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Microsoft Power Apps and Power Platform: Build Apps without Limits

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Constant Change: The Hidden Cost of Cloud Computing

The benefits of cloud computing are widely known, and most organizations have moved or are planning to move from their on premises data centers to cloud facilities hosted by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google or other providers. 
One of the cloud computing benefits is that the cloud provider is responsible for continuously improving the environment that hosts, and that these updates and fixes do not usually require work by the customer.  There is a downside to this benefit, however, especially as you move from cloud infrastructure to cloud solutions. The downside is that you must deal with the consequences of constant change and innovation.
Organizations have always had to handle upgrades of hardware and software, but when the computing was inside their data center they had full control of the timing of changes.  They could more quickly with inexpensive changes and patches, and choose their timing for major changes.  
Today the cloud providers largely choose the timing to introduce n…

Azure Stream Analytics for Real-Time Fraud Detection

The following is a guest blog post by Dmitri Riz from the InfoStrat Tech Blog. Microsoft Azure Logic Apps is a service that allows you to design and build scalable solutions for app integration, data integration, system integration, enterprise application integration (EAI), and business-to-business (B2B) communication, whether in the cloud, on premises, or both.One of the features I wanted to explore in more detail is the support for real-time fraud detection for transactions originating from Dynamics 365 or, speaking more broadly, the ability to detect and flag irregularities in incoming data streams in real time.The tool to support this is Azure Stream Analytics. It is a fully managed, real-time analytics service designed to help you analyze and process fast moving streams of data that can be used to get insights, build reports or trigger alerts and actions.Set up an Azure Event Hub receiving real-time Dynamics 365 transaction data and a Stream Analytics job scanning this Event Hub…

Solicitations for Cloud Computing Need to Reflect Cloud Reality

For several years the information technology industry has been migrating from traditional on premises deployment of software in the data center to cloud computing hosted by industry leaders such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.  Solicitations for new software often fail to reflect the reality of cloud computing.Here are some of the ways that solicitations (also called tenders and requests for proposals) miss the mark:Asking for hardware requirements.  Cloud solutions do not require server hardware, but often the solicitation includes hardware questions and specifications. Unrealistic availability goals. Availability of servers is usually stated in terms of the percentage of uptime. Some solicitations call for 99.999% uptime.  This amounts to a bit over 5 minutes downtime in a year.  The total availability of a system is calculated as the product of all the availability service level agreements (SLAs) of its constituent elements.  AWS and Microsoft offer different SLAs for t…

Personalize Your Sales Process with CRM

Sales force automation is one of the most popular apps of customer relationship management (CRM).  Whether you choose Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce, or another CRM product, sales is likely near the top of your priorities. What makes a sales organization successful, however, varies significantly from one company to another based on the targeted sales segments and the position of the company within its industry.  Companies that sell direct to consumers online may receive a large number of leads through search ads or email marketing campaigns, and deals may be closed without labor-extensive interactions such as phone calls or meetings which may be appropriate for large-ticket items such as finding commercial real estate or purchasing expensive information technology solutions.   Large companies with dominant positions in their industry may take a different sales approach than startups trying to break into a new market. 
The differences in sales processes mean that optimizing your CRM …

Energize your Intranet with Microsoft Power Apps and Customer Voice

This is a followup to my earlier post "Replacing Microsoft InfoPath with Power Apps" which discussed the discontinuation of the InfoPath form tool which was previously used in conjunction with SharePoint for many internal corporate applications typical on an intranet. Since then, Microsoft renamed the Forms Pro product Dynamics 365 Customer Voice. This is not to be confused with Microsoft's Voice of the Customer product which was deprecated in July 2020 to be replaced by Forms Pro. Power Apps is the platform on which Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps, at least those apps derived from what was formerly called Dynamics CRM, are built.  You can use Power Apps to create two types of apps -- canvas apps which are designed in a drag-and-drop fashion for relatively simple standalone needs and model-driven apps which are based on the Dynamics 365 Unified Interface and which can support sophisticated workflows in the same way that they are handled by Dynamics 365. I feel that intranets…

InfoStrat Wins SAVIN Contract with State of Iowa

InfoStrat, a division of Serenic Software,is pleased to announce that it has entered into a contract with the State of Iowa Department of Justice, specifically its Crime Victim Assistance Division ("Iowa"), to implement and fully support its SAVIN 360 victim notification solution. The contract lasts through June 2024, and may be extended for up to two additional three-year terms at Iowa's option.Information Strategies Inc. ("InfoStrat"), which Sylogist acquired in April 2020, has developed the SAVIN 360 solution as a modern and extensible system for victim services, to help correction agencies manage contacts and alerts when offenders are to be transferred or released. SAVIN is built on the proven Microsoft Dynamics 365 and SharePoint platforms, which provide flexibility, scalability, integration capabilities, and powerful workflow features.Jim Wilson, President and CEO of Sylogist commented, "This is a significant achievement for Sylogist. Our SAVIN solut…