Power Platform Governance with Zohar Raz

Power Platform Governance with Zohar Raz

Zohar Raz


  • An introduction about Zohar Raz as the Group Product Manager of Power Platform Governance at Microsoft  
  • What is Zohar’s background in technology?  
  • What does Power Platform Governance mean to Zohar and Microsoft customers?  
  • What is the concern for enterprises that need to offer a layer of protection as governance as visibility inside the organization?  
  • From Zohar’s perspective, where do these individual components sit within Microsoft's strategic direction moving forward?  
  • Zohar talks about Manage Environment   
  • A discussion about expanding on the terminal landing zone. 
  • Zohar's views about sharing limits and data policies and the current elements. 
  • What should people consider if they already got the Power Platform deployed? 

AgileXRm - The integrated BPM for Microsoft Power Platform

Support the show

If you want to get in touch with me, you can message me here on Linkedin.

Thanks for listening 🚀 - Mark Smith


[mark]: my guest today is from washington in the US he's a group product manager for the power platform governance at microsoft people collaboration has been his passion for many years he has spent half his career as a people manager driving product innovation in the space you can find links to his bio various social media et cetera in the show notes for this episode welcome to the show Zohar

[zohar_raz]: thank you mark for having me

[mark]: good to have you on the show and such a timely topic with so many changes that seems happening on the governance landscape but before we jump in there it's always good get to know my guests from a family food and fun perspective so everything that i know we just discussed off here our love of rum but tell us a bit about food family and fun what is what do you do when you're not doing microsof things

[zohar_raz]: all right fun fact family wise ended up marrying my sweetheart that i met in high school so we've been married for twenty six years now and have grown three lovely kids and lately two dogs and then i think i think unwise i'm all over the place i love i guess i'm into breadth from my passion to oil painting to sports marathons triathhelons voll recreational polly ball and then everything to do with water so my passion from the old days to sailing and diving and lately i picked up about a month ago i picked up wake boarding so i guess this is my his hobby and i can keep going on but that's roughly that and then from food perspective i think i'm as diverse as as my fun part which is i like to eat i guess that's maybe why so much sport and i think my specific passion just coming from growing up in israel i think i've got a special spot for mediterranean food

[mark]: nice ye very good very good well i have not come across somebody with a diverse number of extra circular activities as you have and such and such broad ranging um totally phenomenal tell us about your journey to working microsopht how did how did you end up here what was that path for you

[zohar_raz]: yah um i could go back to the days in the navy but i'll skip that my software engineering and tech career started almost as an intern at intil and then that's where i spent a decade plus working as a software engineer after graduating all the way to being an engineering manager and got specifically passionate about something that follows me up until today which is collaboration solutions and making people way more productive thanks to technology starting with building some internal software several internal software at until that led me to join microsophship point than one drive about fifteen years ago and in in that i transition to product management and fell in love and building products and building teams on a variety of roles inside ship on and one drive my latest gigs we're around really innovating re inventing the admit experience for one driving shippin and building the modern experience that is out there today that is much more satisfying that we lifted and shifted from on prima while back and then also a great collaboration with a team's team lately on building this new innovative solution called share channels where we empower cross organization collaboration in a more native way she sat announced it at night last year and it's been released to ga last month so a lot to be proud of and making large enterprise is a lot more productive with teams so that got me excited about collaboration across teams and then i joined the platform a year ago i just celebrated a year in the pa platform team taking on yeah the governance team leadership role and that includes everything to do with power platform analytics policy team so data policy s user iden d and then another art of one of the team i manages an internal solution for supportabilitie s everything that our supper personal uses is part of things that we built and i mentioned that since i left until i was very passionate about product management and specifically in the collaboration space and i get excited building solutions that serve millions of people around the world and becoming productive and that has warmed my heart and made me feel impactful so i'm still running hot

[mark]: it's good i like it i like it so the topic of the show today the main theme is around power platform governance and i really want to understand what does that mean to you and microsoft customers

[zohar_raz]: oh yeah it's a great question so governance to me is all about empowering it in the smallest of the largest organizations on the planet to help ignite the digital transformation with the god platform i rstath's pa platform and low it to manage these growing number of assets at scale without the fear of harm being done in their digital environment and the need to shut down things successful it usually sees a lot of innovation and creativity coming from employes in their company and we've we've seen similar things in ship on in one drive where uh enterprise started moving to the cloud and leaving all the local drives and share drives and moving to the cloud innovation there was an explosion bates made it the cloud and i t was confronted with a challenge of what of that should be limited or blocked we see similar challenges with the low code so it's as organizations go through their digital transformation moving away from in foot path and access and cell into the power platform it now confronts the same challenges of having hundreds if not thousands of environments and in large organizations many employees are building many assets in that like i know companies that have reached one million assets and managing that a scale as part of the government challenge and allowing to move from a world of what we call productive governance where you know you discover something and then you need to shut it down a blocked or quarantine it to a world of reactive governance you could actually put guard rails in place and allow the organization to grow in a guided way where no harm is done in your digital environment i think that's the strength of a great governance platform and microsoph has been busy at work across the different clouds assure and microsothre sixty five and now the power platform to build powerful tools and also to make it simple to use and i think if we think the generations of the low code and then the governance that comes with it they used to be not a lot so it was kind of the wild west and then now there's a lot to use and govern but it's not quite simple and we can talk in length about the solutions that we offered today and then our team is hard at work to make it simple and kind of similar to the work in the journey that we've done in the ship and in one drift space

