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Replacing Microsoft InfoPath with Power Apps

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Plug-and-Play Grant Management Software

Today I received an email inquiry regarding InfoStrat's Grants Manager Plus solution. The customer was looking for a plug-and-play grant management system.  I assume this meant that the system would require little configuration or customization.

I am not aware of any grant management system which could be called plug-and-play.  The reason is that a grantor usually has a number of business rules that they want the grant management system to automate, such as these:

Eligibility determination for applicants.  Grant applications are often restricted to certain organizations or individuals, and the system should capture the eligibility rules and limit the number of applications which will not be eligible.Application forms. Many grant application forms are lengthy and may include branching or conditional fields.  Application review processes. The review process can vary from one program to another.  It may require multiple review steps and be handled by individuals or committees.Payment…

InfoStrat Internal Training Topics

This week my company InfoStrat hosted internal training delivered by our consultants to share what they have recently learned in our software development and devops specialties.

We are going to turn many of these into blog posts on the InfoStrat TechBlog.  Here is our list of topics:

Project Management StandardizationCreating Virtual Assiat Bot with Dynamics 365 ConnectionUnderstanding Logic AppsMigrating File Attachments to SharePoint with FlowCommunication Skills and Online CollaborationTelephony Integration with Dynamics - Robo-dialing and Text MessagesUpdating Records by Fetch in Dynamics / Power AppsCanvas AppsUX Usability Enhancements for SharePoint ListsSQL Server ETL Techniques and Automation ApproachesIntro to .NET Core for .NET Developers It's great to be part of a company where we share so much innovation with one another.  Many came away from the sessions with new ideas for future projects. 

Happy New Year to My Blog Readers

Happy New Year and thank you to all who have read my blog and provided blog post topic suggestions.  A blog is a hungry beast and I'm planning to do even more in 2020 to share fresh content on CRM, grant management, government contracting, victim notification and other topics.

It was exciting to cross over the 1 million page view metric in 2019.  Next year will hold many new developments and opportunities to expand my connections to colleagues around the world. 

On behalf of myself and InfoStrat, I wish all a safe and happy 2020.

Cheers,  Jim

ScreenMeet Remote Support Tool for Dynamics 365 Customer Service

I met Lou Guercia when he was president and CEO of Scribe Software, the leading CRM integration tool.  Scribe was acquired by TIBCO Software in 2018.  I recently reconnected with Lou and learned about ScreenMeet, the company he joined as chief operating officer.   The following is a description of the product provided by ScreenMeet:

ScreenMeet is a cloud-based remote support tool designed to integrate with Dynamics 365 Customer Service. By enabling customer service and IT support organizations to address critical technical issues directly from their CRM or ticketing platform, it streamlines the process and provides a fully browser-based support experience.

You can also use ScreenMeet with other CRM products or even on its own without a CRM.

Here is a short video demo of ScreenMeet with Dynamics integration:


ScreenMeet - Cloud-based Remote Support Integrated with Dynamics 365 Customer Support Once integrated with a Dynamics 365 CS organization, the ScreenMeet widget appears on Case pa…

Navigating through Complex Cloud Computing Choices

By now most organizations are familiar with the benefits of moving their computing to the cloud, such as scalability, reliability, security and elimination of hardware costs.  What may be less clear is that for all this to work as advertised, a business process or application needs to be designed properly to work in the cloud.

Cloud computing presents information technology departments with a large number of competing services, architectures and deployment patterns.  Many of these options can be successfully implemented for a given business problem, so one of the challenges is to choose.

Your first choice might be among the cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, the Google Cloud Platform and Oracle.  Microsoft Azure offers hundreds of different services that provide overlapping features, not only including Microsoft operating systems but also open source leaders such as Linux.

Most custom cloud solutions require multiple services including authentication,…

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Community Business Development

Local governments agencies such as the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development in my hometown of Washington, DC, - work on behalf of residents to improve living conditions, create economic opportunities and jobs by attracting businesses and helping businesses thrive. A customer relationship management system is key to work in community business development.  If you are a Microsoft customer, which apps in Dynamics 365 should you use for business development?
Core functions - All the Dynamics 365 modules track accounts (companies) and contacts (individuals) as well as activities such as phone calls, emails, letters, and meetings. Sales - Dynamics 365 for Sales provides the ability to track opportunities to attract startup businesses or businesses that are relocating from another area. Sales includes functions for qualify opportunities and working through all the steps in your workflow through a successful win.  You can ascribe dollars to opportunities as well as…