The Power Platform with Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain Management (Video)

The Microsoft Power Platform consists of four solutions: Power BI, Power Automate (formerly Flow), Power Virtual Agents and Power Apps. These powerful solutions allow you to automate processes, build solutions, and analyze data.

In this recorded webinar, learn how you can harness the power of data and discover the impact these solutions have when integrated with Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management (formerly Finance and Operations).

Transcript below:

Tess: Hi, everyone. And thank you for joining us today for our Power Platform with Dynamics 365, Finance and Supply Chain Management. We have Ziad and Pierre here with us today to discuss this topic. And I will pass it over to you.

Ziad: Thanks so much, Tess. This is Ziad hoping things are well on your end. Welcome back to our webinars. If you’ve been on any of our Power Platform with Dynamics webinars, we’ve already done some with Dynamics 365 Sales and CRM, as well as that of Business Central, another ERP. And now today, we’ll be talking about Finance and Supply Chain Management, formerly known as Finance and Operations, or F&O and AX. So, the agenda for today really is we want to be able to show you what Power Platform is, and how it integrates, and how you can use the applications of Power Platforms with the ERP system of Finance Supply Chain Management, and then be able to set up some examples and show you guys a demo to be able to visualize a real-life example of how you can practically use that.

And all of this really resides under this idea of a data culture, which I really like to emphasize because more and more organizations are starting to develop an environment where teams and people can come together and empower the users of their organization to be able to use the data that is available to them, not waste time in terms of data mining and trying to clean up data, but rather making the data work for you and being proactive in that allowing effectiveness, as well as the benefits, of what data can bring to you, which to list a few of them really fall under this umbrella of digital transformation, to be able to not only transform the way you do business and the operations but as well as optimizing that for your external users and your internal processes. And at the same time, engaging your customers in a different, more meaningful way in the world that we live in today, as well as empowering your employees to be able to do more with the data that is there.

So, this idea of digital transformation has now shifted to now include applications that can help and allow you to manage that on the forefront. And these innovative technologies is what we call Microsoft Power Platform. And the idea of Power Platform really is under four main components, one of Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agent, which all kind of work together in terms of the Common Data Service now known as Dataverse, and utilizing data connectors from multiple different systems to be able to have the power of data in your hands and utilizing these applications to make it work. And we’ll kind of talk about each of these applications very briefly today. And, of course, there are webinars and blogs on our website that you can link to as well around each of these applications, Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agent.

So, Power Automate really is an automating tool that allows you to be able to create multi-step workflows that can automate mundane, rudimentary, transactional-type tasks across your organization, across the different apps and services that you have, and across the various systems and solutions. So, you can integrate, for example, approval request processes or be able to set up reminders and alerts or be able to take an email in and be able to extract the data from that and post it in other systems that you’re using, such as a CRM in Dynamics, for example, or within Dynamics-like Supply Chain Management as well.

And all of this works really together to be able to create a process for you to be able to automate your transactional regular kind of tasks. And of the attributes of Power Automate, there are many, many different data connectors to be able to connect various systems together. Today, we can talk and address and talk about how the system of Power Platform and Power Automate can work with that of Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain and Management. But there’s a lot more power into this in terms of linking this to your Office 365 or Microsoft 365, your other solutions within Dynamics and ERPs and CRMs, as well as third-party applications as well.

Power Apps is basically the ability for you to create and build low-code, no-code, powerful applications that require an immersive or generate an immersive type of view not only through canvas apps, which are more customized building from scratch kind of applications, or model-driven apps, which would include some logic in it, as well as you can data model some business processes and utilize pre-built templates to be able to just access these applications. And then later, you can embed these applications into existing systems like Dynamics Finance Supply Chain Management, or use these applications standalone, both externally and/or internally within your organization. And these applications, again, there’s a lot of power in creating and building these solutions. In fact, many of the Dynamics 365 solutions are actually built off of the model and the architecture infrastructure of Power Applications alone. So, you can see how different solutions can be built. And later today, in this webinar, we will also show you an application, a Power App, that has been built in the Dynamics CRP system as well.

