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    Teams Tuesday Meetup September 2022 Podcast

    7 min read

    Microsoft’s Power Platform comprises Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, and Power Virtual Agents. Each of these tools can be integrated into Microsoft Teams, bringing their functionality into the space where you spend most of your working day. In this session, we’ll take a look at the ways in which the Power Platform works within Teams to help you achieve your business goals. We’ll cover Power Automate approvals and automations for Teams, Power Apps and Dataverse for Teams, Power Virtual Agents chatbots in Teams, and the Power BI Teams personal app.

    Below are the questions and answers from the September 2022 Meetup Session.

    Q. Tell us a bit about yourself? – City, family, hobbies, job title

    A. Originally from Pittsburgh, was a digital nomad for the past 6 years, moved to Naples FL in March. Married, 2 adult children (living in Vermont and Washington DC), 3 grandchildren. I love to hike, enjoy trying new craft beers, and I volunteer for the local food bank and political/environmental causes. I’m Technical Evangelist at Lightning Tools (have been there for over 10 years), and co-founder of NLightning.

    Q. Tell us something about yourself that not many people know about you?

    A. My sister and I owned a precast concrete business for many years.

    Q. What does a typical workday look like for you?
    A. Workout at 6, breakfast, online by 8, sometimes 7. Lightning Tools internal and customer meetings are usually in the mornings, since most LT staff is in the UK and Europe. Work on products, content, NLightning coaching – quite various.
    Q. 1st job out of college
    A. Taught computer programming (BASIC, COBOL, Pascal) at a local business college. This was 40 years ago 😊
    Q. Your 1st version of SharePoint that you experienced and what year
    A. In 2007, I implemented SharePoint 2007 in my manufacturing company. We used it to track our bids and jobs, and also HR.
    Q. Last challenging project and why? (this should relate to your demo)
    A. I don’t really have “projects” per se. The most challenging thing I did recently was presenting two Power BI sessions at the Thrive Conference in Slovenia in May, as that’s part of the Power Platform that I don’t spend as much time with. But it ended up going well.
    Q. What is the biggest mistake that you feel holds back your clients from the results they want (this should relate to your demo)
    A. I wouldn’t say “mistake”, but a big thing that holds clients back from achieving the results they want with the Power Platform is difficulty knowing how to get started, or running into roadblocks they don’t know how to get past. That’s where our coaching comes in.
    Q. Describe a SharePoint train wreck project, and what did you learn?
    A. Not really applicable to me, as I don’t do SP projects 😊 I only did my own company’s SharePoint implementation many years ago, and aside from a problem related to moving from the trial version, and the general limitations of SP 2007, it went really well.
    Q. Your favorite M365 feature/tool and why
    A. I still love SharePoint! I use it in my own personal M365 tenant to organize my personal and community projects. Of the newer tools, I guess I would say Power Automate is my favorite – it’s the glue that holds things together, and I enjoy seeing things happen by themselves after creating a good Flow 😊
    Q. Where do you think Microsoft is going with M365.. Be totally honest
    A. I think we’ll see more and more AI in all parts of the platform. And more and more integration among all of the tools.
    Q. What are the 3 cool features of the demo?
    A. I plan to show how the 4 main parts of the Power Platform integrate with Teams. Of those, I think the coolest 3 things are:
    • A Power App on a Teams tab, using the free version of Dataverse
    • Power Virtual Agent chat bot – for free
    • Triggering Power Automate cloud flows from within Teams
    Q. What is the sizzle?
    A. I think a lot of times people are surprised at what they can do for no additional cost with the Power Platform.
    Q. What was your first job out of high school
    A. Answered above – well, I answered about my first job out of university. I worked at a stock brokerage during high school and college summers.
    Q. What's your biggest nightmare project you have worked on … And what did you learn from this experience
    A. I can’t think of any project I’ve worked on that I could call a nightmare. But taking my precast business through going bankrupt was the most difficult work-related thing I’ve ever done. I think I came away from that 3-year-long experience with a feeling of not needing to be attached to things.
    Q. What’s the best and worst tech advice you’ve been given
    A. Best: Use SharePoint to help run my business. That led to being able to focus on SharePoint when I lost my business.

    Worst: Can’t think of any.

    Q. What are you working on to become a developer/consultant / CTO
    A. No plans for a new career at this point in my life – but always learning new things for my current roles.
    Q. Where do you want to be in 5 years?
    A. I’d like to be traveling around the world again by then.
    Q. What's your blind spot in your Microsoft knowledge? Pitfalls
    A. I’d like to have time to learn more about coding. I understand enough to read it and be dangerous when trying to adapt it.
    Q. Where do you source your knowledge? - Twitter- who do you follow, site urls
    A. I often say that I learned SharePoint from Twitter. When I started using SharePoint in 2007, Twitter was relatively new, so it wasn’t as crowded with junk and it was easier to find the SharePoint community there. That’s how I met most of the SP community people I know. Now, though, I mostly learn new things from Microsoft directly, from my friends in the Power Platform community, and from attending virtual and in-person events.
    Q. In your mind, if there was 1 song that could describe Sharepoint, what would it be? -
    A. I can’t think of anything that relates, sorry.
    Q. Where can people find you?
    A. Twitter: @SandyU

    LinkedIn: SandyUssia

    At the local brewpub 😊


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