121. What's it like trying to manage 10 Microsoft 365 tenants with hundreds of environments, apps and citizen developers. Rene Modery, Power Platform Technical Lead shares his journey at global advertising company, WPP.
Rene Modery: [00:00:00] Obviously, biggest issue mostly is then when it comes then to actually doing something that we just make sure that we are not trying to reinvent the wheel, and I think that's also a concern for citizen developers that they need to make sure that they're not building something that might already be in place somewhere else.
Neil Benson: Welcome to Amazing Applications episode 121. I'm Neil Benson and I'm delighted you could join me for another episode. Welcome.
I'm recording this on the 17th of June. Scottish Summit took place last weekend just a few days ago. And I'm seeing all sorts of wonderful pictures all over social media. On LinkedIn and Twitter.
We've had some amazing guests on the show recently who were speakers at Scottish Summit, and I'm just gutted that I didn't get to meet them in person. I'm gutted that I couldn't make it this year. I did send 100 Customery Lego mini figures in my place, and I was delighted to see so many photographs of those little guys complete with their kilts at the show.
And I just wanted to let you know, if you want to use coupon code SS22, you can get a 20% discount on any of my courses. That's a special offer for the Scottish Summit. So visit https://customery.academy and find a course, use coupon code SS22, you get a 20% discount. I'm gonna hold that coupon code open for a few more days. So if you're listening to this show shortly after it was published, you should be able to use that coupon. 40% of the remaining fees will be donated to the Rock Trust, which is the Scottish Summit's charity to combat homelessness.
Speaking of homelessness, I should be [00:02:00] back in my home where my studio is in about four weeks. Maybe the end of July. The builders are busy restoring our house since it flooded at the end of February. And the new floor has just been laid. It looks great. So hopefully there's not too long to go now.
In the last episode with Hamish Sheild, I was asking him if he knew any customers where there were a lot of citizen developers building Power Platform apps. And neither Hamish nor I know of any big organizations with lots of citizen developers.
But as luck would have it, our guest today is Rene Modery. He's a Power Platform Technical Lead at WPP. WPP is a global advertising and marketing services company with over 100,000 employees. And hundreds of them are citizen developers. We're gonna find out from Rene what it's like trying to manage 10 Microsoft 365 tenants with hundreds of environments and hundreds of applications.
You can catch the transcript and Rene's contact information at AmazingApps.Show/121. Here's Rene Modery.
Welcome to Amazing Applications, Rene Modery. It's fantastic to have you on the show. A very warm welcome to you.
Rene Modery: Yeah. Thank you very much. Excited to be here.
Neil Benson: Oh, you're joining us from Singapore today? How's the weather in Singapore.
Rene Modery: It is hot and sunny today. It's currently very dry season, a very hot season, so um,
Neil Benson: good. Yeah, it's supposed to be the same here in Brisbane . We're heading into the winter, but we've had a torrential amount of rain recently, so I'm glad to see some sunshine today as well.
I wonder if you can start just with an easy question, tell us what you had for breakfast this morning.
Rene Modery: I I would say actually nothing much yet. I had half a cup of coffee and that's about it. I'm not really a morning person when it comes to eating something. So it might have sometimes be a very small snack, but that's about it. I usually only start basically eating something around 12, and, uh, lunch. So that's usually my first meal.
Neil Benson: oh, are you a late sleeper? You like to work late in the evening [00:04:00] and the afternoon as well?
Rene Modery: Yeah, that's now the new thing also because I switched roles in the company. I'm also working a bit late sometimes so regularly. Um, cuz I've got colleagues in the UK I work with that also means my whole schedule is moving a bit around. Yeah. So that also involves um, basically why I don't have too much breakfast.
Neil Benson: okay. Just another introductory question then a nice, easy one, what's your favorite Microsoft application?
Rene Modery: Uh, Easy. is hard to say, then there's a range of them. I mean, um, I would say actually it is probably Teams by now. As much as I like to complain about a lot of the features that I'm lacking or not good enough or so, but obviously that's part of the love for it also because I love using it for my between my daily work with my colleagues, I mean, the things that I'm doing in there on a daily basis are things that I've done previously, partially in many different locations and such.
And it just brings basically a lot of my daily work into one central place. And yeah, that's why I love it as much as I also hate the lack of some things, but yeah.
