Power Platform Updates 2022

Power_platform_updates_Banner-1030x430 Power Platform Updates 2022


Microsoft is well known for its constantly evolving products and their 2022 release wave 1 Plan which outlines Power Platform updates is a great way to get a look into what’s coming this year. There have been countless improvements to Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and the newest addition to the Power Platform team, Power Pages, as well as a myriad of benefits that come along with using these products. We’re going to share how they can help your organization with digitization so keep reading to hear the most noteworthy Power Platform updates and what they can do for you.

Power BI

Power BI is a product that allows everyone to access data analysis tools, regardless of experience level, complementing Excel through a Microsoft Office type workspace. The most recent updates include benefits for individuals, teams as well as organizations as a whole. With more accessible work sharing and collaborating using OneDrive, Power BI is even more simple to use when joining forces with other team members. In teams, the new capabilities come with enhancements to integration with PowerPoint, allowing for a seamless transition between data analytics and presentations. Finally, organizations benefit from this round of updates, including increased visibility, greater data protection capabilities, and more. 

Power Apps

Power Apps allows all levels of developers to create both web and mobile applications within the Power Platform. Its updates include new built-in collaboration features and large improvements to governance capabilities, helping with safer rollout and scalability. The most notable addition to their features is that organizations can now deliver flagship apps company wide in a safe and dependable manner. 

Power Automate

Power Automate allows businesses to cut down on time sucking, repetitive tasks, by aiding in automation. With this wave of updates, Power Automate can be used on many more interfaces rather than just integration through interfaces such as Microsoft Teams or Windows 11. This makes it easier for organizations to manage user accounts as well as credentials. While sticking to an application-programming-interface (API) first approach, all the features are becoming more easily automated, which allows organizations more flexibility in how they choose to use this product. 

A New Addition: Power Pages

Microsoft Power Pages is the new, 5th addition to the Microsoft Power arsenal. It allows anyone, regardless of technical background, skill, or experience in the industry, to create secure, data powered websites. With a low code design and aesthetic appeal, it still permits more experienced developers to expand the website further if desired. Power Pages includes a Design Studio, Learn Hub, and Templates Hub. The Design Studio and Templates Hub contain pre-made templates to form site designs with ease and the Learn Hub shows users just how to apply those templates for the maximum benefit. It’s already creating waves in the industry since its official launch in May 2022 (some of the features were already in use through the Power Apps portal).


This article covered most of the new Power Platform updates on all of their products from Power BI to the recently launched Power Pages; however, the products themselves are constantly evolving and growing to fit user and company needs, so there’s always more to learn about the newest features coming out. Microsoft’s blog is a great place to go for all the most recent updates and to learn how to make the most of them. What are your thoughts on the Power Platform products, and how does your organization leverage them? We’d love to hear, so let us know in the comments!

Optimus Information Selected as Azure Specialist for ISVs in Canada

AS4ISV-1030x430 Optimus Information Selected as Azure Specialist for ISVs in Canada

Optimus Information is thrilled to announce that they have been selected as 1 of 2 Microsoft Partners in Canada to earn the Azure Specialists for Independent Software Vendor (ISV) title. An Azure Specialist for ISVs is selected by Microsoft based on their proven expertise and ISV focused practice.


We are honoured to be selected as an Azure Specialist for ISVs and be recognized for our cloud and software expertise. We thank Microsoft and our clients for continually putting their trust in us.”

– Pankaj Agarwal – Managing Partner & Founder of Optimus Information


We understand that migrating to Microsoft Azure and listing transactable offers in Microsoft’s Marketplace has several benefits but it’s not an easy task. This is why working with an experienced partner, like Optimus Information, is essential to migrate, optimize, and manage existing workloads to the cloud. We’ve helped a lot of SaaS companies, at different points on their cloud journey, save 10-15% of their operational costs or save 6 months on their innovation roadmap.

What does being an Azure Specialist for ISVs mean for our clients?

