Mixed Reality: An essential component of your industry 4.0 strategy

Mixed Reality: An essential component of your industry 4.0 strategy

We would like to invite you to a 45 minute “Mixed Reality in Manufacturing” webinar with our partner CraneMorley on December 15th at 12 (EST).  We’ll discuss the business of value of mixed reality and then show you an amazing live 30 minute demonstration.

Register here

Its your first day on the job.  As you approach the line you see a dazzling array of high tech equipment.  Its looks overwhelming and you begin feeling anxious as you get closer to your station.  You put on your halolens and a virtual guide walks you through the process.  If you encounter a problem, there is a help button connecting you to a live agent who sees exactly what you see and walks you through the resolution.  By lunch time you feel productive and confident in your new skills.  This scenario and many more enabled by mixed reality are happening everyday throughout the manufacturing industry.

Mixed reality [MR] superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world providing a composite view. Sounds like science fiction though it is a very commonly used  technology. Gamers are very familiar with it.  Two of the most popular video games in the world  Pokemon Go and Minecraft Earth use MR. If you are not familiar with those games google “tiger” on your phone. You’ll see an option for 3D and one to see the 3D image in your environment. If you select 3D image in your environment, you can now superimpose a 3D tiger in your home.  Though its not real you get an idea of its veracity, size and movement.

In the workplace, mixed reality is emerging as an important digital transformation tool to improve employee productivity, training, and customer service.  Lets examine some of the business drivers we are seeing in the field.

Remote Troubleshooting

Remote troubleshooting allows for an expert to see what you are seeing and collaborate with you without them being physically present.  Lets say a machine required for production is down.  If you do not have the expertise to fix it yourself, you will need help. That person could be in the building, local or in another country.  Getting them in front of the down machine takes time and cost money.  Using mixed reality, we remove the time constraint and greatly reduce the cost.  Using your headset you call the expert, they don’t need any special equipment and can now see what you are seeing. Your hands are free and can be directed to assist in the troubleshooting and repair.  The expert can even annotate within your field of vision, reference images and documentation helping you easily locate the cause and fix the problem.

The benefit achieved is the equipment is repaired and the line moving again faster than with a traditional approach.  Less downtime translates to higher throughput.  We also reduced travel time, expenses and carbon impact.  Clients also report the reduced travel has led to a better work|life balance. There’s no place like home.

If your product requires field support enabling them with mixed reality provides the ability to connect and collaborate with an expert anywhere in the world.  The result is faster call resolution, increased first call close rates and reduced cost.  Both the customer and the provider benefit as we see customer satisfaction increase. 

Microsoft Customer Story-L’Oréal is revolutionizing work with Dynamics 365 Remote Assist on HoloLens 2

Product Design

Product design can be expensive and time-consuming.  Lets take the example of a car manufacturer.  Creating a prototype design is not trivial.  Now instead of creating a physical design what if we used mixed reality to create a virtual design?  Designers can now see the new concept in the physical world and model its characteristics.  Not being tied to a physical object has additional benefits.  Creating cad files is much cheaper and faster than mocking up a psychical auto body so we can create more designs to review.  We can invite and collaborate with others regardless of their physical location bringing in new perspectives and ideas.  Using mixed reality provides the opportunity to lower cost, increase creativity and decrease time to market.

Ford brings HoloLens to Design Studio; Drives speed creativity and collaboration

Skilling and Training

With a significant portion of the workforce nearing retirement combined with the great resignation have left some manufactures in crisis.  Finding, retaining and training workers is a strategic imperative.  Mixed reality changes the way we learn.  The immersive experience increases speed and retention of skills.  Manuals and videos only go so far, image a 3d representation of complex machine in your field a vision. You can walk around it, see it in action and be visually guided through its’ operation.  I began this post with an example of just in time training, teaching a worker the skills they need to excel in the context of their workplace.

Microsoft Customer Story-Toyota simplifies complex repairs and accelerates training with mixed reality on HoloLens 2

The examples provided are just  a sampling of what can be done, really this is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are many more scenarios and more advanced use cases of this technology.  I hope this post helps highlight why mixed reality is an essential component of your industry 4.0 strategy.

We would like to invite you to a 45 minute “Mixed Reality in Manufacturing” webinar with our partner CraneMorley on December 15th at 12 (EST).  We’ll discuss the business of value of mixed reality and then show you an amazing live 30 minute demonstration.

Register here

Microsoft Ignite 2021 Summary

Microsoft Ignite features four main themes: empowering everyone for a new world of hybrid work, building a hyperconnected business, innovating anywhere from multicloud to edge, and protecting everything with end-to-end security. Keep reading to learn more about the key announcements aligned to each of these themes.


Flexible work is here to stay, and embracing it is critical to our customers’ future success. Today at Microsoft Ignite, we’re announcing new innovations that empower everyone for the new world of hybrid work. Learn more below and in Jared Spataro’s blog post.

