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I’m excited to share that Microsoft is delivering a Dynamics 365 and Power Platform Accelerator for Higher Education for the first time. The solution design is a culmination of conversations we’ve had with higher education customers. We want schools with little or no experience with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform and those already familiar with the platform to accelerate an education-specific build to rapidly deploy a relevant and robust industry template.
Once a school has procured an instance of Dynamics 365, they can install the Higher Education Accelerator/solution into that instance. This will transform a commercial look/feel experience into one specifically built for higher education as well as enabling schools to quickly build PowerApps and Power BI visualizations. The solution includes entities, fields, forms, views, and dashboards. Higher education institutions can utilize the Accelerator to build their business processes on top of the entities that are provided within the design.
In today’s blog, we want to review the contents of the first version of the Higher Education Accelerator. The design is very student-focused and provides a way to have a single view into a vast amount of details about the student.
The free downloadable package provides the baseline entities necessary to build your unique processes upon. The Dynamics Higher Education Accelerator contains:
Expand and grow across the campus
Use as many of these higher education entities that you desire in your unique business processes and you’re free to add your own custom entities as well. A major strength of Dynamics 365 and the Power platform is the platform allows you to configure and customize the experience to match the specific requirements of your school. Entity forms can be edited to maximize how users perform their jobs at your school.
You can grow into various departments within your school with Dynamics 365 including recruitment, student services, student success, career services, alumni management, and more. Many schools begin deploying in one facet of their business and then eventually desire to deploy Dynamics 365 campus wide.
Partner solutions can be layered into the design that provide deep, targeted features based on best practices of their customer base and industry knowledge. There may be times when you’ll want to license capabilities versus building yourself and AppSource is a great way to exploit the power of Dynamics 365 and the Power platform. Having a published model from Microsoft allows for better collaboration between customers, designers, and partners.
Entities within the solution
The Dynamics 365 Higher Education Accelerator delivers a host of entities that will allow you to blue print the previous history academic history of the student and as well as where they sit today regarding accomplishing their objectives.
The following entities that are a part of the first version of the Dynamics 365 Higher Education Accelerator:
Seamless Flow of information into Dynamics
The Accelerator contains a wealth of entities that will allow your organization to establish Dynamics 365 records that mirror those found in your back-end LMS and SIS systems. Using the Common Data Service, you can easily pass strategic data into the Dynamics 365 student record. No more hunting for data across various applications open on the desktop. Let the Dynamics 365 Student record be the record of truth and engage through Dynamics 365 to deliver the best support for the student. This ability to infuse strategic data into Dynamics 365 makes for robust records and saves time form having to hunt into an array of other enterprise applications to source data.
Deep Dive of Entities
A major focus of the initial version of the Accelerator is delivering a robust student record that blends the capability of core Dynamics 365 with data stored in the custom Higher Education entities of the Accelerator. The Contact entity serves as the perfect entity to model the student.
The Student record provides a vast array of out-of-box fields, custom fields unique to the Accelerator as well as sub-GRIDs that taken together provide a single view of detailed data regarding the student:
Course History record
This Entity is typically populated via an integration to back-end applications via use of the Common Data Service the Accelerator is optimized for.
In this record, you can capture:
The Account record has been customized to accommodate both High Schools and other Higher Education institutions. These Accounts are vital parts of the database as they represent where inbound students have previously studied prior to arriving at your institution.
I encourage you to register and download the Dynamics 365 Higher Education Accelerator. We want to build a community around customers and partners that want collaborate and continue to improve upon the design of the Accelerator. I’m looking forward myself to building on top of the first version of the Accelerator and prototyping a host of processes I’m working through with customers.
There are plans by Microsoft for future releases as well as additional content being authored based on this accelerator design by our strong partner channel. We look forward to continued conversations with schools about their unique business processes and about how Dynamics 365 and all of Microsoft’s technologies can transform your organization.
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