Specialist Hotseat: How Does It Work?

In response to user feedback and demand, eTool now offers a dynamic seat sharing functionality to help improve the seat sharing experience – Specialist Hotseat.

Access to each Project/Structure is still controlled by the organisation Admin(s) via the ‘Collaborators’ tab in the Structure Level regardless of which seat is being held by the Admin user. Please refer to this support post for more detail on how to grant project access.

Besides the automatic seat allocation feature highlighted in the rest of this post, the Specialist Hotseat subscription will also allow your organisation to have an unlimited number of Admin and Read-Only users. Please refer to our Pricing Page for a more detailed comparison breakdown of the different subscriptions.

Specialist Hotseat

The Specialist Hotseat is an upgraded version of the standard Specialist seat. The upgraded seat means that the software automatically manages the seat sharing function among multiple users within the same organisation. If you already have an organisation subscription, below are some instructions on how to upgrade your Specialist seat and how it works:

Only organisation Admin users will be able to update the organisation’s subscription plan AND assign the new seats to org members.

  • Ensure you have the Hotseats – to purchase some Specialist Hotseats, you’ll need to update your subscription as per animation below.
  • Users that have been assigned a Hotseat can now request a seat via the ‘Session Access’ tab in their profile.

  • Next time the user logs back in, they’ll automatically see the Session Access page which allows them to submit a seat request straight away instead of navigating to the Session Access tab under their profile.
  • On the Session Access page, users can choose to proceed with the ‘Request Seat Access’ kept on or turned off. If it’s turned OFF, the user can proceed with using eTool as per a ‘Read Only’ user.
  • When the user proceeds with the ‘Request Seat Access’ left ON, the software will automatically assign any available hotseat to that user. If no seats are available, eTool will send a notification to all users with a seat assigned to them that a seat has been requested and whether they wish to keep their seat or release it. Any released seats will be assigned to the new user. Note that if a user does not respond to that notice within 5 minutes (i.e. they are away from their desk), their seat will be automatically released by the software and assigned to the new user.
  • If all users holding a seat has chosen to keep their seat, the new user will need to wait for their turn. All users are able to request a seat or release their seat at any point by navigating to their User Profile to the ‘Session Access’ tab.

Example 1: Luke just joined Big Building Constructions that is a company with now a total of 10 consultants. The company has bought 5 Specialist Hotseats to share among their 10 team members. Luke has been assigned a Specialist Hotseat. The next time Luke logs into eTool, he sees a notification asking if he wants to request seat access with Big Building Constructions Org. This morning, he only wants to continue with the eTool Beginner’s training course that he’s halfway through so he doesn’t need to have edit access to eTool. Luke turns off the seat access request so as to leave a seat available for other team members and continues with eTool with ‘Read Only’ access.

Later that day, Luke’s manager, Obi, asks him if he can collaborate on a project with a more senior consultant so that he can learn the ropes. Obi has already added Luke as a collaborator on the project in eTool. Although Luke was able to navigate and view the project, he noticed that he was not able to make any changes or edits to the design. There was also a little notification at the top of the page saying that he has no access. Turns out that this is because although Luke was assigned a Specialist Hotseat, he had started his session without requesting access to a seat. Therefore he is still in ‘Read Only’ mode. All Luke has to do now is request for seat access via the ‘Session Access’ tab in his profile page to gain write/edit access to the project. Fortunately, there was a seat available and the software automatically assigned that seat to Luke straight away so he was able to jump back into work on the project without waiting for a seat to become available

Related articles:

Subscription Pricing Details
Specialist External Seat: How Does It Work?
Set your organisation up in eTool – Enterprise Functionality
How many certification requests can I submit at a time?


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