  • Connect, collaborate, and focus all in one place with Microsoft Teams. In this new era of boundaryless collaboration, we’re delivering new capabilities that remove barriers and make it easier to collaborate with whoever, wherever. Today we announced Teams Connect Shared Channels (now in private preview) with enhanced capabilities, new webinar and broadcasting capabilities in Teams, enhancements to Teams Rooms and devices, Teams Admin Center search and app discovery capabilities, and new collaborative Teams apps from partners including Atlassian’s Jira Cloud and SAP Sales & Service Core apps. Earlier this year we announced Microsoft Mesh, a platform to enable presence and shared experiences across anywhere and any device through mixed reality applications. Today we announced that Mesh capabilities are coming to Teams. All Teams users will be able to try these capabilities in preview starting in early 2022.
  • Empower creators to fuel innovation. We are reimagining Microsoft Office by releasing more flexible, powerful, fluid tools to reinvent the way people create digitally in a hybrid workplace. Today we introduced Microsoft Loop, a new app that combines a powerful and flexible canvas with portable components that move freely and stay in sync across applications, enabling teams to think, plan, and create together. Microsoft Loop has three elements: Loop components (an evolution of fluid components), Loop pages, and Loop workspaces. Microsoft Loop components are rolling out in preview across Microsoft 365 apps, such as Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and OneNote in the coming months, with more Microsoft Loop functionality to follow. In addition, we welcomed Clipchamp into the Office family and announced that Editor will leverage Context IQ to expand its capabilities allowing it to predict, seek, and make suggestions in the flow of your work (rolling out next year). We are also making updates to Office.com and Office app for Windows (rolling out in preview now). Lastly, we announced a new Java Script API in Excel that will allow developers to create their custom data types (rolling out in preview in the upcoming days) and recording studio in PowerPoint will soon offer a new way to record your presentations (hitting preview later this year).
  • Accelerate and transform the employee experience with Microsoft Viva. Adding to the employee experience platform’s previously available modules—Viva Topics, Viva Insights, and Viva Connections for desktop—Viva Learning is now also generally available. In addition, customers can now purchase Microsoft Viva as a suite (also available with a Glint add-on) to gain access to all the generally available modules, as well as a new module stemming from the recent acquisition of Ally.io, a leading objectives and key results (OKR) company. In the coming year, Ally.io will join the Viva family as a new module to help people and teams come together to build alignment and achieve better business outcomes. Customers who purchase the Microsoft Viva suite will get access to Ally.io when it becomes generally available in the Microsoft cloud over the next year.
  • Turn any device into a personalized, productive, and secure digital workspace with Windows 11 and Windows 365. Today we announced new enhancements to the Windows 365 service, including Windows 11 integrations, new configurable grace period controls, new support for Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)-Joined devices, and new reports in Endpoint analytics to help organizations manage their Cloud PCs. For Windows 11, we highlighted new tools such as Test Base to help customers prepare and migrate their environments from Windows 10 to 11 smoothly. And, to help simplify the update and patch management process, while also reducing costs, we’re offering a new entry-level option for our Microsoft Managed Desktop service. It goes into public preview on December first.


Next-generation businesses need next-generation solutions. Today’s announcements help customers start breaking down traditional data and process silos to put customer experiences first. Read Alysa Taylor’s blog post and the announcements below to learn more.

  • Across your business, collaborate in the flow of work with anyone, everywhere. Today new capabilities, features, and integrations were released across Dynamics 365, Power Platform, Office 365, and Teams, enabling the entire organization to operate as one business, everywhere. Announcements include new integrations to the Power Platform and Teams experience, Dynamics 365 + Teams enhancements, and the new capabilities of Context IQ. With Context IQ, we’re breaking down barriers between collaboration and business processes—not just in Teams, but anywhere in Microsoft 365. Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365 users will be able to surface results from business data across Microsoft Search, find business data inline when working in Office 365, and collaborate with in-line, contextual chat. Context IQ makes it possible for any Dynamics 365 or Microsoft 365 user to access what they need, when and where they need it.
  • Deliver connected experiences across every customer touchpoint. We’re excited to announce the Microsoft Customer Experience Platform, a complete set of customer engagement solutions that puts organizations in complete control of their customer data to accelerate business growth and deepen connections. Microsoft Customer Experience Platform brings together applications spanning the Microsoft Cloud—including Microsoft Advertising, Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, Dynamics 365 Marketing, Dynamics 365 Commerce, Microsoft Promote IQ, Microsoft Clarity, Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics and Microsoft Azure Purview—to deliver personalized, connected experiences, from awareness to purchase. With a deep understanding of customers and rich, out-of-the-box insights, organizations can now understand and predict intent to deliver the right content on the right channel and in the right moment.
  • Exceed customer expectations with an all-in-one digital contact center. We announced the expansion of Dynamics 365 Customer Service to an all-in-one digital contact center solution leveraging the power of Microsoft Teams. With the general availability of our first-party voice channel in Dynamics 365 Customer Service, we’re bringing together contact center channels, unified communications, industry-leading AI, and customer service capabilities into a single, integrated SaaS solution.
  • Build a trusted and resilient supply chain with new Dynamics 365 capabilities. We announced Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights, now in public preview, which enables organizations to predict and mitigate disruptions and gain resiliency. It enhances supply chain visibility, improves collaboration, and generates AI-powered insights to deliver exceptional customer experiences. In addition, the new Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management capabilities, including Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) integration and priority-based planning, enable organizations to create an agile and connected factory that can help improve quality and throughput, and help optimize production processes.
  • Build resilience and drive innovation with Microsoft Cloud industry solutions.​ Today, we’re excited to announce big milestones in our industry cloud journey with two industry clouds: Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing is now in preview and the Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit is now generally available. The Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing brings together capabilities across the Microsoft Cloud portfolio that seamlessly and securely connect people, assets, workflows, and business processes, helping manufacturing organizations become more resilient and sustainable. Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit delivers solutions built specifically for the nonprofit sector and connects our intelligent and integrated cloud capabilities to the most common nonprofit organizational scenarios. In mid-October, we announced wave 2 updates to Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, demonstrating our commitment to support our customers through evolving healthcare challenges.
  • Empower data-backed decision making. We announced updates to Power Automate to help you simplify how you work by discovering workflow bottlenecks, unlocking insights in your business processes from your systems of record, and identifying bottlenecks and areas for optimization. Process mining—the newest capability available for preview—provides direct data insights across the apps and services you use daily and reveals these insights in a detailed process map. Power BI announced several updates with the aim of creating more data-backed collaboration. The Power BI app in Teams (now generally available) enables organizations to foster a culture of continuous improvement by ensuring all employees can create and have access to real-time, relevant insights at the point of collaboration. Additionally, with Power BI Goals in public preview inside the Power BI in Teams experience, collaborators can easily track goals, create scorecards, and automate processes on their way to delivering business success. We also announced that developers can now connect an Azure subscription to their Power Apps and pay only for what they use, simplifying Power Apps deployment and getting apps to users faster.
  • Gain a new perspective by bridging the physical and digital. Today we announced the public preview (on December 1, 2021) of Dynamics 365 Connected Store and its name change to Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces. Now, with Connected Spaces, organizations can harness observational data and use it to produce real-time insights to unlock business value. As an out-of-the-box solution, Connected Spaces is built to be extensible and works with existing hardware. AI-powered retail scenarios will be available for public preview in December with manufacturing scenarios scheduled for public preview in Spring 2022.


