This episode is brought to you by Inogic and their new Kanban Board for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.

The coronavirus COVID-19 has changed the technology world. People are working remotely, conferences are canceled. On this podcast, we talk about the changes to D365UG Summit Barcelona, MVP summit, and other conferences.

To help organizations combating the crisis, Microsoft is making the premium push notification adapter for Power Apps available for free to all users, and they have also released a new template targeted at Crisis Communication. Find out more at https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/crisis-communication-a-power-platform-template/

Shawn Tabor recently lead a hackathon, but it wasn’t for adults. Shawn talks about how a class of fifth-graders used Power Virtual Agent to educate about climate change and fire safety.

We are only about a month away from the release of Dynamics 365 and Power Platform 2020 Wave 1. We talk about what is new with Field Service, sales forecasting, and team member license enforcement. If you want to learn more about what is coming with 2020 wave 1, check out our video tip series at crmtipoftheday.com.

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Joel:
Welcome to CRM Audio, the business applications and Microsoft Power Platform podcast. I'm Joel Lindstrom and joining me is George Doubinski. We're going to be talking about all the cancellations from the coronavirus and what's new with the wave 1 2020 and a bunch of other stuff.

Joel:
And I guess our top story is the Corona virus or COVID 19. thanks to Corona virus, my travel schedule is much lighter this month. I was supposed to be on a trip this week and it canceled and then I was supposed to be at the Microsoft MVP summit in Seattle. And that has canceled and moved to a virtual conference. So we'll see how that goes. But thanks to that, I'm home for pretty much the whole month up until like the last week.

Joel:
How are you George?

George:
I'm quite all right considering the circumstances. I'm on the last leg of my travel. It was supposed to be over a months, but culture shock. So I'm going home in a couple days. So I'm currently in Europe in.

George:
In a rainy Switzerland and there you are, you greens, raining people or what are you doing there?

Joel:
Are you training?

George:
We're doing some Power Platform training. And I think it's going to be the last in person training for a while. So I have to say that Swiss are very organized.

George:
people like they maintain one point six meters distance between people in the room. It's kind of prescribed distance people.

Joel:
And I heard that the Swiss banned any meetings of over a thousand people.

Joel:
So apparently you don't have a thousand people in your training.

George:
No, no, no. That would be insane.

George:
So we've got quite a few people coming over, it's surprising like the power platform. We have a majority of people coming over from from the Dynamics 365 world. It's a mix. It's challenging to to teach because you have part of the audience who know the subject and half of the audience. It doesn't know what you're talking about. And it's continuously for three days. Yeah. Sometimes you do hit the subjects when nobody knows what you're talking about, including yourself. So we've kind of kind of done that. But yeah, I'm on the last leg and going home. So I was meant to go to Barcelona. Barcelona was to be the next one. And now it's all postponed. Barcelona postponed. I'd say it's my take would be that even if they go ahead, they would get much lower numbers. So a lot of people just aren't coming back, at least not that soon. I think that the whole controversy is going to have long term impact.

Joel:
Oh, yeah, definitely. I think it is. It's it's amazing to look at the list of big technology companies that have canceled their their conferences, not just Microsoft, but the Facebook cancelled their conference work day canceled their conference. Salesforce canceled their marketing conference. Adobe canceled their Adobe World. Some of these conferences have 30 to 50 thousand people attending them. So then the the impact on the airlines and other things like that, you'll probably be able to get some pretty inexpensive flights to do this as well.

George:
Absolutely. So the airlines stock is down. We would just watch them and discuss them. The travel company's stocks are down and the Cruz campaign is taking a huge hit. They probably will be the last to recover.

Joel:
Yeah, because, I mean, who wants to go on a cruise and be stuck in the ocean, refused entry to ports. That's happened to people already. So I'm not a fan of cruises myself.

Joel:
Anyway, just because you're being being trapped on a boat makes me feel a little bit insecure.

George:
I suppose so.

George:
I had the privilege to travel to Scottish Summit. That was fantastic. It's amazing how differant events can be organized.

George:
I've been through some horrible community events and they're only the only justification for accepting those events was that, look, people tried. You know, it's it's one of those like in school when you come in last and it's like you get the medal for participation or you tried. Okay, but this one was simply amazing. The guys did a super job, better job than most of the commercial organizers we had. It's Ireland's Miller. It's like winter in Glasgow. The weather is miserable and we get like over a thousand people because there's nothing else to do here in the winter.

Joel:
Other than drink and do Dynamics.

