Join us at the Global DevOps Bootcamp 2019!

The Global DevOps Bootcamp is back, and we’ve partnered once again with the DevOps Porto community to host it at our office on June 15.

The Global DevOps Bootcamp is a free 1-day event held by local communities all over the world, organized by Xpirit and Solidify and all about DevOps on the Microsoft Stack. Attendees will have a chance to debate, learn and play with DevOps concepts with people from all continents who share their enthusiasm.

Titled “Your build it, you run away it”, this year’s Global DevOps Bootcamp is all about the “run” part of DevOps and will focus on the concept of Detect, Respond, Recover. These three phases will be dissected and applied to scenarios where you will learn to overcome challenges, build a solution, and run it as a DevOps team would. Because this means getting your hands dirty, you should come prepared with a laptop, a lot of curiosity, and a mindset to share your experiences and knowledge around Azure and DevOps practices with other attendees.

Below is the agenda for the Global DevOps Bootcamp 2019:

09:00 – Drop in, coffee
10:00 – Introduction
10:15 – Keynote
10:45 – Local Keynote
11:15 – Start Bootcamp
13:00 – Lunch
13:30 – Continue Bootcamp
16:00 – Demos
16:30 – Wrap-up

Last year’s Global DevOps Bootcamp was the second time the event was held, and the first time we hosted it in Portugal. Here are some of the highlights:

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It took place in 77 different venues all over the world, and over 8.000 attendees participated in it, a tremendous increase from the 1.500 people who joined the inaugural event. We are hoping to break the record once again and would love for you to join us. To do so, please follow this link and register for free.

See you here on the 15th!

Send Emails, PDFs or broadcast from Power BI with PowerBI Robots

Power BI’s email subscription vs PowerBI Robots: what are the differences?

When it launched in March of 2018, PowerBI Robots introduced many features Power BI users had been asking for years, like the ability to schedule and recurrently send reports by email, to a SharePoint library or display them on a large TV screen. Since then, Microsoft gradually added these features to Power BI in one way or another, but the way scheduling, report content or the slideshow are handled couldn’t be more different.

We broke down the main differences between Power BI’s email subscription service and PowerBI Robots in the following table, but keep reading for a deeper look at each of them:

Microsoft Power BI

PowerBI Robots

Sends a preview image of a report or dashboard and a link to access it on Power BI Online Sends various reports as high-definition images, on a single PDF or multiple PDFs
Sends only 1 report page per subscription Sends unlimited report pages per subscription
Sends reports to email addresses Sends reports to email addresses, SharePoint folders, filesystems or to a URL
Sends reports to anyone in your organization Sends reports to anyone, even if outside your organization
Sends reports once a day, once a day after data refresh, or once a week Sends reports whenever you want, from once every 10 minutes to only once a year
Link to the reports don’t keep applied filters Reports are sent with applied filters
Doesn’t allow any filtering customization Sends different filtered reports to different users
No email body customization Full email body customization
Slideshow mode with no data refresh Slideshow mode with data refresh

Setting a recurrence for report delivery was the main driver behind PowerBI Robots’ development, as clients were begging for a method to update people who didn’t use Power BI but had to take a look at the data in the reports. PowerBI Robots recurrence can be set for a large variety of intervals, ranging from once every 10 minutes to once a year. Soon, it will support other forms of recurrence, such as specific days of the week.

This type of recurrence is already supported by Power BI’s scheduling system, but it severely limited to 3 options: once a day, once a day after data refresh and once a week. This means that if you need to inform someone more than once a day or only once a month, you can’t do it using Power BI alone.

Power BI subscription pane
Power BI allows you to schedule reports for specific days of the week, a feature that will soon be available in PowerBI Robots
Supported formats:

Email is the only delivery method supported by Power BI and sending reports by email is limited to users from your organization, as Power BI will prevent you from adding any “outsiders” to your subscription’s mailing list.

Email is by far the preferred delivery method among PowerBI Robots users, although the solution supports additional delivery methods that can make a difference in some organizations. Sending reports to a SharePoint or Filesystem folder comes in hand when you want to share information with a large pool of individuals, and soon you’ll be able to keep a record of these reports in the form of screenshots or PDF files, a new feature geared towards auditing scenarios. PowerBI Robots also allows companies to share reports and dashboards with emails outside their organization, one of the most common scenarios among its users, as covered in our SPAR and Olicargo case studies. The body of emails in PowerBI Robots is also fully customizable and includes tokens for the most common fields.


Content is where Power BI’s subscription service and Robots’ differ the most. When you send a report via email through Power BI, users receive a preview picture (PNG) accompanied by a link to navigate the report on Power BI Online. In contrast, PowerBI Robots sends reports as high-definition static pictures (either embedded or as attachments if you choose email as your delivery method) or single or multiple PDF files, not allowing users to access and navigate the full report on Power Online.

