Joe Griffin

Information & Communications Technology

Environment and Cleantech

Microsoft Azure Microsoft Power BI Microsoft Dynamics CRM Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Azure DevOps .NET SQL Server Integration Services SQL Server Report Server

Manchester, United Kingdom

Joe Griffin

Director at SOLO Cloud Solutions Limited

My name is Joe Griffin, and I am an IT Project Manager/Consultant, based in the North West of England. I hold various Microsoft certifications in Dynamics CRM/365 Customer Engagement, Power BI and SQL Server and am also a PRINCE2 Project Manager and Agile Practitioner. I have a broad knowledge of working with and managing projects involving Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, Azure, Power BI, .NET and other technologies within the Microsoft cloud stack. During this time, I have developed a keen interest in coding, and love working with Transact-SQL, JScript, PowerShell, DAX & C#. Thanks to my previous experience, I have practical knowledge operating within the energy efficiency, managed services, retail, print & direct mail and utility sectors. When I’m not blogging or tinkering, I enjoy reading, catching up on the latest films/TVs and also enjoy learning about and studying history.

Current sessions

Cloud ETL with Azure Data Factory & the Common Data Service

In today’s fast-moving cloud world, it can be difficult sometimes to evaluate new solutions on the marketplace to satisfy Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) scenarios or data integration needs involving the Common Data Service (CDS). Typically, we may find ourselves returning to “safe” options such as SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) or to look at investing in potentially expensive third-party solutions, such as Scribe Online or KingswaySoft. With version 2 of Azure Data Factory (ADF), developers now have a product available with sufficient feature parity to SSIS. In addition, ADF offers a range of additional options, such as the ability to manage your solution within Azure DevOps or seamlessly integrate with Azure functions to execute custom code. All of this, and more, can be implemented for little or no cost.

In this deep-dive session, we’ll look at how Azure Data Factory can be used to successfully migrate an on-premise instance of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement to a cloud CDS instance. As part of this, attendees will become familiar with the process involved in deploying their first Azure Data Factory Pipeline, from start to finish. No previous experience with Azure Data Factory is required, although attendees should have some familiarity with CDS entities and how to deploy resources into Azure.


Leveraging Power BI with Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement

With the introduction of the Power Platform, an awareness of Power BI moves from being desirable to absolutely essential when building a truly unified and engaging business application solution. But with a plethora of existing reporting options available within D365 Customer Engagement (D365CE), attempting to identify the best usage scenario for Power BI and the most appropriate technical architecture for this can be tricky. Additional complications can also arise when traditional SQL/BI developers are having to familiarise themselves with the many oddities D365CE presents from a data access perspective. In this session, I hope to provide a “crash course” discussion on how and when to use Power BI with D365 Customer Engagement, before then looking at the various options available to access D365CE data and streamline the adoption of your Power BI solution.


See What's APP with your Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Instance with Application Insights

Did you know that Microsoft have a web application analytics tool that is as good, if not better than, Google Analytics? It's called Application Insights and, when implemented, provides application developers and digital teams with a rich array of information that can help to identify website usage trends, bottlenecks within applications, what browsers are being used and a whole lot more. Even better, all information can be easily consumed within a Power BI dashboard or hived off to a separate reporting application for even more detailed analysis. The cherry on the cake though? Application Insights is fully compatible with Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement and, with minimal setup involved, you can begin to generate an even greater level of insight into the health of your Customer Engagement deployment. In this session, attendees will see how easy it is to get started with Application Insights and how you can fully leverage the solution to generate as much business benefit from the underlying data exposed.


Microsoft Azure for Dummies

Azure is big and scary. There is a lot to learn, and it's changing all the time. Even getting started with it, to begin leveraging some real benefits alongside your Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement deployment, can be a challenge. The aim of this session is to dispel any uncertainty and provide an open forum for Q&A's and troubleshooting relating to Azure. During this two-part roundtable session, we will cover basic concepts, such as subscriptions, resource groups and creating resources, before jumping into an open forum for questions and live demonstrations, to address anything raised by attendees. We will also look to provide answers to questions raised before the event, via engagement on social media.


Leveraging Power BI with the Common Data Service

With the introduction of the Power Platform, an awareness of Power BI moves from being desirable to absolutely essential when building a truly unified and engaging business application solution. But with a plethora of existing reporting options available within model-driven Power Apps and the Common Data Service (CDS), attempting to identify the best usage scenario for Power BI and the most appropriate technical architecture can be tricky. Additional complications can also arise when traditional SQL/BI developers are having to familiarise themselves with the many oddities CDS presents from a data access perspective. In this session, I hope to provide a “crash course” discussion on how and when to use Power BI with the CDS, before then looking at the various options available to surface CDS data and streamline the adoption of your Power BI solution.


On-Premise, In-Cloud: Reviewing Integration Options for Dynamics 365

Perhaps one of the features that makes Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform so compelling is its much-touted capability to integrate with a wide variety of data sources, regardless of where these reside. This can not only allow you to centralise all of these disparate sources into a single view but also will enable you to leverage some of the exciting capabilities within Power BI and Power Automate with minimal effort. The purpose of this talk will be to discuss, evaluate and showcase all options currently available to get your on-premise data within CDS or available for use within tools such as Power Automate. Each option has its distinct advantages and disadvantages, and the session will aim to present these and offer a suggested answer, based on the business requirement that needs to be met.


Past and future events

Scottish Summit

29 Feb 2020
Glasgow, United Kingdom

D365UG July - Microsoft London

9 Jul 2019
London, United Kingdom

D365UG/CRMUG Manchester

Co-organiser and also delivered my talk 'Leveraging Power BI with Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement'
9 Apr 2019
Manchester, United Kingdom

Power BI User Group Manchester

Delivered my talk 'Leveraging Power BI with Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement'
28 Mar 2019
Manchester, United Kingdom