- Public Sector
- MS Dynamics
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Freshworks modernized the K-12 Next Generation network for the BC Ministry of Education with Microsoft Dynamics. The new system is servicing over 1,600 public schools across British Columbia.
This Next Generation Network Business Automation project, was the first agile project for the BC Ministry of Education and was completed within only 11 weeks. The solution involved implementing business management processes in Microsoft Dynamics and integrating multiple school and vendor data sources into a structured and coherent data set.
FreshWorks Studio partnered with ITK Consulting to create a customized solution for the BC Ministry of Education — which became the first online Dynamics 365 case management solution in the B.C. Government.
The BC Ministry of Education oversees the school system in British Columbia. The K – 12 Next Generation Network (K12NGN) is a large network providing connectivity and security services to over 1,600 BC public schools grouped in 60 school districts with over 20 contracts.
The delivery of the services is carried out through a group of vendors that are contracted by the Province. Previously, the K12NGN team managed all service requests, change orders, and incidents for all public schools through mostly manual processes. Not only were these processes very time consuming, but they also mostly took place in disconnected spreadsheets and documents that were updated in one place but not everywhere leading to out-of-date and inaccurate data.
The Ministry of Education published their request for proposals through the BC Dev Exchange on December 21, 2018. The BC Dev Exchange is a way for tech companies to work closely and efficiently with the BC Government. FreshWorks Studio was awarded the contract through the Sprint With Us procurement process in January and began the modernization of the K12NGN ecosystem in February of 2019.
The solution uses its own Azure cloud instance instead of OpenShift and has been very well received by the Province so far. Now, all data is connected through Microsoft Dynamics and the system sends out generated activities and in-app notifications, as well as provide analytics, reporting, and keep track of the history of changes.
They really quickly understood our business dynamic, almost to the point where I could have hired any of them to run some of our process.
Director, Next Generation Network
The project was divided into three phases:
- Proof of Concept
Phase 1: Discovery
During the first stage, the discovery phase of the project, our teams gathered requirements and created user stories. Establishing an understanding of what the end user expects to be able to do with the final product is crucial in developing a successful application. With the user stories in place, a backlog of tasks was created and priorities were set. This phase lasted one week and involved all team members on both sides.
Phase 2: Proof of Concept
During the second stage of the project, the team went about delivering value to the Ministry of Education with each sprint. In the first two sprints, the FreshWorks team created dev and test environments in the cloud (Azure) and developed the core entities and management screens. The goal was to validate that the fundamental concepts were correct and that the technology choices were sound.
Previously, the K12NGN team had been working with the legacy system for many years and the replacement of it required a detailed understanding of how each user navigated the system. User stories became very helpful in guiding the design team towards the best design options for the dashboard. This phase was completed within four weeks.
Phase 3: Implementation
Once the foundation was laid and deemed workable by the Ministry, the team spent the final six weeks developing complex business workflows in Microsoft Dynamics that streamline the Ministry’s operations and facilitate collaborative processes.
Microsoft Dynamics is a good way to develop things quickly. We only had 11 weeks and were able to develop so much. If this project was done from scratch it would have easily taken at least 5 x as long.
Leader of Software Development
The team was proud to showcase how much quicker an online Dynamics environment is to setup and configure compared to a similarly sized on-premise system. The solution has allowed the Ministry to reduce their use of excel spreadsheets to track information — resulting in reduced data entry. Other positive business outcomes of the digitization and workflow improvements include:
The K12NGN app was built using the cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
They were very accommodating, flexible, and adaptable.
"Now, many internal processes are more efficient. FreshWorks excelled at using an agile methodology, communicating consistently and rapidly adjusting to feedback. A client-oriented team, they went above and beyond to provide training, navigate hurdles, and quickly acquire internal knowledge."