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The MSDW Podcast

The MSDynamicsWorld.com (MSDW) podcast explores news, ideas, and events in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM community.
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Now displaying: September, 2020
Sep 29, 2020

Members of the Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 community came together for a series of online pub quizzes in July to raise money for local charities and support social action against racism. The events took place in midst of civil protests in cities around the world drew hundreds of participants and raised money for local non-profits.

In the UK, funds from the event went to Black Minds Matter, a London-based organization focused on mentoring, education, and other support services for black and ethnic minority young people. Microsoft MVP Tricia Sinclair, a key organizer of the original series of events, has continued her efforts to support the organization by creating a Power Platform-focused training curriculum for them that brought together subject matter experts from the Microsoft community to educate and mentor the group. The multi-week program concluded with a hackathon where the participants developed and presented Power Platform creations focused on themes like mental health and legal services.

On this episode, we are joined by Tricia Sinclair as well as Malik Gul, Director of Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network in London, and program participant Rosina St. James to look back at the hackathon and the broader program, to discuss the outcome, and to learn more about exposing professional opportunities in the Microsoft ecosystem to under-represented communities.

Show Notes:

  • 2:30 - Introductions to our guests and their work
  • 5:00 - Origins of the effort to raise funds, awareness, and support for Black Minds Matter in London
  • 7:00 - The mission and goals of Black Minds Matter in the context of social trends, including boosting opportunities for learning and development
  • 12:00 - Why making the connection between under-served communities and professional opportunities is so important
  • 13:45 - Reaction of the students to the program and the various roles and options
  • 15:30 - Getting an understanding of the software industry
  • 17:45 - Bringing Power Platform community members together to help build out the student program
  • 19:00 - Where is the overall effort to train the next generation on Microsoft business apps workers?23:45 - Preparing the student group for the hackathon
  • 27:30 - Rosina's app from the hackathon
  • 29:30 - Developing ideas for new solutions, and the judging panel's observations and engagement with social and healthcare services organizations
  • 34:15 - Next steps for the program including mentoring, internships, apprenticeships, and education options
  • 38:45 - Plans for scaling these efforts, from technology education to more diverse health and social opportunities

 

Links:

Sep 21, 2020

The news roundup returns, and on this episode, we look back at top headlines from the last several weeks of executive hires, Microsoft revenue numbers, product wins, partner updates, and more.

Show Notes:

Sep 17, 2020

Microsoft MVP, solution architect, and Scrum expert Neil Benson recently concluded two years of work on a membership and sales platform upgrade for RACQ (Royal Automobile Club of Queensland) that involved Dynamics 365 Customer Service, integration with multiple other SaaS vendor solutions, and, of course, lots of legacy data to contend with from the decades old systems being replaced. This was a big project by any standard. Microsoft celebrated its early successes last year, but work has continued, and Neil gives us an inside view of what it has been like managing five delivery streams amid a host of other changes, from user adoption to the IT department's Azure transition to going live during the pandemic.

 

Show Notes

  • 0:45 - About Neil and his business, Customery
  • 2:50 - About RACQ and their modernization project
  • 5:20 - The scale of this project and the challenges of working at that scale
  • 7:35 - Why RACQ had everything to lose in terms of customer satisfaction and retention from undertaking their modernization program
  • 8:20 - Attitude toward cloud adoption from their legacy stance
  • 10:50 - How five workstreams moved ahead together, how they divided up responsibilities and stages
  • 12:05 - The core software products that go into RACQ's cloud transformation
  • 13:35 - Observations on using Adobe Campaign with Dynamics 365 and other solutions
  • 15:20 - Deploying Apttus and the future of their relationship with (or without) Microsoft
  • 17:50 - The fight for ISV cloud hosting between the hypercloud vendors
  • 19:50 - Using Scrum on a project of this scale
  • 23:50 - Neil's experience training others on Scrum
  • 27:50 - Innovative solutions of the RACQ solution
  • 31:20 - How does an organization focused on driving adapt to Covid and other changing trends around car usage?
  • 34:20 - How such a big project transitioned to work from home during the pandemic
  • 34:35 - RACQ's efforts in trialing other tech like RPA
  • 38:20 - Is RPA a viable long-term product for CIOs?
  • 41:50 - On the history of Customery's LEGO usage
  • 43:15 - Neil's podcast activities


Where to find Neil:

Sep 1, 2020

Lisa Crosbie joins us to talk about her many community activities and interests in the Microsoft Business Applications space. Lisa is a technology evangelist at Barhead, a Microsoft partner, and when she's not working with their sales and professional services teams, she can be found doing a range of things, from blogging to podcasting to videos to presentations. We sit down to discuss some of the things Lisa has been focused on in her community efforts recently including Microsoft Teams and Project Oakdale, Microsoft certifications, product updates coming in the 2020 wave 2 releases for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, and her latest presentation schedule, including the upcoming DynamicsCon event.

Show Notes:

  • 3:30 - Adjusting to and staying motivated by community participation in an all-virtual situation
  • 5:00 - The importance of certifications in today's Microsoft business apps landscape
  • 9:10 - How to use Microsoft Learn to prepare for certifications
  • 13:00 - Lisa's outlook on Project Oakdale
  • 24:20 - Will Teams interfaces be important for ISV solutions?
  • 25:30 - Why Power Automate in Teams will be important
  • 27:15 - The RPA opportunities of 2020 wave 2
  • 30:00 - Lisa's participation in DynamicsCon
  • 34:15 - Lisa's professional evolution from the client side to the consulting side
  • 39:15 - Why the MVP community is still thriving'
  • 41:30 - Will the virtual focus help more people achieve MVP status?
  • 43:15 - Creating the UP Podcast
  • 45:30 - What else Lisa is excited about in the next release wave
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