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  • Team Member Spotlight: Stephanie Brockway

    Corterra is excited to spotlight team member Stephanie Brockway. As Corterra has continued to grow, we had a strong need for an experienced team member who was open to wearing various hats from user support to IT infrastructure, to testing new features with our configuration and development team. Stephanie's past experiences fit Corterra's needs, and she joined the team in 2021. As a Lead Business Systems Analyst, she fuels and supports Corterra's value of passionate service. Before joining Corterra, Stephanie had a breadth of experience. After obtaining her degree in Business Management from Eastern Illinois, gaining a strong foundational skillset, Stephanie began her career at Infogix, working her way up, first as a support specialist then moving into a product consultant role. Her success as Infogix lead to her transition from consultant to on-staff IT Systems Analyst at Webster Bank. Stephanie continued to grow with Webster, eventually becoming the Supervisor of Application Development for Automated Controls and Reporting (ACR) Group. In her role at Webster Bank, she gathered business requirements, technical specifications, designed and executed controls, provided server and application infrastructure support for the ACR product suite, and interfaced with data and processes from applications across the bank’s operations and beyond. Stephanie thrived in the role of helping to mitigate risks while automating processes to increase accuracy and efficiency. In her current role at Corterra as a Lead Business Systems Analyst, Stephanie is instrumental in supporting our clients’ needs in numerous domains. As a quick learner and driven individual, she has quickly gotten up to speed in her just under a year of working at Corterra leveraging her banking IT systems knowledge into the broader set of Corterra client needs. Whether working through challenging requests, brainstorming with our development team, or coordinating maintenance outages, Stephanie has quickly provided value to Corterra's clients and our organization. In her spare time, Stephanie is heavily involved in volunteering, currently serving as the Pack Committee Chair and Webelos Den Leader for Cub Scout Pack 3086, the Pathway to Adventure Council’s Day Camp Chairperson, and an active member of the Lester Elementary PTA (Past President). Q&A Q: What is your favorite part about working at Corterra Solutions? I love the fact that very few days look the same at Corterra. There is always something new to learn and to troubleshoot. Even the fact that some days are filled with getting documentation and various busy work all caught up make it a wide variety that you really can never be bored with. I also really enjoy getting to interface with our customers and make a real difference with the service we provide. Q: What are three words to describe Corterra Solutions? Innovation, Grit, and Teamwork Q: How do you like to spend your time when you are not working? I am the mother of three amazing boys (15, 14, and 9). Whether we are Scouting or off having adventures as a family, we are constantly on the move. I love to camp, hike, and watch movies with my husband and kids. Q: What are some interesting things about you that people might not know about you? I am an only child. I grew up playing softball, basketball and volleyball and love being a part of a sport when I can (not too much time for it myself due to my kids). I love everything about being outdoors and will be spending my vacation time this summer at Medicine Mountain Scout Ranch in South Dakota with my older boys and Webelos Camp at Camp Owasipee in Northern Michigan with my youngest.

  • Team Member Spotlight: Ryan Kenna

    Corterra is delighted to spotlight team member, Ryan Kenna. Ryan is a Lead Developer on the Corterra team, functioning in both functional and technical capacities. Ryan obtained a bachelor's degree in Statistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Upon graduation, he joined the Corterra team as a Developer. Without a deep background in computer science, business analysis, or development, Ryan was challenged to quickly get up to speed on the technical aspects of a complex revenue management system for a well-known insurance broker. Ryan embraced that challenge and thrived in addressing the client needs. While supporting and enhancing the revenue management system, he also began working on manufacturing client projects. As time passed, his efforts helped solve client problems in a cost effective, rapid approach. Solutions he has configured and developed span a range of industries and business areas including but not limited to manufacturing, purchasing, sales, global distribution, service organizations and more. In his current role, he has a wide range of responsibilities. From managing development efforts to leading client status meetings, Ryan is equipped to effectively solve client problems both through coded and non-coded solutions. His daily activities are key to ensuring quality of Corterra's solution implementation. Whether it be gathering functional and technical requirements, conducting code reviews, or mentoring team members, Ryan is an integral team member to Corterra. At the moment, Ryan is managing and leading efforts for a client in the services industry utilizing Power Apps, Power BI, and other technology to improve their business processes. Q&A Q: What is your favorite part about working at Corterra Solutions? My favorite part of working at Corterra is the unique solutions and challenges we are able to address across industries. Being able to improve our client's everyday workload using technology is an extremely rewarding part of my job. Q: What are three words to describe Corterra Solutions? Knowledgeable, Reliable, Dedicated Q: How do you like to spend your time when you are not working? When not working, I enjoy cooking for my friends and family and attending sporting events. Go Illini!

