of prebuilt connectors, you can seamlessly connect Power Virtual Agents to all your daily tools and services.
  • PVA reduces the time between user reports and bot updates, ensuring faster issue resolution and happier customers.
  • Multi-Author support allows several users to collaborate and co-create a virtual assistant.
  • Administrators can easily manage the bot’s development cycle and quickly address data residency, change control, and latency requirements.

How Do Power Virtual Agents Work?

Power Virtual Agents use generative AI to build chatbots and experiences. By simply pointing to website URLs, uploading files and documents, or even connecting to Dataverse or a SharePoint site to power the chatbot.  Using the above sources, PVAs are able to quickly generate out-of-the-box tailored responses to user queries powered by the organization’s data.

There are various levels of complexity when implementing a chatbot. A stateless solution is adequate if you want to build a bot that only needs to answer FAQs. However, natural language processing is a prerequisite for your bot to support complex interactions.

Rule-based (Stateless)

These structured chatbots treat every conversation as a first-time interaction. They are manually programmed to respond to specific questions with specific answers, following a strict script. While they are easier to program, they have limitations on what users can ask.

NLP-based (Stateful)

These unstructured virtual agents review past interactions and respond accordingly. They use natural language processing (NLP), AI, and Machine Learning to learn from every interaction and get smarter over time. They can provide more relevant and helpful responses.

Features of Power Virtual Agents

PVA’s no-code graphical interface solution gives you easy access to a realm of chatbot capabilities and incredible features to automate business processes, reduce development costs, and drive efficiencies.

  • Supports 15+ Languages: Say goodbye to language barriers with a fully localized user experience. Regardless of your location, you can easily create chatbots in more than 15 languages, including French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, or your local language, using Power Virtual Agents!
  • Multi-author Support: Different team members can collaborate in real-time and co-author chatbots together while working on different topics or tackling complex tasks based on their skill sets.
  • Import and Export: You can easily import and export bots across solutions and environments while ensuring seamless change control, governance, and data residency. You can then stage it for release at the right time.
  • Reference to Context: PVAs can leverage the context passed from the hosting website and adapt their chat according to your specific needs. It’s like having a personalized conversation with your bot buddy!
  • Global Variables: Information gathered during a conversation can now flow smoothly to other topics using global variables. This makes chatbot conversations contextual while saving you from the hassle of repeating yourself.
  • Pre-built connectors: With Power Automate integration, PVA becomes even more powerful. Chatbots can easily invoke actions using pre-built connectors within the Power Platform and optimize workflows with precise error handling and verification.
  • Global Presence: PVA is accessible globally, with data centers in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. So, no matter where you’re located, PVAs have got you covered.

PVA is fully integrated into Microsoft Power Platform so that you can create end-to-end business solutions and manage your chatbots directly from the Power Apps maker portal.

Transform Your CX with Power Virtual Agents

We’ll help you understand your business needs, identify the best use cases for a bot & design a customized solution that fits your budget.

Use Cases for Power Virtual Agents

Let’s look at how businesses across industries can use PVAs to automate and streamline their processes while extracting actionable insights about customers and employees.

Applications of power virtual agents

Use Cases for Customers and External Clients

  • Nurturing Leads: Chatbots can provide valuable answers and resources to potential customers while gathering essential information about your audiences’ curiosity during sales.
  • Gathering Leads: Schedule appointments or sales presentations easily, all while collecting data from clients’ questions and concerns. This valuable data equips your sales team to handle issues like pros!
  • Answering FAQs: Chatbots can handle frequently asked questions about your products and services while gathering insights to improve your customer service documentation and reduce support tickets.
  • Processing Orders: Chatbots can take orders and frees up time for your customer service team. This allows the team to focus on more high-quality tasks than just one-to-one interactions.

Use Cases for Employees

PVAs are not just for customer service – they’re also your secret weapon for enhancing internal processes. Following are some practical Power Virtual Agents examples that you can draw inspiration from:

  • Creating a Knowledge Base: Build a databank of frequently asked HR questions for your employees while learning how employees naturally inquire about content. It’s all about understanding their language and delivering better HR support!
  • Connecting with Subject Matter Experts: Thanks to graph APIs available through Microsoft’s ecosystem, chatbots can quickly connect employees with subject matter experts across your organization.
  • Booking Meeting Rooms: Say goodbye to the hassles of reserving meeting rooms! Let chatbots handle it smoothly and efficiently.
  • Applying for Leaves: No need to write approval emails. Just build a chatbot, integrate it with your company’s leave management software, and deploy it in Microsoft Teams. This will make the leave process swift and straightforward.
  • Generating Accurate Reports: Need metric calculations and reports? Chatbots can deliver them all with natural language, prioritizing the most-used reports for quicker access.

Benefits of Power Virtual Agents

Unlike conventional chatbots, PVA bots can communicate in any language using both audio and text. Apart from addressing your internal and client-facing issues, the following are the benefits of using Power Virtual Agents to build your chatbots:

Benefits of building chatbots using power virtual agents


You can build, test, and publish conversational agents quickly using AI, automation, and a low-code graphical interface, even if you don’t have any programming experience.

An Extensive Community

You can easily navigate the complexities of building a bot and leverage the platform’s capabilities with a community easily accessible for prompt help.


You can address customer queries and solve issues in several languages and stay accessible round the clock with chatbots and never miss a sales opportunity. This agility helps you scale your business irrespective of time zone and location.