Power BI is severely limited to a single dashboard or report page per subscription, whereas PowerBI Robots works with a playlist method that supports as many report pages per subscription as you wish. This allows you to set up a single subscription with multiple report pages, the exact opposite of what you would have to do on Power BI – where you would need multiple subscriptions with single report pages to achieve the same effect.


Scheduling through Power BI doesn’t allow for any filtering since what you’re sharing is access to your whole report. By clicking the link and accessing the report on Power BI Online, users can apply any filters of their choice, so there’s no point doing it before setting up the scheduling.

Since PowerBI Robots’ purpose is wholly different – sending high-quality images of reports -, users are free to set up any filtering of their choice. Static images remove interaction and access to all information from reports, but sometimes that’s exactly what users may want. In the SPAR case we mentioned before, we had a chain of over 100 stores that shared a common Power BI central dataset. Because each had its own administration, reports had to be filtered to ensure they didn’t have access to data from other stores. PowerBI Robots allows you to apply different layers of filtering: at a global level, and individual filters per user, allowing you to send different data to different people, from the same report.

PowerBI Robots filters
PowerBI Robots lets you set up filters for each individual recipient

During March’s update, Microsoft introduced a slideshow feature in the Power BI Windows app, a feature that lets you present a report and rotate between its pages automatically, based on a pre-set frequency between 5 and 30 seconds. The slideshow is part of Power BI’s presentation mode, which is supported on any device running Windows, be it a Surface Hub, a desktop or a tablet.

PowerBI Robot’s slideshow feature works a bit differently, since it doesn’t run directly from Power BI, but the cloud. PowerBI Robots generates a unique URL for your playlist that you can paste on any browser to start a slideshow. The frequency between slides starts at 10 seconds and goes up to 5 minutes. Unlike Power BI’s slideshow, Robots doesn’t allow you to pause your presentation, but, on the other hand, it always displays a report’s most recent data, something Power BI alone doesn’t do.

Olicargo team using PowerBI Robots
Among other things, Olicargo uses PowerBI Robots to spread operational KPIs around the office.

If you have any questions or need help using PowerBI Robots, please check the product’s 101 guide or contact us by email.

Send Emails, PDFs or broadcast from Power BI with PowerBI Robots

We have achieved the Microsoft Gold Datacenter competency!

We are proud to announce we’ve upped our number of Microsoft Gold Competencies to a total of 6! DevScope is a Microsoft partner since its foundation and, year after year, we are committed to having our many areas of expertise fully acknowledged by Gold status. This year, the Gold Datacenter competency joins the previously earned Application Development, Cloud Productivity, Collaboration and Content, Application Integration and Data Analytics Gold competencies, for a total of 6.

We have also achieved Silver competencies in Cloud Platform, DevOps, Messaging, Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions, and Cloud Business Applications. On top of that, we employ four Microsoft MVPs in our team, as well as the only regional director in the country, making DevScope one of the leading Microsoft partners in Portugal.

Attaining and renewing Gold status within the Microsoft Partner Network is a high priority for DevScope, meaning we are focused on achieving high-quality standards and keen to improve our ability to meet our clients’ needs and expectation, be it in consultancy and development services or delivering the best products in the market aimed at professionals.

If you wish to know how our competencies can help your business achieve better results, please contact us at Emails, PDFs or broadcast from Power BI with PowerBI Robots


PowerBI SmartPivot 101: everything you need to get started

PowerBI SmartPivot is our first product for 2019, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. Much like the rest of our PowerBI Tiles family, PowerBI SmartPivot was born as an answer to our clients’ problems prior to being spun into a mass market product. In this case, our clients worked mainly in the retail sector and made extensive use of Excel PivotTables in their daily activity. Their woes included a high dependency on IT staff to connect databases to Excel, the lack of granularity provided by Excel alone and, perhaps most importantly, the time it took to filter their PivotTables when analyzing a wide range of items, a common occurrence in retail.

What is PowerBI SmartPivot and who is it for?

PowerBI SmartPivot is an Excel add-in aimed at professionals who regularly work with PivotTables. PowerBI SmartPivot introduces several features that make their life easier, namely the abilities to connect OLAP data cubes and Power BI to Excel, scan all data in an analytical model, apply filters in bulk instead individually ticking a PivotTable’s checkboxes and create granular table reports with ease.

Downloading and installing

An annual PowerBI SmartPivot license is available at DevScope’s store from 99.99€, but you can try it for free by downloading a full-featured 30-day trial version.

If you purchase a license during the product’s launch window, you can use code POWERBI-SMARTPIVOT-30 at checkout for a 30% discount.

