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  • Writer's pictureRedCloud Consulting

RedCloud at the Microsoft Power Platform Conference 2023

Earlier this month, thousands of low-code developers and Microsoft Power Platform enthusiasts traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada for MPPC 2023.  There, they were introduced to the latest and greatest features for Microsoft Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, Power Virtual Agents, and Power Pages.

To no one’s surprise, the major focus throughout the conference was how Power Platform Users will now be able to make better use of Microsoft Copilot and other AI-powered features.  

In this blog post, we will share learnings and experiences from the three members of RedCloud’s Digital Solutions team (Benny Swedberg, Yusuf Shariff, & Matt Little) who were stationed at a booth in the Conference’s Exhibition Hall.

Key Takeaways: Copilot and AI-powered features

New and exciting use cases for Microsoft Copilot and AI-powered features were the talk of the Conference.  Up until now, Copilot has largely been used as a developer’s tool, which could be prompted to build the bones of new Solutions based on the provided context. What we learned at the Conference was that not only is Copilot now better at doing this sort of development work, but it has also evolved to where it can be employed as a user-facing virtual agent within an App, BI Report, or Page.  

AI can also now work as an IT Governance tool, with the introduction of Power Automate’s new Process Mining feature.  Process Mining visualizes the Power Platform processes happening in your Organization, and provides customized reports/KPI monitoring, process comparisons, and root cause determinations for process inefficiencies. Organizations seeking to get an enterprise-wide view of how the Power Platform is being utilized, and how to continuously improve efficiencies and costs, should take note of this new and intuitive feature.

What we were most excited to learn is that Power Platform Solutions can now be coded to make API calls directly to any version of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, with added context being passed to it that is invisible to the user.  The result is near-instant responses that have been curated to exactly meet the purpose of the Solution.  Having the full breadth of the Internet’s collective knowledge at your fingertips, and having it applied within the context of your specific business process or workflow is a mind-blowing leap forward for this technology. 

One such example of this that we learned about, was prompting ChatGPT using the “Tree of Thoughts” method.  The trick to this method is in understanding how ChatGPT’s probabilistic model works.  If you give ChatGPT some data/context and ask it for the most likely outcome, it will give you the answer that has generated the highest confidence score. However, the data/context you gave may cause ChatGPT to “hallucinate”, meaning it has been led astray and produced an answer that humans will recognize as incorrect. More accurate/logical answers will result from employing the “Tree of Thoughts”, which means prompting ChatGPT to take on the personas of multiple experts each with a different theory on the probable outcome, and then having those experts perform an exercise where they take turns critiquing each other's theories until they have all arrived at a consensus for the most logical outcome. Seeing ChatGPT reason with itself until it arrived at a more correct response, was a stunning revelation in how to make use of this tool going forward. 

Highlights: Visiting the RedCloud Booth

The Conference’s Exhibition Hall was buzzing with activity all 3 days, as dozens of vendors set up booths to demo their products and introduce their services. The RedCloud booth featured Tablets that were pre-loaded with Power Apps for conference-goers to play around in, and Marketing collateral to take home with them as a reminder of RedCloud’s expertise & offerings.

Along with demo-ready Business Applications, RedCloud received praise for providing Power App-based games that could be played for prizes in the form of a Slot Machine App and a Slide Puzzle Challenge. More than 150 players registered their information to play our games, and winners were awarded with Funko Pops, which quickly came to be known as “the best swag at the conference.”

Community Recognition: RedCloud wins for best UX Design!

On the final night of the Conference, the second annual “MPPC’s Got Power” talent show was held. With hundreds in attendance, each Talent Show applicant was given a 5-minute timer to present and compete in the Categories of: Low-Code Solutions, Storytelling, or Hidden Talents. 

RedCloud’s own Yusuf Shariff took the stage to demo his Slot Machine Power App, which features complex logic, timers, and animations to perfectly mimic the experience of playing a Las Vegas Slot Machine. Yusuf was praised for his lighthearted and comical presentation style, and ultimately was awarded for having the best UX Design of the night. The panel of Microsoft judges said, “Yusuf really stretched the capabilities of the Power Platform and showed us things we didn’t even know it could do!”

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