Now more than ever, organizations need solutions across hybrid and multicloud environments that secure, operate, and govern their infrastructure, data, and applications. Today’s announcements highlight our commitment to delivering customer choice and innovation to help our customers deliver next-generation apps that run securely anywhere, built with limitless data capabilities, and harnessing the power of AI. Learn more below and in Kathleen Mitford’s blog post.

  • Run your business anywhere with Azure’s hybrid and multicloud approach. We’re announcing new capabilities building on our early leadership and rapid innovation of Azure Arc. Customers can already secure and manage Windows, Linux, SQL Server, and Kubernetes clusters on VMware vSphere, Azure Stack HCI, and multicloud. Customers can also deploy applications and Azure services on Kubernetes clusters on VMware vSphere, Azure Stack HCI, and multicloud. Today, we announced a preview of enhanced integration with VMware vSphere and Azure Stack HCI for VM management. We are bringing inferencing to the edge through Azure Arc–enabled Machine Learning, in preview. In June we announced general availability of Azure Arc–enabled SQL Managed Instance, and today we are expanding the feature set with directly connected mode to support full integration with Azure services. With Azure Arc, customers can secure, develop, and operate in datacenters, edge, and multicloud environments consistently and at scale. We are pleased to announce the preview of Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI. With Azure Virtual Desktop, IT can save on cost with Windows 10 and Windows 11 multi-session—a capability that was previously not available on-premises. Finally, we’re announcing support for additional scenarios in Azure Migration and Modernization Program (AMMP), including hybrid scenarios with Azure Arc and SAP.
  • Leverage Microsoft’s comprehensive data platform to power your entire organization. To help our customers be future-ready, we’re making several announcements about our end-to-end data capabilities, including the introduction of SQL Server 2022 (initially available to a limited number of applicants via private preview). SQL Server 2022 is the most Azure–enabled SQL release yet, enabling easier cloud integration and business continuity, automatic performance and scalability enhancements, and seamless analytics over on-prem operational data. Starting today, the Flexible Server deployment option is generally available for Azure Database for MySQL. Additional data platform announcements include the general availability and preview of Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse and SQL Server 2022, respectively. In addition, Azure Synapse data explorer is joining the existing SQL and Apache Spark analytical runtimes in Azure Synapse Analytics with a highly scalable engine to automatically index structured, semi-structured, and free-text data commonly found in telemetry, time series, and logs to surface enriched insights that can directly improve business decisions. Read Rohan Kumar’s blog post to learn more.
  • Build intelligent, scalable, cloud-native applications. Microsoft empowers developers to address the real-world needs of their customers and business, with best-in-class tools and platforms that reduce the time from idea to value. Today, we announced the public preview of Azure Container Apps, a fully managed and serverless application hosting solution built for microservices. This enables teams to build apps without having to overcome the overhead of working with Kubernetes directly and enables continued application portability by leveraging open standards and APIs. Behind the scenes, every container app runs on the Azure Kubernetes Service, supports scaling dynamically based on HTTP traffic as well as events powered by Kubernetes Event-Driven Autoscaling (KEDA), and comes with full support for Distributed Application Runtime (Dapr) for building microservices. In addition, several important updates are now available for Azure Cognitive Services, including Azure OpenAI Service, currently in preview mode. A few months ago, we evolved the Azure Migration Program (AMP) to the Azure, expanding it to include support for application and data modernization. This week at Ignite, we are announcing expanded support in AMMP for additional application modernization scenarios including Azure Red Hat OpenShift and cloud-native apps.
  • Create fusion teams to boost cross-functional collaboration and deliver apps faster with Power Platform. Fusion teams connect IT Professionals with pro devs and makers in the business to build apps and solutions together through low-code, more quickly than traditional development. To enable fusion teams, we’re announcing key new features across the Power Platform. With the preview of commenting in Power Apps, makers and developers can collaborate in apps real-time to deliver apps in record time. Fusion teams can accelerate app delivery through Power Fx via open-source communities in GitHub. Makers and developers can now package and natively distribute fully branded mobile apps to their employees with Power Apps mobile apps. To simplify app creation and get apps out more quickly, developers now have the flexibility to use an Azure subscription to license users with the Power Apps per app pay-as-you-go plan, allowing customers to use Azure subscriptions to begin their low-code journey. Learn more about these updates here.
  • Develop and run your applications securely with the most comprehensive developer platform. Developers can now secure their deployments to Azure through OpenID Connect integration between Azure AD and GitHub Actions—this update is in preview. In addition, new solutions for running Java EE applications on Azure container platforms are now available.


Today’s announcements showcase Microsoft’s comprehensive security solutions that improve threat protection across multiplatform, multidevice, and multicloud environments. To learn more, read the following announcements and Vasu Jakkal’s blog post.