After downloading PowerBI SmartPivot, extract the file and double click it to run the installation wizard. Follow the steps and click finish. Open Excel and you should see a grayed out SMARTPIVOT tab.

PowerBI SmartPivot 101Click the License button and introduce the key emailed to the address you used to register for the PowerBI SmartPivot trial. Once validated, all options will become available.

PoweBI SmartPivot 101NOTE: if you don’t see the SMARTPIVOT tab in Excel, go to File > Options and click the Add-ins tab.

PoweBI SmartPivot 101From the Manage dropdown menu, select COM Add-ins and click the Go button. Make sure the DevScope PowerBI SmarPivot check-box is ticked and click OK.4aPoweBI SmartPivot 101a

The SMARTPIVOT tab should now be visible. If you still can’t see it, please email our support team.

Connecting OLAP cubes and Power BI to Excel

In order to connect a Power BI dataset to Excel, you must first open it in Power BI Desktop. Once you do, go to the SMARTPIVOT tab in Excel and click QuickConnect. You should see it in the list of connections available.


Double-click it and confirm the range. The PivotTable Fields will appear in the panel on the right. Select which fields you want to add to your PivotTable or drag them to the preset areas below.


Using the search function

PowerBI SmartPivot’s search function greatly expands on what Excel can do by itself, allowing users to find exactly what they’re looking for, regardless of the complexity of their analytical model.

To use it, select any cell in your PivotTable and click the search icon in the menu. A new pane will open next to the PivotTable Fields selection.


You can place any queries in the search field to find exactly the data you’re looking for. In the example below, we’ll ask PowerBI SmartPivot for the gross margin percentage (GM%) of transportation of Primus in 2014. PowerBI SmartPivot will instantly scan your data model and present you a list of the fields that best match your query.


Check the boxes from the list to add that data to a new PivotTable.

Filtering a PivotTable by a list of values

The more data you have in an analytical model, the harder it is to find exactly what you want. Even when you know where to look, it may take some time picking the values for your PivotTable because Excel only allows you to select or deselect all values at the same time.

PoweBI SmartPivot 101

This isn’t really a problem when you’re working with a small PivotTable, but individually picking which values to filter is a major annoyance when you’re working with hundreds or thousands of items. This annoyance became apparent to us when working with some of our retail clients. Their PivotTables often had hundreds or thousands of different products in them, which meant spending many minutes checking boxes one by one. Earlier last year, we launched Filter by List for Power BI itself on Microsoft’s AppSource for free and now integrated it in Excel with PowerBI SmartPivot.

Using it couldn’t be simpler. With at least a cell of your PivotTable selected, click the Filter by List icon from the menu to open the Pivot Filter pane. Write or paste a list of values you wish to filter your list by and click Apply Filter.


Your PivotTable will change and reflect those values.


NOTE: If your PivotTable has more than one hierarchy, make sure you select the correct one from the dropdown list.

PoweBI SmartPivot 101

If you plan on using the same filter recurrently, it’s a good idea to save it. To do so hit the Save Filter button after applying it. PowerBI SmartPivot will save the values in your filter and direct you to a Saved Filters pane, where you can apply, update or delete previously saved filters.


To access your saved filters, select any cell on the PivotTable and click the My Filters button from the menu to open a pane with the list of saved filters.


Creating a granular table from an OLAP cube

The final PowerBI SmartPivot feature we’ll cover in this guide is the ability to quickly create a granular table report by selecting its fields from a list. To do so, select a cell containing one of the results in your PivotTable and click Add Table Report from the menu. A window containing all possible fields will open.


To create a table, pick a field from the Available Fields and add it to the Selected Fields section.

PoweBI SmartPivot 101

When you’re done, click ok to create your table instantly in a new Excel sheet.

PoweBI SmartPivot 101

Thank you for your using PowerBI SmartPivot and making it through this (extensive) 101. PowerBI SmartPivot includes a few other features we won’t cover in this 101 because we feel are self-explanatory, but if you need any help using them, let us know.

If you still have any questions regarding PowerBI SmartPivot, please check the product’s FAQs or contact us by email.

PowerBI SmartPivot

PowerBI Robots version 2.1.11’s new features: here’s how to use them

PowerBI Robots just turned 1 year old, and we’re celebrating with a new version that introduces a couple of much-requested features:

  • Add Cc and Bcc addresses when sending reports by email – let supervisors know which reports are being sent by PowerBI Robots;
  • Edit filters in bulk using an Excel file – save time by downloading our template and editing filters in bulk using Excel;

To start using these new features, you must update your PowerBI Robots client to the latest 2.1.11 version. Click here to download it.

