Envisioning Solution using the K-12 Accelerator - Part 1 - What is it and Conceptual Diagram

Microsoft released the Power Platform & Dynamics 365 K-12 Industry Accelerator in June 2020. 

K–12, from kindergarten to 12th grade, is an American expression that indicates the range of years of supported primary and secondary education.

Blog post on the official launch of the K-12 Accelerator by Microsoft.

The Industry Accelerators are solutions that you install on your Power Platform environment. They extend the Common Data Model with specific entities, processes, apps, etc. This provides a great head start for companies and partners implementing Dynamics 365 in those industries.


“With the K-12 component, schools can optimize student success through understanding data about the student journey. When the accelerator is installed, the experience is transformed into one specifically built for K-12 schools and one that allows schools to quickly build Power Apps and Power BI visualizations.”

Components:


The solution components are described under:

From my point of view, the main parts of the accelerator are of the K-12 entities and relationships that extend the Common Data Model. Microsoft is working closely with representatives from various industries to make Common Data Model more relevant to them.

If you install the accelerator on a blank Environment and are exploring it on its own, you will probably miss the full value of this accelerator.

However, when you combine the Accelerator with other great Apps available within the Power Platform and Dynamics 365, you then get a powerful platform where K-12 Education institutions can streamline their processes.

It is important to understand that the Accelerators are not ready-made solutions that you can just install and directly use in a Production Environment. The Accelerators provide a great head start for companies and partners to build their own IP and extend Dynamics 365 in those industries.

Conceptual Diagram

The diagram describes the main functionalities of the Accelerator and how features relate to one-another. Using such a diagram helps foster a shared understanding of the high-level features of your Power Platform / Dynamics 365 solutions.

The below diagram is my interpretation of how the K-12 Accelerator would fit within a Customer Services Dynamics 365 / Power Platform environment.

Link to the Interactive and Editable Conceptual Diagram: https://bit.ly/K-12Conceptual

How to use the Diagram:

Layers: You can use the layer functionality to display various level of details on the diagram.  
Tooltips: A tooltip with description is available when you “hover” over an item.  

Edit the diagram: You can create a copy and edit the diagram by clicking on the edit icon.  


Capabilities explained:

  • Searching & Reporting: Searching and Reporting: Standard functionalities for searching and reporting on your K-12 Education solution include: Quick Search, Global Search, Dashboard and Chart. You can extend your reporting and analytics capabilities by leveraging Power BI.
  • User Interface: Represent the various ways a user interacts with your K-12 Solution. The Unified Interface uses responsive web design principles to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience for any screen size, device, or orientation. The Unified Interface is available when using mobile browsers, Outlook, or Teams.
  • Cases help efficiently manage enquiries from students, parents, staff, etc. Cases can be generated from various sources such as face to face communication, telephone, email, webform, chats. SLA are used to track KPI on how fast you respond to a student or successfully resolve a case.
  • Knowledge Articles give you a central repository to store procedures and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that are searchable within Dynamics 365 and the Student Portal.
  • Student Portal let the student manage assignments, view attendances, or apply for a scholarship or an internship. The portal can be extended to allow students to manage their enquiries, consult FAQ or chat with a bot or a human agent.
  • Virtual Agent provides chatbot functionalities that can be embedded on your main website and the student portal. Students or Parents can ask the bot questions where the answers can be retrieved from the knowledge articles stored in Dynamics 365. If the bot is not capable of responding to a specific question, the student can be redirected to chat with a human agent or has the option to create a case. The case is then assigned to a qualified agent for resolution.
  • Forms & Surveys can be hosted on a website or the Student Portal to register attendance to events. You can also gather feedback using surveys to measure client satisfaction on case completion or course delivery. 
In following articles, I will be covering:
  • The K-12 Accelerator within a Customer Service Scenario.
  • Dissecting the K-12 Accelerator data model.
  • Extending the K-12 Accelerator with your own IP.