Power BI, the ability for you to be able to create real-time dashboards in order to gain insights, regardless of where your data lives within Power BI. And that can be created through custom visualizations or integration of these live dashboards or interactive reports that can be consumed, either on the web or on a device or any device, really, and be integrated between all of these different families of products within Microsoft and essentially be able to be infused. For example, if you wanted to create a Power App, you can create a Power App, and gain the insights from that app, and be able to present that on a dashboard to make the data meaningful and work for you. And essentially, as I mentioned, you can create an executive dashboard or a one-pane view of your entire organization, or there’s a whole bunch of different ways you can create these reports to be aesthetically appealing, as well as meaningful data that you can understand and transact from. So, there’s a lot of power in creating these dashboards and these reports to be able to help generate, and share, and collaboratively work together between all of these applications as well.

So, how does that play a role, in terms of how we can deliver these insights, using Dynamics within Finance Supply Chain Management? Within Power Apps, the ability for Dynamics 365, FSCM, has been able to utilize the different industries… The system can be utilized in different industries. Whether it be the financial sector, or manufacturing, or public sector, or private sector, there’s a whole bunch of different ways for you to be able to utilize this unified global financial data system to be able to implement and include processes in your business. And the value of those processes can be extended by using Power Platform. Within Power Apps, for example, there are cases where you can build a whole line of custom applications within your environment, or be able to create, for example, I mentioned, you know, customer-facing or external type of applications that you can template from a model-driven or a canvas app as well.

You can also be able to configure Dynamics 365 to be able to show you, for example, the status of various purchase orders in your environment, or through a Power App, you can share that with your vendors. And they can browse through your vendor records, for example, to be able to help you process your business. Another example could be, for example, you can…if you were, let’s suppose loaning out equipment to internal staff members, you can go through your loan equipment functionality or utilize your HR module and integrate the two together to be able to build a Power App that, perhaps, scans barcodes on equipment that you can then loan out with or then be able to search, you know, those loan records on this application as well. And then you can connect, let’s suppose, a Power Automate to send up alerts or be able to send an email, or put that data somewhere in SharePoint, for instance, or through an email. So, there’s a lot of different ways you can create Power Apps that enable, you know, whether it be for replenishments, whether it be for different areas and different modules within Dynamics 365. And again, you don’t really need a whole lot of development experience to be able to build these things because there are some templates that you can build off from as well.

Power BI and Dynamics 365, Finance and Supply Chain Management, there’s a lot of power in terms of creating, configuring, and sharing, in fact, even pinning these dashboards onto your workspaces and be able to gain actionable insights from the data that you’re capturing within your system. And this can be embedded within this experience of Dynamics 365, and you can actually analyze the data that is relevant to your systems in these modules as well. And, again, all of these sources can come together with these applications and Encore could help you leverage the power of that, as well.

Lastly, before we jump into our demo here, Power Automate. And there are a ton of different workflows that you can use in templates that have been published for services that are connected and related to Power Automate with Dynamics 365. And you can use trigger events to automate a response. You can add workflows to be able to directly work within Dynamics 365, as well. You can use automations to be able to create lists in other systems or take data between your finance supply chain management and take the account data and put it in towards dynamic sales, for example.

There are numerous amount of possibilities in terms of what you can do. I’m going to share some screenshots as to some possible type of pre-built functionality that you can utilize and just connect your users to. For example, this one in app source, you’re able to connect Dynamics 365 against finance and operation, which is the same solution to be able to extend notifications to a task that you might have assigned to a person and a work item that needs to be done. Another example could be between the dynamic sales environment to the dynamics operations side of things for customers to be able to create customers on the sales side as well.

Lastly, between the connection of Dynamics, and let’s suppose Office, you can actually create trigger alerts and ensure that your flows can be executed between the emails and what needs to be identified in your workflows and operations to help support that as well. All in all, what I’m trying to get to is that the ecosystem that has been built towards building these applications together and integrated and provide this immersive experience is so that you have the power to do more with your data. You have the power to be able to utilize these applications, not waste money on necessarily developing or customizing or those sort of things. You can take the power that is already there that you’re paying for, extend the value of the solution that you have, and be able to incorporate the power of Power Platform and its applications to help you get there. I’m going to pass it over to Pierre here. And he’s going to share with you an example of how Power Platform has come together with finance and supply chain management, so over to you, Pierre.

Pierre: Thanks, Ziad. Good day everyone. All right. You can see my screen okay?

Ziad: Yeah, it looks good.

