Introduction to User Licenses and Roles in Appspace 8.0

At a Glance:
  • Article purpose: This article provides an introduction to the two primary user licenses in Appspace, and how these licenses should be used in an organization based on roles.
  • Business problem: Organizations may not have a clear understanding of how to best assign roles and permissions to achieve different tasks, or who in the organization should be assigned with what roles to manage the various components in Appspace.
  • Solution: The two distinct user licenses in Appspace make it easier for organizations to understand how employees can use Appspace, both as end users, and also administrative users who need to take charge of specific tasks.
  • Conclusion: Understanding how the Appspace user licenses work will help organizations determine how best to utilize the licenses to execute key activities and tasks based on roles and permissions.

WHAT’S IN THIS ARTICLE: 

Introduction

Appspace is a versatile platform that allows users to access any feature and functionality as long as they have sufficient roles or permissions. Historically, all users of Appspace were administrators, where they log in to the console to perform content management and administrative tasks to get channels published to workplace devices.

With the introduction of the Appspace Employee App, which include newer features such as space reservation and employee communications, Appspace users are no longer just administrators who need access to the console. These users can now be any employee in a company who can use the Employee App to make a reservation, check-in to a building, or simply view company content.

The following describes the distinction between user licenses, roles, and permissions as used in Appspace:

  • Licenses: User licenses grant digital rights for a user to use specific features in Appspace. The two user licenses in Appspace are the Premium user license and the Platform user license.
  • Roles: User roles contain a collection of permissions that are commonly used together and reflect the activity that needs to be done by specific user personas, such as IT administrators or content publishers in an organization. We have various roles with permissions to access the console that can be assigned to users, such as the Account Owner, Location Admin, or Publisher.
  • Permissions: Permissions are assigned at the feature level in the Appspace console such as in Channels, Locations or the Library. For example, a user with a Publisher role will be able to control user permissions to channel-specific features, such as assigning publishing rights for a channel.

To make a clear distinction between end users who browse content and make workplace reservations, and administrators who need to access the console to perform content management and administration duties, Appspace presents two types of user licenses: Premium Users and Platform Users.

Premium Users and Licenses

Premium users are employees, and can access the Employee App to view user-centric content and make workplace reservations in their organization, either via a mobile device or a web browser.

  • Premium users will utilize the corresponding Premium User license.
  • The Premium User license grants access to the Employee App.

Platform Users and Licenses

Platform users are typically team leads, department heads, and IT administrators that need access to the console to create, manage, and publish content, and administer the platform.

  • Platform users will utilize the corresponding Platform User licenses.
  • The Platform User license grants access to the console.

The number of licenses for each type of user will be shown on the dashboard in the Account Management Portal.

Managing Licenses, Roles and Permissions

An Appspace account starts with one principal user who has an Account Owner role. This user is registered as both a Premium user and Platform user, as this user will have access to both the Employee App and the console. This principal user is responsible for managing licenses, roles, and permissions at the start, and can delegate this responsibility to other users.

For most companies, the majority of employees will be registered as premium users. A small handful of employees will also become platform users in addition based on their departmental responsibilities. The Account Owner can assign the appropriate license to users in the organization’s account depending on whether they need access to the Employee App, perform management duties in the console, or both.

The Account Owner can add users into an organization’s Appspace account through the Users module in the Appspace console. From there, the Account Owner can manage the provisioning of licenses for the appropriate users. The number of licenses will be shown on the dashboard in the Account Management Portal.

Adding and Registering Users in Appspace

To add more users into an Appspace account, the Account Owner can either configure the account to use SSO with JIT to enable their organization’s users to log in to the Appspace platform seamlessly, or manually invite users through the Users module.

In Appspace 8.0, you can assign the licensing type to a user during the user invitation process, or update the licensing information to the user’s profile in the console.

Premium Users

Premium users are employees who get access to the Employee App. In order for them to have access to the Employee App, these users need to be provisioned with the Premium user license. With the Employee App, premium users will be able to do the following:

  • View published content and channels.
  • Access departmental channel groups that they have access to.
  • Look for available building passes and workspaces to make reservations.

Premium users will not have access to the console. If users require access to the console, they need to be provisioned with the Platform user license. If users need access to both the Employee App and the console for management duties, they will need to be provisioned with both the Premium user license and Platform user license.

Platform Users

Platform users are essentially administrators, content publishers, and content creators with access to the console. In order for them to have roles that can access the console, they will need to be provisioned with the Platform user license. When using the console, these users can:

  • Access all authoring tools in the platform.
  • Manage locations, devices, and users.
  • Access content and console analytics.
  • Manage support cases, payments, and upgrades.

