From the vice president of the InfoStrat division of Serenic Software, thoughts on digital transformation, marketing automation, customer relationship management, Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly CRM), government contracting, customer service and more. For breaking news, follow me on Twitter @jamestownsend and for more depth see the InfoStrat website at www.infostrat.com
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Microsoft Introduces Dataflex to improve the Microsoft Power Platform integration with Microsoft Teams
Yesterday at the Inspire event Microsoft announced a new product called Dataflex which is build on the Power Apps Common Data Service. Dataflex simplifies building and deploying apps and intelligent chatbots in Teams with Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Power Virtual Agents. The Common Data Service has now been renamed to Microsoft Dataflex Pro.
The rapid expansion of remote working during the COVID-19 crisis has fueled adoption of Microsoft Teams. Dataflex adds features to make Teams more competitive to products such as Slack. The new functionality of Dataflex allows apps and bots to be created from inside Microsoft Teams. This means that organizations can access more data without leaving Teams for other apps.
Adoption of Teams strengthens the appeal of Office 356. Some companies that rarely used Teams or even maintained subscriptions to online meeting products such as Zoom, GoToMeeting and Webex have come to appreciate Teams for internal and external collaboration. The enhanced security of Teams compared to Zoom spurred use of Teams, and Microsoft continues to add new features in order to gain dominance in this market segment.
For more details, see this post by Charles Lamanna on the Power Apps blog.
NOTE: DataAccess offers a product called DataFlex which was introduced in 1982. For now, to find technical documentation on what is now branded as Dataflex by Microsoft, you should search for Common Data Service or CDS.
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."
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…
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 …