top of page

Search Results

31 items found for ""

  • 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.

  • Microsoft Teams & Shifts for Coordinating Safe Return to the Office

    As COVID-19 continues to affect our daily lives, we have all had to adjust to working remotely more than ever. While working remotely is enabled by applications such as Microsoft Teams, certain meetings, trainings, and other sessions are best conducted in person. The need to return to the office is inevitable. But, how do you coordinate the return in a safe manner? Here are some questions we have been hearing within our networks: How do you return to work safely? We already rushed to implement Microsoft Teams to work remote, is it going to cost me more to coordinate a return to the office? If my team returns to the office, and someone later tests positive for COVID, how do I know who was in the office that day? In this post, we will demonstrate how Corterra safely coordinates returning to the office utilizing Microsoft Teams and Shifts. Challenge: Maintaining limits on number of people in the office In the beginning of 2020, Corterra had moved into spacious new offices with numerous conference and huddle rooms each outfitted with wall mounted 65-inch TVs and 12-foot wide white boards – designed for efficient collaboration and problem solving. Then COVID arrived, and we were all forced into our homes. The good news was that as a technology firm we were already well positioned to work remotely, with all of our employees equipped with the essential productivity tools – laptops, monitors, speakers and the Microsoft Office 365 suite of applications, most importantly Teams. Unfortunately, our new office space with all its collaboration tools, was not being used. As Illinois began to re-open in mid-summer, we wanted to safely allow our client project teams to schedule physical time in the office. Although we had worked with Microsoft OneNote and the Teams-integrated Whiteboard application while working remotely, some of the most challenging sessions could not meet the efficiency of an in-person meeting. To safely accommodate in-person meetings, return to work procedures were designed to protect the health and safety of our employees in accordance with recommendations from the CDC. Physical markings were made in conference rooms to ensure proper social distancing. In addition, we decided to restrict the number of people in office to ten people each day, well below our 50-person capacity. Our only remaining issue was managing how we would determine who was going to be in the office each day and ensuring that our ten person limit was followed, all without requiring anyone’s time to coordinate. Solution Microsoft Teams and Shifts With all our employees using Teams daily for Presence, Chat, Meetings and Calls, it was easy to implement the Shifts app within Teams to manage a sign-up process for in-office time. Using our Corterra Team that included all employees, shifts were configured for each workday. The shifts were designed to cap the total employees allowed in the office on any one day (i.e. Shift) at 10 employees. Once an employee requests a shift, the available slots decrease until no more slots in the shift are available. This solution met the requirements of our return to work policy, limiting the number of employees in the office. Not only did it limit the number of employees, it provided a simple method to trace who may have interacted with a particular team member, in the case a team member became infected. Automated Approval Microsoft Shifts in Teams was working well for us, but there was one aspect that was burdensome. In Shifts, a manager is required to approve shift requests. Each employee signing up for a shift was required to have their request approved. For our “Return to Work” use-case, manager approval was not required. To solve this problem, a Power Automate Flow approves the Shift request automatically. Configured to run every 10 minutes, the Flow approves the request and notifies the requesting employee that their Shift is scheduled. Conclusion Microsoft Teams and Shifts is a critical component of Corterra’s return to work policy. Using Shifts, team members can request days in office, limiting the number of requests. Adding in the capabilities of Power Automate, shift request approvals were automated, providing a true self-service solution for employees. With Shifts integrated into Microsoft Teams, the sign-up process is easy and in a tool already familiar to employees. In addition, no additional cost was incurred. Needing a return to work plan? Contact us to see how Teams and Shifts can get your team back in the office safely.

  • Team Member Spotlight: Osvaldo Perez

    Since joining the Corterra Solutions team 6 years ago, Osvaldo has played an integral role in the development of many mission critical applications that are deployed across the Corterra Solutions portfolio. Osvaldo is a technical thought leader that brings a deep understanding of software engineering concepts, and expertise in both .Net and JavaScript development to the Corterra Solutions team. In addition to his technical expertise, he plays a pivotal role as a technical liaison between internal functional and technical teams, while providing technical mentorship to his peers and other junior members of the Corterra Solutions team. Day-in and day-out, Osvaldo addresses each challenge with genuine curiosity and positive energy, that has a way of naturally lifting up and encouraging other members of the team. Q&A Q: What's your favorite part about working at Corterra Solutions? The culture. Our team has a genuine passion for technology and solving complex problems. We have a very collaborative environment that helps us not only provide the best solutions to our Clients, but brings out the best in myself and the rest of the team. Q: What are 3 words to describe Corterra Solutions? Collaborative Challenging (in a good way!) Exciting Q: How do you like to spend your time when you aren't working? I like to keep up on the latest technology and trends, especially new and emerging languages, development frameworks and anything new in the world of Azure and Dynamics 365. I also love to travel. Although I haven't been doing too much of it lately due to Covid, my wife and I generally like to travel to new and interesting places. Most recently, we traveled to Colorado to ski for the first time! Q: What are a few interesting things about you that people might not know? I was part of a dance group when I was younger, but since that didn't work out, I thought that application development would be a better use of my time! I also enjoy horseback riding on the weekend.

  • Heartland Business Systems rebrands as Corterra Solutions

    Corporate Rebrand Ushers in New Era Marked by Expanded Leadership Team, New Office Space and Hiring Corterra Solutions, formerly Heartland Business Systems, today announced it has rebranded with a new corporate name and identity. The change ushers in a new era for the 26-year-old company. “While stepping away from our legacy name was a difficult choice, we’re excited that our new image strongly reflects the expertise of our people and caliber of services we deliver,” said Ted Lindholm, President of Corterra Solutions. “Our reputation for exceptional technology consulting and client service has guided every step of our rebrand. Corterra ­– which translates to ‘Heartland’ – builds on this legacy by offering an expanded portfolio of cloud and digital services to address our clients’ technology challenges.” To support its global client base, Corterra is hiring for several open positions, including Solution Architect, Business Systems Analyst and Software Developer. Corterra’s new corporate identity, website and flexible work environment, along with progressive workplace culture initiatives, ­are part of a strategy to become an employer of choice for business technology consulting services. Corterra is conveniently located in new office space at Arboretum Lakes in Lisle just off Interstate 88 at Route 53. Founded in 1994 by Mike and Lynda Kelch, Corterra strengthened its leadership team with recent hires who bring extensive experience in operations, finance, and analytics to Corterra. Ted Lindholm, a former US Navy officer, brings significant career successes including leading the digital transformation of numerous global manufacturing organizations and engineering a financial and operational turnaround for an aerospace and defense business. Sue Pittacora joins as Client Service Executive bringing expertise in finance, analytics and business transformation. She has a broad breadth of experience having led multiple global centers of excellence at McDonald’s Corporation in the areas of analytics, insights and operations measurement. In addition, she is a CPA, and began her career at EY leading financial and IT systems audits. Shawn McCormick, who also joins as a Client Service Executive, most recently served as strategy and operations leader for a global consulting firm. At Corterra, he leads continuous improvement initiatives that drive cost savings and optimize value from technology and infrastructure investments for clients.

bottom of page