<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=523033&amp;fmt=gif">
Pattern Energy
Case Study / Pattern Energy

Pattern Energy

Pattern Energy Group maintains its top-of-mind within the renewable energy industry thanks to Fastpath and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

The Challenge

Pattern Energy Group is one of the world’s largest privately-owned developers and operators of wind, solar, transmission, and energy storage projects. When it came time to upgrade from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO), the company decided to use the Fastpath cloud solution for all their Separation of Duties (SoD) and security needs. Despite Pattern’s unique, complex process of building user roles, Fastpath provided them with an effective way to handle every aspect of this process while eliminating commonly-occurring errors and past issues. Tasked with serving customers, protecting the environment, and providing excellent support to their 28 renewable energy facilities, Pattern Energy Group—also known as Pattern Energy—became a publicly traded company in 2013. Shortly after their IPO, they experienced rapid growth that made them realize the importance of having both a solid security plan, and tool that met their security requirements around SOX compliance while providing native support for their planned migration from Microsoft Dynamics 2009 to D365FO. For these reasons, Fastpath became their solution of choice. 

Despite being very pleased with the Fastpath solution and their teams’ synergy, Pattern Energy proceeded to scout the market for any other available options that might provide more value to their company. However, it soon became clear that Fastpath was not only among the best 

options in the market, it was also the solution that provided the best value for their organization. “What you’re trying to do with SoD, risk assurance, and SOX compliance is build a level of comfort in the organization that you are confident what you’re doing won’t cause any conflicts or risk, that you won’t expose it to unknowns that might come up later,” said Nick. “That level of comfort is built on your knowledge, visibility into what’s happening, and familiarity with the process. I have not met anyone in this area of the business—both internally and externally—who does not know Fastpath. They know it generates reports that capture what you’re looking for. If they ask, ‘What are you using?’ and hear that the answer is Fastpath, they say, ‘Oh, ok, we can move on.” With enthusiastic, across-the-board support from management—as well as internal and external auditors—Pattern Energy gave the green light to upgrade to the cloud version of Fastpath in parallel to their upgrade to D365FO. 

Taking its cues straight out of SOX philosophy, the IT team then proceeded to strategize how to ensure security by eliminating or reducing all known deficiencies and weaknesses. To achieve this goal, they realized that it was imperative to be especially thorough when creating their documentation. They also knew that it was critical to avoid any possible conflicts when creating or assigning any duties, roles, and users. 

“The implementation story here is a short one. It literally required getting the connections with Dynamics 365 and other components (3rd party solutions, etc.) figuring out and then importing the data. Honestly, it can happen in an afternoon.”

Nick Tavenier, ERP Systems Analyst, Pattern Energy

The solution

After building “stacks” of roles for each user, Nick and his team realized they could significantly avoid potential conflicts by running every duty and role through Fastpath, first. By using Fastpath in a test or dev capacity, Pattern Energy was able to bring roles in and iterate them until they were satisfied with their configuration. They then proceeded to test the roles in several ways, including qualitatively, in combination, through business processes, or in different assignment scenarios to different users.

“Fastpath is front and center in all our security development because we use it as a place to conceptualize security configurations and pick the best path forward,” said Nick. “We have a complex situation, but Fastpath helps us handle it, so we get exactly what we need, with the confidence we’re doing it correctly. The only way to do it is with a sandbox like Fastpath. Our entire system is road-mapped there…it has been my ‘multi-tool’ from day one.” 


The results

While Pattern Energy was pleased with the on-prem version of Fastpath, they were even more satisfied with the cloud version, which provided them with more intuitive navigation, enhanced report generation and distribution, and native D365FO support for audit purposes. The Fastpath team also received high praise from Pattern Energy’s decision-makers 

because of their high professionalism, knowledgeability, and responsiveness, as well as their ability to resolve issues and answer queries within just a few hours. They also were highly open and receptive to feedback, and always found ways to add value within new releases.