Add Cc and Bcc addresses when sending reports by email

If you need to keep managers or supervisions in the loop about any reports sent by email, you can add their email addresses to the newly introduced Cc and Bcc fields in the General tab after selecting Email in the Send to field.

Cc and Bcc fields PowerBI Robots
You can find the newly added Cc and Bcc fields when sending to an email

Whenever you send a report via email to any of your recipients, every address on the Cc and Bcc fields will also receive a copy in their inbox. If you apply different filters to different recipients of the same report, addresses on the Cc and Bcc fields will receive all filtered versions of that report.

Edit filters in bulk using an Excel file

The second feature introduced in version 2.1.11 allows users to save time by editing filters in bulk in an Excel file and uploading it to the PowerBI Robots web client. This feature was designed with experienced users in mind due to the risk of misediting important information, so be warned before venturing here.

To edit filters in bulk, go to the Filters tab and click Export Filters to download an Excel file named after your playlist.

Click Export Filters to download an Excel file

After opening this file, you’ll notice four fully editable columns:

  • PageName – write the path to any report page in this column. Page names are very specific, so we highly advise that you have at least one instance of the page you want to send and use copy/paste for new recipients;
  • Recipient – add the email of any recipients to this column;
  • ReportFilter – edit report-level filters in this column by changing any of the contained values;
  • PageFilter – edit page-level filters in this column by changing any of the contained values;
You're free to edit each column in Excel
You’re free to edit each column in Excel

After editing your Excel file, return to the Filters tab in PowerBI Robots’ online agent, and click the Import Filters button. Click Create or Update to finish.

Import the Excel file to apply your filters
Import the Excel file to apply your filters

If you still have any question, are running into some issues after installing PowerBI Robots version 2.1.11 or have some suggestions for future releases, please email us at Your feedback is greatly appreciated.PowerBI Tiles Pro

Meet us at the MVP Global Summit 2019!

Once a year, Microsoft awards the title of Most Valuable Professional (MVP) to about 4,000 technology experts across 90 countries/regions who actively engage and share their knowledge with the community. MVPs have a deep knowledge of Microsoft products and services, but also the ability to use them to solve real-world problems. Above all, they are professionals who are always willing to help others.

Microsoft recognizes their effort and contribution by allowing them to try beforehand brand new, advanced technology but also by flying them to an annual MVP Global Summit. Besides featuring a large catalog of in-depth technical discussions and feedback sessions, the MVP Global Summit also presents networking opportunities among MVPs and Microsoft product groups.

DevScope is probably the company with the most MVPs in Portugal and, between March 17 and March 22, five of our staff won’t be at the office but instead trying new tech and enjoying themselves at Bellevue and Redmond, namely:

This is DevScope‘s highest number of professionals at the MVP Global Summit, and we’re very proud of their commitment to the Microsoft community. If you’re among those attending and meet one of our MVPs, say hello. We’re sure they’ll be delighted to exchange a few words and talk about opportunities to collaborate.

Send Emails, PDFs or broadcast from Power BI with PowerBI Robots

Connecting Sogrape’s family with SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams

Sogrape is a global brand whose large family felt disconnected. Thankfully, the right tools have the power to connect people – even if they speak different languages and live on opposite sides of the world.
The client:

Founded in 1942 by Fernando Van Zeller Guedes, Sogrape is a group of companies and brands which aims to provide Original Legacy Wines for all moments of life.

From the Douro region, Sogrape reached the entire world and currently produces wine in Portugal (Sogrape Vinhos Portugal), Spain (Bodegas LAN), Argentina (Finca Flichman), Chile (Viña Los Boldos) and New Zealand (Framingham). With distribution companies in Europe, America, Africa and Asia, Sogrape delivers its wines to more than 120 countries, with internationally relevant brands.

Sogrape‘s originality and legacy result from the dedication of a large family of people who, led by Fernando da Cunha Guedes, the current CEO, strive for excellence in all areas to make it a benchmark in the world of wine. There are over a thousand employees who, united by family tradition, diversity, rigor and reliability, courage and desire to innovate, honor friendships and look at wine as their way of bringing happiness to life.

Porto vineyard Sogrape
From the Alto Douro Wine Region, Portugal, to the world
The problem:

Sogrape is present in the entirety of the value chain, and therefore its operation starts in the vineyard and ends on the shelf. It reaches all four corners of the world and comes with all its benefits – such as the ability to enjoy an Argentinian Malbec in a plaza in Madrid – and woes – like working on three languages and across multiple time zones. For years, Sogrape wanted a single platform to connect its universe of over 1,000 employees and change the way people work and communicate between themselves and the company. Having developed their Portuguese operation’s intranet portal back in 2007, Sogrape selected DevScope from among a handful of companies to work on their global intranet portal.