Neil Benson: I couldn't promise that I love Teams, but I would give it an award for the most improved application in the last couple of years. It's definitely come a long way. Your your experience of it, you know, you work in a massive global organization, you probably have a very different Teams experience to, you know, I work in a company with one or two people, so, uh, yeah, it's probably a very different scale.
Tell us about how you got started with business applications.
Rene Modery: So I originally started actually with SharePoint. So my background is mainly SharePoint. I started with SharePoint in 2007 and that basically went on until you could say this year still. So that obviously expanded over time, looking at a lot of other things, but it also included and for example, looking at what SharePoint had built in, in terms of forms. So InfoPath then, and also workflows and, uh, with the move to the cloud that it also meant basically thinking, oh, uh, Microsoft's going sort of retire InfoPath. They said, InfoPath is dead. They're not gonna [00:06:00] improve it anymore. And, the workflows are also something that they will basically replace because the, workflow technology wasn't good enough basically to be run on a huge scale.
So that's basically then when, uh, they suddenly then announced, okay, here's Power Apps. And I think, I can't remember whether that was in 2016, but I remember I started looking at it in 2016 because I was basically curious, Hey. there's that successor to InfoPath or replacement or what is it basically, but yeah, just Power Apps, basically. I start to look at it and see what I can do with it and start to present about it here in Singapore. So yeah, that's how I got interested in Power Apps and Power Automate. I can't remember, but it also basically came along then with it. So those two were actually the main purpose why I looked at the Power Platform overall, then.
Everything else that came or was around, for example was either something I looked at a bit over time or not even at all. So for example, PVA. Yeah. I looked into it a bit over time, then Power BI. I used it sometimes a bit, but good enough for my work, but yeah, not good enough to do something more professional.
The whole uh, let's call it the whole Dynamics aspect of the Power Platform, I for example, had no idea about it. I learned more about it through Microsoft exams, but still I never really used it. Just, I dunno, there was never any opportunities in the companies that I worked for. So yeah, that's the bit of the neglected part basically.
Over time it just meant I started using for example, again, Power Apps and uh, Power Automate regularly uh, from time to time. And over time, they're also looking at more and more in terms of, uh, not just basically how do I build my own stuff, but also from an organizational point of view, how can we then, um, manage and govern it effectively because other people obviously also started to use it And my roles in the company, then also well moved a bit in that direction. That it became clearer. I should be the guy to start looking at making sure that everybody can do [00:08:00] what they can do, but should also consider that it's not going out of the company's control, basically.
Neil Benson: So you're at WPP who I think of as a global advertising services company. When I lived in the UK, Martin Sorrel was a very famous businessman there. I think he's the founder of WPP. Can you tell us a little bit about the organization for those who aren't familiar and about your role there too?
Rene Modery: Yeah. So WPP is extremely large company, um, consisting of, a, I don't know how many operating companies, um, so there's a lot of them. So overall within WPP, we've got around a hundred thousand employees. That's the last number I know about. And, uh, I don't even know how many companies there are.
In technical terms, actually, we had a huge number of tenants, Office 365 tenants, and um, we narrowed it down now to 10 tenants that we actually work with. Um, And even 10 is obviously a large number, but uh, it's more manageable than what we had before.
So there are a lot of migrations together with Microsoft in recent. Um, yeah, basically the past one, one half years, I think or so longer can't remember when that started, but yeah. Um, to narrow it down. An organizational point of view as mentioned, so w WPP, sort of the layer at the top or overarching, but then there are all the operating companies that also then operate, um, to a good extent, obviously by themselves. And the operating companies might be again, consisting of, for example, multiple agencies all again, in the advertisement marketing space. And, uh, yeah, there's a lot of things happening.
And my role was initially within one of those operating companies within GroupM where it was initially, then the, when it comes to long job title, APAC Productivity and Collaboration Tools Project Manager. So basically you could say the guy working with Office 365 in Asia Pacific. So anybody in APAC, so the IT managers mostly then, or other stakeholders who wanted to run [00:10:00] an Office 365 related project or some initiative, they were basically reaching them out to me. I was in the main contact to coordinate, to guide to, yeah, basically make sure that whatever needs to get done in the region with Office 365 gets done properly, but also from a global point of view then anything that gets done globally then gets sort of managed or coordinated or communicated through me then here in the region.
