Sérgio Viana


Partner and DX & UX Lead

Process automation with RPA (the future of organisations)

  • The automation of processes with RPA (Robotic Process Automation) has transformed the internal operations of organisations.
  • This is a continuously growing technology, and its functionalities could be crucial for the modernisation of your business.
  • Discover everything in this article.

The adoption of RPA (Robotic Process Automation) technology has emerged as one of the key technological trends of recent years, and its adoption has grown significantly. Automating processes with RPA is essential for any organisation, since it has the potential to profoundly transform its internal operations by automating highly repetitive tasks.

This technology is becoming increasingly relevant given the growing need for business digitalisation across various industries. Automation is now a critical element for businesses, since it is precisely by automating different processes that companies can achieve greater internal efficiencies and become more operationally effective, ensuring their competitiveness in the market.

By 2025, the RPA market will grow to $5 billion. By the same year, it is expected that 4 million robots will be performing and automating office, administrative and sales tasks.

These statistics underscore the ongoing adoption and growth of technology by companies. This adoption is driven by different factors and motivations, such as the need for business digitisation, increasing demand for operational efficiency, and cost optimisation. According to the same article mentioned above, companies using RPA have reported an average reduction of 60 to 80% in process response times.

RPA functionality in Power Automate not to be missed

Microsoft Power Platform, specifically Power Automate – a cloud automation platform – has been helping various clients across different industries accelerate their digital transformation. This tool automates multiple processes and identifies automation opportunities in applications, websites, chatbots and more

Among the different capabilities the tool offers, one stands out for adopting the use of this technology in your organisation:

1) Document automation

Currently, organisations can leverage automation features that combine the best of RPA technology with Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The purpose of this functionality is to help organisations automate repetitive tasks such as interpretation and processing of documents, automating invoices received via email to an ERP or extracting insights from a lengthy email. Organisations can scale by automating these tasks, freeing up their employees’ time for more complex tasks that add greater value to the organisation.

For this example, the flow is straightforward: the first step begins with receiving documents in an email inbox. The documents are analysed by AI Builder using a model created and trained specifically for this purpose. After this analysis, if necessary, the information can be validated by an employee to ensure there are no errors, and on approval this information is then entered into the organisation’s system. Finally, you can always track and monitor the process to ensure that all steps happened correctly.

Image 1: Document automation flow (source: Microsoft)

Benefits of implementing Power Automate and RPA

Power Automate is a key product for automating different processes within organisations. It natively integrates with the Microsoft ecosystem and, through connectors, integrates with products and services outside of this ecosystem. As such, organisations can build automated workflows that connect multiple applications, data and services, to improve efficiency.

With the advantage of extracting data and insights through AI, namely from Copilot, Power Automate empowers different teams to simplify complex business processes.

For organisations, the benefits of implementation are many:

  • Increased efficiency and productivity: automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks allows employees to focus on higher value tasks;
  • Scalability: these are scalable technologies, so they can be adjusted to handle increased workloads, without significantly increase resources or costs;
  • Cost reduction: when routine tasks are automated, organisations can reduce operational expenses associated with errors and rework; and
  • Improved customer experience: automation accelerates response times and ensures that information provided to customers is accurate and correct, positively impacting the customer experience.

There are many arguments we could share to start revolutionising your organisation’s internal processes today and say why, if you are not already, you should start paying attention to how this space is constantly evolving.

RPA technology is indeed an essential component for companies to modernise and remain competitive in the increasingly digital economy in which we live.

If you are considering adopting this technology or simply want to understand the potential of RPA to revolutionise your company’s agility and productivity, talk to us.

Sérgio VianaProcess automation with RPA (the future of organisations)
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5 Zero Trust practices: building a secure future

  • During the year 2023, 10% of companies worldwide were targeted by ransomware attack attempts, revealing the increasing sophistication of digital threats and the inadequacy of traditional security measures;
  • The Zero Trust practices are becoming essential for organisations seeking to protect their digital assets. This comprehensive model includes meticulous identity verification, micro-segmentation of access, and security controls;
  • Companies that implemented Zero Trust strategies experienced a 30% reduction in security attacks and a 45% decrease in associated costs, demonstrating the effectiveness of this model compared to traditional security configurations.

In 2023, 10% of companies worldwide experienced an attempted ransomware attack, according to Check Point Research.

We live in an era in which digital threats are increasingly sophisticated and, as such, traditional security measures are no longer sufficient. To address this reality, the Zero Trust security model was created which states that trust should never be assumed, regardless of the user’s location. This model is based on the premise of “never trust, always verify”. In a constantly connected world, adopting Zero Trust is a necessity that organisations must consider to build safer digital solutions.

Zero Trust is a comprehensive approach to network security that involves meticulous identity verification, micro-segmentation of access, and strict security controls. As mentioned earlier, this model operates on the principle of “never trust, always verify” – a change from the conventional approach of “trust but verify”.
Thus, the model ensures that granular, context-based security policies are implemented, controlling access based on factors such as identity, location, device and user behaviour – security protocols that, in addition to reducing the risk of unauthorised access, also protect companies’ digital assets.

