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Unleashing the power of Microsoft Customer Digital Experience (CDX) & Transform Platforms



Introduction

Embarking on the Microsoft 365 journey often sparks a desire to expand skills and test new products. Yet, the reluctance to commit to trials, enter credit card details, or risk impacting live environments is a common hurdle. How familiar does this scenario sound? In countless conversations with some of my customers, colleagues and friends, a recurring solution emerges - the quest for an easy, cost-free space for Microsoft 365 exploration. Enter Microsoft Customer Digital Experience, an underappreciated treasure trove offering a free testing haven. For Microsoft employees, vendors with a Microsoft domain, Microsoft partners, or MVPs, this blog unveils the untapped potential of Microsoft Customer Digital Experience. Get ready for an immersive guide, revealing a realm of possibilities without denting your budget.

Additionally, if you are a Microsoft customer contemplating license upgrades or transitioning from non-Microsoft products, stay tuned as I'll be covering a tool called Value Calculator in upcoming segments. This powerful tool aids in building a robust business case and calculating your return on investment, providing invaluable insights into the potential benefits of upgrading or migrating to Microsoft solutions.


Table of Contents:


1. Unlocking the Microsoft Universe: A Journey with Customer Digital Experience (CDX) Platform

Microsoft Customer Digital Experience (CDX) platform is a powerhouse that empowers you to create demo tenants, download step-by-step demo scripts, and conduct interactive sessions, all within fully functional Microsoft 365 environments.


2. Why Microsoft CDX?

  1. Discover: Uncover why Microsoft stands out as the ideal choice for your business.

  2. Understand: Gain insights into what needs to be done to achieve your business goals.

  3. Learn: Master the implementation, management, integration, and support of Microsoft Cloud products.


3. Who Has Access to CDX?

Access to CDX is granted to:

  • Microsoft employees

  • vendors with Microsoft domains

  • Microsoft partners

  • Microsoft MVPs

If you fall into any of these categories, you can tap into the wealth of resources CDX has to offer.


4. How to access CDX:

  • Partners use their work accounts associated with Microsoft Partner Center for authentication.

  • Enrollment in the Microsoft Partner Center is a prerequisite for accessing the site.

  • MVP users need to be current and approved by the MVP team.


4.1. Accessing CDX: Transform or Direct?

4.1.1. From Transform:

1. Open a browser: transform.microsoft.com.

2. Sign in using your partner account (your work email address)

3. Choose 'Partner' for both Segment & Role if prompted to set up a profile.

4.1.2. Direct Access:



You will be prompted to sign in using your work email address and fill out the required information. The portal will not request any payment methods.



Upon successful authentication with your credentials, if this is your first time accessing the Modern Workplace Tools platform (transform.microsoft.com), you will need to provide consent before gaining portal access. Depending on your organisation's settings, you may be able to grant consent yourself, or an access request will be submitted to your admin.



After a successful sign-in, you will have the option to download a user guide that explains everything in more detail.



5. Quick overview of the Microsoft CDX & Transform platforms

Now, let me walk you through some basics.

The CDX section serves as your homepage, providing direct access to Customer Immersion Experiences, Demos, Simulated Demos, Recommended Guides, and more.


5.1. Experiences

What Are CDX Experiences?

CDX brings you Customer Immersion Experiences, Demos, and Interactive Guides.

How to Access an Experience:

  • Recommended experiences are based on your user profile on the home page.

  • Explore the full list under the 'Experiences' tab or via a dedicated link.

  • Search by experience name directly on the CDX homepage.


5.2. Customer Immersion Experience (CIE)

What Is a Customer Immersion Experience (CIE)?

  • A 1-3 hour on-site or virtual experience with active participation.

  • Led by a professional facilitator, CIEs utilise a live Microsoft 365 environment for real-time interactions.

5.2.1. CIE Options:

1. Instant-On:

  • Quick configuration with participant count and availability settings.

2. Quick Tenant:

  •    Adds a new tenant to the list for users to access on premises or in a browser.

5.2.2. How to Launch Instant-On CIEs:

1. Configure CIE:

  •    Set customer, CIE options, participants, and availability.

  •    Click 'Build Experience.'

2. Accessing Instant-On CIEs:

  •    Launch from the notification or 'My Experiences.'

  •    Tenant admin credentials and customer-facing URLs are available.

5.2.3. How to Launch Quick Tenant CIEs:

  • Opting for the quick tenant option adds a new tenant to 'My Experiences.'

  • Access this tenant from 'My Environments' to facilitate a seamless demo.


5.3. Demo Overview: Three Types

1. Assets Only:

  • Downloadable guides within your Demo Tenant.

2. Shared Tenants:

  • Pre-configured demo environments for a seamless experience.

3. Tenant Only Demos:

  • Easily accessible pre-configured tenants for showcasing specific products.


5.4. Interactive Guide (Simulated Demo)

What Is a Simulated Demo (Interactive Guide)?

