At Hitachi, it’s pretty safe to say we live and breathe Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft PowerApps, Microsoft Flow and well, anything involved in the Microsoft Business Applications stack. Much of that involves understanding not only everything there is to know about the technology and how to use it, but how it relates back to our clients.
What’s more, the thing that I find really sets us apart as a company is how we invest heavily in integrating ourselves into the community. Whether that involves solving problems in forums or Teams, hanging out with the PowerAddicts at a Power Platform Saturday event or even building solutions at a hackathon – it’s a vital part of what we do. In this blog, I wanted to take the opportunity to help you understand exactly why we find this community so valuable.
Before delving into the benefits of the community, it probably helps to first understand what it really is. The Dynamics/Power Platform community is any space for Dynamics fans or Power Addicts, including users, partners or consultants to get together and share ideas, thoughts and experiences about the wider industry they’re passionate about. In practice, this generally falls into three categories:
Informal offline spaces (e.g. Hackathons)
Formal offline spaces: (e.g. Microsoft conferences)
Online spaces: Forums, Slack/Teams channels, Twitter, MS forums
Now that you have an idea of how the community is formed, let’s look at five great reasons to get involved:
If you’re having a problem with your business apps – the best thing to do is to ask the experts. And with conferences, online forums and chatrooms –the Dynamics/Power Platform community provides some fantastic spaces to find this expertise. With such a vast wealth of talent and knowledge, there’s almost certain to be a friendly face out there who knows the solution to your problem.
The community can also be particularly helpful if you’re looking to explore how you can expand your usage of enterprise apps in your business. If you’re worried about the formality and sales-focus of a conference, then exploring ideas and expertise in a less structured online forum or on social media could be a great way of finding the insights you need.
The Dynamics/PowerApps community is absolutely brimming with knowledge and expertise about the enterprise apps you use every day. And in many cases, these experts know a lot about what’s coming up on the horizon. So, if you’re looking to find out which features to invest in, what’s being rolled back – or even what the next big addition to the Power Platform is, the community is a great place to be.
As well as this, attending conferences is a particularly great way to discover more about the future of Microsoft apps. These events are often an opportunity to hear first-hand announcements of new products, or more general discussions about what’s coming up. Getting involved is a great way to get ahead of the curve.
In any industry, it’s helpful to understand where the major players are. This serves a number of purposes. Firstly, it lets you stake out your competition, stay ahead of the curve and understand where excellence is being performed across the sector. As well as this, however, it helps you identify where trusted information comes from, meaning you can better sift through the advice, guidance and expertise online.
If there’s a rumour flying around about a big change to, for example, PowerApps, you’d be smart to practice a little scepticism. If that same rumour is corroborated by someone you know to be an industry leader – you’d be smart to start getting your team ready for the change.
Business is built on networking. Whether it’s finding new clients, contractors, partners, or just helpful contacts – it’s important to spread your wings. Many businesses stagnate simply because they resort to the same tried and tested methods of finding new business – not knowing that there’s a world of potential networking communities available.
Some of the strongest business connections involve building genuine connections, often in informal spaces like in forums or social media. Doing this allows your business to find a far better quality of partner or client to work with.
If you’re looking for your next employee (or even job) through job listing websites, or by posting an advert on your own site – you could be missing a trick. Often, the best employees only think to move on when they’re offered a better deal. Networking is a vital way of chasing the best talent around the community and attracting the best opportunities.
It’s often the case that you’ll strike up a conversation and realise the person is a great candidate for an opening you’ve got at the moment. And if they haven’t thought to look for another job, or just weren’t looking in the right places – that’s important talent that you wouldn’t have found elsewhere.
Connections are vital to the successful operation of any business. When people communicate, collaborate and connect, they share knowledge and allow each other to become better and smarter at what they do. As the slightly cheesy old saying goes, two minds (or in this case a whole community) are always better than one.
If you want to find out more about how you can get started with the community, or just want to see how we can help you discover more about your business apps – get in touch with the Hitachi Team today.