“We knew we wanted to connect everybody and change the way we work, but we didn’t know how, and DevScope offered the ideal solution.”

– Joana Pais, Corporate Communication Manager, Sogrape

The solution:

Sogrape’s old intranet portal was showing its age and some of the pains that come with it: not up to the most recent technological and interface standards and barely used by anyone. Worst of all, it was exclusive to the company’s Portuguese operation, a stark contrast to its global reach, glocal position – the practice of conducting business according to both local and global considerations – and its “Feel like a family, perform like a team” purpose.

Sogrape was hellbent on bringing its global family together

Sogrape wanted to revert this situation and have a user-oriented portal, but when you have over 1,000 employees with multiple professional profiles spread around the globe, needs and expectations are sure to vary considerably. On top of that, Sogrape wanted this project to mark a turning point in the company and requested for the new portal to be amazing and delivered in six months, so time was a factor.

“Sogrape only had one requirement when they contacted us: we want an Intranet that wins prizes. I immediately thought to myself, we want to do this. Challenge accepted!”

– Ricardo Calejo, Portals & Collaboration Manager, DevScope

Empathize & Define

With all these concerns in mind, Sogrape adopted Stanford Univesity’s Design Thinking approach, which is composed of five stages: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype & Test.

From the get-go, Sogrape envisioned the new portal as a living project, one that would change over time according to its users’ needs. To grasp them, DevScope hired digital strategic consultancy firm Fast Forward and Knowman to conduct a series of 19 interviews and write a report on their findings. Interviewees were Sogrape employees from all over the world fitting well-defined user personas to assure there was a large enough pool of different behaviors and motivations. An additional group of 29 project ambassadors –a few selected employees undertaking the mission of spreading the new intranet’s culture with their colleagues – answered 19 questions on Microsoft Forms as well. The collected material set the following stage in the Design Thinking method: Define.

“The new intranet should celebrate difference as much as bring everyone together.”

– Joana Pais, Corporate Communication Manager, Sogrape

With the goal of naming the portal and identifying the features it should have to address the most common needs, Fast Forward and Knowman organized a couple of workshops. The plans for the rollout of WINet – a portmanteau of wine and intranet – were also born from these sessions, along with a list of concerns the new portal would have to address, namely:

  • The lack of resources and time to feed it new content on a regular basis;
  • Several employees lack a computer or other connected device;
  • Several employees don’t know what an intranet is;
  • The lack of participation by upper management;
  • A few employees in some business units didn’t feel well represented;

“We want WINet to work reason but also emotion, business but also culture. We want to make sure the user experience is engaging and, more than a useful platform, we want people to look at WINet as part of their daily life at Sogrape.”

– Joana Pais, Corporate Communication Manager, Sogrape

Keeping content relevant and updated is a challenge common to most portals we deploy. In order to keep WINet alive, Sogrape’s content had to cater to several separate yet related areas, such as production, commerce, distribution, innovation, wine education or wine tourism. When that content’s audience is over 1,000 people speaking three different languages and working on every continent on the planet, the challenge gets considerably difficult.

Sogrape employees can find their colleagues on WINet – regardless of where they are
Speaking to an audience of a thousand

To make sure Sogrape would be able to produce content regularly and reach its collaborators regardless of language or country, DevScope’s Portals & Collaboration team developed a solution that combines a content classification system (using SharePoint Online’s Term Store feature) with a customized user content experience featuring multi-language support set in three pillars:

  • what Sogrape needs to tell its employees – mandatory information on the homepage;
  • what employees are interested in – their personal area;
  • what employees might want to know but isn’t in the portal’s homepage nor their personal area – search function;

These features and customized user experience are only made possible by combining a structured and planned information classification system with custom SharePoint components, namely its search engine.

Experience taught us that information customization is vital to keep people using corporates portals so, save for Sogrape‘s mandatory info, we gave everyone the liberty to select the themes they’re most interested in. In their personal area, users can find:

  • Fully customizable links to company apps, which include a canteen, a wine store, service desk, and vehicle reservation;
  • A favorites link list that can be accessed and managed across the whole intranet. Pages are added to this list with a single click;
  • The ability to pick the topics which will be presented in their information feed across the entire intranet. An employee in Chile can choose to read articles about his market and avoid information overload by keeping all remaining wine production regions off their feed;

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Language filters also use the tag system and introduce some much longed for agility in the content and delivery process. Translated articles only need to have their tag changed from the original to the new language to travel across the globe and reach employees who wouldn’t read them otherwise.

BindTuning, a longtime DevScope partner, provided a theme that matched Sogrape’s identity, allowing our Portals & Collaboration team to deploy WINet in record time and featuring its most wanted areas and functionalities, and thanks to the tag system’s flexibility new areas can be introduced in mere days.