Zero Trust’s relevancy in the market

Following numerous high-profile attacks, Zero Trust has moved from a buzzword to the standard model in the cybersecurity market, recommended by both industry experts and regulatory bodies. As organisations continue to migrate their solutions to cloud-based platforms and support their remote or hybrid teams, the limitations of traditional security measures become evident.

The Zero Trust approach has gained prominence precisely because it is a necessary change for a more secure IT environment, given that threats can arise from anywhere and at any time. As such, the popularity of this model reflects its growing adoption as a fundamental element of modern cybersecurity strategies.

Top 5 Zero Trust practices

According to the 2023 Zero Trust Security Report, organisations that have implemented Zero Trust practices have seen a 30% reduction in security attacks; the cost of these attacks was 45% lower compared to companies whose security configurations are traditional.

These statistics underline the effectiveness and importance of this model as an essential element in organisations’ security strategies. What are, however, the main Zero Trust practices for building a safer digital future?

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): MFA increases an extra layer of security by requiring additional forms of verification, ensuring user identity and reducing the risk of unauthorised access, even if an attacker obtains a user’s credentials.
  • Network segmentation: Network segmentation limits the damage caused by potential breaches and prevents lateral movement within a network, ensuring that an attacker can only access part of the network, improving the overall defense posture.
  • Reduced access and privileges: By granting minimal access and privileges to users, providing only the resources and permissions necessary for their tasks, it is possible to reduce the attack surface and mitigate the potential damaged caused by security breaches.
  • Regular audits: Regular audits, such as a Security Operations Centre (SOC) that regularly checks systems, security policies and logs, are essential to maintain security and identify potential vulnerabilities or weaknesses in systems, ensuring continuous protection from threats.
  • Use of encryption to protect data in transit and at rest: Encrypting data is essential to safeguard it while it is transmitted between systems and when it is stored. Even if an attacker manages to access or intercept sensitive data, they will not be able to read it, thus providing robust defense against unauthorised access and potential breaches.

As threats evolve, so must our security approaches. Applying the Zero Trust model is not just about following a trend – it is about proactively defending your digital solutions in an increasingly threatened environment.

Cybersecurity and the future of digital experiences

As we consider the future of digital experiences, the intersection between cybersecurity and user experience becomes crucial. With the increased use of digital platforms, ensuring the security of solutions is fundamental, not just so that organisations can comply with regulations, but also to boost user trust and engagement.

The Zero Trust model is particularly relevant in this context, providing robust security for digital interactions at a time when threats are evolving rapidly. This approach not only helps mitigate risks but also helps to create a secure environment where digital innovations can thrive.

This proactive stance on security is crucial for any organisation that wants to offer superior digital experiences and aims to foster long-term customer loyalty. As such, understanding the importance of cybersecurity is fundamental to any digital strategy.


The article was developed in partnership with Balwurk Consulting Services, which specialises in Cybersecurity, focusing on Application Security.

Sérgio Viana5 Zero Trust practices: building a secure future
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From idea to impact: a sustainable future with Power Apps

  • Power Apps allow rapid development time, high customisability and easy integration with other systems.
  • Integrated with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, such as Copilot, this can be the ally your business needs.
  • This article will explore Power Apps’ market impact and how to achieve a sustainable future with Power Apps.

Technology is the main driver behind today’s societal evolution, and digital solutions are key instruments for achieving a sustainable future. More than just simple applications, digital tools are transforming how individuals, organisations and communities worldwide use technology to make substantial progress towards sustainability.

As such, we must continue to approach the topic of sustainability as an ally across various organisational aspects, particularly in creating sustainable digital solutions, which remains a differentiating factor for organisations.

Through this vision, we can redirect the current perspective of organisations towards a path of tangible actions that have benefits in the short, medium and long term.

Impact of Microsoft Power Apps in the market

Power Apps, an integral part of the Microsoft Power Platform, are software applications designed to perform and address specific tasks and needs. These applications are frequently used by various organisations to improve productivity and collaboration, making it easier for users to access and share information.

Furthermore, they are versatile digital tools, allowing us to build everything from a simple mobile app that assists in daily team tasks to a complex enterprise application that manages large data volumes and automates different business processes end to end.

What distinguishes Power Apps from other products, however, is their rapid development time, high customisability and easy integration with other systems already in use by the organisation, making them an invaluable resource for organisations looking to address internal challenges while taking tangible steps in their sustainability efforts.

On the journey of transforming ideas into impactful solutions, where Power Apps really stands out is most evident when it is integrated alongside Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, such as Copilot.

By providing code suggestions, automating processes and offering intelligent insights, the synergy between Copilot and Power Apps accelerates the app development process, allowing organisations to review their internal and external processes with a focus on becoming more sustainable. Integration with Copilot can even assist developers in building and designing applications that are not only efficient but also aligned with sustainability objectives.

Whether by optimising resource allocation, monitoring resource usage parameters or reducing waste management, Copilot integration can help developers create more intuitive apps that drive organisations’ operational excellence.

The Role of Power Apps in sustainability

One of the fundamental pillars of sustainability is the principle of doing more with fewer resources. In this regard, we can affirm that Power Apps are a central tool in any company’s strategy for business process streamlining, as they are a digital product that reduces waste and maximises resources.