  • Quick Tip: Power BI Slicer Search Shortcut

    A quick tip to make Power BI more useful. Read below on how to add search to any drop-down slicer! Problem The problem is as follows. A slicer in a Power BI report does not have a search capability, and the drop down is a lengthy list. Manually scrolling through the list is impracticable. For example, take this slicer below. This slicer has thousands of choices. It appears to be sorted alphanumerically (A to Z) yet, if looking for a specific item, it may be time consuming to select the correct value if searching for Item 500. Ideally, the report design would have included a search enabled by default, such as the example below. That being said...updates take time, require approval, so on and so forth. Keep reading to see how you can add the search without waiting for a report update. Solution The search bar on slicer can be activated and deactivated very easily using the key combination Ctrl + F. Simply click on the title/header of the slicer and CTRL+F will enable or disable search bar. Important to note, this only works when clicking the slicer header in a collapsed state, without the drop-down expanded. See the GIF below. Alternatively, if preferring to not remember shortcut key combinations, clicking on the ellipses on the slicer can also enable or disable search.

  • Team Member Spotlight: Mike Matook

    The Corterra team is pleased to spotlight team member Mike Matook. Currently, Mike Matook functions as an Infrastructure Lead. He leads a variety of platform and infrastructure projects. Notably, he is currently leading and supporting the technology infrastructure for an on-premises deployment of Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations in a co-location for the U.S. division of a government contractor. Mike is educated in Information Technology from Governor's State University. Upon joining the Corterra team in May 2016, Mike functioned as a Systems Administrator. In this role, he serviced a variety of client needs. Duties in this role spanned from help desk support to new server implementations to upgrading existing technology infrastructure. During this time, Mike gained valuable experience across a wide range of technology to support clients ever changing needs. As client needs shift from on-premises technology infrastructure, to cloud and hybrid models, Mike has supplemented his hands-on experience with Microsoft certifications. He is currently a Microsoft certified Modern Desktop Administrator Associate and certified in Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions Over time Mike has taken on ever more challenging projects and responsibilities. He has earned these responsibilities through his passion for solving client issues while maintaining a positive attitude through stressful times, one of his key traits. In his current role, he has expertise in a wide range of technology infrastructure and platform. He has embraced the transition to the cloud as a fantastic opportunity to help our client's businesses. With this, he has expertise in Microsoft 365, Azure AD, Azure Endpoint Manager, Azure Advanced Threat Protection and more. Q&A Q: What is your favorite part about working at Corterra Solutions? My favorite part of Corterra Solutions is the opportunities. We service a wide array of clients that all have unique needs so there is always an opportunity to learn something new and apply it to a solution. Q: What are three words to describe Corterra Solutions? White Glove Treatment Q: How do you like to spend your time when you are not working? When I’m not at work, I love traveling with my girlfriend to unique places and getting immersed in diverse cultures. I also like staying active, playing soccer, enjoying the outdoors, and all things music. Q: What is a fun, interesting fact about you? I hiked the 4-day Inca trail in Peru with my family for my mom’s birthday. Q: Can you tell us two truths and one lie? I’m a diehard Manchester United fan, I love cheese, I’m left-handed

  • Power Automate Quick Tip: Where's my flow? How to solve Power Automate Flow Missing

    Power Automate Flow Missing from Model-Driven Power App / Dynamics 365 Power Automate can quickly solve problems, automate tedious tasks, and ensure compliance in procedures. Corterra utilizes Power Automate for an Expense solution to upload employee expenses. This is a simple flow that takes a file and stores it in SharePoint. While a simple solution, it is relied upon by our entire staff for recording expense receipts. Recently, we encountered a problem where our flow was no longer available for some of our team. Read below how we solve this problem! Problem In a Model-driven Power App, we have a grid of Expenses. A team member can enter an Expense record then run a flow to upload supporting documentation (receipts). Normally, the screen looks like below, with the Upload Expense File flow available to click. This worked well for a while until recently some of our team members were no longer seeing the flow. They would see a button to "Login to flow" like the screenshot below. No matter what someone did, they could not get the flow to show up. Tried clearing browser cache, double checked permissions to "Run flow", logging out, rebooting PC, recreating the flow, making the team member an owner of the flow, etc. but nothing would work. Fortunately, there was one more setting in the browser that affected the availability of the flow. Solution The solution to this issue is rather simple. All we had to do was change a browser setting. Power Automate Flows utilize cookies to function. If blocking all cookies/trackers, known as tracking prevention, the browser is preventing storing a cookie that was required to have the Flow button work as expected. Edge Go to Settings Search for "Tracking Prevention" Switch setting for tracking prevention from Strict to Balanced Close all browser windows and any instance of Chrome or Edge Open Edge again Go to This will store a cookie that was previously not being stored. After that opens, go to your model driven app. The flow will be available! Chrome Chrome will require similar steps to Edge but has slightly different Settings experience. Go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Cookies If "Block all cookies (not recommended)" is enabled, switch to either "Block third-party cookies" or "Allow all cookies" Close all browser windows and any instance of Chrome or Edge Open Chrome again Go to This will store a cookie that was previously not being stored. After that opens, go to your model driven app. The flow will be available!