  • Threat protection for SMBs. Today we introduced Microsoft Defender for Business, a new standalone endpoint security solution to help businesses with fewer than 300 employees protect against cyberattacks, including ransomware and malware. Now available in preview, smaller organizations will be empowered to elevate their security by moving from traditional antivirus software to next-gen protection, endpoint detection and response, and threat and vulnerability management—all while taking advantage of simplified setup and management. Defender for Business will be available both as a standalone solution and as integrated protection included within Microsoft 365 Business Premium.
  • Deeper security detection and event management integration. We recently unified two components of Microsoft’s threat protection solutions—our cloud-native SIEM Microsoft Sentinel, and our extended detection and response tool Microsoft Defender. The next step in that integration is Bi-directional incident detection and response between the two solutions. It will now be easier for users to get the full context around an incident and even close that incident from either tool. Additionally, in Sentinel there is a new Content Hub with more than 100 solutions that help organizations collect data from any source. Also, new integration with Sentinel and Azure Synapse allows security teams to tap into the power of big data analytics and machine learning models for deeper insight into threats and attacks.
  • Boundaryless collaboration with a modern identity platform. Microsoft’s identity platform forms the “trust fabric” for our increasingly digital society. It powers Teams Connect, which allows users to easily and securely share channels with anyone, internal or external to their organization. Microsoft’s modern identity platform is also a key component of data privacy protection. We recently announced Privacy Management for Microsoft 365, which helps organizations identify critical privacy risks, automate privacy operations, and empower employees to be smart when handling sensitive data.
  • Protection for everyone and everything. We believe modern security should be cloud-native and AI based, so it works everywhere at scale. With that in mind, today we announced that Microsoft Defender for Cloud now extends our native Cloud Security Posture Management and Workload Protection capabilities to Amazon Web Services (AWS). These new capabilities will allow security teams to ensure configurations in AWS follow industry best practices and regulatory standards. Additionally, we are extending protection capabilities to Amazon’s Kubernetes service for improved workload coverage.
  • Other multicloud, multiplatform and multidevice news announced at Ignite. Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps has a new application governance capability that helps users identify alerts and protect against risky behavior across data, users, and applications. Microsoft Defender for IoT will now help organizations monitor enterprise IoT devices like VoIP phones, conferencing systems, and building automation. Microsoft Endpoint Data Loss Prevention, which was previously only available for Windows devices, can now support macOS devices. Plus, we are expanding the breadth of Microsoft Endpoint Manager with support for Linux desktops. With this new capability, organizations can now apply and mange security policies and configure conditional access from Azure Active Directory across devices on any platform: Windows, iOS, macOS, and now Linux.

Power Apps 4 All | Organizing Your Data with Boards

Power Apps 4 All

Boards | Season 1 Episode 1 is scheduled for October 20th at 9 EST Register Here

My home office before Boards!

I’m a huge proponent of citizen development using low code tools. I was first introduced to low code development back in the 1980s. Thats when hair bands roamed the earth (search for Poison, Whitesnake, Ratt & Bon Jovi).  I was a financial analyst and so tired of the mundane gathering of information from many line of business systems and typing the data into a spreadsheet.  I was able to convince by manager to buy a copy of Clarion Software for $495.  With Clarion you built a data model and it did the rest creating an exe with lists, forms and reports.  I suddenly became very popular, sitting with my business peers building apps to automate their processes. Often they would leave my office after a couple hour meeting with a working program on a floppy disk.  Together we built many systems of all kinds, accounting, inventory even a CRM. The inventory planning system ran for over 10 years. Not bad for a $500 investment! 

Today our tooling is so much more sophisticated allowing the citizen developer endless creativity while providing centralized  governance and security.  Our goal with Power Apps 4 All is to enable anyone to automate the processes that make them more efficient i.e. “to achieve more”.  In each session we’ll focus on a use case and provide insight on how it can be enabled with Power Apps.  The sessions will be scheduled for 60 minutes the first 30 will cover the topic and be recorded.  The second half will be open for “ Ask Us Anything” formerly called “Stump the Chump”.  This section will not be recorded.

In our 1st session our topic will be “Boards” a sample app you can download and deploy in Teams.  The app allows you to organize information by topic.  Why did we pick this app?  We are all inundated with information.  Finding what we need can be difficult.  Boards gives you a way to organize information your way , giving you access to information quickly and easily.  A McKinsey report estimates we spend about 1.8 hours every day searching and gathering information.  If we could start by just reducing that by 10 minutes a day, that 50 minutes a week or 1.74 days a year. If a company has 1,000 employees that’s 1,740 days of gained productivity.  Not a bad ROI!

For more information on the Boards template please see these links.

Sample low code apps for Teams – Boards – YouTube

GitHub – OfficeDev/microsoft-teams-apps-boards: Boards is OOB Power App in Teams

Boards sample app (preview) – Power Apps | Microsoft Docs

Looking forward to seeing you on the 20th.

Microsoft Tech News and Product Updates: 4/26/2021

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. Please find below an overview of last weeks product news, tech posts and announcements. 

Product News, Tech Posts & Announcements from last week

Azure Infrastructure
Optimizing your storage costs with Azure Blob Storage | Azure Friday – YouTubeStorage
Get a unified network monitoring experience with Network Insights | Azure Friday – YouTubeNetwork
SAP, M-series, Virtual machines (microsoft.com)SAP
Don’t miss out on Azure Storage Day on April 29, 2021! – Microsoft Tech CommunityStorage
Getting started with Azure Bicep for ARM template creation (zimmergren.net)Bicep
Virtual Datcenter Tour | We live in the CloudAzure DC
Business Applications
How to beautify your Power Apps (microsoft.com)Power Apps
Join us for Microsoft Business Applications Summit! May 4th, 2021 | Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BIDynamics
Highlights from 2021 release wave 1 for Dynamics 365 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 BlogDynamics
Group configuration: news and interests on the Windows taskbar – Microsoft Tech CommunityWindows
App Dev
Big data preparation in Azure Machine Learning – powered by Azure Synapse Analytics – Microsoft Tech CommunitySynapse
Localize your website with Microsoft Translator – Microsoft Tech CommunityTranslator
GA Today: Machine Learning on Azure SQL Managed Instance – Microsoft Tech CommunityML
Microsoft Mesh hands-on demo | Mixed Reality | Channel 9 (msdn.com)Mesh
Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 Virtual Marathon 2021 free online training eventMicrosoft 365
New settings in Outlook give everyone a break between meetingsOutlook
New Yammer Training Videos & Resources – Microsoft Tech CommunityYammer
Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Hyperlinked email addresses in Lists within Teams – @Microsoft365ProTeams
The Ultimate How To Guide for Presenting Content in Microsoft Teams – Vesa Nopanen – My Teams & Microsoft 365 Day (myteamsday.com)Teams
Access BitLocker recovery keys from MEM Admin Center with ConfigMgr Technical Preview 2104 – Microsoft Tech CommunityConfigMgr
Sharing how Microsoft now secures its network with a Zero Trust model – Inside Track BlogZero Trust
MCAS: Top 5 Queries You Need to Save – Microsoft Tech CommunityMCAS
MITRE Engenuity ATT&CK® Evaluation proves Microsoft Defender for Endpoint stops advanced attacks across platforms – Microsoft SecurityDefender
Evolving beyond password complexity as an identity strategy – Microsoft SecurityIdentity
Afternoon Cyber Tea: Cybersecurity has become a pillar of the business – Microsoft SecurityLeadership
ManufacturingManufacturing Blog
An Overview of How to Deploy HoloLens 2 (microsoft.com)Mixed Reality
New Microsoft smart building in Israel showcases the workplace of the future – Inside Track BlogSustainability
Build & Deploy to edge AI devices in minutes – YouTubeAI
Leading in the New Norm: Insights from Patrick Dempsey, President and CEO of Barnes Group | MAPILeadership
Update IoT devices in an ISA-95 Industrial network | Internet of Things Show | Channel 9 (msdn.com)IT