Consider a real-life example: an app created for real-time, intelligent energy management that adjusts lighting, heating and cooling significantly reduces energy consumption – and the carbon footprint. Or an app that helps reduce a dependency on physical resources (highly paper-dependent processes), creating greater resource efficiency while reducing waste.

The journey from idea to impact is long and complex, but Power Apps can become allies in the goal of building solutions to help address companies’ most pressing challenges. Combining technology with innovation, we will focus on building digital solutions that not only serve today’s society, but also help sustain a more robust future.

Various industries, segments or departments can benefit from this technology, such as:

• Insurance: Eliminating paper use and converting physical processes into digital formats. This can include insurance policies, claims, consent forms and customer communications.
• Banking: Automating banking processes like credit analysis, risk management, and compliance will make them more efficient and reduce the need for physical and human resources.

As we unlock the potential of Power Apps for building solutions like those mentioned above, we continue to move towards making these technologies accessible, scalable and even more impactful. As we keep developing digital tools that allow us to better understand and manage the resources and systems we rely on, the vision of a sustainable, efficient, inclusive world becomes tangibly closer to our reach.

Different ideas require different solutions and depending on how much sophistication is required, are realised most efficiently when an organisation works alongside a partner that really understands its needs.

At Xpand IT, we continue to commit to innovate, collaborate and implement digital solutions so that our clients can continue to make real and lasting impacts on our planet and society and can rely on our expertise from conception to completion.

Contact us to advance your idea, enhance digital transformation in your company, and achieve a sustainable future with Power Apps.

Sérgio VianaFrom idea to impact: a sustainable future with Power Apps
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Generative Artificial Intelligence: digital solutions for organisations

  • Considered one of the ten pillars of the “4th Industrial Revolution”, Artificial Intelligence has the potential to contribute to growth and modernisation in a range of areas, which is why it should be considered as a possible answer to many different problems.
  • This article will explore the challenges and opportunities that Generative Artificial Intelligence presents to businesses.

According to Stanford University, private investment in Artificial Intelligence has doubled in one year. In fact, around 50% of organisations have already adopted digital solutions with AI integration in at least one business area.

In an era in which users are increasingly demanding, it is imperative that companies continually invest in these solutions, giving them a competitive edge.

Digital generative models

One such AI model is Generative ArtificiaI Intelligence, a technology with the specific capacity – within the broad range of AI offerings – to provide organised answers through learning developed by an algorithm and which allows organisations to generate personalised original data or content.

When it comes to this type of generative modelling, the GPT-4 (Generative Pretrained Transformer) – developed by the start-up OpenAI – is clearly the market benchmark.

It was born with a specific purpose: to empower its users with highly accurate content, but in an interactive, personalised, conversational way, so that it is barely noticeable that we are communicating with a robot.

There are different areas where we can apply this technology, such as:

  • Marketing: content creation and advertising campaign production.
  • E-commerce: development of personalised content based on the user’s profile.
  • Banking: implementation of a virtual assistant, available 24 hours a day, any day of the week, so that customers can ask questions.
  • Insurance: the use of generative models to create economic scenarios and predict values, thus boosting the development of new products.

As we realise the positive impact of this technology and its potential to deliver unique experiences with original, personalised content, we understand that there is room to continue expanding its application in other areas.

Integration of Azure and OpenAI GPT-4 in Customer Service optimisation

How many times have you received a complaint because you did not respond to a customer request? Or did you fail to follow up on several positive comments? This can have a negative impact on your business.

By considering the customised integration of Azure and OpenAI GPT-4 into a digital product and/or service, we are ensuring that our users will get faster, more efficient responses, allowing us to improve satisfaction rates and, consequently, brand reputation.

How do we apply this integration? The starting point is an account set up on Microsoft Azure with all the necessary resources. After configuring the Azure OpenAI Service, we can access the GPT-4 API (Application Programming Interface) to develop the integration interface using Azure, guaranteeing the privacy of the data and that it is not used to train the models.

After these first steps, we move on to building the solution and testing the tool, providing algorithms that will later enable the independent development of content creation in the digital sphere of a particular business.

Examples of where these integrations can be applied:

  • Ticketing systems.
  • Chatbots.
  • Digital channels.

Challenges with the applicability of Generative ArtificiaI Intelligence

As we intensify the use of these generative artificial intelligence models, we realise that some challenges need to be addressed, particularly in the areas of ethics, safety and efficacy.

If, on the one hand, we have a technology that is capable of creating structured content or assisting in the development of medical reports, on the other it is also capable of memorising sensitive data during learning levels or using plagiarised texts, making it mandatory to carry out the appropriate tests until we obtain the most reliable product.

For these reasons, it is necessary to ensure that there are some challenges mapped out beforehand, and then followed up in the exploitation phase, so that the organisation’s reputation is not damaged.

At Xpand IT, we believe in using Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service with GPT-4 as a technology focused on boosting business, always with two main objectives: to add value to the use of a digital product and to boost in-house innovation, differentiating ourselves from other competitors.

Contact us and boost your business to make it more efficient.

Sérgio VianaGenerative Artificial Intelligence: digital solutions for organisations
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Artificial Intelligence and ethics: the example of OpenAI

  • Artificial Intelligence brings different benefits to the business: efficiency, time-saving, and reduce costs;
  • However, these solutions always require control and responsibility in their use;
  • In this article, we will explore the principles of ethics in ArtificiaI Intelligence and OpenAI as an ally for your business.

