How to Build Accreditation and Association Management Solutions with Microsoft 365 Power Platform

Key Functions of Accreditation

If you’re a head of IT at an accreditor, association, or even a nonprofit organization, you know that managing members, programs, applications, and processes efficiently is crucial. And where a scalable, secure, and cost-effective solution becomes essential.

Yet, in our experience as a Microsoft partner and enabler in the accreditation and association space, we’ve observed a significant challenge with off-the-shelf solutions for association management and accreditation.

Typically, these solutions often fail to be a one-size-fits-all answer, lacking in functionality while carrying a high price tag. Organizations frequently find themselves trapped in a cycle of extensive development and maintenance costs, struggling to bring the solutions to full production even years later. This often leads to the reliance on inefficient, manual processes like using Excel spreadsheets for tracking and reporting.

However, there’s a shift towards a more effective approach with the Microsoft 365 Power Platform. This platform offers a scalable and secure solution, enabling the creation of full-service solutions for accreditation and association management in the cloud.

With its extensibility options, the Power Platform allows for the development of Model Driven apps and Power Pages, which help in streamlining tasks across various roles within an organization.

Providing a cohesive system, even when integrating data from different sources, the use of low-code or no-code tools simplifies these integrations, allowing for efficient business process automation and data synchronization or migration into a unified system.

The key advantage here is the cost-effectiveness and ease of making changes without extensive coding, revolutionizing how organizations can manage their accreditation and association needs.

Understanding the Microsoft 365 Power Platform

If you’re not yet using the Microsoft 365 Power Platform it can be a game-changer for your organization, enabling you to create a customized accreditation solution without the complexities of coding or exorbitant costs of an off-the-shelf solution. The Power Platform, a robust suite within the Microsoft Cloud ecosystem, is designed to work seamlessly with Microsoft 365, Azure, and a wide range of third-party apps. It is a powerhouse consisting of:

Dataverse: Think of it as the Salesforce for Microsoft. The backbone of Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, the Dataverse allows for secure, compliant data management. It offers pre-built tables for common scenarios (accounts, contacts, invoices, etc.) and the flexibility to add custom tables tailored to your specific needs. Imagine effortlessly managing member information, renewal dates, and other crucial data, all built-in by default.

Model-Driven Apps: These apps let you build user interfaces and business logic around your data model. With intuitive drag and drop design tools, you can create forms, views, charts, dashboards and workflows that align perfectly with your operational needs. You can also use AI features such as Copilot to enhance your app with smart suggestions and insights.

Power Pages: Create responsive web pages to engage external users such as your members, volunteers, evaluators etc. These pages, integrated with your Dataverse and apps, offer a them a secure, self-service portal for applications, renewals, assessments and more.

Power Automate: Microsoft’s enterprise workflow engine, this allows you to automate your tasks and workflows across your data and apps. You can use low-code or no-code tools to create triggers, actions, and conditions that run in the background or on demand. You can also use connectors to integrate with other systems, such as QuickBooks, Salesforce, Outlook, Teams, etc.

Getting Started with Microsoft 365 Power Platform

If you’re already using Microsoft 365, you’re perfectly positioned to leverage the Power Platform. Nonprofits can benefit from Microsoft’s generous discounts, making the transition both affordable and straightforward. Check your eligibility and explore the benefits here.

With your licenses in hand, you can dive into the Power Platform tools via various portals (Power Apps Maker, Power Automate, and Power BI) for a comprehensive solution-building experience.

Real-World Success Stories

To illustrate the platform’s versatility, here are a couple of case studies:

Nursing Accreditation Solution: We built a comprehensive accreditation system managing over 1,000 nursing programs in the US, featuring model-driven apps, Power Pages portals, automated workflows, and insightful Power BI dashboards.

The accreditation solution allows staff to manage all the applications, site visits, committees, reviews, and decisions. It includes a Power Pages portal for the programmes to submit their applications, self-assessments, annual reports, and payments.

Using Power Automate flows we automated letter generation, email notifications, and invoice creation. Plus, staff can monitor the accreditation status, performance, and trends of the programmes using Power BI reports and dashboards.

Association Management Solution: We’ve built several accreditation solutions to enable associations to manage memberships, events, and certifications, incorporating model-driven apps, member portals, automated marketing, and analytical reporting.

The solutions allow the associations’ staff to manage the member accounts, contacts, opportunities, invoices, and cases. Using Power Pages portal, members can update their profile, renew their membership, register for events, access their education and certification records, and make payments.

With Power Automate flows we’ve automated email marketing, event reminders, invoice reminders, and certificate generation. Plus, staff can also track membership growth, retention, revenue, and engagement stats using Power BI.

These examples highlight just a fraction of what’s possible with the Power Platform, offering customizable solutions for unique organizational needs.

Why Choose the Power Platform?

The Power Platform is more than a tool; it’s a gateway to efficient data management, user interface creation, task automation, and deep analytics, all within the Microsoft Cloud ecosystem. It’s accessible to non-tech professionals, with plenty of learning resources and templates available.

Partner with Cloudwell

At Cloudwell, we pride ourselves on being a leading Microsoft partner, offering innovative solutions for accreditation, association, and nonprofit organizations. With over three decades of experience in Microsoft technologies, we’re ready to assist you on your Power Platform journey.

Interested in exploring how the Power Platform can revolutionize your accreditation processes? Get in touch with us and let’s transform your organization’s capabilities together.