1. Receive expertise and knowledge on your infrastructure assessment and cloud migration roadmap.

As one of Microsoft Canada’s experienced Azure specialist partners, Optimus Information helps organizations migrate apps from on-premise to cloud keeping in mind scalability, security and with optimal performance.

2. Assistance with pilot and proof-of-concept (POC) migration to Azure leveraging free Azure Sponsorship credits.

Optimus can provide complimentary assessments and assistance with POCs to ensure a seamless cloud strategy and roadmap. We also leverage funding programs that help our clients save on their overall costs.

3. Onboarding support to get your application onto the Microsoft commercial marketplace

Optimus provides clients with guidance and an easy methodology for listing their transactable offers on Microsoft Azure Marketplace. 


Unlike traditional technology consultants that take forever to understand your infrastructure – Optimus Information quickly provides guidance on how to start your migration, resources to accelerate, and expertise to overcome your challenges. We get you on the cloud faster and more cost-effectively so your team can focus on your core business. 


Want to see how we can help you? Schedule a 20-min information call to discuss your cloud migration strategy at info@optimusinfo.com.


Optimus has Earned the Modernization of Web Apps to Microsoft Azure Advanced Specialization

Optimus_Adv_Specializationi_banner-scaled Optimus has Earned the Modernization of Web Apps to Microsoft Azure Advanced Specialization


Optimus Information is pleased to announce that they have earned the Modernization of Web Apps to Microsoft Azure Advanced Specialization, a validation of a solution partner’s deep knowledge, extensive experience and proven expertise in migrating and modernizing production web application workloads, and managing app services in Azure. 

Optimus Information is proud to be among the small group of Canadian Microsoft partners that have met the stringent criteria around customer success and staff skilling, as well as pass a third-party audit of their web workload deployment and management practices, including their ability to implement Azure App Service, are able to earn the Modernization of Web Apps in Microsoft Azure Advanced Specialization.

“We are thrilled to have earned this advanced specialization. It is reflective of the calibre of our global team, proven Azure experience, and continued partnership with Microsoft Canada.” 

Pankaj Agarwal – Managing Partner & Founder of Optimus Information

As companies look to modernize their applications and take full advantage of the benefits of the cloud, they are looking for a partner with advanced skills to assess, plan, and modernize the web app to the cloud.

To learn more about how Optimus can help you modernize your applications for the cloud, please contact us at info@optimusinfo.com

Microsoft Ignite Announcements 2021

Microsoft-Ignite-Announcements-2021 Microsoft Ignite Announcements 2021


Microsoft Ignite hosted their second virtual conference in 2021, and had so many exciting speakers and announcements, that we thought we should dedicate an article to some Microsoft Ignite announcements. Microsoft Ignite was started in 1993 and is an annual conference of developers and IT professionals. They gather to discuss new developments in cybersecurity, AI, and Azure innovation, as well as listen to brilliant keynote speakers. Microsoft Ignite 2021 took place from March 2-4 and we want to tell you some of the most exciting projects that were shared during the event. 

Microsoft Teams Update

Microsoft Teams has undergone a plethora of updates, many of which are new video call features to increase ease of meetings and functionality. “Dynamic mode” is one of those new features. It automatically adjusts to the meeting experience based on the users and content, allowing for easy transitions based on the meeting itself. “Powerpoint Live” is another one to try out! The presenter can see what the others are viewing without switching screens. This allows for virtually seamless presentations without worrying whether the right presentations are being shared or the slide is correct. Along with Powerpoint Live, Microsoft Teams now has “Presenter Mode”, which has created more options for presenters to have polished and interactive presentations. Finally, Microsoft Teams addressed a cybersecurity concern by creating “invite only meeting controls”, making sure that only the relevant people are allowed into a call. 

Microsoft Power Platforms Update

Some of the other exciting Microsoft Ignite announcements have to do with Microsoft Power Platforms. The popular low-code, development platform for experienced coders and business users alike has taken companies by storm. Some of the features that experienced upgrades in 2021 are Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agent. Power Apps, Microsoft’s low-code program that allows everyone to build and share apps, now has offline mobile capabilities, geospatial capabilities like maps, and more. Power Automate, Microsoft’s automation platform that allows for greater productivity and secure automation, has made shared desktop flows available across organizations. And finally, Power Virtual Agent, that allows users to create their own chatbots with ease, now includes data loss prevention options as well as new topic trigger management for the chatbots. For more information on Power Platforms Updates, click here.