George:
Yeah, well people travel distances. Myself and Neil Benson were representing Australia. Having traveled for a long, long way around the world. So that was awesome meeting all the CRM Audio fans. So people listen to CRM Audio all the way to Scotland. Hi, Scotland fans. It's it's amazing. And obviously sessions were great because people traveled from all over the Europe to to be there. So we had a Swedish gang with Sara Lagerquist. Yeah, it was great. It was all on a Saturday.

Joel:
How many different simultaneous tracks did they have?

George:
Oh, good question. Six maybe.

George:
Some were quite busy. I was competing against three or four sessions, but there were busier slots like I think with six to eight sessions at the same time. But with great variety and all sessions were quite busy. So it was great.

Joel:
And I think I think you can tell a lot from a conference like that by things like the call for proposals, if there's a lot of small print and "you will give up rights to your material" and there's a for profit motive behind it, it it take has a different feel to me than community events like like a Scottish summit or like we have with Power Platform 24, where it's just people in the community coming together to share knowledge and learning. And nobody has an ulterior motive for doing it other than maybe to become an MVP or get some contributions to log.

George:
I was just about to say that the some are there to score points, but it's kind of the same like ulterior motive. When you donate huge amounts of money to charity, you get a tax break, that kind of ulterior motive.

Joel:
Right. If you if you're independent, you can also find potential customers there, too. So there's that.

Joel:
It just shows that there's a lot of there's a lot of great enthusiasm out there in places like Scotland that aren't the place you would think for a big conference, although with what's going on right now, that's probably a good place to have a conference rather than having it in Seattle or San Francisco or someplace like that. Do you think that the current virus will have long term impact on the way people work? I'm thinking with like all these companies having their employees stay home, do remote work, what they might find is it works pretty well, you know, or hey, we can save money by by getting rid of some office space.

George:
Turns out some people are not that important, so we can save money, you know, by firing some of the people, turns out. OK, so it turns out not everyone is as useful as we thought. So, yeah, absolutely.

George:
I think the impact is going to be long term for a variety of reasons, since even though it looks likely coronaviruses going to settle into some flu pattern, it's a severe flu, but it's a flu. It's deadly, but not too deadly. That's why it's spreading. And if you recall, like SARS, they were way too deadly. They couldn't propagate because they killed their hosts very, very quickly. This one is kind of deadly, but not too deadly. So that's kind of problem for for everyone. But in the end of the day, the mortality rate, that's higher than the normal flu. But it's not killing like 50 percent of its hosts. So it's going to settle into a pattern. And as I mentioned, if people were as precautious as them now about like hand-shaking and aging and were washing their hands and keeping the distances and not, you know, not kissing each other on the lips every time they see each other, then I think we would have had much fewer deaths from the ordinary flu like common flu instead of, what, 50000 a year we would have had like five thousand. So I think it's going to settle on a long term pattern and people a bit more cautious about being in close spaces with other people and sick people. The masks that were prevalent in, let's say in Asia, they've been around for a while, particularly in countries like Japan. You could find people wearing masks like years and years ago and not because they were trying to protect themselves. It is basically people who coughing and sneezing that would protect you and people around and that will become commonplace all around the world. So I say that, yes, virtual preferences will always be a preferred way of communicating. And guess what?

George:
Like shares in the companies like Zoom Video Communications are like all green. They all up the market down. But video communication shares are up right now.

Joel:
I just looked the stat up, and every year in the US the flu kills between 16 and 60 thousand people.

Joel:
So you're more likely to die from the flu than from the coronavirus. But it's more of an unknown quantity and spreading rapidly, so that's the concern. But and it's worth mentioning that technology companies, including Microsoft and Google, are giving away premium features in their collaboration tools to help during the crisis, but also probably to grab market share, too. They're not doing everything just as a charity. So you can get six month trials of office E3 Now, Microsoft has added added the premium features of teams to the free version. Google is adding premium features and hangouts to the free version. Microsoft is making the push notification connector that's premium for power apps as a free connector. And they've also released a crisis management template, which I haven't looked at. I know you said you looked at it some and I don't know how quickly they put it together, but it's I think it's just a showcase to show how you can use things like push notifications.

George:
Ok. Let me let me get in on this one.

Joel:
I have a disclaimer in there about this is not to be used. This this this is not for health care or something like that.

George:
Ok. But let me get quickly on my licensing high horse. And so the instructions to install, I looked into the app and looks it looks slick, but instructions to install are forty three pages long, right? So why do you think is that?

Joel:
All the connectors?