Teams work

Sogrape envisioned WINet as a knowledge-sharing platform so connecting it to Microsoft Teams was the next logical step in the project. It’s arguably the best collaborative platform available, allowing people to talk, share and work in a familiar way while being flexible enough to accommodate features as users see fit.

Microsoft Teams also gave Sogrape a way to make the internal recruitment process much faster and reliable. Because all employee profiles on WINet contain not only their department and function but also areas of interest, Sogrape can take these preferences into account and group people with similar interests and competencies, ensuring the allocation of the best human resources to each new project. Thanks to SharePoint Online‘s provisioning techniques, website templates are easy to deploy for each collaborative context. New content from these collaborative contexts is displayed to users when they log in WINet, making sure they keep up to date with the latest news about the work they’ve been doing with their colleagues.

sogrape case study-01
WINet takes full advantage of Office 365’s extensive list of productivity features

To make sure Sogrape took advantage of as many Office 365 services as possible, our team introduced Microsoft Stream as a way of sharing and publishing videos on WINet. All communications and file sharing between DevScope and Sogrape also took place exclusively on Microsoft Teams. Not a single email was sent during the entire project.


WINet launched in December 2018, six months after the project started.

“Employees overseas are happy to be part of something that despite having been developed in Portugal, has a global reach. They feel like part of the family. Our next step is to try and make each market create its local content.”

– Joana Pais, Corporate Communication Manager, Sogrape

Sogrape didn’t make any efforts to impose WINet internally, but adoption is slowly picking up around the world and becoming part of everyone’s daily life. Having experienced its immense collaborative potential, the company believes Microsoft Teams will be the driving force behind WINet adoption.

Work on WINet will continue for the near future, with an emphasis on further employing Microsoft PowerApps and Flow to simplify processes.

What we did:
  • Developed and delivered WINet Sogrape’s new intranet portal – in just six months;
  • Developed a tailored multi-language user-centered intranet experience with dynamic content;
  • Developed a set of features and tools that enrich WINet by simplifying processes and providing users the tools to make them more productive;
  • Integrated Microsoft Teams with SharePoint Online, creating a modern workplace and connecting over 1,000 Sogrape employees around the world;
Products used:

How Power BI shaped Olicargo’s global operation

The larger the company, the harder it is to assure everyone is working with the same information.
The Client:

Olicargo is a transport and logistics company with branches in Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, and China, and represented by an international network of over 4.000 offices all over the world. Starting as a modest family business in the late 1980s, Olicargo remained so until 2012 when the newly formed SGM Logistics Group acquired the company and gave it a massive boost. With the introduction of capital, know-how and the “Always moving ahead” philosophy, Olicargo saw its €3M/year business grow to €40M and the small team of 8 employees in Porto and Lisbon jump to a staff of about 250 scattered all over the globe.

The problem:

Olicargo’s international expansion faced a few challenges, chief among them the ability to centralize, access and control information. Much like the company itself, Olicargo‘s data was spread across several countries and systems. Offices worked separately and sent Excel files back and forth between them, a clear sign that the company needed Business Intelligence. After witnessing the work with Power BI DevScope did for Contidis, – an Olicargo partner since day 1 – decision-makers got in touch with our BI team and told us about their need for reliable, readily available information.

The solution:

The Olicargo project started in late 2017, when Ruben Cunha, BI Developer at DevScope, worked on a two-week Proof of Concept (POC) based on data from Excel files relating to cargo handling processes. Olicargo immediately took notice of what Power BI could do for their business and hired Ruben to work with their control and management staff and implement it on site during the following year.

“In two weeks, Power BI gave us what took us months or even years to do. One of DevScope’s advantages is the ability to show results in a short amount of time. It was a display of capacity and potential.”

– Paulo Salgado, CEO at Olicargo

DevScope started by tackling the commercial and operational areas, giving Olicargo a clear vision over their expenses, budgets, sales and margins, processing and customer portfolio. The results were great, and Olicargo decided to expand Power BI to its remaining business areas during the following months, and create detailed Business Intelligence reports for finance, treasury, marketing management, human resources, procurement, warehouse cargo, and fleet management.

Olicargo's Power BI solution architecture
Olicargo’s Power BI solution architecture

Stating that Power BI profoundly altered Olicargo is no understatement. During the process of gathering data to feed these reports, the company took the opportunity to reorganize itself and rethinking many of its internal and external operations.


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Part of DevScope‘s approach when implementing a solution is assuring the client becomes as autonomous as possible using it, so 5 Olicargo staff members were mentored by our team in Power BI solution. It didn’t take them long to become proficient enough to create their reports and dashboards. More importantly, they now fully understand Microsoft’s platform’s capabilities and are identifying new opportunities to add to the company’s reports.

