What is Proteus?
Proteus is a work management solution comparable to an ERP (enterprise resource planning software) specifically designed for the energy industry. It is a cloud-based, single, unified software system which encompasses back and front office functionality from project start to finish.
Proteus has a connection to an external freelance management tool, Marketplace. Marketplace offers an alternative way of accessing and finding the freelancers you need for short term or long term projects.
Proteus and Marketplace are cloud-based web applications with a supporting mobile app.
Proteus is a cloud-based work management solution. Work management solutions (commonly referred to as ERP systems) are not new, however they are generally viewed as complex, disliked, expensive and they often do not improve efficiency. Proteus is unique because it is differently designed to improve the way energy sector projects are run. Proteus connects all of the key workflows used by most companies. From finding opportunities through to closing out invoices and everything in between. The systems integrate seamlessly and are accessed via an interface designed to simplify every workflow.
Proteus is simple to get, simple to set-up and simple to use.
Marketplace connects companies and freelancers who can access the marketplace, search for projects and update their profile. Companies can access the marketplace, post opportunities, search for rated freelancers and search for specific services. Once engaged through the marketplace, freelancers can be given access to a company’s Proteus account and that is it – they are now part of the team.
At the heart of Marketplace is connectivity and this extends to more than connecting Marketplace offers more connecting companies and freelancers. For a small fee freelancers can operate as a virtual company and bring freelancers together to form a team. Companies can offer their “staff” as freelancers, therefore maximising revenue. Freelancers can offer a service as opposed to a day rate. Companies can connect together to make collaborations simple. Subcontracting is simplified. In short, the marketplace changes the way an industry connects and therefore changes the way an industry operates.
Therefore, Proteus is targeted at two different client bases; energy companies, who will operate the Proteus ERP component as their main day to day work management system and who need access to resources and freelancers who are looking for projects either locally or globally.
How does Proteus work?
Proteus is cloud based on web and mobile. Benefits of the cloud include remote access from anywhere in the world, no requirement for physical desk space.
Proteus is based on users running and working on projects. Each user has his or her own Proteus environment, regardless of whether they are a freelancer or company staff member
When a company runs Proteus the environment the users share access to the project or company databases and project management workflows. A user can run more than one Proteus account therefore it is possible for a user to be both a team member for a company and a freelancer with two or more different Proteus profiles.
The Admin Console
The General Settings section within the Admin Console, is where you enter all the essential information for your companies well as region settings. This information includes; Legal name, registered primary address, Timezone, date and time format, currency and local tax %. You will also have to add your reference numbers, bank details and payment terms.
This information, as all data in the Admin Console, is only accessible and editable by the Company Admin and remains secure at all times.
This information is used across all Proteus modules: all users’ Proteus accounts will be assigned the same settings, from time zone to payment terms. The details entered here are automatically pulled into document templates such as proposals and invoices. This means you can guarantee consistency across the business.
Once you have entered the information once, it will not have to be done again, though it can be edited at any time by the Company Admin.
Structures & Assets
The Structures & Assets Section within the Admin Console, is where you build your business structure of Departments, Grades and Disciplines with an associated average cost rate (not charge out rate) for resources, such as average man hour cost rates (per department, grade and discipline) and cost rate for Softwares and Equipment (per unit, hour, day, week or month).
Note everything in admin Console is confidential and only admin users have access to this page. These rates will not be visible later in Proteus.
Every company has a different structure, some have a handful of grades and job titles, whilst some can have hundreds depending on their size and set up. Some companies may have thousands of pieces of equipment for sale or for rent and they need a comprehensive database to keep all of their pricing.
You have to add a Resource Rates for every position, software and equipment in the Structures and Assets page otherwise it will not be discoverable later in Proteus (contracts, proposals, projects, invoices etc)
By keeping all these rates in this section, it keeps the data private in the Admin Console, and is a single point entry meaning no mistakes when pricing. Try to add accurate rates and keep up to date as these control your margins within Projects.
Timesheets & Expenses
The Timesheets and Expenses section within the Admin Console, is where you define parameters of how you record and track the time spent on projects.