George:
The app is trying to install itself, remember that before, yes, we can of bashed their approach where there is obvious case for relational database, but people continue to use SharePoint. Because SharePoint is kind of free. Well, a license is baked into windows and stuff like this, so we already have SharePoint for the 10000 users within the organization. And so instead of using CDS, that would have been a much better fit here. And, you know, deploying a solution. The instructions go on and on and drone for pages and pages about how to provision SharePoint, stuff like multiple lists and so on, so on. So basically, I blame licensing or fear of licensing for this insanely long instructions. I haven't looked it in depth. But the first impression was that the majority of installation instructions is actually to roll out things in SharePoint that could have been done in CDS in a matter of minutes.

Joel:
Yeah, that's true. But there's there's also if you don't have CDS, there's more required to set that up. And you're probably right, that's licensing decision that would have required a free version of CDS.

George:
Yes. Yes, I agree.

Joel:
Everybody should have CDS. Your mom should have CDS, your kids should have CDS…

George:
what did you call my mom?

Joel:
I said your mom should have CDS. Everybody should have Common Data Service.

George:
Yeah, absolutely.

George:
It's like it should be as common as SharePoint. I actually. There was one great suggestion Mike Smith popularized that someone else did that on their blog. But Mike Smith moved it to suggestions on Power Apps idea.

George:
The idea is that CDS should become an option when you go to Azure SQL, provision in CDS should become an option and Azure and it should be called Azure CDS. And the argument is that popularity will shoot through the roof the moment that's called not Common Data Service, but Azure CDS.

George:
Yeah, I'm for that, although I see why. It's not because it's more than just a database. You know, if you just want a database. But I digress..

Joel:
So is data lake

Joel:
Yeah, that's true, that's true. So we've been preparing for the wave 1 2020, which is only about a month away for some of our listeners and over CRM tip of the day. I've been doing a series of videos. We have also some blogs coming up that don't have videos, but trying to get more in-depth into the new features. And what I've tried to do is in an effort to learn them. I find, if I want to learn something, nothing better to do than to try and train somebody else. So I've been trying to capture that and got a number more than I want to do. There's there's a lot of stuff in 2020, wave one. And I'd like to see I like some of the things that are kind of renovating some of the legacy features. The one that surprised me how much I liked was the sales forecasting. I looked at the sales forecasting when it was the limited sales forecasting in preview last year. And iit didn't really move me, but I like what I'm seeing right now. So I want to give away any spoilers for that for that video. But I've found that it's it's really something I think a lot of sales managers will like.

George:
Oh, so there is a hope that they're going to fix things like goals?

Joel:
I think sales forecasting is what goals should have been all along. Because you've got the biggest problem with goals is it's really kludgy to set them up and they're not automated. So if you want to want a monthly goal every month, you've got to set one up every month or come up with some convoluted. And I think we even have some tips of the day about making workflows auto generate goals. But it's not straightforward. Where this is taking your opportunity data. I wish it was available for other entities besides opportunities, but taking your opportunity data and it's allowing you to view kind of a matrix kind of view that rolls up or does calculations for each category. So imagine if you have the different stages on your opportunity and you want to see what's our what's our value here. But then you can change each those columns to be a calculation if you want to be a pro-rated or something like that. You can choose a view. You can replace the standard field for four forecast status with a custom one. It's I mean, it's it's solid.

Joel:
And so it doesn't do every kind of forecast, but for what it does,it is great.

George:
You're talking about the pivot tables. Are they using standard grids or is it custom custom controls?

Joel:
I think it's a custom control from the looks of it.

Joel:
It's as if you could have a view, but every value in an option set has a column in the view, and you can create new columns in the view that have calculation

George:
Let me let you into a secret. It's called a pivot table..

Joel:
Yeah, I gotcha. I gotcha.

Joel:
Pivot table with the ability to create new custom fields in your pivot table.

George:
Wow. Excel 3.0. Yeah. Now, look, it's it's quite exciting.

Joel:
Oh. And you can say one of those columns is a simple column, and excel reinvented, you can import Excel data into that field.

George:
Well…

George:
Yeah. Some of the features of integration with Excel are great like with CDS if you go in straight to data and Excel. Boom. And it's not the Power Apps Excel add-on. It's no longer bulk editing and imports. Like with Excel online editing feature. It's actually true real time editing.

Joel:
Yeah. Reminds me of reminds me of an add on we had back in CRM 4. It was basically pulling up a view in Excel and editing it and updating. We used to fight Excel left and right say hey you use this instead of Excel now it's hey you're not going to pry Excel out of you're out of your hands here. So let's just make it work with Excel.