Azure Arc Updates

For those who haven’t heard of Azure Arc, it’s a set of technologies that innovates Azure management and services to any platform. They have also undergone extensive updates this year. Firstly, they have made it possible to run machine learning everywhere. Microsoft shares, “By using Azure Arc to extend machine learning (ML) capabilities to hybrid and multicloud environments, customers can train ML models directly where the data lives using their existing infrastructure investments. This reduces data movement while meeting security and compliance requirements.” Next, they expanded on their program by allowing users to build cloud native applications at scale, anywhere. Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes is now generally available. To learn more, read the full article from Microsoft. And finally, in collaboration with Azure Stack HCI and Azure Arc, users are able to modernize their data centres with ease. It’s a cost-efficient hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution, all managed through Azure. To learn more about Azure Stack HCI, click here.

Data and AI Announcements

Another exciting Microsoft Ignite announcement has to do with Azure Percept, Microsoft’s platform that simplifies the usage of Azure AI technologies on the edge. This includes Azure Cloud offerings such as AI model development, analytics, and more. The platform even includes a development kit, which comes with an intelligent camera: Azure Percept Vision. Want to learn more about this exciting product and how Microsoft is increasing accessibility? Read the full article from them here.

Additional Resources

We’ve touched on some of the updates and announcements that happened at the Microsoft Ignite Conference 2021, but we’ll share just a few more highlights in case you would like to check out additional resources. 

Microsoft Virtual Training Days

If you’re interested in gaining more hard skills, taught by an experienced instructor in your language, check out Microsoft Virtual Training Days here

Keynote Presentation by Satya Nadella

At the conference this year, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, gave a keynote speech on Microsoft’s vision for the future of Mixed Reality. You can watch the full presentation here to learn more. 

Learn about Cybersecurity

And finally, learn more about cybersecurity, compliance, identity and management in this video from the conference. 


We hope that you learned something from these Microsoft Ignite announcements, and feel free to reach out to us at info@optimusifo.com with any further questions.


Microsoft Makes a Significant Investment in Canadian Cloud

CanadianCloud-copy Microsoft Makes a Significant Investment in Canadian Cloud

Microsoft Cloud Services has been a core contributor to the growth and development of numerous Canadian organizations and is steadily making more investments in Canadian Cloud. Recently announcing their first Canadian Azure Availability Zone in the Azure Canada Central region and an Azure ExpressRoute in Vancouver, this expansion will provide Canadian businesses greater access to new innovations to accelerate their development. 

An Availability Zone consists of one or more data centres equipped with independent power, cooling, and networking. Microsoft says it’s the only cloud provider in Canada to offer Availability Zones and disaster recovery with in-country data residency. In addition, this will be the largest expansion of its Canadian-based cloud computing infrastructure since the launch of the first data centre in Canada in 2016. According to Microsoft, this expansion will increase computing capacity by an incredible 1300%.

While Azure ExpressRoutes already exists in Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City, this is an important investment for the West Coast. A service that primarily provides a private connection between an organization’s on-premises infrastructure and Microsoft Azure data centre, Azure ExpressRoutes provides more reliability, speed, and lower latency for users. Organizations in Vancouver will now have a secure network connection into Azure without having to cross the country. 

The new Azure Availability Zones and ExpressRoute services are set to go live by the end of March. 


For more information email us at info@optimusinfo.com or read more here:

Microsoft announces Canadian Azure Availability Zone, and Azure ExpressRoute in Vancouver (IT World Canada)

Microsoft Makes Significant Investments in Canadian Cloud to Fuel Innovation In Canada (Microsoft News Center Canada)

Two Reasons to Celebrate – The IAMCP Honours Optimus Information at Microsoft Inspire 2018

“I’m delighted to see Optimus Information recognized at Microsoft Inspire,” said Awards Chair and former IAMCP President, Gail Mercer-MacKay. “Not only is the company creating incredibly sophisticated and innovative solutions for their customers, but they are also transforming their own workplace to be more inclusive. It is a testament to the leadership at Optimus that the entire team is dedicated to both pursuits. Congratulations!”