  • Step-by-step, hands-on technical experiences focusing on specific scenarios and features.

  • Enables one-to-many interactions, perfect for virtual training and events.


6. Breakdown of Tabs and features available

Now, let me delve further and guide you through a step-by-step exploration of some key features on the CDX platform (https://cdx.transform.microsoft.com).




6.1. Experiences

The "Experiences" tab allows you to either filter all available experiences within the portal (1) or utilise the search bar to precisely locate what you're interested in (2). For instance, you can type in the name of a solution you want to learn more about, such as Data Loss Prevention, Insider Risk Management, and more.




From the image below, observe that the "Experience" tab provides options to access different types of experiences, including Demos and Interactive guides. Some demos contain assets only, while others feature shared tenants.



Upon clicking into one of the Demo Tenants, at the bottom of the page, you'll find an option to enter your name or a customer's name and download the content available under that specific experience.



Take note that the Assets section will be greyed out until you add an account under the "Customer" section.



Here's a quick demo on how to add yourself (simply type in your first name) or a customer in the section below. You'll notice that as soon as I add my name to the Customer list, the assets become available for download.




Another experience type is a simulated demo. The following example illustrates an experience where no assets are downloadable initially. Instead, you need to add a "Customer" (either yourself or your client) before the portal opens a new tab with an interactive guide or simulation for you to explore.



The subsequent demo outlines how this process works. You'll be prompted to confirm your acceptance of the terms of use before another browser window opens up for your exploration.




6.2. My Experiences

Once you navigate to "My Experiences", you'll discover the option to create a tenant. Clicking on "Create Tenant" initiates a quick wizard where you can choose the type of your tenant. There are two straightforward options: one for a 90-day duration and another for a full year. Additionally, you'll need to select the tenant location, with the North America option being highly recommended for its extensive variety of features and capabilities.




6.2.1. What environments are available?



For the purpose of this blog, my focus will center on tenants located in North America, where all options are available. The following options are applicable to both 90-day and 1-year type tenants.


North America - 90 days tenants available:

  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium Demo Content

  • Microsoft 365 Enterprise Demo Content

  • Microsoft Education Demo Content

  • Microsoft 365 Enterprise Demo Content with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Licenses - no pre-hydrated threat content

  • Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement

  • Microsoft 365 Compliance

  • Microsoft Defender for Business Demo Tenant

  • Dynamics 365 Business Central NOTE: For those exploring Dynamics 365 Business Central tenants, exercise caution: to integrate Business Central into your tenant, activation is a two-step process. After creating your tenant, an additional activation step is required. Utilise the provided link and follow the onscreen wizard for seamless integration.

  • M365 Business Premium with Voice US

  • Frontline Worker

  • Teams for Healthcare

  • Frontline Worker for Manufacturing

  • Microsoft Priva Tenant

  • Microsoft Viva

  • Windows 365 Enterprise Demo Tenant

  • Microsoft Purview Data Security Demo Tenant


North America - 1 year tenants available

  • Microsoft 365 Enterprise Demo Content

  • Microsoft Education Demo Content

  • Microsoft 365 Compliance

  • Dynamics 365 Business Central

  • Frontline Worker

  • Frontline Worker for Manufacturing

  • Microsoft Priva Tenant

  • Microsoft Viva

  • Microsoft 365 Enterprise Demo Content with Converged Communications

  • Microsoft Purview Data Security Demo Tenant


6.2.2. How to create a tenant


Once you've selected your desired tenant type and clicked "Create Tenant" beside the license/type name, please allow a minute or two for the tenant creation process. Following completion, you'll be presented with a screen offering an overview of your tenant, including the content pack, expiration date, and both admin and user credentials. To access your admin center, simply navigate to one of the admin centers and enter the provided credentials, which can be easily copied. NOTE: It's essential to note that the initial password for both the admin account and user accounts is the same. Feel free to modify these passwords upon logging into your tenant, just as you would in any live tenant.



Subsequently, for future reference, you can log back into CDX and access your credentials by navigating to "My Environments."

I feel that it's imperative to highlight that, regardless of it being a demo tenant, setting up multi-factor authentication (MFA) for your tenant is absolutely crucial. Recent security incidents (*cough* Microsoft compromise) underline the significance of MFA in safeguarding your environment, making it an essential practice for all users.


7. Tenant Extensions

In the fast-paced digital cosmos, even our beloved Microsoft demo tenants have an expiration date. But don't pack up your virtual beach towels just yet! Microsoft's got your back with Tenant Extensions. When your demo space feels the clock ticking, gracefully request an extension and keep the virtual party going

7.1. Tenant Extensions: How to Submit

  1. Navigate to the "My Environments" tab in the main menu, then select the "My Tenants" tab to access your claimed tenants.

2. In the table for each tenant, check the 'Renewal Status,' which is determined by the 'Expiry Date'. You can find the Expiry Date in the tenant Admin portal on Azure.