Many different types of companies are applying artificial intelligence (AI) to benefit their business, improve efficiency, save time and reduce costs, while trying to innovate through the potential of the technologies available.

According to a report by Precedence Research, the global AI market was valued at around 454.12 billion dollars in 2022, and is expected to reach a value of over 2,575.16 billion dollars by 2024. In addition, it revealed that 64 per cent of the companies surveyed believe that AI will help increase their overall productivity. This data reflects the growing confidence in AI’s potential to revolutionise business activities. As this technology continues to develop, ethical implications are beginning to emerge around how people and companies use it. The design and implementation of these systems must uphold and prioritise ethical values and principles, and organisations must structure themselves and their projects to guarantee this.

Artificial Intelligence and ethics: the principles

The relevance of ethical artificial intelligence is related to its ability to prevent negative consequences, such as discrimination and privacy violations. AI systems are increasingly integrated into society, which makes it increasingly important to understand how an ethical approach can help mitigate risks and ensure that it is effectively applied. In this sense, we believe that there are four principles to ensure that AI is developed and used in a fair, transparent, and responsible manner:

1. Equality: Developing AI systems that start from an equitable principle is challenging when they are developed by humans with different thoughts and backgrounds. Furthermore, the data used to train these systems reflects much of this bias. These solutions should be used equally for all people, regardless of race, gender or other characteristics, and those who develop them should keep this basic principle in mind. It is essential to test systems before using them in a real environment, in order to be able to identify situations that need to be addressed from an ethical point of view. This reduces the risk of AI tools exacerbating social disparities, democratic access to information or even discrimination.

2. Transparency: In order to guarantee user confidence and enable them to make decisions based on AI, systems must allow for a high level of transparency. Models that reach concrete conclusions but are difficult for humans to interpret may result in less application. Presenting reports describing their work can be a way of maintaining transparency in AI solutions, although a detailed level of understanding of the process used by the algorithms to arrive at a given result is not always possible. In these cases, a detailed analysis of the situation is necessary to ensure a degree of comfort with it and a risk assessment regarding its use.

3. Responsibility: Both creators and users of AI must be responsible for its creation and use, respectively. Whether in the initial testing and analysis phase, in the implementation phase or already in production environments, AI can produce negative consequences such as privacy leaks, bias and social disparities, among others. It is up to the human element to address, assume and resolve possible negative consequences, and you should consider blocking use cases that do not comply with the principles listed in this article.

4. Privacy: It is necessary to ensure the security of all users and their data. This principle is especially important in sectors such as finance or health, where sensitive personal information is often involved and whose disclosure can have serious consequences.

OpenAI and ethics

OpenAI is an artificial intelligence platform that offers tools and solutions for companies in various industries. As well as offering a wide range of services that are known and used worldwide, OpenAI’s core value is to guarantee the ethics of AI.

In general, OpenAI works with both Glass Box and Black Box models, depending on the problem you are trying to solve. The Glass Box AI model is based on Machine Learning, where a clear explanation of the reasoning behind decisions can be provided in a more transparent way, making it easier to interpret results. On the other hand, Black Box AI models are difficult for humans to interpret. Although the results these models produce may be accurate, the reasoning and decision-making process are opaque.

However, OpenAI’s commitment to ethics suggests that it values the development of transparent resources. As such, the organisation has published various research documents and technical reports describing its work.
OpenAI has developed tools that can mean business opportunities and should be exploited. With the right skills and knowledge, companies can take advantage of OpenAI’s options to develop innovative solutions that can improve customer experiences, increase efficiency and drive business growth. Some of the commonest examples are:

• Chatbots: Develop and implement chatbots that can interact with customers, answer questions and offer personalised recommendations 24/7.

• Fraud detection: Using machine learning models, OpenAI has developed tools that can identify patterns in data to detect suspicious activity. For example, it can detect when a user is logging into a system from an unknown device or location, or when an unusual amount of data is being transferred.

• Predictive analysis: OpenAI’s machine learning models can also be used to analyse customer data, trace patterns, predict trends and optimise business strategies accordingly.

• Customisation: OpenAI’s resources can be used to create personalised recommendation engines – from products to services and content – based on user preferences and behaviour.

How Xpand IT can help your business implement ethical AI

At Xpand IT, we help our clients understand how they can apply different technological solutions to address their business challenges – and AI is no exception.

Xpand IT works with a number of clients firstly to understand AI technologies, and then to implement solutions that make it possible to clearly understand the value that they can generate for organisations.

Through an iterative approach, it is possible to create a base project, which allows the technologies applied to each client’s reality to be tested, and then iterate to improve the results obtained and/or develop additional use cases – allowing you to get a concrete idea of applicability and costs, amongst other things.

Xpand IT is focused on helping our customers reach their full potential, based on innovative technologies. We are confident that organisations can harness the full potential of AI in an ethical and sustainable way. Are you interested in working together towards this goal? Contact us today!

