We’ve recently rolled out new functionality in DicksonOne that allows for assigning users titles or roles, as we like to call them, in the system. These roles can be used to simplify the process of configuring alarms particularly for larger organizations with many devices across many locations that cover the same or similar applications.
What Are User Roles
User roles are essentially job titles or functions and can be used to classify particular users of your account according to their job or responsibilities; in particular as they relate to environmental monitoring responsibilities.
This means a user can be tagged with a certain role and that role can be associated with actions within the system. Currently, this feature is only available when configuring alarms, but we foresee it extending to reporting and permissions at a later date.
Previously, all alarm notifications (both phone numbers and email addresses) were manually configured and maintained; either as part of a custom alarm on a particular device or an alarm template. When a situation changed (say, a new user was taking over a particular lab and needed to be included on alarm notifications going forward), an account administrator would have to manually add the numbers and emails on each alarm or template associated with that particular lab. It had the potential of becoming a cumbersome process, to say the least, especially in larger organizations where these changes can occur often.
How Users, Contacts, and Roles Work Together
Alarms are one of the most popular features in the system and any opportunity to improve those goes a long way with the majority of users. In addition, the larger an organization, with a greater number of devices, the more complex and time-consuming system configuration and operation becomes.
A combination of independent but related features in DicksonOne can help streamline the process of assigning alarm notifications and maintaining them on an ongoing basis. User roles are the final component of this feature set that includes contacts, contact methods (stored phone numbers and email addresses), Escalation Policies, and user roles. Together all of these things allow for a whole new way to manage all alarms and notifications.
The benefits of this feature set are numerous, including a significant reduction in administrative time (which will vary depending on the number of devices and users on the account), more visibility and accountability (admin users have ultimate control over all alarming functionality), and reduced risk of errors (no more mistyped phone numbers, or forgetting to update the one notification that matters most). Here are a number of scenarios that make the most sense with regards to each new feature.
Contact Book - This is pretty self-explanatory. You’re able to save user’s notification preferences into the DicksonOne system. This can be a singular, or multiple, email addresses and phone numbers for each person’s preferred contact method. Users can also now be classified according to a particular “role.” Account admins have the ability to do this and can choose from pre-selected available roles or you can create your own.
Roles - Roles can make the rationale behind escalation policies better than ever because you can now create a policy for each of those assigned and created roles. That’s because they are designed to group alarm notifications according to a particular use case. Often times, that “use case” is really associated with the role of the users receiving the notifications for a particular monitoring point (i.e., “Operations Team Notifications”)
As an example (See Image B), say that we have an Escalation Policy titled “Operations Team Notifications,” where we can now add notifications to send to the operations employees who are required to receive these notifications. But we don’t have to specify which operations folks to send to, because we may want to send a notification to different individuals at various locations. This is when we would apply the notification to a “Role” rather than a specific person.
These have the potential to be powerful tools, saving users hours (or perhaps days) of work both managing and configuring all of those notifications on an ongoing basis. For example, if one of our hypothetical operations employees moved to a different department or simply changed phone numbers, you can simply update the contact method for that user, or tag the replacement user with the appropriate role. Doing so following this update means that all of the associated alarms and notifications will be updated automatically.
Recently we assisted a new large customer to configure alarms for hundreds of users across hundreds of locations; Contacts, User Roles, and Escalation Policies together saved several full days of work. It’s just proof that automating your work day with cloud-based systems can help simplify your work life and help ensure that you remain in compliance with industry regulations.
Want to learn more about User Roles? Visit DicksonData.com/blog and search for User Roles, or call 630.563.4202 for any questions you may have on the feature.