Timesheets and Expenses are essential to be able to track and record how much time each team member spends on a project. It can also be used for client billing, payroll and project management.
By entering the necessary information you allow the team members to record their timesheets and book in any expenses incurred or bill back to the client.
The References section within the Admin Console, allows your company to assign unique key values specific to your clients or to your company.
Referencing is crucial for any company to ensure traceability, it ensures that you will never lose track of documents or projects. Proteus allows you to create unique references which can include: text, sequential numbers and separator.
The Users section within the Admin Console, is where you manage users access.
There are five different user roles on Proteus which control the amount of access you have on the platform; Company admin, Company user (User 1), Office user (User 2), Project user (User 3) and Freelancer (User 4).
Everyone who uses Proteus is a ‘user’ of some description. Proteus is charged ‘per user’ whether that is a Company user or a freelancer.
Freelancers will receive their own personal login for their own use and will also receive a user login from any Companies they are doing work with through Proteus.
The Company Settings section within the Admin Console, is where you save your company logo, registered name and no reply settings.
Company logo and registered name entered here is what pulls through to proteus and will appear when generating documents and templates. Single point entry, saves time and ensures consistency across all literature.
Language & Labels
The Languages & Labels section within the Admin Console, enables a company to customise the Terminology and Custom fields in Proteus:
Every company is different. The Language & Labels section really helps a company feel familiar with Proteus: this is where you can change the labelling to match the systems your company currently uses.
Billing & Licensing
The Billing & Licensing Section, within the Admin Console, is where you manage the number of licenses required and keep track of all invoices from Proteus.
A licence is required for every user. The number of users you can add, is capped to the number of licenses you have. Once you have reached this cap, you will not be able to add any new users and instead will be redirected to the Billing and Licensing section to purchase more Licenses.
Likewise inactive licenses can be removed in the billing and licensing section by reducing the number of Licenses, so that you are not being charged for licences you are not using.
The invoices page gives you access to all your invoices form Proteus. Any changes in the number of licences is automatically reflected here.
Bring your own Storage
The ‘Bring your own storage’ Section, within the admin console, is an optional feature that allows clients to provide their own cloud storage provider.
A company can “plug-in” their existing cloud storage provider API credentials, which allow Proteus to integrate directly with them. So when a user uploads a file to Proteus, we’re actually uploading it to their provider. When a new file is created in Proteus, we’re actually creating it within your provider.
Dropbox and Amazon Web Service (AWS) are currently configured, please reach out to your sales rep to enquire about other cloud based systems integration.
By integrating with your own storage solution you are allowing proteus to access your data rather than store your data. Which is beneficial as you
- Choose a cloud provider of your choosing
- They can choose a region with those providers of where they want the data to live
- Saves time removing need to uploading documents
- Manage storage restrictions, as its your own cloud system storage cap
- If/when you want to move on from Proteus, you already have access independently to your files
The offices section of the Admin Console allows the Company Admin to; Add, Clone, Edit, Delete and Deactivate offices.
Many Companies have Offices in different locations, therefore it is often advantageous to set up multiple offices through Proteus. Creating an Office is the first task that has to be completed before any Admin Console data can be added, i.e Structure and Assets, Timesheet and Expenses, Users etc.
The ability to clone saves time, as it copy all details in admin console of selected office and you can then edit any nuances of the new office
Your profile drop down is where you will set up your personal profile including all your work related details including; job title, skills, qualifications and your CV.
This information is used across Proteus to link your profile to projects and your CV to proposals. It only needs to be added once, it can be edited at any time by yourself or the Company Admin.
The opportunity section allows you to capture any new business enquiries or potential tenders and seamlessly share them with your team. Also Opportunities will appear on your dashboard to remind you of the lead, also any further action that may be needed.
It is important to store any potential client or business recommendations, Opportunities section makes them easily accessible to your full team.
A business proposal is a document you would send out to potential clients outlining the services you are offering them. Information within the Proposal includes; CTR’S, Team (Organogram chart), Project plan, Files, File upload, Add folder and Create document.