  • Corterra is Microsoft Certified

    As a Microsoft partner, Corterra is Microsoft certified in technologies that unlock competitive advantages for our clients. Congratulations to our team members who recently attained certifications! Application Platform and Infrastructure

  • Microsoft Power Fx: What is it and Why does it matter?

    At the 2021 Microsoft Ignite virtual event, Microsoft announced a new language for the Power Platform called Power Fx. What is Power Fx? Microsoft Power Fx is the low code language for expressing logic across the Microsoft Power Platform. It is the same language that is at the heart of Microsoft Power Apps canvas apps today and is inspired by Microsoft Excel. It enables the full spectrum of development from “no code” to “pro code” with no cliffs in between, enabling diverse teams to collaborate and save time and expense. Source: What is Microsoft Power Fx? | Microsoft Power Apps This is a huge announcement from Microsoft regarding the Power Platform. Not only is the language that "powers" Power Apps finally getting a name, but the Excel like language will be breaking out of Power Apps and going across the Power Platform. But...why does this matter? With this announcement, there are sure to be many opinions and reasons why this is impactful. We have chosen two that come to mind. Excel Formula Power FX Formula Collaboration Take the images above from the previously linked Microsoft blog post. These show how a text manipulation formula in Excel is almost identical to the same formula in Power Apps. The only difference between the two? Excel references a cell in Excel and PowerApps references a control property. The possibilities for easier collaboration between development and business teams are amazing! This has been the case for PowerApps, but with this announcement, this will also be the case in the rest of the Power Platform ("Dynamics CRM" aka Model-Driven Apps, Power BI, Power Virtual Agents, etc.). Additionally, imagine less communication issues when translating requirements/specifications into working solutions. A business user/functional consultant can write some simple excel formulas on sample data that the developer can translate into the Power Fx formula with ease. A bug or error arises? The business user and developer will be able to work together and understand the logic of the solution to be able to resolve the bug. This should limit communication issues that result from translating what the code of the app does, how the developer explains the code, and the business/functional requirements. Consistency With this language spanning the Power Platform, consistent formula logic for low-code development will be enabled. In many cases, a Power BI report, Power Automate Flow, and Power App require identical business logic. Going back to the text manipulation example above, if the business requirement is to store both the original text and manipulated text, this would have to be repeated within each individual service within the Power Platform. Ideally, the business logic could come from one place, such as an Azure Function, yet utilizing Azure resources is not an option in all cases. Before the Power Fx announcement, business logic would be expressed using multiple languages with their own syntax. This means the string would have to be manipulated using multiple techniques in different languages. Having multiple languages involved increases the likelihood for mistakes in translating the requirement into the separate languages. Copying formulas between different components will solve these issues for both citizen and pro developers. Ultimately, the benefits of time saved in development and accuracy in the overall business application solution will be substantial. Summary Improvements to the Power Platform continue to impress and improve on an already leading low-code/no-code platform. Power Fx only continues that story fostering better collaboration, consistency, and ultimately empowering more people to develop, troubleshoot, and debug business applications.