Technology Strategist

Microsoft Manufacturing

Microsoft Tech News and Product Updates: 4/19/2021

Happy Monday ! I hope you had a great weekend. Please find below an overview of last weeks product news, tech posts and announcements. 

Episode 3 of Envision will be on 4/20. In this episode  a discussion on the  impacts resulting from the pandemic, including the geopolitical environment. We’ll also explore privacy and security, sustainability, the global skills gap, and how to improve access to technology. To register  Envision – Home (microsoft.com). Envision is presented by Microsoft, Accenture, Avanade   & Trevor Noah

Product News, Tech Posts & Announcements from last week

Azure Infrastructure
New Microsoft Azure billing experience – YouTubeCost Management
The Line Between AD and Azure AD! – YouTubeIdentity
SAP NetWeaver monitoring- Azure Monitoring for SAP Solutions – Microsoft Tech CommunitySAP
New Azure Monitor for SAP Solutions HA Cluster features – Microsoft Tech CommunitySAP
Azure Storage Day virtual event (microsoft.com)IaaS
Business Applications
Announcing the new Charticulator visual (Public Preview) | Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BIPower BI
Announcing the new Power Automate visual for Power BI reports | Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BIPower BI
Navigating the skills gap with Dynamics 365 Guides – Microsoft Dynamics 365 BlogDynamics
Architecting resiliency in supply chains with Microsoft Dynamics 365 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 BlogDynamics
Get real-time digital analytics with Dynamics 365 Customer Insights – Microsoft Dynamics 365 BlogDynamics
Windows Recovery Environment explained – Microsoft Tech CommunityWindows
Security baseline for Microsoft Edge, version 90 – Microsoft Tech CommunityEdge
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 | Details, Review, Tech & Design Specs – YouTubeSurface
App Dev
Build an Intelligent Bot with Microsoft Azure – YouTubeAI
Now available: Code-free AI in Azure Synapse Analytics – Microsoft Tech CommunityAI
Integrating AI: Best Practices and Resources to Get Started with Azure Cognitive Services (microsoft.com)AI
Microsoft 365
A portal’s journey Microsoft Web MSW The Intrazone podcastSharePoint
Your questions from the Microsoft Ignite Ask the Experts sessions about Microsoft Teams…answered! – Microsoft Tech CommunityTeams
Streamline requests with new approval features in Microsoft Teams – Microsoft Tech CommunityTeams
New frontline worker enhancements in Teams to communicate, digitize processes and stay secure – Microsoft Tech CommunityTeams
Released: April 2021 Exchange Server Security Updates – Microsoft Tech CommunityExchange
Using Power Automate to notify admins on Intune Connector health – Microsoft Tech CommunityIntune
Let’s talk about security in Microsoft Teams – YouTubeTeams
Network device discovery and vulnerability assessments – Microsoft Tech CommunityEndpoint
Endpoint Discovery – Navigating your way through unmanaged devices – Microsoft Tech CommunityEndpoint
Security Control: Implement security best practices – Microsoft Tech CommunitySecurity
De-risk your lateral movement paths with Microsoft Defender for Identity – Microsoft Tech CommunitySecurity
Guidance for responders: Investigating and remediating on-premises Exchange Server vulnerabilities – Microsoft Security Response CenterSecurity
How far have we come? The evolution of securing identities – Microsoft SecuritySecurity
ManufacturingManufacturing Blog
The blueprint to securely solve the elusive zero-touch provisioning of IoT devices at scale | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft AzureIoT
Build secure manufacturing operations with nesting capabilities for Azure IoT Edge | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft AzureIoT
How to convert an existing IoT device to be an Azure IoT Plug and Play device – Microsoft Tech CommunityIoT
Whether You Build Them or Buy Them – IoT Device Security Concerns Us All | NISTIoT
Supply Chain Flexibility Through Better Data | Manufacturing Business Technology (mbtmag.com)Leadership
How to avoid vendor lock-in and guide your Industrial IoT solutions – Microsoft Industry BlogsIoT
Transforming manufacturing operations with Dynamics 365 Remote Assist – Microsoft Dynamics 365 BlogMixed Reality

Technology Strategist

Microsoft Manufacturing

Microsoft Tech News and Product Updates: 04/12/2021

Happy Monday ! I hope you had a great weekend. Please find below an overview of last weeks product news, tech posts and announcements. 

