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Notes from the 2016 MVP Summit

Each year, Kinetik I.T. Software Development Manager and Microsoft Access MVP, Tom van Stiphout, attends the Microsoft MVP Summit. His takeaway in this conference shares some insight into Microsoft's successful products.

For me reading the tea leaves at MSFT is mostly about momentum. It's a company that undertakes major initiatives and responds to its customers. Not all products make it. There are trial balloons, and failures to ignite.

Azure is one of those major initiatives, and it is growing in reach almost every week. 

PowerApps is one of those products with momentum. It just reached General Availability status (GA) but that's just the beginning. It has synergy with the rest of the Power platform including PowerBI (another product with lots of momentum) and Flow. It will be able to connect to the new Common Data Services on top of Azure as well as most if not all data sources PowerBI can use, and new ones are coming online all the time. I'm going to closely watch this product, get to know it, and maybe in 6 months or so we can use it to build simple task-driven applications that run on any device. First only in our tenant, but if customers are asking for it …

The Access desktop application also has some momentum behind it. It is far from dead. It just got added to several more flavors of Office 365. If I read the tea leaves correctly we will see it being able to connect to some of the same modern data sources.

More Users Are Going Native

Americans spend more time looking at mobile apps than they do watching TV reads a headline from Tech Crunch.  When watching TV accounts for 50% of leisure time in the US, that stacks up to A LOT of mobile viewing. The demand for mobile engagement has grown so rapidly that 90% of mobile apps have appeared in the last three years as the leading digital platform according to a research whitepaper on The 2016 Mobile App Report. Paying attention to these numbers are important, not only for us as a web tech service company, but also for you as a business owner. 

Let’s say you’ve upgraded your company site from a static boring brochure to a responsive design that looks and functions well on a tablet and a phone; you’ve done the first major step in engaging modern technology. (BTW, if your site isn’t mobile friendly by now, then you are alienating your customers and losing business!  Let us know and we’ll fix that for you. )  If your developer did a good job, you will see a boost in page rank, visitors, and maybe even conversions. What if you could increase your brand loyalty and engagement level by 27%?  


Mobile or native apps are not to be confused with web apps. The conversion of your static site to a responsive design so that it looks good on smaller devices is a web app.  It usually includes some coding to show specific information that your users want to see immediately by getting rid of the fluff.  A native app takes your web app to the next level by giving your users distilled information they want within seconds.  For instance, your app can encourage repeat customers by putting them on a waiting list for a haircut or to pick up a takeout order.  You could have push messages that send a text to your customer’s phone letting them know their dry cleaning is ready.  You could deliver coupons and accelerate customer service contact to your company that customers will surely appreciate.  Your branded mobile app becomes a complement to your responsive website and brings your business brand into the light with major economic dividends.

A native app doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, but it does have to make sense for your user’s needs. Kinetik I.T. has been developing software solutions for clients of all sizes in a wide range of industries.  Native / mobile apps are just part of what we do.