Pierre: Perfect. And so, as he mentioned, my name is Pierre Manaigre, and I’m a technical pre-sales consultant for Power Platform at Encore Business Solutions. And today, I’m going to demonstrate to you the Power Apps five-star vendor rating app in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. And this integrates data into the Microsoft Dataverse, which used to be called the Common Data Service. So, for the sake of brevity, will refer to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations simply as F&O in this discussion. But first, I want to demonstrate to you how easy it is to embed a Power App Canvas app into F&O. And then we’re gonna follow that up with a demonstration.

So, today, I’m currently using the Dynamics 365 F&O sandbox environment that we have at Encore. And I’m currently on the all-purchase orders forms. And so on the top right of the screen, if you see, there’s a Power Apps icon here. And if I click it, I can then go to hit to add an app. And so now, I need to enter an app name. So, in this case, it’s going to be called Add Vendor Feedback. And the next thing I need to provide is the App I.D. So, you can either get this from your IT department or if you have access, I’m just going to click on Home, which I have mapped to my application stop Microsoft.com. So, that takes you to all the apps you have in Microsoft 365.

So, I’m going to click on the Power Apps tile. And then this brings me into what’s called the Power Apps Build Hub, which is this entire website here. So, what I need to do is click on apps and then go to my first app, which is Add Vendor Feedback. I’m going to click on the ellipsis button and then choose Details. And once I’m in there, I can just double-click the App I.D. Then, I click my right mouse button and choose Copy. So, now we’re going to go back into F&O and we’re going to paste this App I.D. here. So, the next thing we need to do is to provide the source context that we need to pass through the Power App from F&O. So, in this case, it’s going to be involving the purchase order. I’ll go ahead and type that. And if you hover your mouse over… So, now, we see we have purchase order, which is from the purch table, and we need the purch I.D. field. So, this is going to hold the information the Power App is going to need in order to execute. And we’re going to change the app size from wide to thin, just so it fits properly in the window. And I’m going to click Insert. And that’s all there is to it. We’ve just now added our first Microsoft Power App that you can see when you click on the Power Apps button.

And so, what we’re going to do next is we’re going to add a second app. And so I’m going to click on the Add App item again. And this time, we’re going to select View Vendor Feedback, which is a different Power App that we need to view the vendor feedback that’s been provided. So, again, we go back to our Power Apps build hub and then click on the ellipsis button, and then, again, go to Details. And as I mentioned before, if you don’t have this access, that’s fine. You can get this information from your IT department. That shouldn’t be an issue. And so now, we’re going to paste this next Power App I.D. Now, the View Vendor Feedback is a little bit different. So, the source of input context that we’re going to need here is the vendor account number from the purchase order. So, I’m going to go and type vendor account. And so now, it will filter for us. So, we need the vendor account. That’s from the purchase table, order account field. And that’s going to be the context that we’re going to use. And again, we’re going to change the apps aspect from their size from wide to thin.

And so now, if we click on the icon, you see that we have two Power Apps on the all-purchase orders forms. So, the use case for these apps is to provide an easy way to get a star rating for a vendor without having to go through the full non-conformance or quality order process. So, Power Apps gives us this capability. And this app is easy to create as well, as Ziad had mentioned, because Power Apps is a low, no-code development platform. And by utilizing the F&O data connector in the Power Platform, we can easily connect and integrate data without having to touch the source code for F&O.

So, now, we’re going to take a look at the Power Apps. So, on this form, we can go ahead and select a purchase order. So, I’m just going to… You could either select or open the PO. I’m just going to select it. And then I’m going to click the icon and Add Vendor Feedback. So, now what’s happening is it’s retrieving the data from F&O, which is the PO number and the vendor account number. So, that’s why we see this information appear in the header.

And in the next step, we need to provide our rating as well as the feedback for the vendor. So, I’ve keyed some data in before, but I’m going to modify my rating slightly to three stars, defective product, process with smooth. Okay. So, now, we’ve submitted our feedback, and go ahead and click Submit. And we’ll close this Power App window. So, that’s how easy it is to give a feedback rating for a vendor. And now, I want to show you where this actually gets save. Because we know that this feedback was successful, it’s now sitting in the Microsoft Dataverse. So, I know we’ve been in the apps section of the Power App build hub.

And now, I’m going to take you to the solutions section. So, the vendor feedback is a solution. As you do recall, there’s two Power Apps associated with that, and then there’s also… So, these two Canvas apps are right here. And then, we have a security role for this particular app and the table as well. So, this table sits in the Microsoft Dataverse or what used to be called the Common Data Service. And then, I’m going to go ahead and click on data. And now, it’s not showing me my columns, so I need to change the view to all columns.