George:
So. Well, that was exciting.

Joel:
One thing that I see as a shift for me at least is traditionally if we had somebody do sales, we generally haven't been using the sales hub. And same thing with customer service we've been putting cases were opportunities in a start from scratch model driven app. And my philosophy for doing that in the past was if Microsoft has an update, they will overwrite some stuff. But what I'm seeing now is it's in our favor to start using those hub apps because, and here's why, they're putting the settings for those apps into those hubs. So if you want to change your SLA or you want to change your opportunity settings to customize the opportunity close dialogue, you need to be in the sales hub. So that in itself, plus the fact they're adding new functionality specific to those apps. And each of those apps has their own team with their own budgets. And they're they're trying to make those apps compelling for people to use. So I'm starting to say, hey, if there's sales or customer service, let's use the hub. And I was thinking about it and that kind of went against what I believed, but then I thought, you know what, if we have a marketing project that uses Dynamics Marketing, we use the Dynamics Marketing app, if we were a field service project, we use the Field Service app. So that's really not any different than than those those apps. And I think that to me, it comes down to how much are you in that in that world? So if sales is your thing and you're using opportunities, you're using leads, you're using the sales insights features, you want to be in the sales hub. If you are a guy who occasionally does an opportunity, but then does other things, mainly custom entities, then I think you can make the call that that's not really that's not really sales. That should be just a custom model driven app.

George:
OK, I kind of get where you're coming from

George:
To me, it's nice to see Microsoft starting to pivot forwards functionality rather than schema. So we've been saying all along there's a movement called "free the entities." You know, we kept saying that the value of solutions like sales is not in the entities, because you can reproduce the data model in a matter of hours, the values and the things like sales forecast. You know, applying A.I. to to the numbers and crunching them and producing some insights. So that's where the value is in functionality. And therefore, we maintain that, you know, attempts to restrict the entities and license use of specific entities is a ridiculous motion.

Joel:
I agree with that, but I would I would like to see somebody try to use the field service entities without really using field service. I don't think it can be done because it's so intertwined and inter-meshed.

George:
You can use URS. without can using field service.

Joel:
But try and use part of a work order. You can't do it. Why would you? But then where do you draw the line?

George:
But why? Why would you want to license work order?

Joel:
No, you wouldn't. But I'm saying freeing the work order entity gives me nothing. I can't do anything useful with just the work order entity

George:
You just proved my point.

Joel:
Well then where do you draw the line?

Joel:
Something like the Teams integration, which is currently only available if you have Dynamics Sales. Is it okay, in your opinion, for them to restrict that to the people have dynamics licenses and not give that to people that have custom model driven apps? Where do you draw the line that, hey, this is a function that makes sense to be a Dynamics premium feature?.

George:
You're starting to push my good will here. I don't know. I would say like features like Team integration that should be available. The same was being SharePoint, if you recall, initially wasn't available for CDS. Now it is. I think integration features with external ones, with external providers, some external applications should be available at the base level, at CDS level, simply because, as Microsoft, you get in your money elsewhere. Right. So when you integrate them with SharePoint, you get SharePoint license or Office money. Same thing with Teams, it's the same office money. So why do you want to license integration? That's not what your license you should license brains. Something that is unique.

Joel:
Something like Sales Insights? That is a premium sales feature that makes sense to be there.

George:
Absolutely. Which kind of brings me to the point that I was about to get to. The enforcement of Team Members.

Joel:
Yeah. Which we will have a tip of the day coming up about.

Joel:
Another one of our videos about what is coming with 2020 wave 1, one is about team member enforcement.

George:
So what's happening? What I don't quite understand: So they lock it down. But if you're not complying, you still have a bit of time. So new users get locked down. First of April, will get the lock down on the features. But if you have existing team members I believe you still have a few months to comply.

Joel:
And I'll tell you why that is, because the problem is Microsoft shot themself in the foot and never enforced team member licenses or really gave a way to to ensure compliance, because there was no way to enforce the limitations. So they have these new apps, which are the mechanism to control the number of custom entities, etc. But those come out April 1st or whenever you get wave wave one. And unless you turn the preview on ahead of time, it's impossible to get compliant until you have those apps. Then you have to do some work to update your configuration so it doesn't make sense to enforce it on the day that the vehicle that I can get compliant with is released. It's like saying gas cars are banned on April 1st, but now you can't get the Tesla until April 1st. You would basically be setting up yourself to get a lot of support calls with, hey, why can't my users log in? Yeah, sure, they could get the preview. But no large companies generally going to be happy running pre-release stuff in production.

