Your Dynamics Business Partner

Microsoft Dynamics Influencer Insights

Discussing Microsoft 365 and Power Apps with Microsoft MVP, Andrew Ly

To succeed in the Microsoft Partner Ecosystem, partner synergy is unquestionably essential. The DynamicsSmartz Partner Program is designed to assist Microsoft Partners in working together on shared go-to-market strategies to shorten time to market, accelerate sales, and increase revenue.

At DynamicsSmartz, we have made partnering with the right businesses across industry verticals and promoting partner enablement our primary priority in light of the rising demand for digital.

We invite leading industry professionals to speak on P2P relationships, Microsoft Business Solutions, and current technological trends for our segment, "Influencer Insights". In this chapter, we interviewed Andrew Ly and discussed how we could leverage Microsoft 365 and Power Apps for improved collaboration.

 Microsoft Dynamics Influencer insights with Andrew Ly

Who did we interview?

Andrew Ly is a Microsoft Business Applications Solutioning Lead at IBM Consulting. He has worked as a Dynamics CRM Solutions Architect and Principal Consultant managing relationships with the Department of State Development (DSD), Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI), Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI), Health Workforce Australia (HWA), Parliament of SA, and Santos. Andrew specializes in business analysis, solution architecture, testing, project management, compliance, auditing, and implementation.

Let Us Quickly Get To Our Expert’s Point Of View.

Question 1- What according to you are some of the top Microsoft technology trends to watch out for in 2022?

2022 has been one of the more challenging years for businesses with supply chain disruptions due to ongoing COVID lockdowns and conflicts in Ukraine, accelerating inflation, lack of raw materials, and higher demand for skilled labor.

To meet these challenges head-on, businesses must find better ways of forecasting demand, removing costs, and improving current working modes.

This for the Microsoft platform represents enormous activity in extreme automation, rapidly building and deploying low-code applications, and tighter integration with supply chain partners and government regulatory bodies. The Microsoft Power Platform and the traditional Dynamics 365 application stack will be best placed to handle these workloads. Microsoft Teams will continually be a presence, although not quite at the same adoption rates we saw at the start of the pandemic.

We’re halfway through the US FY, and at the start of the Australian FY – various initiatives will be coming out of the planning phases or just commencing now. These initiatives will be gradually rolled out through the latter half of this year and early next.

Question 2: What are some opportunities you would be looking at this year?

Financial services and energy will continue to represent some of the most significant opportunities. Major lenders and financial institutions have seen non-stop disruption over the past years, with neobanks and crypto eating away at their market share. In 2022, customers are looking for more certainty from the larger banks and may see this trend reversing. We could see technology investments in customer engagement, CRM solutions, mobile lending platforms, and market intelligence.

Energy will also continue to be disrupted with rises in the cost of production and shifts to renewable energy sources, and the energy market will look to refine how they generate and distribute energy to their clients. In my country, Australia, energy distribution is a hot topic; with current demands causing rolling managed blackouts throughout the country and forcing consumers to look at off-grid battery storage, there is an untapped opportunity to reach out to this segment.

Question 3: Would you like to share some tips on Power Apps implementation?

The first tip would be that UX should be at the forefront of all Power Apps implementations. Having on-branded apps with clear indications of what is happening currently and the next logical steps will be vital to reducing friction points and removing inefficiencies, all while improving user adoption.

The second tip is to have better-centralized governance over your Power Apps. This goes far beyond just installing the Microsoft Centre of Excellence toolkit to having the entire citizen development platform baked into the DNA of your organization, from IT to individual business units.

Question 4: What is the potential for Microsoft Partners in Australia?

In my opinion, the partners best able to capitalize on this opportunity in the marketplace will be the ones who can best understand their current operating environment. They need to be sympathetic to the investments in their technologies and augment these with innovative solutions that can quickly deliver a return on investment.

For Dynamics partners, this could look like using Power Platform to perform functions previously performed within their enterprise ERP solutions. While in other circumstances, it might be rationalizing the three different channel engagement solutions that clients operate into a single fit-for-purpose platform. Or it may be converting 300 Excel applications over six months to a series of centrally managed Power Apps / Power BI applications.

Question 5: How can we leverage Microsoft 365 and Power Apps for improved collaboration?

Until the last two years, the integration between Microsoft Office and Teams with Dynamics 365 or Power Apps has been in its infancy. We would, in retrospect, look to fill gaps in this integration using several partner accelerator solutions to achieve the outcome our clients were looking for.

However, over the past 24 months, there has been a significant investment in the integration between the products, and I think it is worth at least coming up to speed with what has changed over this time. Microsoft Power Apps and D365 are now more aware of Microsoft Teams, with the ability to set up conferencing, webinars, direct messaging, video calling, and workflows that integrate with Teams channels. Adaptive Team Cards are also a powerful way of creating Powerful Adaptive Cards that allow users to interact with your solution via Microsoft Teams directly.

The bottom line is that it's now intuitive, feels like part of the same ecosystem, is seamless, and works.

Get to Know Our Influencer

What is the best event that you attended recently? What were your key takeaways?

Recently, I've avoided too many conferences and events as they've all been virtual for the past two years for most of us, and we'd be forgiven for feeling a little burnt out by virtual events—well, I'm certainly feeling that way.

But my favourite event I've attended recently was the Microsoft MVP Summit.

Some key takeaways were that they have been iterating very quickly on the Power Platform. With what must seem like a record number of features going into public preview or going to GA by October this year, AI Builder and Power Pages, to name a few.

What’s your success mantra?

Although it is less of a success mantra and more of a personal mantra that "details matter". Whether it is reading with your child, detailing your car, cleaning your office space, or designing an integration between two products.

That grey void between doing nothing and doing a great job can be filled with your imagination and showcase your talent.

You'll have a better result at the end of the day that others will appreciate and learn something from, and you'll feel like you have done the very best you can.