[mark]: so when i think of governance i think of trust i think of security i think of risk you know management and i see a lot of it departments have a address this at their fire wall so journal perimeter attacks that type of thing but my observation is that there's still many it departments that maybe don't perceive the internal risk which i see rarely where governance sits is how you protect your internal assets how you know when you look at research quantifying this how big is the internal risk of data leakage of employes doing stuff with data that outside of what the company would potentially want happening of of risk of you know straight fraud being committed by employes taking or even accidental connecting an internal data set to an external a p i and lowing data to leak out that way what what's your research showing is is what is the risk what is the concern for enterprise around the need to offer this layer of protections governance is visibility inside the organization

[zohar_raz]: yeah i would add to that one more which is outside o intended people that do fishing and take over accounts inside the organization so the risk is there and the risk was always there and in fact i think you know just reading the news there's a growing amount of creativity of harming small or large enterprises the risk has always been there i think the interesting thing about a platform is that yet it's all about productivity and it's building productivity first and foremost for the good actors but it also embarrassed the bad actors with productivity and productivity tools and i think government is the solution for it to want to be aware and to be able to prevent and then three is you know being able to do the forensic and understand anything that happened you know study the scene of the crime and then do the damage control all that is part of the governance i think these are always will be and have been valid concerns and it's kind of a race between how creative we could become to help y t to block and prevent and then how creative the bad actors are it's always an interesting challenge and game that keeps going on and on

[mark]: m if i look at the last three years of what i've heard come out of microsoph there's been a strong voice around the center of excellent starter kit or the co started and around the digital guard rails that provides and the ability for the man staff to monitor what's going on in the power platform does your remit cover the co to ket actually why don't notice broaden slightly also the power platform amen center how much is what you lay it out for me from your perspective where do these individual components sit within microsopstrategic direction moving forward

[zohar_raz]: yeah so i talked earlier about the generations that the loco and microshop po platform has gone through from i think if one of your podcast with with the ryan cunningham he talks about it then um loco three point one three point

[mark]: three

[zohar_raz]: though um so if you think about those generations up until now we were heavily hard at work to provide powerful tools to empower it to do the governance just like we described earlier with namely more visibility to do productive governance and then more control to do the right guard rails in place to empower your employes while not locking them and one of the interesting things that i actually find super exciting is the way we could that allowed us to move the fastest was the low god platform itself so there's this co to kid that is now used and loved by thousands of customers that have adopted the platform that is simply a package of flows and canvas ops and power be data verse and we kind of o designed it with the early adoptors all the way from two or three years ago till today and it's still running strong like every month there's updates and what it does it includes a set monitors and capabilities and work flows to help you monitor and manage your environment than we feed into that a lot of the feedback that we get from customers it's for us just like a start up it allows us to iterate really quickly it's also an open source so many customers have taken it to one step further and then came back and presented to us what they've done and we said oh that is something that is useful for everybody so we kind of put it in future versions in the product itself m and that allowed it to become you know to mature from being a blocker or preventer of local assets growing in the organization to this thing we call the center of enablement where you've got of a set of leaders that are passionate about low god and enterprises pushing through the cock pit of the co toka the innovation and creativity that is happening organization using hackathons and assessing assets and making sure that the organization is doing the right thing so that's the story about the cook the challenge of that is because of how it's been built as a day or a low code package that you need to download and keep up today there's the cost of staying up today than some organization can easily afford it others cannot than we are hard at work to identify the now that the popular most used things in the co to kit and making them available to the hundreds of thousands of customers not just the you know tens of thousands of customers that have been using the co too kid today

[mark]: and so will that show up in the edmond center is in the device fort

[zohar_raz]: so there's definitely room for both and the admon center in fact we have a conference coming up at night maybe some of the people listening to this had already happened but we will be announcing a set of capabilities that are coming into the platform edmond center and just be built out of the box and we will continue to creatively innovate inside the platform atman center with ideas that come from this to it so we will try it on the c to kit and learn from the heat and see what are the things that are highly adapted and highly appreciate it and we already have a back give a few of those and then those we would then commoditize and bring into the product itself

[mark]: yeah so in the mix here we have recently had become available managed environments where does that sit in this conversation