George:
Let's be honest, Even Microsoft sales reps that you could encourage use of those lights.

Joel:
Oh yeah. I've got some examples where that happened six months ago and they said, yeah. Get the team member. So that's when you invite the Microsoft sales rep on the call with to explain it to the customer.

George:
That's right. Speaking of Tesla's, one of the demos they did. During the Scottish Summit I met them none other than Ben Vollmer. A public event is not a public event. Ben Bulmer is there right now.

Joel:
I've got a Ben Vollmer story for you. You know, we have the Ben Vollmer song, which has been extremely popular. It's now, I think, the number one thing, if you search on YouTube for Ben Vollmer, the Ben Vollmer song is more popular than Ben Vollmer's channel. So Ben sent me a text yesterday saying, "hey, I need to get a jingle made. Who is the guy that wrote that song to me?" So I referred him to the guy in India who who wrote the Ben Vollmer song. So I can imagine he's saying him a message right now saying, "hi, my name is Ben. You wrote a song about me?" Anyway. You were saying…

George:
Yeah. What's your address? Yeah, I'm outside of your house.

George:
No Ben obviously was present and something about something something, something Field service something, something. Which reminds me of the whole idea of Internet of Temperatures. I was during the talk about one of the true no code features in the entire platform. You know how there debate about low code no power, which I don't particularly like the slogan because it's divisive. Right. And people say, oh, canvas apps and power automate that are low platforms.

George:
Hooray! And I'm saying, Hey, guys. Hello. Over here we have this no code, absolutely no code platform features, and I know of two of those features. One is just basically good old model driven apps. You can build something useful through configuration only, and the other feature is custom connectors, again through configuration only, you kind of open up your systems to the world. So what I did, I demonstrated like how normal people like in Internet of temperatures, how normal people measure temperature. You use the weather service or you have some IoT devices. So I demonstrated measuring temperature remotely in Sydney outside of my house. And I used a very expensive IoT device. I used my Tesla that is currently parked there. And I wrote a custom connector for the Tesla to basically check if car is asleep. If car is asleep then wake it up and query the data, and one of the dozens of data points it returns is inside and outside temperature. That's how you measure temperature outside of your house without writing a single line of code. Of course,

Joel:
So what you're saying is I need to go buy a Tesla so that I can tell the temperature at home when I'm away from home. Seems like I could find a less expensive way to do that.

George:
You probably can, but that's fun. But what do you think of this debate?

Joel:
I think this whole debate is kind of pointless because model driven apps are lower code than canvas apps are. If you are talking your typical Dynamics deployment, some of them are really complex and have a bunch of web resources and JavaScript. But I would say the average one has maybe a little bit of JavaScript in it, but it's mainly configuration and workflows and other things. Whereas all canvas apps have a level of expressions that are more complex than just point, click, and configure. And so that's where there's really no difference. You have things that a lot of people who aren't developers can do to build a functioning app. Then you've got some super cool things that developers can do to build your custom connectors and other things like that. So I really don't see that big of a difference. I think here's what it is. In my opinion is with canvas apps, it's possible to do things that are really outside the box, put the components where you want and find ways to do things that as as a non developer. And in doing that, it's easy to get very exuberant and enthusiastic and start tweeting about about how great this is. I didn't need any developers, but when it comes down to it when it comes to apps that scale and can be deployed in an enterprise scenario with more than two users and that will be still working six months down the road that aren't just demo where, you know, you need you need architects mean you need developers.

George:
So I'm just trying to find an analogy in the real world. And to me, it's like comparing different sports. For example, you have canvas apps. It's like playing darts. If you want to be a world champion, you can and you'd be training and take it seriously. You train different parts of your body, like a you need a steady hand, hand-eye coordination, and all these sorts of things. But at the same time, as a citizen, you can walk into a pub and play darts, and say, "this is a great sport" while drinking beer. And then you got model driven now, which is kind of a bit boring, like running a marathon, but you can't just show up and run a marathon. You need to prepare. You need to have a level of fitness. You need to have gear like running shoes, preferably. You can't just show up. And this level of fitness, this level of preparation before you even do any activity that's dealing with data model. That's what actually I think the barrier of entry is in the eyes of a lot of people, that you need to figure out your data model first. And by working that out, you're already halfway there. That's why it's codeless, because you invest. You've already done the investment, not into coding, but working out what your data is, how things relate to each other and so on.

