Skip to main content

Microsoft Cloud, Hybrid and On Premise Options -- Update from the Field

InfoStrat has witnessed growing interest in cloud computing among its customers, but not as much movement as you might expect based on the amount of press received from cloud computing.  Our primary customers are public sector: federal government, state and local government, and education.  These are not usually the first to implement new technology, so they tend to lag behind trends.   Nonetheless, we are seeing solicitations which either call for cloud deployment or request bids for both cloud and on premise deployment.

Another barrier to cloud computing is that government agencies impose security standards for computing solutions, and cloud providers are scrambling to achieve certifications such as FISMA and FedRAMP which are needed by federal agencies. 

Our solutions are based on the Microsoft platform, especially SQL Server, Dynamics CRM, and SharePoint.  Most of our clients own traditional volume licenses for these Microsoft products, and Microsoft affords an unusual flexibility to combine on premise with cloud options. 

Microsoft Office 365 is picking up momentum among our government clients, especially for its email capabilities. 

Microsoft Azure allows our clients greater control over the cloud environment than is available with Office 365 or Dynamics CRM Online.  It provides cloud infrastructure and is a way to get to the cloud quickly but still have control to manage your servers as if they were virtual servers in your data center.  Recently one of our clients chose Azure for its SharePoint requirements because of this greater flexibility to configure and integrate.

We welcome the move to cloud computing because it allows us to provide the same level of performance to all our clients and be less dependent on the unique attributes (and sometimes politics) of their infrastructure. 

Popular posts from this blog

PowerApps Portal: The Successor to Microsoft Dynamics Portal

In case you have been reviewing Microsoft's new pricing for its Dynamics products which was released this month and have been unable to find Dynamics Portal, it has been rebranded as PowerApps Portal and shifted to the PowerApps side of the Microsoft product family.


Rebranding the portal product underscores the importance of app scenarios involving external users such as customers and suppliers.  It also provides a simpler interface than Dynamics 365 for occasional users.

The new portal pricing is based on the number of unique users who log into the portal each month (for authenticated users) and on the number of page views for anonymous users.  "A login provides an external authenticated user access to a single portal for up to 24 hours. Multiple logins during the 24-hour period count as 1 billable login. Internal users can be licensed either by the PowerApps per app or per users plans, or a qualifying Dynamics 365 subscription."

Pricing starts at $200/mo. for 100 dail…

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…

Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow Licensing for Beginners

NOTE: Since this post was written, Microsoft has updated pricing.  For current pricing, see https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing

Next month marks two years since Microsoft announced the preview of its Flow workflow automation product.  Since then, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow have been gaining in popularity.

We at InfoStrat are receiving more questions from customers on how PowerApps and Flow are licensed by Microsoft.  This is a brief overview with links to authoritative Microsoft resources with all the details.

What are PowerApps and Flow? Microsoft PowerApps is a framework derived from Dynamics 365 (formerly Dynamics CRM) that allow you to build apps either with or without a form interface.  PowerApps works with Microsoft Flow.

Microsoft Flow is is a cloud software tool to build automated workflows that connect to many Microsoft and non-Microsoft systems and services.  For instance, you could write a workflow which would create a record in Dynamics 365 whenever a new file …