And Office 365, obviously, includes in something called the Power Platform a bit, then so that then came along with it as well as my job. And because I was the one with the most experience, you could say then, the Power Platform. That also meant that I wast the one who was starting for example, to set up the internal COE.
That was mostly again just deploying the technical toolkit from Microsoft, but also then starting to establish a small community internally for, basically, app makers, flow makers.
Because I did that then over time, that also meant that at some point last year, for example, WPP overall said, Hey, um, we are doing a big IT transformation, and we also want to actually get more out of the Power Platform because there's a lot that can be done with it, but that isn't done right now. And obviously we wanna encourage our staff to do more with it. There's a lot of potential there, but we also obviously wanna ensure that they are doing it sort of the right way, and that they get the right support that they need.
So last year WP started an overall project across, really all of WPP, so you could say the scope is all the 10 tenants looking at basically establishing a Power Platform team, but also starting to look at, for example, deploying the COE into those tenants, making sure then that each tenant has the COE deployed and starting to prepare things, organize things, because until then basically Group M did something, the others well didn't because they didn't have to manpower to do something or the time or other reasons, basically. And yeah, so that meant we [00:12:00] started last year and officially, then the team started 1st of April this year.
So now I'm officially part of the WPP platform team as Power Platform Technical Lead. And like I mentioned, our goal is now making sure that whatever is in place gets well, better managed overall, but also then making sure that those people that want to do something or already do some, doing something, get the right support so that they can then really I know, build awesome apps flows or whatever else they want to do.
So that's the short summary, which is obviously story already. Yeah.
Neil Benson: I'm really curious. I've been debating with other MVPs about what percentage of applications are really being built by citizen developers, what Microsoft calls, citizen developers. So these are people outside of technology, maybe they're business analysts or, or team leaders or managers, or, administrators within a non technical team, versus, the number of professionally built apps by technology teams, you know, working in IT. What's it like at WPP?
Rene Modery: So right now I would say actually a lot of it gets done still by citizen developers. Even though some of them might be actually coming from more technical teams, even. Just through the nature of our business, we've got some more technical teams, which are not IT you could say. So they are, for example, data driven teams, who know, oh, we need to they collect simply set a lot of data. They transform it. They do stuff with it for analysts and et cetera. And then they might say, oh, we need something that helps us to capture some input also in a smart way, or yeah, other things basically whether they say, okay, we wanna need, we need to put a, again, basically a Power Apps on top or flow that helps us with something. Or maybe we need to look at Power Automate desktop because there's something else that needs to be done automatically.
So that's actually the majority, but we also actually have a small professional development team, you could say, then for anything where it's clear , the business wants [00:14:00] to do something, they don't have the knowledge or the manpower to do it. They don't have the time to do it, but really they know they want to do something and we've got really a team that would then evaluate, can it be done in the Power Platform? Does it make sense? How much effort would be required to do it?
And then obviously going through all the different approval stages: does IT security have any concerns? Are there does enterprise architecture, have maybe anything else where they say this could be a better option outside? So those kind of things basically, but yeah, we've got that professional team then helping with anything bigger or where there's just not enough manpower available right now to do it. And our experience is that this is working quite well so far.
Obviously, biggest issue mostly is then when it comes then to actually doing something that we just make sure that we are not trying to reinvent the wheel, and I think that's also a concern for citizen developers that they need to make sure that they're not building something that might already be in place somewhere else. And I think um, yeah, that's why basically our team is here to support people, not just in telling them yeah, you do whatever you want, but also tell them, oh, you shouldn't do a certain thing maybe because there's a better solution available that's not part of the Power Platform. Maybe you already have a license or maybe you're rebuilding something that's in Office 365 and can be done with SharePoint directly or something like that, basically. Yeah. But yeah,
Neil Benson: Yeah. So, uh, that's a great point you mentioned about trying to build reusable components, reusable patterns, and practices, but also, how do you discover those as a citizen developer or as any kind of developer? How do you know in a large organization what's already been built and what you might be able to just pick up and reuse? So I'm really glad your team exists to, to bring that kind of central team and and base of knowledge and share it out.
