CIAOPS Need to Know Microsoft 365 Webinar–December


To round off 2020 we’ll take a look at Power BI this month. Power BI is really amazing tool for visualising data and who doesn’t want to visualise their data? Come along and learn what Power BI is and how to start using it in your business. There is also plenty of news that I’ll cover as well as open Q and A for any questions you may have.

You can register for the regular monthly webinar here:

December Webinar Registrations

The details are:

CIAOPS Need to Know Webinar – December 2020
Wednesday 23rd of December 2020
11.00am – 12.00am Sydney Time

All sessions are recorded and posted to the CIAOPS Academy.

The CIAOPS Need to Know Webinars are free to attend but if you want to receive the recording of the session you need to sign up as a CIAOPS patron which you can do here:

or purchase them individually at:

Also feel free at any stage to email me directly via with your webinar topic suggestions.

I’d also appreciate you sharing information about this webinar with anyone you feel may benefit from the session and I look forward to seeing you there.

Major trends

This is the third part of my presentation “Making money from the cloud”. You can find the full slides at:

and the previous parts are at:

We live in exponential times

Consider the following


To develop a plan for your professional and business development going forward you need to start with the macro and move to the micro. So what are the major trends we see in today’s world?

The first is automation. A great discussion on this can be found in this Dan Pink video:

If you play the video by clicking the above it should start at the right place, if not forward to 29 minutes and 52 seconds to hear about automation. The whole video is worth watching, and I recommend you do, but the section on automation is especially pertinent. In essence what we will see is anything that is routine, linear, or process driven can be automated using software. Have a look at this video at the 46m mark through to the 50m 30s point for a idea of what is becoming possible when it comes to automating something as mundane as ordering at the drive through:

The ramifications here are two fold. Firstly, it indicates that to be more competitive and attractive is today’s business environment you need to be developing more and more automated systems. This automation is typically created via software. Thus, no matter who or what you are you need to using software effectively to become more competitive. Secondly, it means that tasks that can be automated will fast move to a commodity model, which means the lowest price wins. For most business and individuals this will not be a profitable option. Thus, if you can’t compete in the world of process that can be automated then may be you shouldn’t be playing there!

We are witnessing a new focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning thanks to software. The data you generate when you shop, use your credit card, use GPS navigation, read your emails is all being aggregated to create a better profile of you as an individual. This allows the system to deliver you better results. It allows the system to know what you want before you know you want it.

Here’s a good example:

ThyssenKrupp is using tools from Microsoft like Internet of Things (IoT), Azure machine learning, and Power to provide more reliable lift operations. With the sensor data feeding into predictive algorithms in Azure machine learning ThyssenKrupp can determine pre-emptively when components may fail and can take action before they do.

We live in a world were more and more items are becoming directly connected to the Internet. These devices are generating massive amounts of data that can be analysed to provide benefits in so many ways. Here’s a great example of what is possible with IoT;

So the question is, what is your business doing about IoT? Machine Learning? Big Data? and Artificial Intelligence? They need to be part of your game plan going forward. How can you use these technologies in you business to be more productive or provide better solutions for you customers?

An indicative statistic when it comes to the growth of mobile devices is the fact that mobile ads now exceed ads delivered on TV! Also previously, nearly all office workers were tethered to their cubicle by a blue network patch lead. Today, by contrast, users are rarely solely working from their cubicle. Work is no longer a place you go, it is something that you do. That typically means that wherever you have internet connectivity the expectation is that you can work. The growth of mobile device has fuelled this ability to work remotely and will continue to do so.

Mobility raises challenges for IT departments in that they are still expected to manage, monitor and maintain fleets of devices now roaming the streets untethered. I see that many IT support departments have the ability to manage desktop devices but as yet have no strategy in place to manage mobile devices. Consider that the decline of desktop workstations and servers is only going to increase while sales of mobile device will increase. Also, mobile devices are upgraded at a much faster clip than on-premises hardware. If you consider those trends, what should your IT management business be focused on? Yes, that’s right, mobile devices.

Augmented reality is allowing a new layer on top of our existing world that can provide some amazing abilities as the above video demonstrates. Combine a HoloLens with a drone and now you can examine some of the dangerous places in the world from the safety of your armchair. The applications for business are enormous. Imagine being able to work on a jet engine and having the full schematics available to you in front of your eyes. Imagine being able to overlay those plans on what you are exactly looking at.

Some good novels I have read that give you a glimpse into this potential universe are:


Freedom TM

Ready Player One

Rather than learning about something by reading it or watching a video, imagine instead immersing yourself directly in the experience, right in front of your eyes? The quickest way to learn someone is to actually do it as they say. Augmented reality allows that. Although perhaps still in its infancy it won’t be long before we simple accept this ability as the default.

If you want to being to appreciate how modern technology is changing the basics of how people learn then I urge you to watch the video above Build a School in the Cloud. You’ll see how the availability of information has levelled the playing field. The question for you however is, how are you taking advantage of these trends? How are you using the wealth of information and technology that is in your hands TODAY, to lead a better life and help others?

Unfortunately, there are always two sides to the technology coin. Technology is neutral. It is neither good or bad. It’s nature depends solely on how it is used.

I have written many articles on how we are allowing the bad guys to constantly win:

Bad guys just keep winning

and I fear as we rush into this new world of everything being connected we are making ourselves more vulnerable to catastrophic failure.

