Analyse, Act and Automate. Buzzwords these may be - but the importance of the Power Platform is real. About a year ago, I was sitting in a meeting in Dublin discussing Microsoft 365 with a partner whose business was built upon Power Apps. As much as I was impressed with the app on the IPad they'd recently developed after their receptionist left, it was the dawning on how they viewed Microsoft 365 through the prism of applications. It's very easy to narrate a story on Microsoft 365 around Security, Teamwork or the modernization of devices (three narratives Microsoft typically use today). But I had never considered doing that based upon apps. Never even entered my head.
I have recently been asked who is the ideal candidate to sit Dynamics 365 Fundamentals. Now, I'm not a salesperson. I'm not a technician starting out or pivoting my career to focus on business apps. I'm not even an experienced technician looking to consolidate my understanding since my understanding of Dynamics prior to the fundamentals - if you were to quantify it - equated to the square root of zero. These are all ideal cases. Yet my own case, I simply got up one day and thought you know - why not? I'd entered the industry when Dynamics CRM 4.0 was taking off and I've pretty much exhausted every possible synonym in the English language for words such as niche and specialist which is how most of the Dynamics conversations I'd ever been involved in typically ended up.
I must admit I enjoyed the security administration exam. I enjoyed studying for it. In fact, I congratulate Microsoft for introducing a Security certification which is so much more than a fundamentals exam (98-367).
My experience with Azure parallels my experience of driving. Today, I am one of those who absolutely loves it; I'm out on the road every single day and now I can't quite understand how I actually got by before I had a set of wheels. But there was a time, and it was a long time, and during that time I had a lot of preconceptions that it wasn't for me; that maybe I was simply a person who was suited and destined to public transport as a passenger. So explaining all this to my wife she told me to get over myself and get on with it. That's what I really needed all along. And so it was with Azure - as someone who had spent many years in what is now termed Modern Workplace with Office 365 and Microsoft 365, I had to deconstruct all those preconceptions that Azure - and I mean here aspects that aren't Azure AD, Intune etc - wasn't for me. In the end it was force of habit and a degree of institutionalisation having worked with a set of SaaS apps for so long.