I was working at a local government department here and it's a state department and it's you know, relatively small and they've only got one other Dynamics 365 implementation, but we had no visibility of it. We had no idea what they'd done. No idea if there's anything that we could reuse. I think that's critical as organizations begin to adopt and embrace the Power Platform.[00:16:00]
So any other challenges that you're facing, trying to operate at the scale that that WPP is in terms of governance and, and user roles and. I'd be fascinated to what, what other headaches you're seeing, in a global organization.
Rene Modery: I mean, the big challenge is obviously that a lot of the things that you should usually have put in place aren't put in place right now. And just cuz of the scope of what we are talking about, especially we are talking about 10 tenants or not just one. That means that we need to always do things often. You could say 10 times and or ideally one tenant would be nice it's obviously a future store. It might not even possible also, but yeah, uh, that's a separate team, separate story. I focus on what we have and see that we do the best with it.
And really challenges also that, as mentioned, basically, Power Platform was, you could say there, but usually not governed, not managed.
And, um, very often we are basically just defining things now for the very first time. I mean, just thinking about things like environment strategies, previously there was not really a proper environment strategy in place. Mean people could just create something previously and, um, that might have meant, yeah, they just do stuff without knowing what the implications are. And sudden you've got a whole range of different environments that might have a specific purpose or might be just laying bare, maybe with a flow in there, maybe it was nothing.
So yeah, challenge is really that we're, in a way, starting from scratch and have got a whole lot of things to do, but it's also an opportunity in a way, obviously, because it means yes, we're starting to a good amount from scratch. There's a whole lot of things that we can now actually do. Yes, it requires that we also have to do sort of a it's called it a cleanup afterwards. So there's a whole lot of apps and flows, obviously in the default environment that we don't wanna have in the default environment, but okay.
A lot of organizations probably started that way. They started in a default environment. Everybody can go there do their stuff. And after a few months or years, then they realize, no, we need to do better, basically. That's basically what we are mostly [00:18:00] working on right now. Just making sure that those kind of things are, again, properly defined, properly put in place, but also at the same time that again, we're not trying to stifle innovation or, um, our makers obviously we, we're not trying to restrict them in doing what they're doing right now, but just making sure that whatever they're doing is still within, the corporate, you could say guidelines.
Neil Benson: Right. Do you get a lot of pushback from your, your makers? You're the center of excellence you're helping put in place guard rails and, and standards. Do you ever get resistance because you're seen as maybe putting up impediments and restricting people's ability to innovate?
Rene Modery: Actually, no, because our approach is not really trying to restrict people too much. And I mean, the restrictions that we are talking about, we're not just coming and say, oh, you're not allowed to use a certain connector anymore. But rather say this connector is... we don't, we plan to not use it in the default environment anymore, but rather if we want to continue using it, we need to talk about the reason why you need it. And then you will set up, for example, a dedicated environment for you, or maybe there is already an environment.
So really we are not trying to stop anyone from doing anything, but rather having that discussion around. We wanna encourage you to do what you're doing, because maybe you're doing really good work and that shouldn't stop, but we also need to make sure that again, things are just overall better managed. And that's where we come in, basically, just to make sure that the makers understand it, but also then that they, uh, yeah, again, don't get that feeling, IT is controlling us again and restricting us as often the case. So yeah. um, we're trying to be as, how do you call that? As positive as possible around.
Neil Benson: And do any of your operating companies use Microsoft partners as well to supplement their skills and, and build maybe some of the more mission critical applications? How do you play with those partners? If they're working outside your organization?
Rene Modery: Yeah. So there are sometimes smaller bits and pieces, but we are trying to work towards something like a, again, a standard overall. So it might be that, has to be reviewed basically. How we're gonna proceed with it overall? Um, Again, thinking about yes. If a smaller part, a [00:20:00] smaller operating company, for example, does with a partner, they might be doing quite well with it, but then others don't have anything. So how can we support those that don't have any partner right now?
So yes, there's a lot that we are currently preparing for and, making sure that this gets, I call the term, I say the term managed quite often right now during the code, but yeah, that's really part of it again as well that just making sure that any kind of engagement is within our guard rails, but also making sure that, again, that things don't get suddenly stopped and blocked.
Neil Benson: I don't want to give away too many trade secrets, but are there any really interesting applications you've seen inside WPP that you can give us a sense of some of the innovation that you've seen with makers out there?