3. Keep in mind that 90-day tenants generally can't be extended, except for specific tenant types. If you seek an exception, you can initiate a support ticket via the link available on the renewal page.



4. Explore the extension process and FAQs by clicking on the 'Renewal Status' of your tenant for a comprehensive overview.


8. Transform Platform

In addition to navigating the intricacies of Microsoft's Customer Digital Experience (CDX) platform, this blog seeks to illuminate a particularly invaluable tool within the Transform platform—the Value Calculator. This feature empowers users to leverage actual customer data, constructing a robust business case that showcases the return on investment achievable through Microsoft's Modern Work & Security solutions. The Value Calculator offers a comprehensive comparison of costs, enabling users to assess the financial landscape between existing non-Microsoft products (such as email solutions, antivirus software, etc.) and the licensing expenses associated with Microsoft's offerings. By providing a clear breakdown of costs and anticipated returns, this tool becomes an indispensable asset in making informed decisions for optimal efficiency and financial prudence.


8.1. Accessing Tax Value Calculator

Accessing the Tax Value Calculator is a breeze, offering users multiple entry points for utmost convenience.

  1. First, for direct access, use this link: https://aka.ms/ValueCalculator

  2. Alternatively, from the Transform platform, visit [transform.microsoft.com], and click on "Value Calculator" located at the bottom of the page.

  3. For those within the CDX platform [https://cdx.transform.microsoft.com], simply navigate to the "Tools" tab, and there you'll find seamless access to the Value Calculator.


Choose the method that suits you best and delve into the world of comprehensive financial assessments for Microsoft's Modern Work & Security solutions.


8.2. Overview of the Value Calculator

Engage in the Value Calculator activity to calculate and demonstrate the return on investment achievable through the adoption of Microsoft solutions within your customer's (or your) organisation. For those using the Value Calculator for the first time, it's advisable to review essential materials found on the Value Calculator Learning page. Prioritise exploring documents such as "Build Your Business Case with the Value Calculator", "Building a Business Case with the Online VC - Introduction", and "SCI O to M Upgrade Scenarios in the Online VC." Familiarise yourself with the intricacies of the Value Calculator by spending some time building demonstration calculations. This preliminary step ensures a comprehensive understanding of the tool's functionalities before delving into your specific business case.


You can access some learning materials by clicking on the "Learning" tab.



You can also directly download the "Build your business case with the Business Case Builder" Power Point presentation below. This will give you a comprehensive guide on how to set up your case.


Build your business case with the Business Case Builder
.pptx
Download PPTX • 7.74MB

Once you review some learning materials and you are ready to build your own business case, you can click "Let's Get started" and go through the set up wizard.


I won't delve further into the intricacies of using the tax calculator in this blog post. Instead, I'll provide screenshots and recommendations for reference purposes. The PowerPoint file on building your business case is comprehensive and serves as a detailed guide for users seeking more in-depth instructions.



The following tabs in the Value Calculator should be filled during preparations: Inputs, Current Environment, Deployment Schedule, and Benefits and Costs.


In the Inputs tab, a 3-year ROI period is recommended.



In the Current Environment tab, you can narrow down the calculation to Unified Endpoint Management, Identity and Access Management, and Threat Protection. Add non-Microsoft products the you are using in these categories.



In the Deployment Schedule tab, adjust settings based on your deployment intentions.



For the Benefits and Costs tab, start with a subset of benefit categories, keeping elements at default values or modifying only with reliable data. Aim for a positive net benefit and ROI without overwhelming the calculation with too many elements.


You can prepare multiple alternative approaches with different deployment schedules and benefit settings.



9. Problems accessing the CDX platform

If you are attempting to use https://demos.microsoft.com or https://cdx.transform.microsoft.com/ and get a “Not Authorized Error”, like the one below



If you encounter the issue of tenant level authorisation getting cleared, a resolution is at your fingertips. Follow these steps for a quick fix:

  1. Open an incognito tab.

  2. Click on the following link to consent to necessary permissions and click 'Accept'


Clicking on the provided link will prompt the consent for Transform workplace tools, enabling you to sign in again without encountering the error. Note that you must be a tenant administrator to provide consent on behalf of the organisation, or you can consent for your individual account.

Additionally, CDX requires third-party cookies. Some browsers block third-party cookies in some sessions. Please check your browser settings and allow the browser to accept cookies from CDX.Transform.Microsoft.com. Please note, Edge and Chrome browsers are the only supported browsers. Issues may occur when using unsupported browsers.


10. Summary

The Microsoft CDX platform is your ticket to a dynamic, hands-on experience with Microsoft 365 products. Whether you're a partner, MVP, or Microsoft employee, CDX equips you with the tools to explore, demonstrate, and elevate your understanding of the Microsoft universe. Dive in and make the most of the immersive experiences waiting for you!

1 則留言


訪客
5月07日

I am here for step 9 😁 That sorted me. Although new tenants are offline atm...

Grateful for the breadth and what you have added to my undestanding. Thank you.

按讚
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