Sérgio VianaArtificial Intelligence and ethics: the example of OpenAI
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The role of Power Pages in business ecosystems

  • Power Pages allows the creation of personalized interfaces, with the ability to integrate information from various sources and facilitate a unified and in-depth view of data.
  • Discover, in this article, all the benefits and the role of Power Pages in business ecosystems.

In the constantly evolving digital landscape, where technology plays a transformative role in business strategies, Power Platform tools have emerged as a catalyst for innovation, with increasing adoption. According to  Gartner, “by 2026, low-code development tools will account for 75 per cent of new applications developed”.

Power Platform allows companies to create personalised solutions, integrate data from various sources, automate processes and build applications that require no technical knowledge – through citizen developers.

Power Pages, as an integral part of the Power Platform, become more relevant in the creation of personalised interfaces, have the ability to integrate information from various sources and facilitate a unified and in-depth view of the data. These interfaces transcend the boundaries between technology and the user, allowing companies to make data-driven decisions and offer engaging experiences.

The main benefits of Power Pages

Power Pages stand out in the creation of websites and have several advantages over traditionally built web pages. Being no-code/low-code in nature, they make it possible to create interfaces without technical knowledge. In addition, they are integrated into the Microsoft Power Platform universe, allowing them to be connected to other Microsoft tools such as Dataverse, Power Apps or Power Automate.

However, the benefits of adopting Power Apps also extend to practical business needs:

  1. Create engaging experiences: Power Pages allow you to create interactive and personalised web pages. It has a wide selection of pre-built models and templates, but it is also possible to build a page completely from scratch and 100% personalised. They are also fully responsive, automatically adapting to different screen sizes and devices.
  2. Connect to your data: By integrating with Microsoft ecosystem platforms such as Microsoft Dataverse, SharePoint or Excel, Power Pages simplify access to and presentation of data from various sources. They can be easily connected to Power Apps to create personalised forms and workflows and to Power Automate to automate tasks and processes.
  3. Share and collaborate with ease: Power Pages can be shared with people within the same organisation, with clients or partners, allowing you to control who and what they can edit. When connected to Power BI, it is possible to add data analyses, while the integration of Power Virtual Agents makes it possible, for example, to include Artificial Intelligence chatbots.

The role of Power Pages in business ecosystems

Although Power Pages have obvious benefits to building web pages, they also serve as PaaS (Platform as a Service), as they facilitate collaboration between partners from the most diverse ecosystems. As they were created specifically for external users, they are a great solution for optimising operations, reading data, and gathering valuable insights.

For example, in a collaborative scenario where a bank is ready to offer tailored credit to a retailer’s customers and the retailer wants to provide financing options to its customers, Power Pages could be the ideal solution. As they have a robust security model, they allow the exchange of sensitive data and encourage safe and regulated collaboration.

In this scenario, the bank creates a Purchase Finance Portal for that particular retailer. In this portal, both parties interact, share data, and make decisions in real-time. Customers explore financing offers, make payment simulations and apply for credit approval if it makes sense.

Main benefits obtained:

  1. Secure data: Power Pages allow credit data to be shared securely. Regulations are respected.
  2. Easy collaboration: The portal enables real-time collaboration. The bank adapts offers, and the retailer approves orders instantly.
  3. Informed decisions: Power Pages show financing options clearly. Customers calculate payments and compare offers.
  4. Improved experience: The retailer’s customers obtain financing from the bank, simplifying the purchase.

In this particular case, Power Pages simplified and ensured collaboration between a bank and a retailer. However, its applicability can be extended to other industries and represent an asset in your specific business.

Feel free to contact us

At Xpand IT, we believe that Power Pages, and the Power Platform universe, can revolutionise how businesses operate and collaborate. By offering an integrated and personalised view of information, Power Pages help to make informed decisions and optimise operations. If you believe this technology could benefit your business, do not hesitate to contact us. Together we will explore what kind of solution we can implement to make your business more efficient.

Sérgio VianaThe role of Power Pages in business ecosystems
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The three key trends in cloud adoption

  • We believe that modernisation using Microsoft’s cloud, Azure, is essential for your business to reach new efficiency, scalability and innovation levels.
  • In this article, we highlight the three key trends in cloud adoption that will be at the heart of application modernisation and business growth through the cloud.

At Xpand IT, we consider technology to be a critical factor enabling businesses to face uncertain times with success. In the current scenario, which is characterised by challenges such as desynchronisation between countries, financial issues and geopolitical conflicts, the world is also facing the after-effects of the pandemic and a breakdown in distribution chains, leading to rising inflation.

We have already discussed the main benefits of application modernisation with Azure. In the current climate, application modernisation with Azure is emerging as a key strategy for improving the resilience and competitiveness of organisations.

According to Gartner, worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is expected to grow by 20.7% in 2023 to reach $591.8 billion, up from $490.3 billion in 2022. This growth in spending is attributed to inflationary pressures and current macroeconomic conditions. Sid Nag, Vice President Analyst at Gartner, emphasises that the cloud is a “bastion of security and innovation”, supporting growth in uncertain times due to its agile, flexible, scalable nature.

In fact, migrating workflows to the cloud offers organisations greater flexibility, allowing them to align IT investments with business needs and benefit from the economies of scale provided by the cloud. Adopting modern infrastructure and cloud capabilities also frees up IT staff to focus on the workflows and applications most relevant to their customers. This strategic approach helps organisations overcome challenges in uncertain times and drive innovation more efficiently.