Rene Modery: That's one thing that we are trying to do right now figure out really what are the really good things that have been done so far and then basically creating a well it's often called an app catalog or a a showcase basically of, Hey, what's awesome within our company? What has been done by whom? And displaying that. The business case, why was it done? Showcasing then maybe screenshots or videos of the app, et cetera. What we have uh, mostly, you could say, the professionally built apps, obviously, there are some that are really good and, um, without going in detail, actually, there are some that were really built for very specific purposes where it became clear that there's no general app out there that can support what is to be done.
But those apps have become, you could say in a way, mission critical. And, um, I know that other teams are also building some mission critical apps, for example, together with Microsoft support or guidance right now. That's around, for example, the internal IT space, just again, mentioning the scope of 10 tenants. So there are teams that are responsible for managing a whole lot of staff across those 10 tenants and making sure that in the future things will become easier. And they're also building great stuff. Sadly cannot go into detail for those, but, um, those are basically the professionally built ones.
For, yeah, citizen develop, developed ones. So I've seen some uh, again, very nice things coming from, [00:22:00] to a good amount again, from the let's call, 'em the data driven teams. So the tech teams basically then who really tried to again, solve specific issues.
So sometimes that meant, for example, that they had, let's call 'em, uh, something like an Excel spreadsheet, where somebody just had to enter some, uh, values to specific fields and then some. basically. Let's call It a long text gets generated based on the input. So basically a long ID is required. And that's the simple term. The tricky term is obviously that this means that, um, there's a whole lot more behind it in terms of where does do the values for those text inputs, for example, come from, because that ideally should be dynamic, that kind of thing. And, um, what I've seen is Bailey that they built that in a smart way because there was existing data in a SQL server and, they've just simply said, put a Power App on top so that the app can connect to the SQL server dynamically. Then show, um, basically the content for those drop down so that when you generate your ID, you've got it all, basically up to date and with the Excel spreadsheet, that meant, oh, they had to update the spreadsheet and people had to use the latest version. and, um, You get the idea. It's one of those case where think, Yes, that's actually a very nice solution for a Power App where, um, you surface something from somewhere that's already there and uh, you improve it a lot by replacing some other bits and piece that was, uh, yeah, not the best technical solution. If you know, Excel is often the first thing that people start using. But once you come to, we need to maintain that spreadsheet and everybody should use one spreadsheet only, and uh, then it becomes a nightmare, Yeah. but that's one of the other, yeah, cases.
Neil Benson: Speaking of, uh, of data sources. Do you see a wide variety of, of data sources underneath the Power Apps? You know, Excel, Lists, SharePoint, Azure SQL, Dataverse. Do you have a whole portfolio of different data sources underneath your applications? Or are you enforcing a standard? Where's the directions you think your teams are headed?
Rene Modery: We just did actually a very recent analysis of the most of our of all connectors that are in [00:24:00] use in two of our biggest tenants. And we're trying to get the idea from across all tenants over time as well. But right now just the two biggest already gave us very good insights. And just looking at those connectors that are used very often, we could see obviously SharePoint is, I think, the most popular connector, because I mean, very often people start with some data in SharePoint and then build an app on top of it. So obviously not a big surprise there, but then other data sources, were also then SQL server or a decent amount of usage. And while that meant that, um, it's something that obviously comes from the data driven teams again, it's my assumption mostly. So it's something where we know, okay, there's definitely some data that is quite helpful to them and they want to use it. So not really surprising either.
Dataverse is the one that obviously we want people to start using overall and probably start using SharePoint less over time. But that will also require more, a bit more education as well then. And, um, it also meant for example, that, a lot of it was just built so far. For example, again, on SharePoint, maybe we don't want them to move off SharePoint right away. Maybe we say that we focus first on building the new stuff on Dataverse and maybe slowly phase out some SharePoint things that should be in Dataverse better. But yeah, so Dataverse is something we see a bit, but not as much. Uh, Yeah. Ideally wanted by us and others as well.
Neil Benson: Yeah. Okay. Interesting.
Rene Modery: Another data source. Yes. So Azure I've seen a whole lot of them, so Azure Blob storage, Azure Table storage, I think I've seen. Um, and oh then obviously a lot of other smaller, separate data sources that are getting looked at.
I can't even remember them right now, but basically when you go through the connector list, you see, ah, ten apps and flows are using uh, something that you didn't even know that people are using, but okay. Um, we know that there might be just some data there for very specific reasons. So yeah, the usual standard data sources are there, but, a lot of others as well.
