Within Admin > Site settings > Security there is an option to make the site a Bidder site and to set advanced Q&A permissions:
This setting is to be used for any matter in which there are multiple parties who all need to have access to the site but are not to be aware of each others' existence or identity. For example, where there are multiple bidders in an auction. Once selected, a site administrator can tag certain organisations as bidders and manage these bidders in other ways.
The special bidder site tools that are available in Collaborate make it possible for bidders to be unaware that other bidders exist. For example, if a member of a bidder organisation has been added to a security group, then that group cannot have edit rights to the Files module. Also, when the bidder user is added to a group you will be prompted that the group permissions will be restricted for all users.
A restricted group will be restricted as to what permissions they can have enabled:
A restricted group cannot have any rights (even view rights) to the following modules: Wiki, Blog, Tasks and Events - but they will see site notices, announcements, splash pages and any set terms & condition pages. Additionally, groups with bidder members can see but cannot make any changes to an iSheet. This way, bidders cannot accidentally add content to the site and, as a result, reveal themselves and through these restrictions, bidders are completely shut out from making content changes.
If a user adds content to a site and then the organisation that the user is a member of is later designated a bidder organisation, the users in other bidder organisations will not be able to see any of the files the first user originally added.
For best practice, you can create at least one separate security group entitled Bidders and put all of the bidder users in that group, even if these users are in competing organisations. (Bidders who are in the same security group will not be able to see each other as a result.) Keep that bidder group separate from all of the other security groups, so the other security groups are not impacted by having bidder users as members.
Please note that within User management > Bidder organisations in the admin page, all bidders are identified with the bidder checkbox selected:
And within User management > Users any bidder users have [Bidder] next to their organisation:
When a new user is added, users can mark the organisation as a bidder organisation. If the organisation has been set as a bidder organisation previously, any further users added for that organisation will also be bidders.
As displayed in the image above a known bidder organisation will display the bidder label next to its company name. However, there is no bidder label next to the second user added and we can make this user a bidder in the Make a bidder option on the right-hand side. Click Next.
The next part of the process displays the users being added. Here you can select all bidders and these will be marked with a tick, and you can select all non-bidders who will be marked separately with a tick. Click Add.
The users have now been added and bidder organisations are displayed with the bidder label.
Bidders cannot be a site administrator - this ensures that users who are bidders do not have access to make changes to the site.
Back in the user listing, the new users have been added and the bidder organisations are displayed.
Extra administrative pages
Once a site has been configured as a Bidder site, two extra admin pages are added to the User management section of the Admin module:
- Bidder organisations
- Data room team
Within the Bidder organisations screen, you can designate an organisation as a bidder organisation:
Which provides restrictions on the permissions available to members of that organisation. This also changes all of the members of that organisation who are site users, into bidder users. To designate an organisation as a bidder, select the Bidder checkbox and click Save to save your changes. By default, in a bidder site, every organisation associated with that site is treated as a non-bidder organisation.
Data room team
By default, the members of different bidder organisations will never be aware of each other throughout the site, including not being revealed to each other within the People module, where site users may be listed. By using the Data room team admin settings, it is possible to further extend this restriction, ensuring that bidder users will also not be able to see other users who are not members of bidder organisations. The Data room team settings lists all of the non-bidder site users, arranged by organisation. From here it is possible to pick and choose which user will appear to bidder users in the People module and which will not. (By default, newly added users who are not bidders will be listed in the People module.) To remove a user from being viewable by bidders, simply deselect the checkbox and click Save.
When non-bidder users access the People module, they will be able to see all site users.
As best practice, when the first member of a bidder organisation is added to the site, do not send them an invitation. (If possible, leave or revert the site to Preparation mode before adding them.) Before the invitation is sent, navigate to the Bidder organisations page and flag the user's organisation as a bidder organisation. That way, when that user and other members of the same bidder organisation are added and invited to the site, they will not be able to see any other bidder organisations nor will they be seen by users from other bidder organisations.