As the economic landscape continues to evolve, we highlight the three key trends in cloud adoption that will be at the heart of application modernisation and business growth through the cloud going forward.

1. Optimising Cloud Spend

Flexera’s “State of the Cloud 2023 report” highlights that this year, for the first time, managing cloud spend has overtaken security as the top challenge facing businesses. This challenge highlights the fact that for the seventh year in a row, optimising cloud usage has been the top trend for businesses. The same report found that 72% of organisations already have a team dedicated to FinOps – the practice of managing finance in the cloud – while 14% plan to create one in the next 12 months.

Microsoft highlights eight resources that enable organisations to implement cost optimisation best practices in the cloud at their core.

2. Zero Trust Policies

Zero Trust is not a system, but a set of rules and guidelines for securing a corporate network. The concept is based on distrust of everything and everyone inside and outside the network perimeter.
By 2021, 54 per cent of respondents to Fortinet’s “Global Zero Trust” report said they were implementing Zero Trust strategies, rising to 66 per cent by 2023. Organisations are recognising that this strategy can make their business more resilient to cyberattacks.

As organisations integrate remote working and embrace the cloud as part of their digital transformation, they need to implement security strategies to manage access. Implementing Zero Trust in cloud policies is a security approach that aims to improve the protection of your infrastructure resources and data, regardless of where it is stored or processed.

Zero Trust in cloud principles provides a solid foundation for establishing and continuously improving security, while maintaining the flexibility needed to keep pace with the demands of the digital world. While network technology and the perimeter approach to security are still present in this type of model, access control takes centre stage, with identity as the primary control and network security as the key element.

Microsoft recommends the adoption of the Zero Trust security model, guided by the following principles:

1. Explicit verification: Authentication and authorisation based on all available information.
2. Minimal access: Restrict access with Just-In-Time and Just-Enough-Access, integrated policies and data protection.
3. Breach assumption: Mitigate the impact with segmentation, encryption and data analytics.

3. Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

In today’s digital landscape, integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies with cloud operations has revolutionised how organisations manage their infrastructures. The powerful synergy between AI, Machine Learning and cloud operations has opened up new horizons of efficiency, performance and innovation. As organisations increasingly rely on cloud computing to meet their growing infrastructure needs, leveraging AI and ML in cloud operations has become essential to optimise resource management, improve security, enable intelligent automation, facilitate predictive analytics, optimise cost efficiency and drive innovation.

By harnessing the power of these technologies, organisations can unlock new levels of efficiency, performance and innovation, enabling them to stay at the forefront of the digital age.

Economic uncertainty should not slow down your business innovation!

The world has recently faced unprecedented challenges. In times like these, it is important to use all the valuable resources available to face adversity and drive business success. Now you know more about the three key trends in cloud adoption (optimising cloud spending, Zero Trust policies, and machine learning and AI), reach us so we can help you.

At Xpand IT, we believe that modernisation using Microsoft’s cloud, Azure, is essential for your business to reach new levels of efficiency, scalability and innovation. Contact us and discover all the potential it has to offer. We are ready to support you on this journey, using the latest best practices and services from Microsoft Azure.

Sérgio VianaThe three key trends in cloud adoption
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Use Case: Integrating Azure with OpenAI GPT-4 to optimise a helpdesk service

  • In this article, we will explore how integrating Azure with OpenAI GPT-4 represent a huge potential for customer support teams.
  • We will also explore how these types of integrations increase the competitiveness of companies by making service faster and more personalised, thus ensuring customer satisfaction.

As consumers increasingly demand speed and efficiency, it has become imperative for businesses to ensure 24/7 service availability and 100% personalised experiences. It is essential for businesses to deliver a hyper-personalised, omnichannel experience to their customers.

One solution to meet this growing demand is integrating Azure with OpenAI GPT-4, as it provides the robustness required to automate and improve customer service. To fully appreciate the benefits of these integrations, let’s consider a company in the hospitality industry where guests may require varied assistance at any time during their stay.


Xpand IT was challenged by the customer support department of a company in the hotel industry to implement a solution that took advantage of Azure OpenAI Services LLM models. The goal was to overcome the limitations they had in providing a continuous and immediate response to their customers.

Initially, the business decided to implement an automated 24/7 chatbot system that, according to its knowledge base, could answer common questions, such as availability for reservations, general conditions, promotions and opening hours, and provide contact details for the relevant departments. A second aspect was normalising customer requests, i.e. if the chatbot could not solve the initial request, it was necessary to create a supporting flow to classify tickets opened by the customer. This facilitated the support agent’s work, as he already had access to the classification of the request and the customer booking details – room number and department.

The solution: Azure integration with GPT-4

At an early stage, Xpand IT instructed a chatbot model to respond clearly and accurately to customer requests. In addition to being available at all times and managing a large workflow, GPT-4 is able to understand and respond quickly and accurately to multiple complaints or requests for assistance, regardless of when and how they are made. To add value for customers, Azure Speech Services’ speech-to-text and text-to-speech capabilities were implemented, too, allowing customers to send hands-free messages and the chatbot to respond similarly.