An eye opening video I’d encourage you to watch is:

A vision of crimes in the future

Don’t believe security will be ab issue in our technological future? Then tell me why cryptolocker is still running rampant through businesses today? How it this possible with all the security, anti-virus and protection software in place? In most cases the cryptolocker delivery mechanism goes straight through all of these and entices the end user to activate. How is that possible? Why haven’t we solved these issues as IT people?

Technology is two headed beast. What works for good can also be used for bad. The more technology we adopt, the more risk we place ourselves in. If you took most people’s mobile phone away from them, they’d be lost and pretty much be unable to function in today’s society. That is not a good state of affairs now is it?

At this point many IT people smile smugly believing they are immune from such a future. My response to that is to ask whether every device they carry outside their business is encrypted? Every mobile device today has the ability to have the information on it encrypted so that if it is every lost the data can not be read by unauthorised parties.

So, is EVERY device you have encrypted? Are you using two factor authentication to protect you identity? Hmmm… are you? If not then you are certainly vulnerable and as we move forward more and more of your precious data will be vulnerable unless you take continuing steps to give security the primary priority it should have when it comes to our digital world. Alas, I fear the opposite is transpiring with more and more people abdicating the security of their digital universe and that unfortunately makes us all more vulnerable every day because we live an increasingly connected world.

These are the major technology trends sweeping our world today, both good and bad. Their adoption continues at unprecedented rates. However, the question remains, what are you doing to take advantage, adapt and to keep up in the face of these changes?

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 115

Newly crowned Microsoft MVP and I speak with MVP Grant Paisley about Power BI. Grant shares with us his insight into this Microsoft tool that can be used to analyse just about any sorts of data to give you a visual dashboard of information quickly and easily We also cover the latest updates from the Microsoft Ignite conference and all the changes that are happening in the Microsoft cloud.

You can listen to this episode directly at:

or subscribe via iTunes at:

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

also now on Soundcloud at:

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.


@angrykoala– Grant Paisley

@marckean – Marc Kean

@directorcia – Robert Crane

Angry Koala

Microsoft Power BI

Corey Sanders at Ignite

Bulk Ignite session downloader 1

Bulk Ignite session downloader 2

Microsoft Ignite

Microsoft Ignite on demand

Microsoft Ignite YouTube channel

Introducing the Office 365 launcher

Microsoft Staff Hub for deskless workers

New OneDrive Preview sync client

OneDrive announcements

Publish to web from Power BI now available

Microsoft has just announced the availability of ‘publish to web’ from Power BI. You can read more about this at:

Announcing power BI embedded and publish to web general availability

As you can see above I have taken something from my Power BI and embedded it in this post. Here’s how I did that.


Firstly, I logged into my Power BI Dashboard and selected a report that I wish to publish.


Then from the File menu at the top of the report I select Publish to web.


I then receive an embed code for email that I can then paste into a web page.

That’s it. Pretty simple eh?

The great thing is the Publish to web features is available for all Power BI plans, including the free version. This reinforces how there is really no excuse to be using Power BI in your business and the product just keep getting better.

Power BI content pack for Xero now available


Microsoft has just announced the ability to connect Xero accounting systems to Power BI:

This means you can easily view and report on your business accounting analytics using Microsoft’s free Power BI dashboard reporting tool.

More and more software vendors are moving to using Power BI as their reporting tool rather than attempting to building their own reporting engine. Why? First, because Power BI is such a great analytics tool and secondly because Microsoft have made the base Power BI offering free.

That therefore means there is little reason not be using Power BI to analyse your accounts but there is also the massive opportunity for IT resellers to sell services to customers using Xero now thanks to Power BI.

If you haven’t see Power BI then check out my tutorial here:

and then start getting into the opportunity Power BI provides!

Configuring Project Madeira to Power BI

If you follow the documentation about connecting Project Madeira to Power BI you might get confused about locating the Web Service Access Key which acts as the password to connect to Power BI.

Here’s the process of how to obtain that access key.


Navigate to your Project Madeira. Select Actions tab in the top left.


This will reveal a ribbon menu. From this ribbon menu select the Company Settings icon.


This will open a new dialog. From the ribbon menu now shown select Users.


Again, another dialog will open. From the ribbon that now appears, ensure that the primary user is selected from the list and then select Edit.


In the body of the page you’ll find a Web Services Access Key area. To generate a new key if one isn’t displayed select the arrow button to the right of the field.

Copy that access key and follow the documentation about connecting to Power BI. Also note the entry for User Name in the general area here, as you’ll also need this.

When you are asked for the login to the service select Basic as the Authentication Method.

Enter the User Name you noted from previous page and then the Web Access Key as the password. Select the Sign in button to complete the connection process.


After a few moments of configuration you should be greeted by a new Dashboard connect to Project Madeira as shown above.

How to present Office 365

I’m working on a new course for my online training academy that will give people a framework for successfully presenting Office 365 to prospects, clients and colleagues.

Having presented this material in face to face classroom sessions I was really looking to incorporate the “whiteboard” experience on screen. What I therefore decided to try was using the Windows 10 OneNote app on my Surface 3 along with the Surface pen to see how well it would work while obviusly recording the whole thing.

My trial attempt is shown above and I think it worked pretty well. Obviously, there will need to be some polishing done before I release the final version of the course material, which will also contain more tutorials on how to present each individual service such as Delve.

Have a look and let me know what you think at the rough draft of on screen “whiteboarding”. Also, if you have played with OneNote and a pen then I suggest you do as OneNote is a great hand notetaking tool as hopefully the video illustrates. Of course if you want to find out when the course on Presenting Office 365 becomes available then stay tuned here or sign up for free at my online academy: