We all know in Energy that we spend countless hours sending information back and forth between our team members, as well as our service providers and customers. Whether that is between two wholesale trading counterparties, or between an energy retailer and energy customer.
At Utilidex we wanted to make this part of your life a lot easier. That’s why we called the product the Hub, and set upon a journey to make sure important information could be accessed by those that needed it.
But we also know that security, and user management is critical. And it’s important to make sure only those that have the right security and permissions can access the data. And most importantly you have control.
Role based management
Firstly, the Hub uses Role Based security, in that every user must be assigned to a role. The roles available depend on what you are using the Hub for. For instance, if you are an energy trader, you may have roles for trading, and if you are operating as a consumer, you may have roles for your internal teams, as well as your service providers.
You can see what roles are available with your subscription in the following screen. You’ll note that some roles have access to certain screens and others do not:-
Important: - you’ll note at the bottom of the page, is the Excel access. You can elect whether certain roles have access to the Excel Addin, or whether you wish to switch this off. What data a user can access in the addin is determined by what modules, you grant access to. For instance, if a user has access to meter data only, they will only see the meter data tabs, and not site data and trades etc.
Setting up new users
Once you are happy with the roles that you have, and also what access privileges they have, you can commence setting up users. We’d recommend that you have 1-2 admin roles within your organisations, as these will be the people, who can set-up new users in the future, reset passwords and control your company’s subscriptions.
In order to set-up a new user, simply go to the screen below and enter the user’s details, and assign them to a role
Managing users and password settings
Once your users are set-up. They will then appear in the “Manage Users” section
There are several key settings here, which are important for the Admin users of the system:-
Managing Password Resets
Users can manage their password reset settings, by clicking on the pencil icon to the right of Action
This allows the admin user the ability to set when the password will be reset, and also whether users can reset passwords themselves. By default, we do not allow users to reset their own passwords.
IMPORTANT: - Utilidex ONLY allows users to reset their own passwords, if Multi-factor authentication is enabled. This is a security feature, which prohibits other people from being able to reset passwords that do not have either your company’s IP address or access to your user’s phones. We have purposefully put this security feature in, as we want to really ensure that it’s you and your users that are requesting password resets.
Most secure systems these days, include the option for multi-factor authentication. In some cases, such as in banking services, the standard is enforced. In short, this is another way to identify you as a user of the system, over and above the standard username and password check.
Within Utilidex, we support two types of multi-factor authentication. Firstly, we support IP Whitelisting and we also support Microsoft’s standard Multi-factor Check, of sending a code direct to your user’s mobile phone.
You can activate the Multi-factor authentication either at a User Level, or at a Group Level, by either clicking the pencil on the right hand side of the Multi-factor icon, or selecting each user in turn and activating individually.
Once Multi-factor is activated, you will be able to update your user’s phone numbers, plus also enter (if you wish) the IP addresses of your offices that you will be accessing the system from.
The below screen, shows the IP Whitelisting screen, with the necessary details to complete.
When multi-factor is activated, the system will first authenticate via IP address. If the user is coming in from a whitelisted address, they will be prompted as normal for their username and password only.
However, if the user is coming in from a non-whitelisted location, or whitelisting is not set-up, then the user will be prompted for a code, which will be sent to their mobile number. This code changes every time, and therefore cannot be guessed by anyone, thus adding an extra layer of security.
Setting up special users
A core ethos of the Hub, is that all parties should be working off the same data.
Special access one - Groups
When you have Groups activated in your product. You can effectively group sites together. For instance, if we assumed you had a portfolio of 50 sites. And within those 50, 20 were “Corporate”, 20 were “Small Offices” and 10 were stores. It might be also that you have a different set of people that manage these areas. Maybe they have different energy managers, or different line managers.
Once groups have been set-up (see more information here on setting groups up) – you are able to assign a user to the “Groups” role and then you can click on the pencil icon and select which groups of sites that user can have access to. By then checking on the Manage Roles tab, you can double check what screens they can have access to.
Groups is a very useful set-up for the following key items:
Where you wish to split the management of your portfolio into different sections, and grant access to the appropriate personnel in your team.
If you are a supplier/service provider and you wish to group sites by Customer and then grant access to certain screens/data items to your end customers*
Important:-Please note that where you are granting access to an external party, they will need to agree to a EULA (End User License Agreement) – for more details on Licensing and EULA – please check our website here.
Special access one - Suppliers and metering
If you are a corporate/service provider you can also grant access to your supplier and metering company. You do this by creating a new user and assigning them to the role of either Supplier or Metering.
You will then need to click on the pencil icon, and select which metering or supply company they belong to.
Again, by clicking on the Manage Roles tab, you can see what screens the Metering Company & Supplier can see. The Hub will only show the data that is relevant to those parties and it uses the Site Services Standing data, to determine which sites are with which Provider.
Important: - it’s really important to maintain accurate standing data. So that the supplier and metering company is correctly selected. If you have incorrect allocations, this could result in your metering company, or supply company accessing incorrect records.
Taking a look at what your users are doingA number of Hub users, let their team members, and service providers (suppliers, metering companies, TPIs) log in and manage parts of the estate with them. The activity feed, helps everybody stay connected, and see what each party is up to. Whether that’s logging in, checking meter data or entering trades. It’s your way to stay connected with your team. We have quite a comprehensive check list of what activity we capture and these are shown in the table below:
There’s a number of ways in which you can view the activity audit trail, the first is a dashboard screen found in the summary dashboard as shown below:
System Admin, can also delve deeper to see what data has been changed, as well as what activity took place. These items are logged permanently in the Audit Trail, which can be found in the first tab of the company menu as shown below. Here you can view detailed user audit trails, and also produce reports from specific functions such as logins, site management, trades, permissions and forecasts.
Contacting support directly
Site users and customers can directly contact the relevant support stream which can be altered to suit your company requirements. Once logged into the Energy.hub, you can select the Email icon to directly contact the appropraite support.