University of Law - Case Study

By Core Newsroom

The University of Law is a private university in the United Kingdom, providing law degrees, specialist legal training, continuing professional development courses for British barristers and solicitors, and is the United Kingdom's largest law school.

The Requirement

The University of Law needed to configure their existing Dynamics 365 platform to support use by every department within the organisation. This required the creation of a robust and secure case management process that restricted access to specific data, managed queues, assigned cases, tracked correspondence, and enabled valuable reporting. In addition to the technical requirements, the request included a careful onboarding process that ensured users were comfortable with the system and that it met their needs.

The University of Law also required a self-service portal for prospective and current students to access knowledgebase articles and raise cases related to all elements of their interactions with the University. This portal needed to surface data from the Dynamics 365 ‘Dataverse’ in a secure and efficient way, while meeting budget requirements and providing cost-efficiencies.

The deadlines for this project were particularly short, given the impending start to a new academic year.

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The Solution

The project started with an initial discovery workshop, to understand the status of the existing Dynamics 365 platform and the requirements of the University of Law. By identifying the solutions available and the gap between current and future states, a scope of work was produced by Core outlining several phases to be delivered in sequence.

These project phases were:

  • Case management, including the capacity to add new departments from across the University to use Dynamics 365, while ensuring data access was limited to what was required by users to do their job
  • Queue management and assignment of cases to departments/teams
  • Facilitation of performance reporting against Service Level Agreements through reports and dashboards in Dynamics 365
  • A self-service portal for current and prospective students, to create and monitor cases and view knowledge base articles
  • Azure AD B2C configuration, to allow login from personal email, Facebook, and LinkedIn, as well as University identities

Core’s team of Dynamics 365 consultants started work on the underlying Dynamics 365 configuration required to enable all departments in the University of Law to use the platform, while only accessing the data and processes they need to do their job.

Effective queue management and assignment was also configured, to ensure the cases were assigned to appropriate departments.

The University of Law also had several knowledgebase articles and FAQs that they wanted to make accessible to students through a self-service portal. Core stored these knowledgebase articles in the Dataverse, where they could be amended by the University department admins. These articles then surface on the Self-Service Portal.

The self-service portal was required to enable prospective and current students to create cases related to their interactions with the University and monitor the case as it is progressed by the University.

The portal itself was built and deployed in Azure App Service. Power Apps portals was considered as an option initially, but Core was able to recommend Azure App Service as an alternative option. The University of Law felt the licensing model for Azure was more suitable to their requirements and the scale expected in the next few years.

To enable both current and prospective students to login to the portal, Core configured an Azure B2C implementation. Current students can login with their university identity, and prospective students who do not have a university identity are able to login with their Google or Facebook personal identities. Once they log in, a contact record is created in Dynamics 365 so their interactions can still be tracked, and their journey guided.

During the project, the University of Law consented to an extended reactive support agreement with Core, for both their Dynamics 365 platform and the Custom Portal. This demonstrated trust in the relationship with Core and acknowledgment of the value Core’s expertise brought to the ongoing development and success of the University’s technology roadmap.

“Over the years, Core and the University of Law have built a strong relationship based on trust, expertise and knowledge. Core has always listened to and addressed our specific needs, before tailoring a specific and precise solution, whether that be delivering a successful SharePoint Online project, or when approached for some guidance or advice around Dynamics 365 licensing. We very much look forward to collaborating on future projects with Core.”
Tom Brady,
Chief Information Officer, University of Law

The Challenges

The University had an existing Dynamics 365 solution in place. Though there was some internal knowledge of the product, the University needed to acquire the help and expertise of an organisation like Core, to work with teams across the organisation to design and implement systems which met organisation and user requirements, overcame blockers, ensured cost efficiency and security, and could be achieved within short timescales.

During the delivery of this project, new requirements were added, and some existing requirements were amended, or removed. Given the pace of the project and the fixed deadlines, this created some challenges in tracking the changing requirements of multiple departments. However, thanks to a strong relationship and trust which had been built both during previous projects and this one, the University and Core worked together to manage this appropriately.

Results

The successful delivery of Core’s solution enabled the capability to onboard all University departments to use Dynamics 365 in their day-to-day roles and responsibilities.

A secure, reliable, and scalable self-service portal was fully functional for current and prospective students, hosted in Microsoft Azure App Service, and which reads and writes data directly from the Dataverse.

A strong relationship was established between the University and Core, for ongoing support and extended capability to continue maximising the value created from the University's investment in Microsoft solutions including Dynamics 365 and Azure.

Why Core

Core had previously delivered a SharePoint Online project for the University which was highly successful and was well-received within the institution. A year later, Core was asked to provide some advice and guidance around Dynamics 365 licensing, which proved to be useful and demonstrated awareness of the components of Dynamics 365 and how they can be leveraged alongside other Microsoft 365 investments. This led to several project phases involving Dynamics 365 and Azure, as well as trust being established in Core providing long-term support for the solutions put in place.

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