Platform users have a range of roles to manage different areas in the console. The following roles will require the provisioning of a platform user license:

  • Portal Admin
  • Account Admin
  • Account Owner
  • Location Admin
  • Publisher
  • Author

The Platform user license can be assigned to anyone in an account to grant access to the console for management duties. The roles enabled by the license allow the user to perform specific functions in the Appspace platform and is scoped to an account or location.

Platform User Roles and Functions

With the Platform user license provisioned to a user, the user can be assigned with any of the platform user roles. The title of the role often describes the function of the role such as Portal Admin or Publisher. A user can be assigned one or more roles, and will also inherit roles from user groups or locations if applicable. The following sections describe all of the platform user roles in Appspace, and how they relate to personas in an organization.

Roles for IT Administrators

IT Administrators perform tasks such as platform configuration, device registrations, Appspace App for workplace devices, or card theme customizations, as well as device, location, and user management. The list below outlines the description for each role in further detail.

The Portal Admin

Portal Admin (on-prem only) – a system administrator of the Appspace platform in an on-prem environment, with full access to all server settings, accounts, locations, users, devices, channels, content, and analytics data. In a multi-tenancy environment, the Portal Admin has the same access to all locations (networks) in multiple accounts.

The Account Admin

Account Admin (on-prem only) – a role with access to all accounts and locations in the Appspace platform in an on-prem environment, but does not have access to the platform system settings. In a multi-tenancy environment, the Account Admin has full access to all locations in multiple accounts.

The Account Owner

Account Ownerthe principal role of an Appspace account with full access to create content and channels, register and manage devices, invite users and assign user roles and permissions, create and manage locations, configure themes, and perform various other administrative tasks. In summary, the Account Owner can function as an administrator for an account, Location Admin, Publisher, and Author, all in one. The principal Account Owner may choose to assign additional Account Owner roles to other users in an organization if needed.

  • Note: In a multi-tenancy environment, the Account Owner has access to the locations in a single account only.

The Location Admin

Location Admin – a role with access to device and location management features for a specific location. A Location Admin is able to add and manage devices, add device properties, create and organize maps and floor plans, set location properties, and assign default channels for a location.

Roles and Permissions for Content Management

Content managers and content creators in an organization perform tasks such as creating and uploading content to the Library, creating and publishing content to channels, and reviewing content approvals for publishing. The list below outlines the description for each role in further detail.

Publisher for a location

Publisher (location) – a user assigned with the Publisher role for a location has full control of all channels and channel properties within that location. A Publisher is able to:

  • Manage the Cards module.
  • Manage all channels and channel settings.
  • Approve content change requests by editors or individual channel publishers.
  • Add and edit the content in any channel.
  • Assign devices, apps, or users to each channel or channel group.
  • Assign other users to be Publishers for the location or for any channel in that location.

The Publisher role can be assigned to a user for one or more locations. If the user is a Publisher for multiple locations, that user will have the same channel management permissions to all the channels within those locations. The Publisher role is assigned to a user by an Account Owner or Location Admin.

Publisher for a channel or channel group

Publisher (channel or channel group) – a user assigned with publisher permissions for a specific channel or channel group will have publishing rights for that channel or channel group. A user with channel publishing permissions is able to approve changes, edit content, and update settings for that specific channel. The permissions control can be accessed in each individual channel’s settings.

Editor for a channel

Editor (channel) – the editor permission is specific to a channel, and is granted by the publisher of that channel. A user with channel editing permissions is only able to add or edit content in that specific channel, and may require content change approval from either one of the publishers.

Author

Author – this role grants access only to the Library module in the console. Users with the Author role are able to:

  • Upload media, create any card from the available templates (Announcement, Room Schedule, Google Slides etc.)
  • Organize content in folders, and manage content properties including tags.

If a user with the Author role is given permissions to publish or edit a channel, that user will be able to create and add content for that channel in addition to the Library. If no channel is assigned, the author can only add content to the Library. The Author role is assigned to a user by an Account Owner or Location Admin.

Role Recommendations

The following suggestions can serve as a guide for which persona in an organization should get which platform user role:

Persona

Roles

Global or regional IT administrator

  • Portal Admin
  • Account Admin
  • Account Owner

Location-based facilities administrator

  • Location Admin

Department head

  • Publisher

Line manager

  • Publisher

Team content creator

  • Author

Conclusion

With a clear distinction between premium users and platform users, organizations will be able to better plan how their employees, team leads, managers, and department heads can utilize Appspace.

As a base rule, everyone in an organization should be provisioned as premium users so that they can have access to the Employee App. The remaining responsibility is to then determine which members of the organization should be provisioned as platform users so that they can be assigned with the appropriate role.

With a proactive team of Appspace users in an organization using the right user roles, the overall management of workplace resources, digital signage infrastructure, and content strategy, can all be executed efficiently.

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