George:
So it's kind of a level of sport where you need to invest and you need to be fit before you even start playing. But you know what I mean? With canvas, you can start very quickly throwing things together. It's great. Right. Because you use whatever you have, it will work around that. But the price you pay with the growing complexity of the expressions begins once you want things to work together. You have to kind of do it yourself. If you need security, you need to wire it up yourself, if you need some behavior or relational entities. You have to wire it up yourself. While in modle driven app, you take a lot of it for granted. You know, you need to look up. Yeah, it's already there. I don't have to do anything, you know? All right. It's just a matter of setting up the data. So it's different approach. It's just a matter of where your investment is. Is it upfront like in a model driven app, and then you enjoy fruits of your investment by not writing code or it's throughout the app and then you still write in low code as opposed to professional development environments. But your level of investment is spread in time when you write and canvas just different different kinds of emphasis and different stages of development to other things.

Joel:
I think both can benefit from the other the other side. I don't really think there are different sides because I mean, if you really look at it, if you look at the canvas apps that the people that the really good examples are canvas apps that look really good. You know, like my my colleague Hardit made basically a WhatsApp clone, not just just as a project, but he invested a lot of time in doing that. And, you know, in the process, he's getting into writing code, but also people who write code, you know, I've heard you say yourself that there's things that you used to do with code and plugins that now you'll use low code/no code approaches because, you know, it's a waste your time to do those things manually or to write them from scratch. I mean, I've known people who write binary. Nobody does that anymore, mostly, unless they do it for some obscure hobby because there's there's easier ways. And every type of computer language is some sort of abstraction anyway.

George:
So yeah you go up and up and then you've got leaky extractions.

Joel:
I don't want people like developers to create unnecessary barriers for people becoming developers because at some point, you know, a citizen developer can learn how to be a developer or at least a junior developer and learn. Now, take me, for example. YI am now a certified developer because I passed the M.B. 400 exam. So, you know, you said I wasn't a developer. I'm now certified developer. Joel Lindstrom.

George:
Remember I just talked about the medals you get for participation. That's your medal for participation.

Joel:
Okay. Okay.

George:
No. Congratulations. And I think you didn't answer one of my deep questions. Not so long ago, didn't you?

Joel:
Yeah, I did. And the thing with that exam, which it's new I took when it was in beta. So there were some typos and other things on it. I thought it was a decent exam.

Joel:
It's really not a developer exam. I think it's more of a technical architect exam. I'm not going to give away secrets from that from the test. But at least half the questions are things that I don't consider development. What I tell people is look at the look at the outline that's available on the page. There's a link a lot people miss where you can download a word document with an outline. And half the topics are things like business process flows and other things like that or CDS environment management, things that really I would consider to be more of a technical architect where you don't have to be the one writing the script, but you should be able to look at TypeScript JavaScript file and say this is what this is going to do. These are the fields involved. This is, you know, the operations doing or you should know the the kind of order of operations and making a plug in.

Joel:
Even if like me, you're not generally developing the plugin

Joel:
Was Shawn, you've been you've been going to school, I hear.

Shawn:
Yes, I have. I've been extending the power platform to the kiddos, so it's something I've always wanted to do.

Shawn:
Yeah, something I've always wanted to do as part of that came out of the three sixty five power up Tampa sessions a couple of weekends ago, and when we were planning that I wanted to do a hackathon, but with kids.

Shawn:
And what ended up becoming is a way for me to work with the kids at a local elementary school, a group of fifth graders.

Shawn:
And what we did is we did a Minecraft coding session around the hour of code module A.I. for good.

Shawn:
And then after that, the next day, we did a session on power virtual agents on how you could create chat bots to help people understand more about climate change and fire safety.

Shawn:
And in the cool part, with power virtual agents. The topic was a little little over their head, a little advanced, but it gave them a really good

Shawn:
insight to artificial intelligence and then what we did is we used the suggested topics, capability of power virtual agents, where you go to any FAQ site. I chose NASA.gov because they have a really good climate change FAQ. And we pulled in those topics and then we took a few of them and made we customize the topics. Had the kids come up with the the trigger phrases, had them come up with the conversational aspects of how we would present that information. And the one that they had the most fun with is

Shawn:
Do cow farts or cow burps? Which one of those is more is worse for the environment?

Joel:
Ok. What? Which one do you think is probably the burps?

Shawn:
You are correct, sir. Because then the digestion of this of the food in the stomach creates more methane than what you got.

Joel:
You have multiple stomachs going on, too.