And coming back to question, Do we standardize it? Again, I [00:26:00] think we will try to put in some guidance around Dataverse because I think that might be the best option as a sort of a standard connector moving forward for data, especially now that I've seen now with the virtual tables, I mean that offers some new opportunities as well, but that's a big, separate story obviously, but yeah. Um, we are not gonna enforce data versus standard or anything like that because we know that again, as mentioned um, data is in a lot of different places where it is currently residing and uh, where it might actually already be used by other systems as well.
So obviously if you say don't use data source X, that might mean that the team says but that's where all our other systems connect to.
Neil Benson: Right. Yeah. You mentioned virtual tables, are there any other new or emerging features that that you're really excited about that you've seen the product team released recently that you'd love to exploit more?
Rene Modery: I, well, there's always so many things that uh, come out, it's hard to remember which one was the one that I liked the most recently I was most excited about. But just this week, I think, or end of last week, there was an announcement that there are new controls for, um, basically the new Fluent UI controls or components basically available, so I haven't looked at them yet. I wanna look at them when I've got some time, but that sounded like something where I think it would be quite, quite nice to have some, let's call them, good looking controls basically in our apps. Obviously Um, not that I complain about what we have right now, but something nice looking is always something that users also appreciate more in a way.
Neil Benson: That's definitely a bias I have. I've spent most of my career working with model driven apps and the UI flexibility really isn't there. There's just built in controls and that's it. Canvas app makers have had a rich canvas to build their Apps upon and they can really go to time with their own custom UI. And, and sometimes that's great and that's what you need. Other times those app makers, aren't always UI designers and I think this trend towards giving them more components that [00:28:00] are easier to deploy, easier to drop onto your canvas will bring together model and canvas apps a lot more tightly. We've got custom pages and there's just the two worlds are converging. It's really exciting to see that.
Rene Modery: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's quite exciting. I mean, I've seen a case in the company where somebody said, I've got actually Power BI dashboard. And then I created an app that I embed in that dashboard and based on what I do in the app, then there are also some changes in the dashboard and overall than having, not just basically bits and pieces here and there, but rather connecting all of them, um, to make something even better, even more useful. I mean, that's really very exciting.
Neil Benson: Very cool. Um, and if you had your wish and you could direct the product teams at Microsoft to work on something that you think has been missing for far too long, what do you think that would be? Anything you'd really love? The, uh, I don't know how many other product team are listening, but what should they work on next?
Rene Modery: Um, there were always a few things. I mean, what I usually wanted to get a better, or an easy way, what what's always licensing. Luckily for large company as ours, I don't wanna say licensing is not an issue. We're still obviously dealing with things, but it has become easier. I would say over time than,
Neil Benson: Great. Not everybody says that.
So I'm, I'm.
Rene Modery: It's not really, I mean, not directly to the product itself right. Related in a way, but licenses are always people as always, it's always something, people figure out how many license do I need? How do I license? What's the best way to license, et cetera.
But I see that for example, the pace you go, licensing that's just, appeared also. And I think, yeah, there are things happening that I think make it easier than for um, especially small and medium organizations than to figure out basically, Um, how do we get started with something without, over allocating or, just making sure then that we get what we need basically.
And what was the other thing? I mean, overall, I think I kept mentioning the manage and governance aspect so often uh, and what I'm really looking forward two are all the enhancements to the COE, but also having hopefully then more stuff [00:30:00] within the Power Platform Admin Center directly.
So uh, there are lots of aspects where things sometimes, the management aspects of things could be better getting a better overview of what is where for example, or better insights into things. Um, that's always something that can be improved. From a, again from a 10 tenant kind point of view, basically. I mean, um, we see things like, oh, we don't wanna do things 10 things 10 times, but rather ideally we wanna see do it one time and then, uh, push it out Uh, or something like that. Yeah. So that's basically something that we also having discussions with Microsoft separately obviously, but yeah. um, there are ways of lots of things that can be improved.
Neil Benson: So my, my understanding of the Center of Excellence was that it was developed by the Power CAT team who were working with enterprise customers to help them adopt and then control and govern the Power Platform. It's a separate toolkit. You can choose to optionally install that into your environments.