PVAs integrate easily with your existing services and hundreds of built-in connectors. You can rapidly deploy virtual assistants across business websites, apps, social media platforms, and more. You can create custom workflows or complex scenarios using Microsoft Bot Framework and integrate conversational bots with Power Automate.


By automating business processes and reducing the time that the support team spends on common customer queries PVAs free your employees to focus on high-value interactions and crucial business activities. Plus, bots reduce the possibility of human error while enabling faster resolution of issues and enhanced customer satisfaction alongside cost benefits.


PVAs leverage natural language processing capabilities to understand human interactions and provide relevant and reliable answers.


PVA bots come with an in-built security role so you can deploy them safely using central administration.

Smart Recommendations

PVAs can make suggestions with AI, self-learning abilities, and NLP. These capabilities consistently improve your bot’s performance over time. 

Data-driven Insights

Interactive dashboards give you key insights such as escalation rate, abandon rate and also track user engagement to monitor how well the bots handle user tasks for future engagement.

Cognitive Services

Advanced scenarios and capabilities can also be added using Azure Bot service. Connect your chatbot with the Microsoft bot framework skills to leverage Azure cognitive services.

New and Planned Capabilities in Power Virtual Agents

Here’s an exciting lineup of released and upcoming features of PVAs that are going to help your business elevate conversational experiences for internal and external stakeholders.

Bot Configuration

Power Virtual Agents now allows you to combine Azure Bot Framework Composer with a low-code platform. It is now easy to build custom bots that perfectly suit your organization’s needs and offer enhanced capabilities.

  • Bot topics triggered by events
  • Power Fx expressions in authoring canvas

Copilot and AI Innovation

Power Virtual Agents will be equipped with industry-leading generative AI capabilities. By simply pointing the bot to a knowledge source, the bot uses generative AI to provide a rich multi-turn chat experience. Let the AI do the legwork while you and your team focus on more important things.

  • GPT-powered generative AI to boost conversations
  • Copilot for easy creation and editing
  • AI-created generative answers from internal SharePoint content

Core Authoring

Use the Power Virtual Agents conversational editor to craft engaging and interactive conversations effortlessly. Rich content, variables, and entity types are now at your disposal.

  • Code-behind view for direct bot code editing
  • Bot Framework Composer for unified authoring
  • Multi-modal response authoring for natural user experience
  • Adding chatbots with one click from Dynamics 365 Customer Service admin center
  • List variables and loop in conversations

Enhanced Capabilities

The system will become even smarter with advanced AI and natural language capabilities, allowing it to understand complex user language better.

  • Conversational language understanding to improve bots

Please keep in mind that since these are still in the works, delivery timelines might shift, and some functionalities might take a little longer. For more details, do check out the 2023 release wave 2 plan[3].

How Rishabh Can Help You Implement Power Virtual Agents

Being the most prominent Power Platform consulting company and Microsoft Gold Partner, we let you leverage the full potential of Power Virtual Agent’s generative AI capabilities to engage with your customers and employees conversationally. We will help you import and export bots using the solution concept. Our Power platform experts are well-versed in seamlessly integrating PVA with your existing systems, like CRM software, customer databases, and knowledge banks.

At Rishabh Software, our Microsoft experts have extensive experience integrating customer chatbots across various languages and customer touchpoints, including social media platforms, mobile applications, and business websites. Let’s team up and bring the power of AI-powered bots to your business!


Q: Where can Power Virtual Agents be applied?

A: Power Virtual Agents is highly versatile and has many business use cases across various industries. These include Customer help desks, Human Resources, Finance, IT helpdesk automation, Support, Operations, Sales and Marketing.

Q: What makes Power Virtual Agents so powerful?

A: Power Virtual Agents offers a flawless authoring canvas design that allows subject matter experts to give inputs that drive efficient bot creation. Its agility, ease of use, and integration with Power Automate and Microsoft 365 drive continuous improvement and adds value to business processes. Additionally, Power Virtual Agents allows developers to combine pro developer capabilities of Azure Bot Framework composer with the ease of low code platform to build bots faster. The out-of-the-box generative AI support further allows you to have multi-turn conversations to guide your customers and employees to the right solution.

Q: How do the Microsoft Power Virtual Agents differ from other tools?

A: Microsoft Power Virtual Agents is a user-friendly SaaS solution in which you can create custom AI chatbots for your employees, clients, and external stakeholders. Its guided graphical user interface enables quick bot creation where you can easily add FAQs, create conversation flows, and employ natural language questions to support all business needs. With seamless integration into your systems and the ability to monitor performance, Power Virtual Agents stands out as a powerful tool for businesses wanting to build and deploy smart bots.

Q: Can data and analytics be exported from Power Virtual Agents?

A: Yes, you can export data and analytics from Power Virtual Agents. You can download session data for the last 30 days and export data from the Conversation Transcripts table. The tool also provides comprehensive out-of-the-box analytics to help you understand the bot’s usage and performance.

Q: What channels are available for Power Virtual Agents?

A: Power Virtual Agents can be published on various platforms and channels, including business websites, mobile apps, Microsoft Teams, Facebook, or any channel supported by the Azure Bot Framework. Its integration with the Bot Framework Direct Line channel lets you connect the bot with your web page or app.

Supercharge Your Business with a PVA Bot

We can help you build and deploy a Power Virtual Agents bot to improve your customer support services and free you up from common questions.