If the chatbot is unable to provide a satisfactory response, the customer is given the option to create a ticket. For this scenario, Xpand IT has developed workflows to automatically categorise the tickets created. The integration of Azure with GPT-4 enables the automation of several tasks related to a hotel’s helpdesk service. When a customer opens a new ticket, GPT-4 uses its semantic capabilities to classify the request into categories such as reservations, payments, room service or logistics, and by urgency – low, medium or high. This not only streamlines the workflow of the hotel’s customer service agents but also enables them to provide a more accurate and efficient solution.

By integrating Azure with OpenAI GPT-4, this hotel has achieved:

  • 24/7 availability: The hotel’s customer support is available in real-time, regardless of schedule, ensuring a seamless experience for guests;
  • Rapid response: Guests receive prompt responses, reducing waiting times and increasing guest satisfaction;
  • Operational efficiency: Automating support processes reduces agents’ manual workload, allowing them to focus on higher-value tasks;
  • Data analytics: Azure integration enables the hotel to collect and analyse ticket data to identify trends, patterns and areas for improvement;
  • Cost reduction: Having modernised their customer support process, the hotel was able to reduce operational costs;
  • Increased competitiveness: Customers have a more agile, personalised, and efficient service than the rest of the competition.

Final Thoughts

Integrating Azure with OpenAI GPT-4 gave this hotel an effective response to scalability issues and managing customer expectations. It is now known for its innovative, fast, personalised, and efficient service. In addition, by collecting and analysing customer data, this hotel has a broad view of areas that need improvement, allowing it to continuously adapt the system to ensure customer loyalty and greater competitiveness in today’s hospitality market.

If you are interested in integrating Azure with GPT-4 in your organisation, please do not hesitate to contact us. We have a specialised and multidisciplinary team capable of assisting you at every stage, from definition to implementation and maintenance of the solution. Count on us to take your business to the next level.

Sérgio VianaUse Case: Integrating Azure with OpenAI GPT-4 to optimise a helpdesk service
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Simplify your business processes: Dataverse integration with Power Apps

  • Power Apps modules and the Dataverse are two tools that stand out for allowing the creation of customised solutions and managing business data in one place;
  • These tools improve the efficiency and productivity of companies; discover how to benefit from the Dataverse integration with Power Apps.

With the exponential growth of data, companies are increasingly focused on finding solutions capable of transforming and managing them in order to extract valuable insights. According to IDC, by 2025, the volume of data will reach 175 zettabytes. Forbes predicts that 150 billion gigabytes of real-time data will require analysis by 2025.

It is undeniable that data collection and analysis are fundamental parts of businesses and companies. Through this analysis, organisations can identify growth opportunities, detect problems and failures in internal processes, improve operational efficiency, and reduce costs. In this context, Microsoft’s Power Platform has emerged as a tool capable of creating custom solutions and workflows easily and quickly.

Within Power Platform, Power Apps and Dataverse modules are two tools that allow customised solutions to be created and business data to be managed in a single place, facilitating, for example, process automation, collaboration among team members, and access to insights and different real-time analyses. These tools can also be integrated with other Microsoft technologies, such as Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365, to create comprehensive solutions that meet each organisation’s specific needs.

Dataverse integration with Power Apps

As previously discussed in other articles, Power Apps is a low-code solution that allows businesses to create personalised, agile, and intuitive applications, whose benefits are enhanced when integrated with connectors such as SharePoint, Power BI, Office 365 Outlook, and of course, Dataverse.

Dataverse, on the other hand, offers us the possibility of securely storing data in tables, is highly scalable, and can support large volumes of data and users simultaneously. In addition, these data can be used by all Microsoft Power Platform products, something that allows companies to improve collaboration and efficiency in their daily operations.

With Dataverse, we can quickly and easily create a data model. It allows us to work with relational, non-relational, image, file, or data lake data types. The storage type is optimised for the initially chosen data type. Thus, Dataverse can be easily moldable as requirements change.

Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, and Dynamics 365 Talent applications can also be powered by Dataverse. Thereby, it is possible to create applications using Power Apps for integrations with business data already used in Dynamics 365. Through Dataverse, it is also possible to manage forms and charts that can be reflected in both Dynamics and Power Apps applications.

Power Apps integration with Dataverse can help organisations create custom applications that aim to manage and share data in real time. Efficiency, productivity, and collaboration will undoubtedly be optimised.

For example, in an onboarding process, it is necessary to give internal visibility to all the tasks needed when someone is about to arrive or is a newcomer to an organisation. Through Power Apps, a custom application that lists all these tasks can be created, allowing the involved employees to mark them as in progress or completed as they are performed, giving everyone visibility into the process status. If necessary, various information viewing profiles can be created, depending on the new employee’s manager and/or department. How can this process be accelerated with Dataverse? Dataverse is the connector that allows storing and centralising all the information, such as the tasks that need to be performed, their completion status, and the information of the new employee.

When implementing an onboarding process using Power Apps and Dataverse, we have the opportunity to improve various elements, such as:

  • Providing internal visibility on the onboarding process for new employees;
  • Accessing centralised information, making it easier to access and update;
  • Ensuring that no tasks are forgotten and that all are completed;
  • Personalising the application to the reality of each organisation;
  • Accessing information in real-time;
  • Using the information stored in Dataverse to continuously improve the onboarding process by identifying areas that require greater attention.