Olicargo Power BI
Olicargo’s staff creates their own reports and identifies new opportunities in Power BI.

Olicargo was also one of DevScope’s first clients to take full advantage of PowerBI Robots, our in-house developed solution that allows users to automate the delivery of Power BI reports and dashboards. Olicargo uses PowerBI Robots internally – to display business indicators in the smart TV’s spread around the company’s HQ –  but, most notably, externally, to regularly and automatically send clients reports of their activity with Olicargo by email. These are not special custom made reports but extracted directly from Olicargo‘s own Power BI, taking full advantage of PowerBI Robots‘ filtering abilities to only show clients the information they need.

Olicargo team using PowerBI Robots
Among other things, Olicargo uses PowerBI Robots to spread operational KPIs around the office.

A little over a year after the project’s kick-off, Power BI has become an integral part of the daily life at Olicargo. The company’s entire operation effectively transitioned to Microsoft‘s platform, and Key Performance Indicators are automatically and continually shared with everyone at Olicargo, be it at the gorgeous container ship-shaped headquarters in northern Portugal or the office in China.

Power BI processes information on a daily basis and sharing Excel files became a thing of the past. So did the many requests between the different areas at Olicargo – everyone is now on the same page and feeding off the same source of information. Gone are the days of sending emails asking how much the company is billing, how much they’re carrying or how many tons of air cargo they’re doing.

Decisions are more educated than ever and backed by the most recent data at hand.

“We broke with the past. Power BI sort of revolutionized the company’s strategic management. It’s now based on Power BI and the information it gives us. I rarely resort to Excel files, and when I do, they’re always connected to Power BI. The whole company is.”

– Paulo Salgado, CEO at Olicargo

What we did:
  • Translated Olicargo’s several business areas to Power BI by creating full-fledged, granular reports of each of them;
  • Mentored Olicargo’s employees in Power BI, effectively making them proficient in the platform;
  • Fully automated internal and external Power BI reports with PowerBI Robots;
Products used:

Do you want to learn more about DevScope’s solutions? Contact us.
Are you a DevScope client and would like to have your case study featured here? Get in touch.

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We’re getting ready for Building the Future. Take a peek.

We’re a week away from the inaugural edition of Building the Future, an Ativar Portugal event powered by Microsoft, that will give attendees a chance to see and experience the technology that will shape everyone’s daily lives in the near future and hopes to be the largest tech showcase in Portugal.

Taking place on the 29th and 30th of January, in the sumptuous Pavilhão Carlos Lopes, in Lisbon, Building the Future‘s main feature will be the aptly named “Intelligent Day” area where companies will demo and display the tech they’re working on with the goal of making everyone’s lives easier. Attendees will have the chance to partake in themed tours, and as one of the event’s sponsors, DevScope will be part of the “Empower People” tour. Our main draw will be SmartDocumentor Expenses, an AI & Machine Learning solution that will rid employees of tedious and time-consuming paper expenses and save companies a tremendous amount of time and money in the process, by making expenses processing and reimbursement as automatic as possible.

Building the Future will also host many sessions featuring some of the visionaries behind the technology. Among them are our Business Intelligence Manager and Data Platform MVP Rui Romano 29th with the session “Modern BI with Microsoft Power BI” on the 29th, and our Data Researcher and AI&ML resident specialist Rui Quintino with “Lean Artificial Intelligence with Deep Learning and AutoML” on the 30th.

If you’re attending Building the Future, make sure you take the time to embark on the “Empower People” tour or attend one of DevScope’s speakers’ sessions to see some of the work we’re doing. You can also drop by our booth at the event and meet the team.

Tickets for Building the Future are still available. Get them here.

PowerBI Tiles Pro

The Calendar Portal that was a game changer for FC Porto

Scheduling is a vital – if often overlooked – aspect of any organization. The right tool can solve one problem, but client input unlocks the potential to make it much more.
The client:

Futebol Clube do Porto (FC Porto) is a Portuguese sports club best known for its professional football team. Currently celebrating its 125th anniversary, FC Porto is part of the “Big Three” teams in Portugal, and the one with the most international success. A regular participant in the UEFA Champions League, FC Porto is ranked 11th on the UEFA club coefficient ranking and is the team with the most appearances in the tournament (21) along with Barcelona and Real Madrid. Aside from football, FC Porto also has active Basketball, Billiards, Boxing, Cycling, Handball, Roller Hockey, Swimming and adapted sports sections.

