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How Microsoft is showing geographical availability of its services

In the SaaS world, customers and partners are eager to know a service availability in a geography/region during the sales/implementation cycle. Microsoft currently displays the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform products and add-ins geographical availability through a manually prepared PDF document. Since the preparation to publication is done manually, the information at times becomes obsolete, and the PDF is hard to use. We received feedback to improve content quality and experience.

We looked at the Azure regional availability page and decided to deliver similar experience that addresses the following

  1. Deliver the solution that is fully automated.
  2. Ensure the availability information is up to date. The geo availability information should show even for services that will be available in the near future.
  3. Enable easy filtering/searching of the geo availability information and should be easy to use.

The need for automation

When we were exploring the possible solution, we faced the following constraints.

  • We have an internal system to manage the availability information. The system manages the full lifecycle of service availability for internal purposes only.
  • Any region that is ready to show externally should be approved by the product manager explicitly.

With 35+ products & add-ins and the respective services available in 60+ regions, managing the product availability at each region is a mammoth task. Due to the above requirements and constraints, it is imperative to automate the entire experience. The following were the principles we defined for the automation.

  • The PMs should continue to manage service availability in the internal system. That will be the source of truth for all services in Microsoft.
  • The PMs should approve only the products and services that are required to show externally. If service availability is solely at the internal level or it is blocked due to dependency, then those should be auto filtered. This prefiltering will reduce the approval cycle from the PM and improves their experience.

The power of the Power Platform

We designed the system that addresses the principles and the original requirements from the leadership team.

  • Power Automate should synchronize the data between the internal and the Power App system regularly. An update in the internal system should automatically synchronize back in the model-driven Power App.
  • Power Automate should send a periodic alert to the product managers and product leaders to approve a service availability in a region. The alert should be prefiltered to get approval only for the regions that are required to show externally.
  • Power BI to show the information automatically in a report for the regions that are approved by the PM.
Report refresh automation process
Report refresh automation process

Displaying the geographical availability in Power BI

The Power BI report allows the filtering of the products under Dynamics 365 and Power Platform families. The report also allows filtering the geography. The report shows the availability data over the Bing map and enables the user to filter a specific region by clicking the circles on the map.

Geographical availability page
Geographical availability page

The services that are currently available show as “Available” with a green tick mark. The services that will be available in the future show as “Expected in Qx or Hx” to show when these services are tentatively available.

The report is currently hosted on our website.

What’s next?

We have the following enhancements/additions in our backlog, and we plan to deliver in upcoming months.

  • Feature availability at the regional/geographical level: The report will show if a feature is unavailable to a specific geo/region due to dependency.
  • Product language availability: The language/localization availability is currently managed in the PDF document and will soon transition to a Power BI report.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform compliance offerings.

 

Disclaimer

Microsoft makes no warranties, expressed, implied, or statutory, as to the information on the geographical availability page. Expected dates and features are estimates and subject to change without notice.