Join us at Hannover Messe Digital. The world premier trade show for Manufacturing 4/12 – 4/16  Register Here Tickets & Exhibitor Passes (hannovermesse.de)

Episode 3 of Envision will be on 4/20. In this episode  a discussion on the  impacts resulting from the pandemic, including the geopolitical environment. We’ll also explore privacy and security, sustainability, the global skills gap, and how to improve access to technology. To register  Envision – Home (microsoft.com). Envision is presented by Microsoft, Accenture, Avanade   & Trevor Noah

Product News, Tech Posts & Announcements from last week

Azure Infrastructure
Leverage enterprise-scale reference implementations for your cloud adoption | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft AzureIaas
Cloud Adoption Framework Enterprise-Scale Series and Livestream (microsoft.com)IaaS
Azure Service Fabric 8.0 Release – Microsoft Tech CommunityService Fabric
Which Virtual Machine is best for your workload in Azure? (microsoft.com)IaaS
Azure Landing Zone Q&A | IT Ops Talk | Channel 9 (msdn.com)IaaS
Business Applications
Join us! Power BI Summit April 19-23 | Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BIPowerBI
Introducing new capabilities to transform customer service and field service – Microsoft Dynamics 365 BlogDynamics
Highlights of the Dynamics 365 Marketing 2021 release wave 1 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 BlogDynamics
Intelligence and collaboration converge in Dynamics 365 Sales – Microsoft Dynamics 365 BlogDynamics
Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 2021 release launches with hundreds of new capabilities – Microsoft Dynamics 365 BlogDynamics
App Dev
Diagnose and solve problems with Azure API Management | Azure Friday – YouTubeAPI
The Azure Data Architecture Map – Microsoft Tech CommunityData
Azure SQL News Update: April 2021 (microsoft.com)SQL
DevSecOps: bringing security into your DevOps practice on Azure | Azure Enablement | Channel 9 (msdn.com)DevOps
Microsoft 365
OneDrive sync 64-bit for Windows now in public preview – Microsoft Tech CommunityOneDrive
Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android | April 2021 Updates – Microsoft Tech CommunityTeams
What’s new for Yammer in April 2021 – Microsoft Tech CommunityYammer
Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Forms to the Flow, to the List, to the Team and Yammer using conditions and approvals – @Microsoft365ProTeams
Introducing Modern Comments in Microsoft Word – Microsoft Tech CommunityWord
What’s New from Ignite regarding Insider Risk Management – Microsoft Tech CommunitySecurity
How to use Azure Sentinel for Incident Response, Orchestration and Automation – Microsoft Tech CommunitySecurity
New Security Signals study shows firmware attacks on the rise; here’s how Microsoft is working to help eliminate this entire class of threats – Microsoft SecuritySecurity
Gamifying machine learning for stronger security and AI models – Microsoft SecuritySecurity
Protect your business from email phishing with multi-factor authentication – Microsoft SecuritySecurity
Threat matrix for storage services – Microsoft SecuritySecurity
Investigating a unique “form” of email delivery for IcedID malware – Microsoft SecuritySecurity
ManufacturingManufacturing Blog
What I Wish I Knew: Manufacturing leaders offer firsthand IoT adoption advice | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft AzureLeadership
Microsoft at Ansys Simulation World 2021Leadership
To cool datacenter servers, Microsoft turns to boiling liquidSustainability
Staffing the Fourth Industrial Revolution | MAPILeadership
Ready or Not, Robotics in Manufacturing Is On the Rise (cmtc.com)Leadership
How to conduct virtual Kaizen Events using Microsoft Teams – Microsoft Industry BlogsTeams

Microsoft Tech News and Product Updates: 4/5/2021

Happy Monday ! I hope you had a great weekend. Please find below an overview of last weeks product news, tech posts and announcements. 

Join us at Hannover Messe Digital. The world premier trade show for Manufacturing 4/12 – 4/16  Register Here Tickets & Exhibitor Passes (hannovermesse.de)

Episode 3 of Envision will be on 4/20. In this episode  a discussion on the  impacts resulting from the pandemic, including the geopolitical environment. We’ll also explore privacy and security, sustainability, the global skills gap, and how to improve access to technology.series on the future of work To register  Envision – Home (microsoft.com). Envision is presented by Microsoft, Accenture, Avanade   & Trevor Noah

Product News, Tech Posts & Announcements from last week

Azure Infrastructure
Innovate across hybrid and multicloud with new Azure Arc capabilities | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft AzureArc
Improving agility, performance, and resilience with new Azure infrastructure capabilities | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft AzureIaaS
Collective expertise to help you move your SAP landscape to the cloud – Microsoft Tech CommunitySAP
Business Applications
Start building apps for Teams – Microsoft Tech CommunityTeams
Accelerate IT innovation with new Windows Server on Azure updates | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft AzureWindows
System Center Operations Manager Update Roll-up 3 – Microsoft Tech CommunitySCOM
Learn it! Manage Windows updates in the cloud – Microsoft Tech CommunityWindows
App Dev
Building a balancing robot with Azure Sphere | Azure Friday – YouTubeSphere
Apply AI to your most critical business needs with new Azure AI capabilities | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft AzureAI
How to get the biggest bang for your buck with SQL Server on Azure VMs – Microsoft Tech CommunitySQL
Integrating PowerApps with .NET Web APIs | On .NET | Channel 9 (msdn.com)Power Apps
Microsoft 365
SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop March 2021 (microsoft.com)SharePoint
What’s new for Teams phones | March 2021 – Microsoft Tech CommunityTeams
Microsoft Ignite wrap-up on Inside Microsoft Teams – Microsoft Tech CommunityTeams
What’s New in Microsoft Teams | February and March 2021 UpdatesTeams
Hybrid work is here. Are you ready? – Microsoft 365 BlogMicrosoft 365
Flexible work is here to stay: Microsoft 365 solutions for the hybrid work world – Microsoft 365 BlogMicrosoft 365
Automate note-taking in Microsoft Teams with meeting transcriptionTeams
Workplace Analytics – April 2021: Feature updates – Microsoft Tech CommunityWorkplace
Install Viva Connections today – Microsoft Tech CommunityViva
What’s new for admins in Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise – Microsoft Tech CommunityMicrosoft 365
March Project Update Blog – Microsoft Tech CommunityProject
Champion Management Platform – Microsoft AdoptionAdoption
What’s the difference between a personal Microsoft account and a work or school account? – Microsoft Tech CommunitySecurity
Business Email Compromise Part Three (microsoft.com)Security
Unified DLP Webinar – Microsoft Tech CommunitySecurity
Microsoft Unified DLP update April 2021Security
Finding rogue access points on the Microsoft corporate network – Inside Track BlogSecurity
Security baseline for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise (v2103, March 2021) – DRAFT – Microsoft Tech CommunitySecurity
Automating threat actor tracking: Understanding attacker behavior for intelligence and contextual alerting – Microsoft SecuritySecurity
New Security Signals study shows firmware attacks on the rise; here’s how Microsoft is working to help eliminate this entire class of threats – Microsoft SecuritySecurity
ManufacturingManufacturing Blog
Connecting Azure Sphere to Azure IoT Edge – Microsoft Tech CommunityOT
Episode 31 – Ashley Llorens: Artificial intelligence and robotics – YouTubeOT
How To Foster Business Growth Acceleration During COVID-19 (cmtc.com)Leadership
Top 5 things to see and do at Hannover Messe Digital Edition – Microsoft Industry BlogsLeadership