FC Porto is well-known for its football team. They are the current national reigning champions.
FC Porto is well-known for its football team. They are the national reigning champions.
The problem:

Managing a calendar may sound relatively simple, but things quickly escalate when you have to handle time slots for nine sports sections with several teams each. FC Porto’s Planning & Sports department struggled with such a task on a weekly basis. Their working system involved creating several Excel spreadsheets, converting them to PDF and sending them via email to the club’s many sections to be filled out. To make matters worse, they had to go through the whole process again whenever a game’s schedule changed. Predictably, this intricate process was time-consuming and prone to many problems, so they decided to task Microsoft with the development of a calendar portal designed to manage the club’s many sports sections.

The solution:

Microsoft started working on FC Porto’s Calendar Portal in 2014, but given DevScope’s Gold partner status and our previous work with the club, they eventually tasked us with the project. Things were well underway, but there were some bugs in need of a fix, and a few features to implement. FC Porto wanted the portal to be a tool that made everybody’s job easier, simple enough to be used by anyone, and easily upgradeable.

The Calendar Portal’s panel is split by sports sections. The admin can add new events to the calendar while having a clear vision of the whole schedule to make sure there are no overlapping, conflicting games.

Users can select which sports sections to follow.
Users can select which sports sections to follow.

Users can subscribe to as many calendars as they wish and receive any updates via email. Calendars can also integrate with Outlook with automatic updates.

“The Calendar Portal’s central management system allows all updates to show up on the subscribed calendar, automatically updating the user of any changes. It provided added value to the club, allowing for more fluidity in information sharing between departments, completely achieving our goal.”

– Joana Azevedo, Project Manager at FC Porto


Despite initially designed for Planning & Sports, the Calendar Portal turned out to be a game changer for other departments. Unsurprisingly, FC Porto’s Media & Communications benefited the most from it since they work with several partners, such as TV broadcasters and newspapers that must receive information several days in advance, not to mention the multitude of coverage pieces they must prepare in advance.

The Calendar Portal can create and send PDF files and send them to subscribed media partners.
The Calendar Portal can create and send PDF files and send them to subscribed media partners.

“What took us over an hour, due to spreadsheets and emails everywhere, is now done with a single click.”

– Carlos Vaqueiro, Planning & Sports Organization Manager at FC Porto

Operations also found great value in the portal and, to our surprise, tweaked it to automatically send updates and important information to some crucial professionals they work with. Among others, the department is in charge of car parks, admittance and security at the Estádio do Dragão (Dragon’s Stadium), as well as police officers, firefighters, and medical teams, all of whom must be on top of the latest updates to the games. They plan to complement this with annexed maps of the games’ venues, so these teams have all necessary info to work on their logistics.

To our surprise, admittance at the Estádio do Dragão, Porto's home turf, found great value in the Portal.
To our surprise, admittance at the Estádio do Dragão, Porto’s home turf, found great value in the Portal.

The FC Porto Calendar Portal officially launched during the first week of September 2018 and feedback was overwhelmingly positive. During its two-week launch window, the Planning & Sports Organization team encouraged all departments to send feedback and suggestions to tailor the portal to their needs. Lots of ideas poured in, and work on some of them, such as the mobile version, started right away.

In less than a month, the FC Porto Calendar Portal managed to enroll hundreds of subscribers. A huge push came from the IT department, which placed a shortcut to the platform on everyone’s desktop. Curiosity did the rest and 150 people signed up for a calendar on that day alone.

Users can pick which calendars to subscribe with no trouble.
Users can pick which calendars to subscribe with no trouble.

“It’s easy to work your way around the new Calendar Portal. Even without prior explanation, people find the information they’re looking for, and that’s very important to us.”

– Carlos Vaqueiro, Planning & Sports Organization Manager at FC Porto

During this period, FC Porto noticed the Calendar Portal could be easily turned into a space occupancy platform with a few tweaks and customization. Since all games are already in the portal, training hours is all they need to add to, effectively, create a spaces management portal. Work on it should start soon.

Porto plans to turn the Calendar Portal into a space occupancy platform with some customization.
Porto plans to turn the Calendar Portal into a space occupancy platform with some customization.

“We managed to create a tool that helps us keep up with the different sports sections’ events, allowing us to internally plan and communicate in a more automated and effective way. The solution had a huge adoption rate due to its ease of use and fluidity with which it allows us to provide information to all users, making it indispensable for daily use. We’re equating to share the Portal’s functionalities with the club’s associates and fans in future versions.”

– Vítor Pombo, Information Systems Director at FC Porto

What we did:
  • Developed a calendars management portal to help FC Porto’s Planning & Sports manage the schedule of the club’s dozens of teams;
  • Picked up a work in progress, and delivered it polished, with extra features and plenty of room to evolve;
Products used:

Do you want to learn more about DevScope’s solutions? Contact us.
Are you a DevScope client and would like to have your case study featured here? Get in touch.

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