  • Team Member Spotlight: Jacob Brindle

    Today, the Corterra team is excited to spotlight Corterra team member Jacob Brindle. Currently, Jacob functions as a Solution Architect. He is leading a multi-site United States implementation of Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. Jacob graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Biochemistry. Upon graduation, Jacob joined the Corterra team in the fall of 2015. Once joining the team, Jacob worked tirelessly to learn the business concepts, technical tools, and methodologies to function as a Business Systems Analyst. In this role, he gained first-hand experience supporting the implementation of a modern revenue management system for a publicly traded insurance brokerage. As time has passed, Jacob has honed his skills to grow into his current role as a Solution Architect. From gathering business requirements to whiteboarding solutions with the technical team, Jacob relentlessly drives to solve problems to meet the multifaceted needs of the project. His current role requires strong functional consultant skills, including process mapping and application configuration. Supplementary to the functional consultant skillset, Jacob interacts daily with the technical team to ensure our application enhancements meet the clients' needs. If he cannot solve himself, he will make sure to find the person who can. He approaches each challenge with a positive mindset, which directly reflects onto the other team members, contributing to fostering a collaborative, passionate environment at Corterra. Q&A Q: What is your favorite part about working at Corterra Solutions? My favorite part about Corterra Solutions is having the ability to continue building and expanding my technology expertise to continuously bridge the gap between business and technology. By applying our expertise in technology to the current and future needs of our clients, we continue to prove ourselves as valued and trusted business partners. Q: What are 3 words to describe Corterra Solutions? Dependable, progressive, stimulating Q: How do you like to spend your time when you are not working? When I am not servicing our clients, I enjoy getting my daily dose of physical activity. This helps me mentally reset and provides a platform that I can build upon for the rest of the day. I also relish in any opportunity to travel the world. I believe that experiencing the diversity of people and cuisine are what really make life special!

  • Quick Tip: Power BI Certified Custom Visuals

    Power BI supports the use of custom visuals to extend its capabilities. Developed by Microsoft, partners, and others, custom visuals provide enhanced functionality to solve both common and novel analytic challenges. After a custom visual is developed, it is consumed internally or uploaded to AppSource to allow the world to use. Many developers offer their custom visuals for free on AppSource. The gallery of visuals in AppSource are useful to solve an organization's needs without any development time. Free visuals already developed and tested to solve Power BI requirements? This all sounds great! Generally, this is a great feature, but there is one concern. Concern: Data Security How can one trust the code underlying the custom visual in AppSource? Looking at one of the visuals in AppSource, it states it could be accessing external services. Is this going to steal my data? Is this a cybersecurity risk? Solution: Certified Visuals What are "Certified" visuals? Certified visuals are vetted at the source code level by Microsoft engineers. See the excerpt below from Microsoft Docs: Certified Power BI visuals are Power BI visuals in AppSource that meet the Microsoft Power BI team code requirements. These visuals are tested to verify that they don't access external services or resources, and that they follow secure coding patterns and guidelines. How do you know a visual is certified? Look for the "PBI Certified" badge for visuals in AppSource. Visual Governance Logically, the next question that comes up is "can we turn off the capability to use uncertified visuals?". The short answer is "Yes". There is a setting in the Admin Portal to only allow using certified visuals. Unfortunately, nothing can prevent using a non-certified visual in Power BI Desktop. If a user or team member uses a visual that is not certified, that report will not render once deployed to the Power BI Service. Example: Proceed with caution Below, there is an example of a slicer that is not certified. At initial glance, this visual is a custom slicer and looks harmless. This could be useful to address requirements the standard slicer cannot. Furthermore, the description reads as useful for providing additional functionality not provided by the standard slicer. Continuing down the page, the warning, mentioned earlier, exists stating this visual may be sending data to external services! Now, is this what someone desires when they use this visual? Likely not! Unfortunately, because this visual is not certified, there is no way to know if best practices for security and accessing external services have been followed. In all likelihood, many of the un-certified visuals are safe with no harmful intentions. That being said, best be cautious and not take the risk unless there is absolute confidence the visual is safe.

  • Quick Tip: Microsoft Teams Viewing Modes

    Note: Microsoft Teams interface constantly changes. This post was originally written in 2021 so your experience may differ. Ever been in a Teams meeting where the content was a bit too small when someone shared their screen? Wouldn't it be nice if there was an alternative viewing mode to make it full screen? There is an option for this! Problem As many of us continue to work remotely in this new normal, Microsoft Teams is being used more than ever. This includes voice and video conferencing, but, maybe even more important, content sharing. Sometimes though, the content being shared is too small. Whether attributed by the monitor/resolution of the person sharing, or the person consuming, spending time adjusting screen size to accommodate all in the meeting is a waste of time. Luckily, there is a solution. Solution When in a Teams meeting, click on the ellipses in the upper right. Here you will find two viewing modes, Focus and Full Screen. Focus focuses on the current presenter's screen, removing the bottom row of other meeting attendees Full Screen makes the teams meeting full screen Additionally, there is a hidden viewing mode. You can zoom in on the content if you hold down the CTRL key and "scroll" in and out...similar to zooming in and out on a webpage by holding down CTRL. Try these out next time you're in a meeting sharing content.

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