Skip to main content

Microsoft Ignite: The Tour Visits Washington, DC



This week Microsoft took its tour of the Ignite conference to Washington, DC.  The initial Ignite conference was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, but the tour brings much of the content to a broader audience. 

You can access recordings of the sessions online. Because there were over 100 sessions and workshops in two days, it was impossible to attend all of them.  Here are the learning paths from the event:



For me, the most important overall message was the blurring of lines between Microsoft cloud products and the continual expansion and opening of the Microsoft platform. Cloud computing has allowed Microsoft and other vendors to introduce new products and product versions more quickly.  For Dynamics 365, Microsoft introduces continuous small fixes and significant versions every six months.  This is much faster than the product cycle ten years ago which offered major versions every two or three years.

The pace of innovation creates challenges for customers to keep up, so events like this are essential to educate customers.  Microsoft sometimes also renames products and moves features from one product to another which causes further confusion. 

Presentations were geared toward government scenarios, with particular emphasis on new Microsoft Azure and Dynamics offerings in the Microsoft government cloud. For instance, Microsoft is promoting their Teams collaboration product for government customers, and Power Apps to allow power users and non-developer developers (called citizen developers) to create solutions through configuration rather than coding.  Azure now offers higher security versions for government customers than ever before.

Workplace diversity was a key theme for Microsoft's booth and some presentations.

Large government integrators such as IBM and General Dynamics were well represented as exhibitors at Ignite, along with third party software vendors that are important in the Microsoft business ecosystem.

I enjoyed seeing Dave McDonald, director of the Microsoft Technology Center in Reston, VA at the show.  He brought along one of the coolest Microsoft showcase items, a Ford truck tricked out not only with a winch but tons of tech.



The event drew many local Microsoft MVPs who were presenters as well as sharing their knowledge in the Microsoft booth.


The road tour of Ignite shows Microsoft's commitment to share knowledge with its customers and partners all over the world.  Check and see if it is coming to a location near you.

For those who cannot attend in person, sessions are available online to view on demand.  If your focus is government, you may want to review some sessions here that are not likely to be repeated in other cities.

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 …