But I'm hoping that the Power Platform Admin Team who are looking at the Power Platform Admin Center are looking at the success of that and the popularity of it and saying, oh, we need to bring some of those. capabilities back into the Admin Center, because everybody should be having these features enabled rather than just making it an option. You have to go and find a toolkit and deploy it and learn how it all works. So maybe we'll see that come together in the roadmap in the future. I hope so. If Julie Strauss, my friend, Julie is listening at Microsoft, that'd be good one, Julie, to, to put in your backlog.
Rene, I'd love to know what's the Power Platform community like in Singapore. And, you know, you're obviously not from Singapore originally, I don't think. So, tell us about your journey to get to Singapore. And what's the Power Platform experience like over there?
Rene Modery: So I'm originally from Germany and I studied in Germany and thought I'm gonna start working in Germany after my studies. But as part of that, those studies, I had to do an internship for six months somewhere, and I decided to go somewhere a bit more exotic somewhere. That's a bit different from Germany and a bit different from [00:32:00] Europe, you could say, and I thought, hey, like I said, I wanna go somewhere more exotic, but again, not too exotic. And somehow I found Singapore where I thought, Hey, it's in Asia. It's sort of that exotic part, but it's not too exotic because people speak English here. So I should be yeah. Um, able to find my way around here.
So, and yeah, I came here, had initially the culture shock, but then I started to love it here. So that meant then after my internship ended, I went back to Germany sort of quickly finished my studies and just came back here again. Um, started working here, thought as long as I like it here, I'm just gonna stay here and um, yeah,
Neil Benson: Great.
Rene Modery: Things didn't really change much. So I still like it here. Married two kids, um, completely I dunno, integrated here, not planning to go anywhere else. And while I've been away for three years in Switzerland in between with my wife, ideas obviously, are we gonna stay here in Singapore?
And, it also meant, then while I was here. Because I'm here then obviously I started to look at, um, initially the SharePoint community here, because as mentioned, my background was in SharePoint, started to attend user group here and at some point also present. And yeah, that meant basically I'm doing more stuff over time, then as well, like um, speaking, not just at the user group, but also started suddenly speaking at conferences and writing more blog posts and those kind of things and um, helping out in forums 10 years ago.
That meant that 2012, then I got my first MVP award. So that was for Office 365 and, um, the name changed over time. So right now it's office apps and services, but yeah, basically still for the Office 365 part. But my community activities obviously then also meant that I'm not just doing SharePoint that evolved over time into Office 365, but cause I mean, whatever I do at work is something that I like to share with others. So learnings, those kind of things, and um, experiences, and that now also involve the Power Platform, a good amount. What we have here in [00:34:00] terms of Power Platform community, so we've got actually a user group here a very large one, actually. We still under one, umbrella more or less. But yeah, we've got a nice community overall for Microsoft where us MVPs get together organize things.
And we also got then our Power Platform community organized by one of the other, Power Platform, MVP or Business MVP, I would actually say more specifically. Yeah, like I said, they have monthly events. We had recently our, what's it called? our global Power Platform Bootcamp, I think was the official name. Sadly everything right now is still online, but we're hoping to move back into in-person events soon. So that's just, now you could say possible again, officially. But the idea is then that we yeah, hopefully hold our in-person user group events again in the upcoming months. Yeah.
Neil Benson: We've got our local Queensland Business Applications User Group tomorrow evening and it's in person. I think it's the first one this year. Very exciting to get back together. Towards the end of last year, we tried to do in person and then the restrictions clamped down, opened up, clamped down. It's bit of stop and start.
We're all looking forward to getting back in person, I think.
Rene Modery: Yeah, so, yeah. In person is really something really longed for here.
Neil Benson: And where can people find and follow your content on social media? For those who can't get to a local user group in Singapore, how can they engage with you?
Rene Modery: So easiest way to just find my um, last name, moderate, M O D E R Y. Cause there aren't too many Moderys around. Um, I'm the most prominent you could say. So I'm on Twitter, twitter.com/modery. So LinkedIn, if you look for Modery it's quite easy to find me there.
Neil Benson: Great. , fantastic. I really I've really been fascinated by the story of WPP and your adoption of the Power Platform. Rene, thank you so much for joining me on the Amazing Applications show today. It's been a privilege. Thanks for joining us.
Rene Modery: Yeah. Thank you very much. Was a pleasure.