Microsoft Tech News and Product Updates: 03/29/2021

Happy Monday ! I hope you had a great weekend. This week is opening day, Play Ball! Please find below an overview of last weeks product news, tech posts and announcements. 

Join us at Hannover Messe Digital. The world premier trade show for Manufacturing 4/12 – 4/16  Register Here Tickets & Exhibitor Passes (hannovermesse.de)

Episode 3 of Envision will be on 4/20. In this episode  a discussion on the  impacts resulting from the pandemic, including the geopolitical environment. We’ll also explore privacy and security, sustainability, the global skills gap, and how to improve access to technology.series on the future of work To register  Envision – Home (microsoft.com). Envision is presented by Microsoft, Accenture, Avanade   & Trevor Noah

Product News, Tech Posts & Announcements from last week

Azure Infrastructure
Azure Advisor – Your free, personalized guide to Azure best practices | Azure Friday – YouTubeAdvisor
Scale cloud adoption with modular designs for enterprise-scale landing zones | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft AzureLanding Zones
Expanding our DR scenarios to new zonal capabilities with Azure Site Recovery | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft AzureSite Recovery
Advancing Azure business continuity management | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft AzureBCM
Learn about Microsoft & SAP solutions for Financials, Governance and Cybersecurity – Microsoft Tech CommunitySAP
Learn about Microsoft & SAP solutions focused on Platform & Admin: on demand sessions – Microsoft Tech CommunitySAP
Architectural Decisions to maximize ANF investment in HANA N+M Scale-Out Architecture – Part 3 – Microsoft Tech CommunitySAP
Business Applications
Build collaborative Mixed Reality experiences with Microsoft MeshMixed Reality
New controls to Govern the Power Platform (microsoft.com)Power Platform
Power BI March 2021 Feature Summary | Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BIPower BI
Guide to enabling your organization to use Power BI in Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BIPower BI
Explore Dynamics 365 and Power Platform updates at the Microsoft Business Applications Launch Event – Microsoft Dynamics 365 BlogDynamics 365
Mapping a Network Drive to an Azure File Share Using Domain Credentials (microsoft.com)Windows
Windows release health now available in the admin center – Microsoft Tech CommunityWindows
App Dev
Get a 360-degree view of data sharing lineage with Azure Data Share and Purview – Microsoft Tech CommunityPurview
Build video, voice and chat apps that connect to Microsoft Teams with Azure Communication ServicesTeams
Build Semantic Search into your apps | Latest in Azure Cognitive Search (microsoft.com)Search
Building Teams Apps with Low Code Tools with April Dunnam | #LessCodeMorePower | Channel 9 (msdn.com)Teams
Microsoft 365
Sync Up – a OneDrive podcast : Episode 19, “Best practices for migrating to Microsoft 365” – Microsoft Tech CommunityOneDrive
Microsoft Teams Displays Update | March 2021 – Microsoft Tech CommunityTeams
Live transcription with speaker attribution now available in Microsoft Teams meetings for English(US)Teams
One year in: 7 urgent trends for leaders in the shift to hybrid work – Microsoft 365 BlogMicrosoft 365
New webinar capabilities in Microsoft Teams for up to 1,000 people. And, support thousands more in a view-only experience.Teams
How to use “Definite Guide” for the new Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms – Vesa Nopanen – My Teams & Microsoft 365 Day (myteamsday.com)Teams
1:1 Call Recording Policy Controls Are (Almost!) Here – Microsoft Tech CommunityTeams
How to use Microsoft Word and Teams as a teleprompter for presentationsTeams
New webinar capabilities in Microsoft Teams for up to 1,000 people. And, support thousands more in a view-only experience.Teams
How LEGO Systems builds a collaborative environment with Microsoft Teams – YouTubeTeams
Strengthen and optimize compliance in Azure Security Center | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft AzureSecurity
The Best of Microsoft Compliance at Ignite March 2021 – Microsoft Tech CommunitySecurity
New threat and vulnerability management experiences in Microsoft 365 security – Microsoft Tech CommunitySecurity
Go Passwordless with FIDO2 keys and Temporary Access Pass | Hands-on tour in Azure AD (microsoft.com)Security
Analyzing attacks taking advantage of the Exchange Server vulnerabilities – Microsoft SecuritySecurity
Securing our approach to domain fronting within Azure – Microsoft SecuritySecurity
Secure containerized environments with updated threat matrix for Kubernetes – Microsoft SecuritySecurity
ManufacturingManufacturing Blog
The Principles of Sustainable Software Engineering – Learn | Microsoft DocsSustainability
Purdue University is Training the Manufacturing Leaders of Tomorrow | IndustryWeekLeadership
Running Against the Wind | EHS TodayLeadership
February Retail Sales Show Strong Year-Over-Year Growth a | Material Handling and Logistics (mhlnews.com)Leadership
Solar Is on a Roll—and Needs More Sunlight from Washington | IndustryWeekLeadership

Optimizing Business Processes with Office 365, Teams and the Power Platform

Optimizing Business Processes with Office 365, Teams and the Power Platform

Microsoft 365 provides an extensive set of tools providing a method to optimize your organizations business processes.  In this post I’ll provide an example.  When building a process, I want to focus on these attributes;


  • Creator – Easy to create and maintain.
  • Consumer – intuitive and encapsulated (not having to use many systems to get their job done)


  • Foster the ability to collaborate on work items throughout the process.


