How Microsoft Business Applications Group Drives Employee Training Using Dynamics 365 & Power Platform
Every organization has growing needs for year-round internal employee training. The Microsoft Business Applications Group (BAG) Operations team used Dynamics 365 and Power Apps Portals to build an Employee Training Registration solution that enables employees to find, register, manage, and complete various internal trainings offered by different organizations.
A simple solution was initially built to enable a line of business with 4000+ employees, across multiple geographic locations, to attend a mandatory in-person training event closest to their location within a short period of time. As the solution grew in popularity across multiple organizations, we saw the opportunity to extend the solution and make it capable of supporting more complex requirements including single and multi-day
Before Power Platform/Dynamics 365 – Business process, challenges, and opportunities
Before this solution we registered employees for training events using Excel sign-up sheets and manually sending out calendar invites.
The key challenges with this approach were:
- Manual and time consuming – Manually tracking all aspects of a training, and doing it multiple times for recurring events, requires a lot of manual effort and is extremely time consuming.
- Tracking and reporting – Without a centralized process, tracking and reporting the registration and attendance of training events can quickly become challenging.
- No Options for Trainees – Trainees do not have a way to choose an event offering based on a date/time that is convenient for them. In situations where there are multiple choices available, trainees end up receiving multiple calendar invites for all options and they accept/decline as they see fit.
These challenges created the following opportunities:
- Provide a digitized process for event creation and management.
- Allow multiple people to easily collaborate and manage the event.
- Easily track registrations and cancellations.
- Provide a Portal to allow trainees to easily find and register for events.
Power Platform Solution
Power Platform provided us the flexibility and agility we needed to solve the above challenges. We turned to Power Apps Portals and the Dynamics 365 Marketing application to build our solution, because it provided us the out-of-the-box capability we needed to quickly build a scalable and agile
- Allows session administrators to:
- Create and schedule single and multi-day events.
- Choose from on site, online or hybrid events.
- Specify notification preferences.
- Customize email templates.
- Use “Save As” to replicate events.
- Provides a User Interface (UI) for users to find events of interest, get all the details and quickly register for an event.
- Is easy to manage, deploy, and maintain.
The solution comprises the following components.
Microsoft Dataverse –Storage for all our events-related data and a model-driven app for event managers .
Training events admin app – Model-driven app to provide event managers the ability to create and edit events, download lists of attendees, and update their events.
Dynamics 365 Marketing application – Events module and events API (API endpoint built on top of Power Apps Portals) for event creation and registration.
Power Automate – We used flows in Power Automate to send registration confirmations with calendar invitations. Additionally, we leveraged Power Automate to send event updates, reminders, and follow-ups.
Impact And Benefits
Some of the key benefits and impact of the Power Platform solution are as follows:
- Quick turnaround: Power Platform enabled us to build and deploy the solution in a short amount of time.
- Ease of rollout: With Azure Active Directory (AAD) integration, we enabled single sign-on registration experience and can easily and quickly rollout the registration tool to several thousand employees.
- Scalable and agile: The Trainings App can manage hundreds of events and registrations for thousands of employees.
We have successfully taken our initial simple training registration solution and extended it to support several key scenarios. We are continually onboarding teams and their events and plan to expand our user base across the company.