Microsoft Ignite November 2021 Highlights

Microsoft Ignite November 2021 Highlights

John PhillipsProduct Updates

As with the previous Ignite event in March, this week’s digital event had many exciting announcements – we run through the highlights.

What is Microsoft Ignite?

Ignite is Microsoft’s regular gathering of technology leaders and practitioners, which in recent years has been delivered as a digital event. Ignite is for anyone interested in the latest developments in Microsoft’s business applications, with sessions intended for all roles, from developers and IT implementers to those who make purchasing decisions for enterprise tech and security solutions.

What areas did this event cover?

November’s event focused on these key areas:

  • Azure
  • Business applications, including Dynamics 365
  • Industry Cloud
  • Microsoft 365 & Windows
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Power Platform
  • Security, Compliance, Identity and Management

This blog post looks at announcements centred on Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform.

1 – Consumption-Based Power Apps Licensing

Currently in preview, customers can now use an Azure subscription to cover their Power Apps and Dataverse costs based on actual usage from month to month.

Historically, customers have had to calculate their licensing needs in advance; while there are benefits to the scale and predictability of user-based licensing, several scenarios today require the agility of a usage-based model. With this new pay-as-you-go plan, customers only pay for what they use, giving them more flexibility to get started with low code with low risk.

For more details on this, click here.

2 – Creating standalone Power Apps for iOS and Android

Traditionally, deploying a Power App to your users involved them installing the base Power Apps ‘player’ app on their device and then browsing through the available published apps to access the one they required. With the new experience, currently in preview, organisations will be able to package and deploy their business apps as standalone apps, simplifying the user experience and applying corporate branding.

Creating standalone Power Apps for iOS and Android

For more information on this preview, click here.

3 – Access Dataverse Connector

This new connector enables organisations to migrate their existing Microsoft Access data to the Power Platform, with all the security, extensibility and reliability benefits that it brings, while still being able to update data using the existing Access desktop software. This means that while new modern Apps are being developed to utilise the Power Platform data, existing processes need not be affected.

For more information on this connector, click here.

4 – Dynamics 365 Customer Service Voice Channel

Built on the same large-scale platform as Microsoft Teams, the voice channel expands Dynamics 365 Customer Service to become the all-in-one digital contact centre solution. Organisations can now provide a more consistent and personalised service across all channels with one data-driven, AI-infused, end-to-end solution. The voice channel features:

  • Real-time transcription – eliminating the need for agents to take notes.
  • Live sentiment analysis – providing an indicator of customer emotions during calls so that agents can deliver a more empathetic experience.
  • Proactive, AI-driven recommendations – find similar cases and knowledge articles to help agents resolve customer issues more quickly.
  • Real-time transcript translation – gives agents assisting customers in different regions and languages the added confidence of seeing the conversation in their native language.

For more information on the Dynamics 365 Customer Service voice channel, click here.

5 – Increased Power Platform API Limits

As we detailed back in 2019, Microsoft introduced API limits to its Power Platform, with request allocations based on purchased licences. From November 2021, two of these allocations have now increased:

  • the number of API calls available in a 24-hour period for a licensed Power Apps or Dynamics 365 user doubles from 20,000 to 40,000
  • the number of API calls available in a 24-hour period for a licensed Power App per App plan user increased from 1,000 to 6000
  • the number of API calls available in a 24-hour period for non-interactive/application users increases from 100,000 to 500,000

For a full list of Request Limits and Allocations, click here.

6 – Free AI Builder Credits for Power Apps per User and Per App plans

Beginning in December 2021, Power Apps per user and per app plan users will receive 500 and 250 AI Builder service credits per month respectively at no additional cost. This is aimed at encouraging the use of AI in apps, with additional credits available for purchase if required.

7 – Modernised Dataverse Business Units

Business Units have long been a part of Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform and work with security roles to determine the effective security that a user has. Business units are a security modelling building block that help in managing users and the data they can access. With modernised Business Units, now in preview, users are no longer restricted to accessing/managing data in their own business unit; they can now access and own records across business units. Also, Security roles from different business units can be assigned to users regardless of their business unit.

For more information on this new feature, click here.

8 – Context IQ

A set of collaborative tools for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365 that introduces a number of new features:

  • Teams chat embedded within Dynamics 365 – Now available in preview for Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, and Dynamics 365 Field Service, you can collaborate with other stakeholders directly from within a Dynamics 365 record. This allows you to use your Dynamics 365 data as an organising layer for your Teams collaboration activity and link conversations to Dynamics 365 records.
  • A unified meetings experience for sellers – During a Teams meeting, key sales information from Dynamics 365 can be quickly accessed and shared, reducing the need to switch between apps. Attendees can capture notes that automatically save to the timeline of the record, and sellers can leverage Conversation Intelligence to uncover and act on meeting highlights.
  • Digital voice and conversation intelligence for Dynamics 365 Sales – Now, sellers can conduct and answer calls, join online meetings, and receive and answer emails all from  within Dynamics 365 with one click.
  • Live copresence throughout Dynamics 365 applications – See who is actively working on a Dynamics 365 record and available to chat and collaborate.
  • Use @mention to quickly find and share a Dynamics 365 record – Share and collaborate on a Dynamics 365 record in the flow of your work, without switching apps. You can currently @mention specific people in an Outlook or Teams message to tag someone for feedback, but soon you will be able to @mention a Dynamics 365 record to quickly share it inline.

For more information on Context IQ, click here.


Although some of these new features are in preview at the moment and consideration should be taken before applying them in a live environment, it’s exciting to see the range of new improvements that are continually being made to Dynamics 365, the Power Platform and the Microsoft ecosphere as a whole. If you are an existing Strategy 365 client and wish to discuss any of these new developments with one of our experts, feel free to get in touch.

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