To understand Dynamics 365 higher education accelerator, we need to understand the different higher education personas, their involvement in the process, and how they interact with Dynamics 365 as a CRM system.
For more information on how to set up Dynamics 365 higher education accelerator in our previous post and for more details on the accelerator from Microsoft, please check Microsoft documentation about the accelerator.
Higher Education industry-specific accelerator
I believe in our analysis of Higher Education personas and the Dynamics 365 industry accelerator built for them, we are required to understand the industry-specific accelerator and why it is essential.
The first question that comes to mind is what does industry-specific accelerator means? Answering this question is not hard, especially if you implemented Dynamics 365 in different industry verticals. In many cases, there is a similarity in competing businesses in the same industry or vertical. Therefore, industry experts are the best to lead the guidelines of the CRM functionality for this industry.
And this is exactly what Microsoft has done; They used industry experts to model the basic functionality needed to accelerate or speed up the implementation process.
There are some other accelerators that Microsoft built for Dynamics, such as Automotive, Healthcare, Media and entertainment, Nonprofit, Telecommunications and Education, including higher education that we are discussing in this post. For more information on the industry-specific accelerators, check Microsoft documentation.
Higher Education Accelerator
After understanding the meaning and the need for the industry-specific accelerator, we will explore Dynamics 365 Higher Education explorer.
As we mentioned, each industry is unique, and significantly, higher education has its requirements, either for universities or community colleges. To gather this requirement, industry experts were involved in highlighting the individual business needs that have to be met when building a CRM for this vertical.
As the education experts were lining up the best practices for Dynamics 365, it was essential to define the higher education personas using the system.
This is why I believe that to understand the Higher Education Accelerator; we need to be seeing the system from each persona’s perspective.
Higher Education personas
Four personas can interact with the higher education accelerator based on my research. The four personas are students, staff, faculties and business partners.
Each persona can access the system directly or through a portal or an app. The accelerator also comes with several dashboards for each persona, and we will discuss those dashboards in future posts.
I don’t think I need to define what a student is, as I might need to explain the other four from the accelerator’s perspective.
As a university or a college student, he can access his information through the portal. Among many other services that the student can do on the portal, they can also file requests or communicate with their advisor.
The school coordinators and administrators can assist the students, reviewing and updating their data. The school staff can also check other data concerning business partners.
Through Dynamics 365, they can view and update courses and instructors information to support the process.
One of the higher education personas is the faculty members, who are the teaching professors of a college or a university.
Through the higher education accelerator, faculty members can update and review students, grants or courses directly from Dynamics 365.
The accelerator allows the faculty to access the system from an app to review student grant applications.
The last higher education persona is business partners, who are simply the external party involved with the education process.
Those parties are, for example, the grants doners.