Build customised and efficient solutions

Dataverse integration with Power Apps can be the ideal solution for companies that want to improve their efficiency and productivity. By integrating Dataverse, which offers a robust data storage and management platform, with Power Apps, which allows fully customised applications creation, companies can acquire integrated solutions that enable process automation, error reduction, and improved collaboration between teams. In addition, this integration also allows the creation of customised reports and dashboards, offering a more complete and real-time view of company data. These and other advantages can significantly contribute to increasing a company’s effectiveness and competitiveness.

With the help of an experienced partner like Xpand IT, companies can make the most of Microsoft technologies to drive growth and innovation. In 2022, we received the Microsoft Partner of the Year Award for the second consecutive year, following our recognition as Power Apps & Data Analytics Partner of the Year in 2020.

Contact us to schedule a conversation and outline an efficiency plan for your company.

Sérgio VianaSimplify your business processes: Dataverse integration with Power Apps
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Power Platform integration with GPT: is it possible?

  • OpenAI developed ChatGPT, which is a language model capable of generating written responses and conversations quite similar to humans.
  • Its potential is limitless and can now be integrated with several Microsoft products. Discover how to be successful in a Power Platform integration with GPT.

Occasionally new technologies appear that amaze the world with the level of innovation they represent, and recently we have all been surprised by ChatGPT and everything it has proven to be able to do. ChatGPT was developed by OpenAI and is a language model capable of generating written responses and conversations very like those of humans. You’ve probably tested this chatbot or at least know someone who has already done so. According to SimilarWeb, ChatGPT has become the fastest-growing app in the world, with a record 100 million registered users in just two months since its launch – and a new version with even more capabilities was recently released.

ChatGPT has already established itself as a beneficial tool for modernising businesses. Its functionality can be enhanced by integrating it with a variety of applications and platforms, such as other chatbots, customer support platforms, and content creation tools, and it can also be integrated with Microsoft’s Power Platform.

Microsoft offers a variety of products and services that can be integrated with OpenAI, including Power Virtual Agents, Power Apps, Power BI and Power Automate, to improve the user experience and potentially have a business impact. These integrations allow the creation of smarter chatbots (capable of answering complex questions), the automation of repetitive tasks and a constant acceleration of business productivity. In this article, we will focus on how to succeed in a Power Platform integration with GPT -3 and GPT-35-turbo3 models. Learn more about the use cases in Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents and Power Automate and their main business benefits.

ChatGPT integrated with Power Apps

Power Apps is a low-code platform that allows companies to create customised business applications. When integrated with the GPT-3 model, it results in even more agile, fast, and intuitive development. How? For example, by integrating GPT-3 with Microsoft Power Fx, you can create applications using natural language without the need to write code. Thus, a developer or even a citizen-developer can describe the tasks or requirements of an application and use those descriptions to create formulas in Power Fx. This results in an increase in the productivity of work teams and an acceleration of development.

ChatGPT integrated with Power Automate

Power Automate is a platform that automates workflows, enabling their customisation and connection with different applications and services. The integration of Power Automate with GPT-3 automates repetitive tasks, freeing up your employees for higher-value tasks. For example, a company that sells products online might use GPT-3 to create product descriptions and connect GPT-3 APIs to automate this process. The brand can connect Power Automate to a Social Media sentiment analysis platform or even make a direct integration with a social network, such as LinkedIn and use the words most used by your audience as reference keywords in building descriptions for the product. This workflow can run automatically whenever a new product is added to the company catalogue, saving time and reducing the manual labour required to create product descriptions. In addition, GPT-3 integration can ensure that product descriptions are created consistently and accurately, improving the quality of your catalogue content.

ChatGPT integrated with Power Virtual Agents

Power Virtual Agents is a low-code platform for creating chatbots. Its integration with GPT-35-turbo3 can help businesses build smarter chatbots to respond to complex user requests. These types of integrations are an asset for different industries, such as insurance or banking. In Portugal, for example, the Ministry of Justice introduced the GPT-35-turbo3 to facilitate access to information by citizens. GPJ – Practical Guide to Justice, is a chatbot that currently answers questions about marriage and divorce, which will be extended to other areas identified as better researched in Justice, as in the example of nationality issues.

In each of these use cases, GPT models are used to enhance the capabilities of Power Platform products, providing smarter and more engaging user experiences for customers while increasing efficiency and reducing workloads for businesses. By leveraging the unique capabilities of GPT models, companies can create powerful, effective applications and workflows that will potentially allow them to save time and money.

Can these integrations help your business?

Azure, Microsoft’s cloud, is the trusted infrastructure that gives OpenAI the resources it needs for its success. Implementing projects that take advantage of Azure services is one of the specialities of Xpand IT, which has been named Microsoft Partner of the Year for the second consecutive year. We help our clients understand how they can apply different technologies to address their business challenges – and GPT models, as well as other AI technologies, are no exception. Contact us to schedule a conversation or, alternatively, fill in the Power Platform Assessment, which we have prepared for you.

Sérgio VianaPower Platform integration with GPT: is it possible?
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