  • Continually provide visibility and insights into the process for all stakeholders

For this example, I’m using a safety walk. A safety walk is when a safety inspector walks the floor of a facility and records their findings.  If the inspector finds an issue requiring action, they begin the process.  An action can be dispatching a service technician to fix something that is broken or creating a purchase requisition to obtain a product or service needed to remediate the issue.  In many organizations this would involve access to several systems making the process a bit cumbersome and storing data in silos making reporting difficult.  To simply the process we’ll use just one interface Microsoft Teams and remove the data silos for information so it can used as a feedback loop helping to continually improve the process.   

Here is a high level overview of the architecture.

The “Safety Tracker” app was built using Power Apps.  I created one from scratch with no code in a few hours.  When an issue is created several workflows are started using Power Automate.

  • A text is sent to the facilities manager. Whenever an issue occurs, we want to ensure all relevant parties are notified and we are providing visibility and transparency. 
  • A post is created in Teams.  This gives visibly to our co-workers and provides an opportunity for collaboration and knowledge sharing. 
  • Depending on the type of issue we have the ability to begin a process in another system.  In our example we need to add new safety helmets to stock so we are creating a purchase requisition.  If a repair were needed a work order would have been created and the appropriate technician dispatched.  In my example I’m showing Dynamics as the receiving system however this can be SAP, Oracle, ServiceNow etc. there are connectors for 200+ systems. The relevant data from these system is also shown within Teams so the system consumer doesn’t have to jump to another system to complete the process.
  • We then update views and list to simplify and consolidate data for reporting. Power BI reports and dashboards were created and added as a tab within the Team. 
  • Additional Tabs are added to Teams to include end to end functionality for the process.  In my example they include OneNote and File Share capabilities for sharing and reviewing documentation.

To see a demo of the system please check out this video.

I hope you found this post useful and it has inspired you to try this approach on your use case.

Microsoft Tech News and Product Updates: 1/25/2021

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. Please find below an overview of last weeks product news, post and announcements. 

What’s a PowerPoint Party?

Product News, Tech Posts & Announcements from last week

Azure Infrastructure
Key customer benefits of the expanded SAP and Microsoft partnership | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft AzureSAP
Architectural Decisions to maximize ANF investment in HANA N+M Scale-Out Architecture – Part 1 – Microsoft Tech CommunitySAP
Deploy SAP AnyDB (Oracle 19c) with Azure NetApp Files – Microsoft Tech CommunitySAP
High-availability solutions for SAP SAPMNT & General Purpose share on Azure (SOFS use-case) – Microsoft Tech CommunitySAP
Business Applications
Microsoft, Adobe and Tom Siebel: This is why they’re working together to build a new CRM platformTechRepublic
Quickly respond to changing retail needs with an intelligent supply chain – Microsoft Dynamics 365 BlogDynamics
Microsoft Edge 88 Privacy and Security Updates – Microsoft Edge Blog (windows.com)Edge
Common policy configuration mistakes for managing Windows updates – Microsoft Tech CommunityWindows
App Dev
Troubleshooting Integration Service Environment Deployment Failure – Microsoft Tech CommunityLogic Apps
Simplify Authentication with Managed Identities for Azure Resources | Data Exposed – Microsoft Tech CommunityAzure SQL
Enhanced Table Extraction from documents with Form Recognizer – Microsoft Tech CommunityAzure AI
Azure SQL Connectivity Performance Tips & Tricks | Data Exposed – Microsoft Tech CommunityAzure SQL
Azure Data Factory Enables Data Wrangling at Scale with Power Query (microsoft.com)Azure Data Factory
Serverless Architecture and Concepts. What is it? – Microsoft Tech CommunitySQL Serverless
Microsoft 365
Making risk less risky The Intrazone podcast – compliance (microsoft.com)SharePoint
Plan your day with My Day in To Do (microsoft.com)To Do
Taking command: How Microsoft employees are doing more with Microsoft Teams – IT Showcase BlogTeams
Chatbots in Microsoft Teams | Build with Power Virtual Agents – YouTubeTeams
Microsoft and SAP plege to integrate Teams with SAP business apps by mid-2021 | ZDNetTeams
Intune Support Tip: Using ADMX for the Office Channel – Microsoft Tech CommunityIntune
Microsoft 365 Information Protection and Compliance Deployment Acceleration Guides – Microsoft Tech CommunityInformation Protection
How IT leaders are securing identities with Zero Trust – Microsoft SecurityZero Trust
Using Zero Trust principles to protect against sophisticated attacks like Solorigate – Microsoft SecurityZero Trust
The dynamic duo: How to build a red and blue team to strengthen your cybersecurity, Part 2 – Microsoft SecurityStrategy
ManufacturingManufacturing Blog
Examining the Manufacturing Talent Crisis: Women in the Workforce | MAPILeadership
Getting a Grip on What’s Next for Robotics in Manufacturing | NISTTechnology
How Barcode Integration Can Lead Your Digital Transformation | Manufacturing Business Technology (mbtmag.com)ERP
Addressing the skills gap in manufacturing’s new normal – Microsoft Industry BlogsLeadership
Microsoft invests in General Motors’ self-driving subsidiary Cruise | ZDNetTechnology