[zohar_raz]: yeah so manage environment is available in public review we kind of came up with the new approach earlier this year and at night we are announcing the general availability of it it is r investments and making things simple so manage environment is all about simplicity there's already a lot of powerful tools and we will bring those powerful tools into the platform aden center but the way it works is we are kind of differentiating between standard environments and managed environments full managed environments once you enable and upgrade the environment to be managed you then in return get a lot more visibility and a lot more control and the assets that you have in that environment and it takes way less effort you know compared to the cot kid or the landings and we haven't talked about and other things that you need to study and learn and becoming sportin this is a button you turn on once you click on it think of it like the easy button it opens up panel for you where you could can figure things and define how you want that experience to be you could put more limits the best example i could give us sharing limits for example if you want the productivity environment to not allow people to share things at the company level and make it feel a little bit uncomfortable because something that wasn't certified when too broad too fast it just gives you so much more control and more power as part of the managed environments and we're just embarking on that journey so it's available for everybody everybody to play with the public previewbits already and i think every sinister you will see more and more perks should i say show up in it and it would include a l m so application life cycle management capabilities and governing a lot of the guidance and approaches that you in your specific company have for makers will allow you to interact with makers directly kind of like what the cot kid does today where you could create this welcome email and announce to your new makers here's the rule book of what you should follow here so you should contact like all that interaction is it's going to show up and the like administrators in the pot platform at the center

[mark]: so the three components what do they weekly digest sharing limits and data policies the current elements do you see that these being expanded on

[zohar_raz]: yes so we have a set of announcements coming at night where we would reveal a set of new capabilities one of the high amended features has been visibility and awareness to over all licenses and what users are active with out licenses and what users are

[mark]: brilliant

[zohar_raz]: holding a license and are inactive there's so this fits into the moevisibility category there's going to be a lot of the things that we have in the weekly digest that we consider pro active notifications where we would educate administrators on what's happening in that environment or the manager environments would be showing up in the platform adminster itself on the home page once you oped in um there's a set more capabilities around sharing limits where we're gonna expand it from canvas amps to additional it's so you could actually control who shares what asset and cloud flows not just apse and we'll continue that journey to an how to control sharing there's more around l m that i mentioned that will be announced and there's additional things about just making sure that your makers are not doing for violating any of the policies so there's going to be checkers you can enable and additional things once you enable that button and you opin to manage environment and upgrade then all that richness opens up for you

[mark]: nice you've mentioned a couple of times the term landing zones do you want us to expand on that

[zohar_raz]: yeah so a lot of the feedback we're hearing is locoed assets you know there's so much complexity and it just keeps growing like one of the beauty of low code platform that we provide is this for example connectors where it allows you to build easy web or mobile solutions that allow you to connect you today seven hundred plus resources and some of them are you know have been built for some organizations and are not a great fit for other organizations and customers many customers have said that how do you keep track of everything that is joining and you know being added to the platform where do you set the default for it to be blocked until i review it where do you set things like condition all axes and other settings and what do you do with enabling or blocking trials the landing zone is an extension of the asurlanding zone i think it's like almost like a cook book where you one is it's it's a get open source where you could actually take a look at all the guidance and recommendations that we provide and we keep up dating and editing the recommendation based on our known best known methods and then separately there's a wizard that comes with it where you can actually answer some kind of a question here and then click and submit and it will create and help you with the environment g would create those environments with a best known methods setting so you just need to answer high medium low and then it and i've set you set you up with environments that are highly confidential settings or low confidential settings

[mark]: ah just as we we about to wrap up tell us about what what should people be considering right now if they've already got the power platform deployed so really focusing customers perspective what should they be focusing on from a governance perspective and then where can they get additional information resources et cetera to so they can get on the front when it comes to what's coming with the manage environments once at gas and the additional work you're doing in the edmond center

[zohar_raz]: yeah so we've touched on a lot and there's so much more that i've not touched on i think my recommendations and considerations for organization is to start early like many of the feedback we hear from organization is there's never a better time to start looking at it if you've got employees using microsofhre sixty five and it's as easy as a click of a button for them to end up with low god assets in your default environment so first is visibility like introduce yourself to what's going on in your organization i didn't touch on but we've announced this year we've announced anything but one of them is analytics out of the box analytic you opped into it in the power platform admnd center once you turn it on you can actually have a bird's eye on everything that is going on in your enterprise and pat platform power animate then once you've got a good sense of what is going on come up with your environment strategy so think of what department what users get what environment so you can actually control all of that the environment is kind of like teams or shape when it's a unit of control where you could then define security groups and policies that are dedicated for that environment and put datalas prevention policies on it the resources are out there there's a great resource if you just search for you know one is we mentioned the pat platform landing zone there's also search for them platform co to kid i would recommend searching for the platform security documentation and last is what you mentioned which is take a look at the platform managed environments see the direction where taking we're going to have a recorded a night session that will talk in length me and even are running a session where we would describe a lot of it and do demos so that's another great resource for people to start ramping up on

[mark]: nice nice so thank you so much for coming on the show

[zohar_raz]: yes thank you mark thanks for doing these and having me

Zohar RazProfile Photo

Zohar Raz

Zohar Raz leads the Power Platform Governance product management team, focusing on delivering analytics, user identity, security and compliance solutions. Zohar joined Microsoft 15 years ago. Before joining Power Platform, he led various Microsoft 365 product developments in SharePoint, Onedrive and Teams for more than a decade.