Shawn:
Yes, you do. So, yes. So that was really fun. But they got to really understand a little bit more about artificial intelligence by using power virtual agents. And what I'm hoping to do this summer is to do they have a summer camp and I'm hoping to do a little power apps, canvas Power app development with them and help them understand a little bit more about the power platform. So really good opportunity, I'm very excited about it.

Joel:
So like, what were the best comments you got from from these bright young minds?

Shawn:
Well, they loved it.

Shawn:
They loved the hour of code with Minecraft, and they actually were thinking that I played Minecraft. I don't. But they were asking me if I knew how to get a creeper to drop a disk. No. Oh, well, you got to get it skeleton to kill him.

Joel:
Well, my son my son tells me now the creepers explode under water. So now you're not even safe in the water anymore.

Shawn:
They go. They go. Yeah. They were really fascinated with the concept of reforestation.

Shawn:
And because that's at the end of the hour of code, where once you saved the village from B, from the fire from the wildfire, you can reforest and repopulate the area with animals. I was going around to each each of the students and see how they were doing. And you heard from the corner of the room.

Shawn:
"There's too many sheep, i put too many sheep!"

Shawn:
So, yeah, it was it was it was really, really rewarding.

Shawn:
And it's so much fun.

Joel:
Did you have any bad kids try and burn the village down or anything?

Shawn:
There was one kid that just kept digging, digging. Then he started just mining for stuff he didn't want to record. He's been playing Minecraft.

Shawn:
To each his own. Yeah. What I hope to do is packaging the content that I did and then share it out with community. So maybe, maybe we can get people to do it another in other areas.

Joel:
Awesome.

Joel:
So what's your what's your take on the Wave 1 2020 field service stuff?

Shawn:
A lot of good stuff. A lot of good stuff.

Shawn:
I'm looking forward to the private preview of the new schedule board that's I've seen I've seen a glimpse of that and it looks really, really cool. I'm also excited about time entry that's going to be very, very powerful for her field service engagement. We always tried to either do it on our own or if there's a PSA install, we're using the time entry entities from PSA.

Shawn:
So with the new capability, we're able to have that functionality without having to do all that. And we can use the booking status changes to trigger time sheet entries. The one thing that I would say I wish they had was a timesheet view as opposed to just either time entries against a work order or a list of time entries. There's no real time sheet. So I think that there's an opportunity there for some improvement, but, you know, maybe I'll come up with something on my own. The other thing is I'm really excited about our potential for the IoT overlays with service history.

Shawn:
So you can see you can see the actual events that are being triggered by your IoT devices in line with the service history of those of those assets.

Shawn:
That's going to be. It's gonna provide some really compelling information for customers. And I really like the idea at the start that they did to provide power BI reporting with in field service, although it's canned and not editable. It's a nice start and it gives some ideas that I think could bring about the creation of some customer power, be-I reports or for customers.

Joel:
So what is this? Is this something that's just part of the application now or is there something else you need to install to use it?

Shawn:
No, it's part of the application. Nothing else you need install. They're actually embedding in Microsoft is from intents and purposes is paying for the power BI to be embedded in that app. If you don't have power being licensing, you still you still can access that information. So that's pretty cool. But that's why, you know, you can edit it or change it. What they're looking to do is, from what I understand, get feedback on what's in that report. And as they get enough feedback, then they'll make changes accordingly.

Shawn:
So, yeah, it's it's some cool stuff.

Joel:
So is it along the lines of what's in customer service and sales insights? Kind of canned reports?

Shawn:
Yeah. Along along those lines, it doesn't really go into like resource utilization to do to grad like and stuff. But but it's it's it's on par with with sales and customer service and such a. At that level reporting.

Shawn:
Awesome. A new feature just got released for power virtual agents where you can actually edit the flow from within authoring canvas, which is a big deal because then you don't have to leave to authoring canvas and go out of power virtual agents to modify the flow and then come back and make sure it's connected right

Shawn:
That I thought was a really nice new addition that just came out about a week ago.

Joel:
So that's kind of like what we have in canvas apps with the ability to create flows from there, too.

Shawn:
It wasn't in place with the power of virtual agents to start.

Joel:
You're still it's still switching over to power automate. You're just launching it from there, right?

Shawn:
Right. But before you'd actually have to actually leave it, right? You could connect the flow to the power virtual agent, but you couldn't edit the flow from that screen. You know, if you did double click down on the flow or right click.

Shawn:
You wouldn't get a way to edit it. But now you can you can get there. Right from the authoring gammas.

