In response to user feedback and demand, eTool now offers TWO dynamic seat sharing functionalities to help improve the seat sharing experience – Specialist Hotseat & Specialist External. In this post, we talk about the Specialist External Seat.
Access to each Project/Structure is still controlled by the Organisation Admins via the ‘Collaborators’ tab in the Structure Level regardless of which seat is being held by that user (unless they themselves are an Admin for that Organisation). Please refer to this support post for more details on how to grant project access.
Specialist External Seat
The ‘Specialist External Seat’ function allows organisations with this functionality to have external contractors/consultants that ‘bring-your-own’ seat when collaborating within their organisation on eTool. External consultants with an existing eTool Specialist (or Specialist Hotseat) seat will not require an additional seat allocation within the organisation and will be able to utilise their existing seats when collaborating on projects. This feature is only available for organisations with a minimum of five (5) Specialist Hotseats. Please get in touch if you’re interested in activating this feature as it will require us to set it up for you in the back end.
Users that have been assigned the ‘Specialist External Seat’ within an organisation will have to ensure that they have a valid subscription themselves to use within that organisation.
Example 2: Han is an external consultant who is contracted to work with Big Building Constructions using eTool. Big Building Constructions has purchased 5 Specialist Hotseats to share among their 10 users. Although they can assign unlimited users (including Han) to share the Specialist Hotseats, they prefer to prioritise Hotseat access for their own staff to ensure that all their users will always have access to their own ‘Specialist Hotseats’. The five Hotseats shared among 10 users was already just bordering on being ‘not enough’ anyway. Fortunately, Han already has a standard Specialist subscription for his business, so Big Building Constructions has activated the ‘Specialist External Seat’ feature so that they can assign it to Han and he can use his own Specialist seat when collaborating with Big Building Constructions’ team.
External contractors/consultants can also use this feature even if they hold a ‘Specialist Hotseat’ within their own org. They just have to ensure that they have been assigned a seat in accordance with ‘Hotseat’ availability before they can work on projects in that external organisation.
Example 3: Leia’s organisation has 1 Specialist Hotseat shared between 2 other members in her team. She has also been invited to join Big Building Constructions’ eTool Organisation Portal to work on a project for them as an external consultant. After she joins Big Building Constructions’ organisation, they assign her with a ‘Specialist External Seat’ within their org. In order to start working on a project in Big Building Constructions’ Organisation Portal, Leia will have to request seat access from her own organisation since they only have 1 Specialist Hotseat shared between 3 users. If one of her team members is using the hotseat so it is not available, she will have to wait her turn and will only have ‘Read Only’ access to either organisations. Her team member has completed their work and releases the seat. Leia gains access to the Specialist Hotseat and can now start her LCA for Big Building Constructions in their Organisation Portal. If Leia goes off for lunch and her team member in Europe logs in and requests seat access, the software will automatically release her seat due to her lack of response to the seat request notification and assign it to her European team member. When Leia returns to work after lunch, she will have to submit a seat access request herself and await her turn on the Hotseat again.
This functionality makes seat allocation seamless and enhances the user experience. It also makes more efficient use of purchased seats and prevents organisations purchasing unnecessary additional seats when simultaneous use of the software is not at its limit.