It is important clients receive a detailed description of how your company will perform the service and the costs involved. Also, having clear outlined objectives and goals will allow you to monitor the business performance
Projects are at the heart of Proteus. A project is created when a proposal has been accepted and a contract has been agreed. The new project sets out the scope of work, budget and resource required to complete a piece of work. It also sets out the various stages and allows the project leader to see immediately the status of the project.
On Proteus the projects field is where you can instantly access all the projects which have been created. It gives an overview of the projects with status and also allows you to create new projects.
The project dashboard allows the user to create new projects and to drill deeper into existing projects to see exactly where the project is in terms of resource, time and financial resources. This is essential in project management both from a resource and finance perspective.
Tracking is the section of Proteus where users can track timesheets, software usage, equipment and expenses. This allows project managers to see exactly where a project stands in terms of financial and resource requirements.
This also allows project managers sight of time and equipment usage throughout a project to allow them to budget accordingly.
Finance is where you create invoices against a project and track the status of all your company invoices.
An invoice can be easily created from source, rather than exporting and duplicating time and data to another invoicing software. And gives the project Manager instant visibility on the status of Invoices on their projects.
Companies (Clients) Section is where you enter the essential information for all your existing and potential clients. You would also include all other companies you deal with like 3rd party, subcontractors, agencies and suppliers.
If you don’t add your company in the company’s section then you won’t be able to proceed in Proteus and create Opportunities, Proposals or Projects.
The details entered here are automatically pulled into document templates such as proposals and invoices. The information can be edited at any time, and a notification will be sent to company rep to alert of the change.
This is also a database build of all the companies and contacts you deal with so they are all stored in one place.
Contracts (Rate Card) Section is where you enter the essential information for all your existing and potential contracts. This information includes; Overview/Contract details, T’s & C’s, Labour rates, Software rates, Equipment rates and Files.
Note the Contract Rates (Labour, Software and Equipment) are pulled from the Cost Rates created in the Structures & Assets list in the Admin Console. If you require further roles you need go back into the Admin Console and add them, in order for them to pull through to Contract Rates.
If you don’t add your contracts in the contract section, then you won’t be able to proceed in Proteus and create Proposals or Projects.
The details entered here are automatically pulled into document templates such as proposals and invoices. The information can be edited at any time, and a notification will be sent to the company focal point to alert of the change.
The team section is where all employees/contractors contact details will be stored along with their CV’s.
It is needed as it is a centralized location for users to upload and edit their CV in order to be added to a proposal document. Also shows the user level and which office your colleagues belong to. Furthermore, within each user’s profile the actual cost rate of that employee will be entered here. When adding a member to a CTR within the project section the actual cost of the member of staff doing the job will allow you to project your actual margin vs the estimated cost. This is highly confidential and only company admin have access.
The Files section is where you can store your company files, manage folders and create new files. The Template section allows you to create templates for Letters, Notes, Proposal Documents and Reports.
A key advantage of files is that you don’t have to search through hundreds of documents on your computer to find the right one.
Templates mean you are able to create different templates for different clients or types of jobs. So the next time you want to generate a proposal or document and you select a template it pulls through this pre populated template and you can just edit the sections that are client/project specific.
Marketplace allows companies and freelancers to connect seamlessly. Marketplace allows a company to either search for a Freelancer or post the jobs they have online. A Freelancer can search for a project or post their services online. Once connected through Marketplace a freelancer will have access to the Companies Proteus site, allowing them to run projects and create timesheets.
There are three kinds of users in Marketplace; Company – Admin (Admin User), Company – Staff (User 1-4), Freelancer – (User 4).
Marketplace, for a Freelancer, is where they can create a profile used to apply for jobs posted. Freelancers can share their personal details, CV, any qualifications they have and more. Companies can then view and decide if the freelancer is right for the job
Marketplace allows freelancers to be flexible, they can work remotely where they want and when they want. They can create a virtual team and collaborate with other freelancers. By using Marketplace to find work freelancers will save on recruitment fees. Furthermore, they will have access to Xchange an online platform to share questions and best practice.