Joel:
Yeah. Cool. I'll check that out. Power virtual agent is something I need to do more with. Have done a lot with canvas apps and with power automate. I haven't had a use case for power virtual agent yet, so.

Shawn:
But I still there a lot of fun. I mean, there are a ton of fun. And it's at a time right now where you can do a lot of explorative work with the trials and get a lot of good ideas, especially when you're using it in a consultative capacity with your clients to give them a really good feel for what they can connect to, what they can, what information they can send out of how it can.

Shawn:
I can work with omni channel, things like that. It's it's pretty impressive. It's pretty impressive.

Joel:
I should set up the Joel Bot. Instead of talking to my colleagues, I should just have them go to the Joel Bot.

Shawn:
You should absolutely.

Shawn:
And you set up an FAQ. Actually, you know what I did? I did try to set up a bot from the FAQ

Shawn:
On CRM Tip of the Day

Shawn:
And F A Q structure on CRM

Shawn:
Tip of the day is not very conducive so it didn't give me a lot of us suggested topics well,

Joel:
Talk to George. Yeah, I know.

Shawn:
So one other thing. How long you thinking that we're going to have these either canceled or virtual events?

Joel:
It's hard to say. George's theory is like this will at some point just become like the flu is, where it's just one of the thing that, you know, is is kind of a known quantity. And you just you just watch it. And what I'm wondering is, you know, Microsoft Business Applications Summit, if I was to put money on it, i I don't know. I think it's up in the air.

Shawn:
Yeah, I would think many of the conferences, especially the very big ones like Ignite, Inspire. I would question whether or not those would even happen this year.

Joel:
Yeah. Yeah, at least the first half of the year. You know, we just have to see what happens and how things play out. And. You know, it's I understand if I was Microsoft that was having thousands of people come some place where this was going on.

Joel:
If one person got sick or were died or something. That would be that would be really bad for them.

Shawn:
So wait, how do you from an MVP perspective, that really significantly reduces the number of available sessions you could hold?

Joel:
Yes and no, but I think you can be an MVP and maintain your MVP without going to any conferences, especially virtual stuff like this.

Joel:
Powerplatform 24, other things. Publishing YouTube videos. You can do it. It's about the contributions, but it does change your strategy because I've got Ignite the tour. on the 15th of April and in Chicago currently that's still on. But that could that could also change, you know, for a regional event like that. I don't think that has 10000 people there. You know, probably maybe a couple thousand. We'll see if it's an area that Microsoft is probably looking at the threat level and, you know, stuff in Seattle or California is that's there's more cases there where if it's something in Chicago or someplace where there isn't a regional type event is probably safer than a big national or international event.

Shawn:
We would hope so, but I think what my point really was that exactly what you said. I was kind of setting it up to say, no, it's not that way.

Shawn:
But you really just have to be creative in how you can how you can handle a contribution because you might need to get out of your comfort zone a little bit and do more things online, like I'm challenging myself to do more stuff on my YouTube channel. Because I started it and time got away from me and I just didn't follow through enough with it. So I'm I'm challenging myself to restart that and and and and do more things on a virtual model. I know I missed the last Power Platform 24. I want to do more stuff there. There's still ways you can make contributions and collaborate in the community. Even if you're not trying to be an MVP, just because there's not a conference there's still a way to get information and collaborate with others. And you make your voice heard.

Joel:
I've got my D365 UG meeting tomorrow and that's going to be fun. But I find the reach and the effectiveness of online content is is greater than a conference. I mean the not so secret secret is the reason to go to conferences isn't to learn stuff. It's too it's either speak or network with people.

Shawn:
Right. So right, so true. So that's good to know.

George:
It's getting late. I'm getting a bit cranky. Sorry. I just got distracted. I think we did cover most of the topics that we wanted to talk about.

Joel:
So you're back home after this trip?

George:
Yeah. I'm going home in a couple days and so I've got a few more travel stories, but I'll hold it until next time. It involves a customs and a red ball.

Joel:
Were you trying to take Red Bull into a country or out of a country.

George:
No, not Red Bull. Red ball.

Joel:
Okay. A red ball. Okay. Yeah. Well, are you going to tell a story or are you going to leave us hanging?

George:
I need to work out how to tell the story and keep it PG.

Joel:
Oh, George. And to our all our listeners in Scotland. Thanks for listening.

George:
And we have a Germany base as well.

Joel:
All right. And again look at CRM Tip of the Day for videos and blog posts about what you need to know about Wave 1 2020. Great to catch up with you again, George.

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