How Microsoft Power Apps Partner Portal template helps you manage Partner relationships

Partner Portals Blog Image 2

Microsoft provides multiple templates for deploying Power Apps Web Portals to cover scenarios for customers, communities and employees. In this blog we'll cover the basics of its Partner template to highlight the main features and the benefits this offers.

As implied, this portal template is designed to increase engagement with external partners, such as resellers, distributors and suppliers by enabling all parties to securely share data. This allows partners to become more involved in the sales cycle and helps improve the handling of these processes.

Partner Portal Template - Features and Processes

Partner Registration

Use the Portal to sign-up new partner accounts, by completing required detail such as name, contact information, geographic area covered and any other elements such as the type of clients they have and their competencies.

Submitting a form (as shown below) will produce an application record in Dynamics 365. This tracks the date the application was made, the status of the application i.e. submitted, reviewed, approved, and the organisation/contact details filled in by the Partner. As the application goes through each stage, prospective partners can see the current status of their application.

Partner Portals Register

Using a prebuilt workflow in the system, end-users can approve or reject an application. This will automatically update the application status in Dynamics, push it through to the Portal and assigned a web role to the individual contact who created the application. Once approved and assigned a web role, portal users can access different functions including case management, opportunities management and creating a customer. Through web roles, administrators are able to precisely define what portal users can and cannot see, for example if a new case can be created.

Users in Dynamics can create and use different views in the Contacts Table/Entity, such as "Rejected Partner Applications" and "Partners Registered in the Past 30 Days" to ensure clear visibility of posted forms and keep on top of these applications.

Customer Accounts and Contacts Management

Clicking into the Customers tab, allows portal users to access Customer Accounts, and create new ones which will automatically be added to the Dataverse and create a Managed Account record in Dynamics under the Partner record.

Partner Portals Create Customer

This also works in reverse, so if a Dynamics user added a Managed Account to associated with a Partner, portal users for this organisation will see the new Account listed in their Customer Accounts tab. The same applies for Customer Contacts, which can be created in Dynamics, or in the portal by Partners. Alternatively, Contacts associated with Customer Accounts can also be pulled through.

Support and Case Management

Partners can also seek support through the portal using Forums and Knowledge Articles to find answers and resolve issues without needing direct contact with your organisation. The template also includes capabilities for partners to submit support tickets via the portal by completing a form which is integrated with Dynamics 365 cases and tracked to the Partner record.

Opportunities Management

The Partner Portal template supports two types of Opportunities: Distributed Opportunities (which you have shared with a Partner) and Managed Opportunities (which a Partner is handling for you). This approach increases visibility of active deals between both parties and simplifies the communication of new and updated opportunities.

Distributed Opportunities can be manually assigned in Dynamics by adding a Partner to the Opportunity that will push this into the Portal to be reviewed by the partner so they can accept or decline. The Opportunity detail available to partners using the portal is determined by the shared data fields which are defined at admin level.

However, Distributed Opportunities can also be allocated automatically through workflows. In these scenarios, Dynamics 365 users can go to an Opportunity record and click "Ready for Distribution" and the background logic and workflows will assess the required criteria and share the Opportunities with one, or more, matching partners. Defined criteria can include capacity, estimated opportunity value, lead type, geographical distance, win rate and associated products/services, all of which is tracked the Partner record (below).

Partner Portals Automated Opportunity Distribution

Considering a Partner Portal?

Power Apps Partner Portals are a great way to create more efficient processes, better support partners and grow these relationships. The Partner Portal template includes prebuilt features and processes to handle frequent usage needs which simplifies set-up and minimises build cost. As part of this deployment, Preact can help you adjust and configure portal settings to fit your precise needs.

For high usage requirements and/or highly customised requirements, Custom Azure Portals are an increasingly popular choice offering greater design flexibility in design and potentially lower longer-term licensing costs.

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