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Driving Employee Training Using Microsoft Power Platform

How do you enable a line of business with  4000+ employees, across multiple geographic locations, to attend a mandatory in-person training event closest to their location, with a limit of 150 attendees per session and a target completion of 12 weeks?  Microsoft BAG (Business Applications Group) Operations team used Power Apps Portals from the Microsoft Power Platform to quickly and painlessly enable employees to register, manage, and complete the mandatory training.

 

WHY POWER PLATFORM?

The format and conversational nature of this training meant it could only be effectively delivered to subsets of employees at a time. The short timeline between kickoff and target completion (12 weeks) led to an immediate requirement to offer a way for users to see the list of session offerings and be able to register for a session that fit their schedule as well as their location. We wanted to have an automated solution that:

  • Allowed session administrators to create and schedule events
  • Provided a User Interface (UI) for users to quickly register for an event
  • Was easy to manage, deploy, and maintain
  • Could be built fast with minimal customizations

We turned to Power Apps Portals and Dynamics 365 Marketing application to build our training registration portal as it provided us the out-of-box capability we needed to quickly build a scalable and agile solution.

The end-to-end solution took 4-5 days to implement, test and deploy. We initially launched the portal solution with 25 sessions opening registration to 3000+ employees based in Redmond/Bellevue Washington locations.

Within a week, after resounding interest from other teams to use the training registration portal solution, we were able to expand the solution to onboard 8 additional teams, and have managed registrations for 450+ events, including virtual sessions reaching out to an audience of approximately 20,000+ users across various geographic locations.

POWER PLATFORM SOLUTION

The training registration solution comprises of the following components.

Training registration portal – Built using Power Apps Portals with custom web template using liquid language as portal back-end as well as JavaScript and Bootstrap to render event data and provide an easy to use end user registration experience.

Power Apps and Common Data Service –Storage for all our events related data and a model-driven app for event training managers.

Training events admin portal console – Built using Power Apps Portals to provide event training managers ability to create and edit events, download list 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.

Power BI dashboard – Used Common Data Service connector to extract event session related data. This helped us with the reporting aspect of driving the sessions. The Power BI dashboard gave us a quick look at the registration counts and other session details instantly.

Training Registration Portal
Training Registration Portal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMPACT AND BENEFITS

Some of the key benefits and impact of the Power Platform solution are as follows:

  • Quick turnaround: Power Platform solution for training events was built and deployed in a very short amount of time (4-5 days).
  • Ease of rollout: With Azure Active Directory (AAD) integration, we enabled single sign-on registration experience and were able to easily and quickly rollout the registration tool to several thousand employees.
  • Shareability: With very few updates to the tool after initial launch, we were able to onboard several other teams across the company so they could leverage the solution to manage sessions and registrations for their teams training requirements.
  • Scalable and Agile: The Training Registration Portal managed registrations for 20,000+ employees across 450+ events including support for virtual sessions.

SOLUTION ARCHITECTURE

Solution Architecture
Solution Architecture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOOKING AHEAD

The training registration portal solution was a resounding success, and we plan to enhance the portal to extend its use beyond the current training scenarios.