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International Crisis Accommodation Portal in Support of Ukraine

International Crisis Accommodation Portal in Support of Ukraine

Summary

As a result of the war in Ukraine, a large number of refugees are landing in Ireland. The Irish Red Cross has taken the initiative to ask for Pledges from the Irish Public for assistance in housing these refugees on a voluntary basis. TEKenable received an emergency request for assistance from the Irish Red Cross via Microsoft Ireland to help provide them with systems to manage the crisis pro bono. The purpose of this solution was to aid various data collection processes undertaken by the Irish Red Cross with the help of the Irish Army and Auctioneers Association during this crisis.

We delivered a Power Apps Portal for collection of accommodation assessment data from 3rd parties like Auctioneers Association members from across Ireland. In addition, a Model Driven Power App was created for the Irish Red Cross and partner agencies to process the accommodation approvals and suitability data collected via the Portal. Both apps were delivered within 3 working days from receiving the request to deploying the apps to Production environments.

Scope of Project

The Irish Red Cross has received tens of thousands of pledges for Vacant and Shared Property from the Irish Public to help them house incoming refugees from Ukraine. The Irish Red Cross required a system that allows them to assess the conditions and suitability of each pledged property before they matched refugee families to these properties.

The Irish Army offered to work with the Auctioneers Association across the country to help with the assessment of these pledged properties. The Irish Army call centre organised appointments for the members of the Auctioneers Association to visit each of the properties and complete a property assessment form.

The property assessment forms were required to be available via a responsive (mobile device friendly) web portal or app that would allow submission of the data to the Irish Red Cross. 

The Irish Red Cross needed the ability to process this data in a back-office app with the ability to see all the submitted records and publish the data via excel for sharing with their partner agencies and Irish Government Departments as well as to provide statistical analysis for Government Ministers. They also needed to categorise the data easily so they could easily identify Vacant or Shared Properties suitable for specific family sizes or disabled friendly etc.

TEKenable Contribution

After an initial few meeting’s between the Irish Red Cross, Microsoft and TEKenable senior leadership it was agreed that TEKenable would receive a format for each of the different forms required for Vacant Property Assessment and Shared Property Assessment from the Irish Red Cross.  In practise due to the pressure placed on the Red Cross TEKenable was required to have more autonomy of decision making that would be usual for a non-crisis project.

TEKenable would than undertake the delivery of the online forms via Power Apps Portal and Model Driven App. TEKenable provisioned a new Irish Red Cross Emergency Tenant for hosting the apps.

Power Automate

We provisioned multiple Environments and Portals and configured Azure DevOps Pipelines to manage the ALM. TEKenable stood up a team of Power Platform consultants to help deliver the required solutions.

The Email Campaign was set up using the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing module. It allowed the IRC to have full visibility of the customer journey, from tracking the initial reminder pledge email that was sent, to viewing which people hadn’t opened the email or overlooked clicking on the pledge link and following up with them accordingly.

This information was crucial to the IRC in understanding the number of people who were still interested in pledging a property and allowed them to confirm the statistics with the government.

Outcome

The Irish Red Cross and TEKenable reviewed the solution demo, and we found the customer satisfied with the Power apps implementation despite the challenging timelines and fluid context. TEKenable provided the Power Apps Portal URLs for the Auctioneers Association members to directly access and start submitting their Property Assessments from their mobile devices.

Data is already being received into Dataverse from the portal and the Irish Red Cross have started matching and sharing extracts of the Dataverse data using the Power Apps Excel Export features. 

The users had never used Power Apps previously and were given minimal training and Microsoft Docs article URLs to help them Login, navigate a Model Driven App, use Views and export data to excel so their success is a testimony to the intuitive nature of the platform. 

Technology Used

Power Platform Dataverse – Power App – Model Driven

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