Optimus Information has been awarded two awards at the 2018 Microsoft Inspire Partner Conference in Las Vegas. Founder Pankaj Agarwal was named a Man of WIT finalist for the inaugural #WITsUP awards program with IAMCP WIT. Optimus Information took the Canadian Bronze honour in the global IAMCP P2P awards. The awards were handed out in separate ceremonies at Inspire.

iStock-506999580 Two Reasons to Celebrate - The IAMCP Honours Optimus Information at Microsoft Inspire 2018

Man of WIT Finalist: Pankaj Agarwal

2018 marks the inaugural year for the IAMCP Women in Technology (WIT) awards1, where amazing people who support the WIT community are recognized.

50/50 gender parity at Optimus Information is recognized by the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners.

For the Man of WIT category, the following description was offered:

The Man of WIT recipient is not afraid to discuss diversity publicly and leads by example in his own organization and industry. WIT is all about diversity, inclusion and equality. Therefore, we want to recognize a male leader who has stepped up to make a difference for WIT. He has led by example in hiring, pay equity and having the conversation that makes a difference not only in his business but the tech community. He believes in WIT and STEM initiatives for women and more importantly, he acts to make it happen.

Pankaj Agarwal was nominated for the IAMCP WIT, Man of WIT award because of his dedication to gender diversity, not only at Optimus Information but in society at large. With a goal to create a workplace where employees feel valued through their contributions, Pankaj and his fellow Optimus Information founders felt strongly about building a fully gender diverse staff right from the beginning.

Earlier in 2018, Optimus Information was proud to announce that a 50/50 gender parity among staff had been reached! As a forerunner of this initiative, Pankaj encourages the entire organization to continue to improve diversity efforts.

Personally, Pankaj is passionate about STEM and its importance to current and future generations. He actively supports the Future Science Leaders program at Science World2. The program encourages youth to build careers in science. Together, that team has brought the program from concept to working stage and is committed to growing it 10X.

Pankaj supports a school in one of the poorest regions in India, paying for the education of young girls whose families cannot afford to send them to school.

WATCH: The following video talks about Optimus and the diversity initiative

Congratulations to Pankaj and the entire team at Optimus Information for your commitment and dedication to achieving gender diversity in the workplace.

IAMCP P2P Awards – Bronze – Canada Region: Optimus Information

“We are very proud to be named the Bronze winner for Canada in the 2018 IAMCP P2P Awards,” said Pankaj Agarwal, founder of Optimus Information. “We place an incredibly high value on delivering innovation for our clients, and partnering is essential to our success. Together with MSFT Gold Partner Squirrel Systems, we did more than migrate our customer from on-premises to the cloud – we truly transformed their business. The process also generated new solutions for both Optimus and Squirrel, and will serve many more customers in the future.”

Optimus Information partnered with MSFT Gold Partner Squirrel Systems, the world’s leader in Point of Sale technology for the hospitality and restaurant industry, to move from a legacy on-premises solution to a SaaS Cloud.

“This was a monumental transformation effort. But we would not be doing this or be in production without Optimus. We turned to them from the start and said, ‘We want to do this – where do we start?’ Their team is outstanding and know Azure well. They have a strong discipline around modernization. They deliver incredible levels of quality and are deeply embedded with us. It is a partnership that has brought tremendous business value.” Joseph Cortese, Vice President Research & Development, Squirrel Systems.

Launched in 2015, the IAMCP Awards Program3 is designed to encourage and recognize Association members for the outstanding, innovative and creative products and services they deliver through trusted P2P and channel relationships. Winners and finalists benefit from increased recognition through press and social media. Winners are announced during the annual partner conference, Microsoft Inspire.