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MPPC 2023 Insights

MPPC Welcome Picture

Microsoft Power Platform Conference 2023 was a unique experience. We had a first-hand insight into product announcements, brand new demos and inspiring senior leaders sharing Microsoft’s vision for a future to empower everyone. With expert speakers from the community and the Product Group, we deep-dived into the latest and greatest.

Keynote kick-off by Charles Lamanna:

  • Charles started by acknowledging what a driving force the community is with its passion for sharing and learning together. Some big numbers to note: 5.2M monthly active community users, with 480 user groups. A lot of appreciation was also echoed by Heather Cook, Principal Manager for Business Applications Platform Community Evangelism & Events.

  • To remind us of how the current era of GenAI and low-code tools are democratizing IT development, it was highlighted that 97% of Fortune 500 companies are using Power Platform. The power of coding is not exclusive anymore, and it is giving us the opportunity to own new solutions and drive innovation by reconsidering our ways of working.

  • As a human evangelist, I am thrilled at the organizational and cultural shift it brings; With real-time collaboration in fusion teams, we can enjoy the flow of programming in our own terms and redefine productivity by automating cognitive tasks and creating user experiences.

  • The parting thought was an invite: Evolution is ready for all of us to write it, by working side-by-side with AI. What a statement before 4 new AI demos and 5 product announcements!

Product announcements:

  1. Power Apps App Copilot: Emma Cooper (Principal PM Manager, Power Apps) gave a riveting demo as she announced with Charles the public preview of a levelled-up Copilot for Power Apps. We already knew about Copilot helping to build Power Apps by chatting with our app data (even giving us the source), but now we can also extend it with Power Virtual Agents. This means that if the data we need to query is not in the app’s database but on our website, we can query that too within Copilot. This also ties in nicely with the modern controls announced for Power Apps based on known Office features.

  2. Copilot for Power Pages: In public preview, it will be so much quicker and easier to design websites from scratch by describing the design and applying themed branding. Within seconds, the demo showed how the T-Mobile website was built with its own branding.

  3. Power Automate Copilot: The most crowd-pleasing general availability announcement was Power Automate Copilot, to celebrate 10M users. From the democratized ability to describe in natural language a flow we want to build, an enhanced Designer experience with zoom in/ out features and expression editor for dynamic updates, to asking Copilot what each branch does after extensive team updates, it could not be easier to co-author! This also helps citizen developers with complex work products and productivity workloads.

  4. Process Mining Copilot: The focus of this public preview announcement was to find and understand organizations’ process inefficiencies and use GenAI to maximize insights. The demo used insurance claims as an excellent example, to showcase how an intricate business can be modelled and reported on for its operating model. Copilot levels it up by listing those insights as your real-time management consultant buddy, on top of not needing days of discovery sessions and user interviews to map processes out accurately as a whole.

  5. GitHub Copilot: As evidenced by Thomas Dohmke, GitHub CEO, building in a few minutes a fully functional snake game, this maximizes pro-dev productivity whilst minimizing manual logistics. It is available today with the Copilot subscription. With AI, the boilerplate will be shattered as natural language is the new universal programming language.

Skilling for everyone:

  • Charles and Heather shared how important it is to empower everyone in the new future of IT. One of the programs mentioned was Power Up, upskilling non-technical workers to advance their careers. Its pilot reached an incredible 22K+ learners in 180+ countries. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the participants featured in its promo video; Paulina Palczynska, a PM from Poland. Now it is even possible to apply as a group in

  • Another one is SUIT (Super User in Training), a 6-month program to learn, explore and connect together the opportunities in the Microsoft ecosystem. Super Users are the community’s lifeblood, recognized as industry experts and top contributors.

  • To strengthen the point around collaboration, Sumit Chauhan (Corporate Vice President, Office Product Group) shared key learnings from the latest Microsoft Work Trend Index which covered 31K people in 31 countries: Digital debit is costing us innovation, there’s a new AI-employee alliance and every employee needs AI aptitude.

Microsoft 365 Copilot:

Sumit also gave an amazing presentation on the feedback so far from the Copilot EAP program and best practices to drive success further:

Feedback from customer change champions:

  • Copilot saved time and effort in manual notes despite originally taking some practice

  • A lot of creativity is inspired as everyone is empowered in the conversational interactions

  • There is a distinct desire for multi-modal content as extensibility is the next frontier

Top tips to step up our game:

  1. Copilot is iterative; we need to improve our prompt engineering and refresh results by making it specific, giving more context, guiding the response, reviewing and revising.

  2. Make time management more efficient; use the Follow Meeting functionality to keep on top of workloads

  3. Jumpstart new material creation with the Designer integration through Copilot in Word and PowerPoint

Personal engagements:

I was privileged enough to drive 3 different engagements as part of the events:

  1. Dynamics 365 session: My first speaking session was about lessons learned from building DevOps and fusion teams developing Dynamics 365 instances. With my background in CRM operations, I used the parallel of the Avengers to explain 5 key principles for success: the right culture for citizen development, realistic and custom applications of Agile, parallel use of technical design and functional user stories, testing strategy based on solid data governance and a scalable growth model through business resiliency practices. It had a great reception because of the honest stories shared and the engaging Avengers metaphors.

  2. Low-code development session: In my second session, I spoke about the importance of a solid change management program in the context of low-code solutions. By comparing the evolution of computing to the one of low-code ecosystems, I wanted to inspire the audience about how we have always reigned in the chaos of evolution. GenAI is the next frontier, and we need to invest in people as the biggest asset by helping them navigate change. After all, there is a cost to innovation and running a business if we do not bring the technical delivery and change management teams together to work closely. Somehow the Q&A continued the day after!

  3. Power Platform governance and administration: I was honored to be invited as a Business Applications MVP in an AMA Microsoft panel. The panel included Marc Schweigert and Jenefer Monroe from the Power CAT team, Ken Auguillard from the Power Platform Product Group, and Sean Fiene from the Marketing team. Loads of great questions answered such as how to make the most out of the existing admin functionalities, differences between managed environments and the CoE starter kit, what to expect in the context of Compliance and Sentinel, and the pitfalls of shadow IT.

Meet-up highlights:

One of my favorite moments was spending time with the Microsoft community: Meeting new members and connecting again with familiar ones. From Microsoft leaders to MVPs and industry experts, it was truly a sight to behold. Here are some of my highlights.


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