And now, we have all the rows and columns available for you as the vendor feedback app. So, basically, anyone who has access to the Dataverse table can do further analytics and reporting if required. And so now, we’ll just quickly jump back to the other app, and we’re going to view feedback. So, I’ll click on this again, and we’re going to view feedback. Now, this is going to show me, of course, the current purchase order, or pardon me, the current feedback for this vendor, so the different purchase orders. And you can see who submitted as well as the overall star rating and the feedback that they gave. And you can also go ahead and search for other vendors.

So, if I click this button here, now, we have the search glass icon appears. So, it’s showing the current vendor that we have. I’m going to search for it by name, so I’m going to choose Acme. And now, we see there’s a vendor Acme Office Products. And here’s the vendor, sorry, the feedback associated with them. And then, now, we’re going to, again, filter by vendor number. And as you can see, it goes and automatically filters the details for your other search criteria. And that’s how simple it is to use Power Apps and embed them in F&O.

And now, we’ll just quickly return to the Power Apps Build Hub. And you’ll recall this is where we retrieved our two Power Apps I.D.s and looked at the Dataverse. This is also where my colleague created the app, so that’s why it’s stored in this solution here. And now, we can also share the app, which would be very useful for within your organization. So, if you are a co-owner of the app, you’ll have the ability to share. And so, sharing is done a couple of ways. So if we go here to the Power App itself, and I’m just going to click the ellipsis again, and you’ll notice there is a share icon right here. And there’s also an edit icon. So, if you wanted to edit the application, drag fields around, etc, change the visuals, you can do that. If you want to test your Power App, you can choose Play. But again, we’re talking about sharing. So, we’ll go ahead and we’ll click Share up here as well. It’s going to perform the same share function as it would if you click on the ellipsis.

And then basically, what you do is just type in the email address of a colleague of yours. And so then, we can go ahead and click on that person. And what you want to do is it will set them up as a user, but you could also set them up as a co-owner, if you wanted to give them those additional permissions. And then, of course, we need to remember because this Power App is using these premium services, you want to make sure that they’re licensed accordingly so that they will have access for the Power App to function properly. And then finally, if you click on Share, it’s going to go ahead and notify them by email that you’ve shared an app with them. So, I’m just going to go ahead and click Cancel on that, and we’ll discard those changes. And yeah, I’ll hand it back to Ziad and Tess for the final or questions and answer period.

Tess: Thanks, Pierre. So, if anyone has any questions, you can submit them in the right-hand side in the questions area in your control panel and Ziad and Pierre have a few minutes to answer any questions. Thank you both, Ziad and Pierre. for presenting today. We’ll just give everyone a few seconds to see if they have any questions.

Ziad: Thank you, Tess. And if no one has any questions now, you can definitely reach out to me to our contact information or any questions and I can follow up with Pierre to kind of help respond to those, or if you’re interested in learning more about these components, reach out, and we can definitely share some more information.

Tess: We do have one question that has come in and it’s kind of how to get started with the licensing aspect with the Power Platform and F&O.

Pierre: Ziad?

Ziad: It would depend on a couple things and I’ll give it to Pierre as well to add on to what I’m saying. But essentially, if you already have F&O you can definitely get Power Platform licensing as well. We would have to kind of look into what licenses you already have that are existing. So, it includes Office and other licenses that you may have to be able to better advise as to what you’re trying to build and how you can get started on the licenses. Pierre, anything else you’d add to that?

Pierre: For sure. So, not specifically tied into F&O, if you were looking to get a head start in Power Apps just to learn the technology and play with it, you can sign up for Power Apps Community Plan. So, this is a free plan, but the caveat is that you can’t use anything created within your production environment. But that would allow individual users to use Power Apps for free and get comfortable with it.

Ziad: And in addition, we do also have another blog that is on our website regarding Power Platform licenses as well. If you reach out to my email, I will be able to share that with you as well.

Tess: All right. Thank you. That was our only question that was submitted. So, thank you, everyone, for attending today. And thank you, Ziad and Pierre, for presenting. And we’ll see everyone next time. Thank you.

Ziad: Thank you so much.

Pierre: Bye, everybody. Thank you.

Ziad: Bye.

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