Nick Tavenier

ERP Systems Analyst, Pattern Energy Group

Supernova Award Category: 

Digital Safety, Governance, and Privacy

The Organization: 

Pattern Energy Group is a U.S.-based, independent renewable power company. In everything they do, they are guided by their long-term commitment to serving their customers, protecting the environment, strengthening communities, supporting their teams and creating value for their shareholders.

The Problem: 

Pattern Energy Group needed both a solid security plan and tool to support their growth and security requirements around SOX compliance. They had unique needs around segregation of duties (SoD), including foreign subsidiaries that were required to be SOX compliant, but with small office staffs and few people doing many tasks—increasing the risk of SoD issues.

To provide excellent support to their 28 renewable energy facilities, Pattern Energy Group upgraded from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 to Microsoft Dynamics 365, keeping Fastpath Assure, which is built on Azure, as part of their digital transformation plan.

The Solution: 

Pattern Energy Group chose to upgrade to Fastpath Assure®, a cross-application governance, risk, and compliance solution powered by Microsoft Azure, to support the digital transformation associated with their ERP upgrade in the area of security and SOX compliance.

The Results: 

Fastpath Assure provides Pattern Energy Group with Segregation of Duties (SoD) protection and serves as the backbone of the company’s entire security process. The result: complete peace of mind that users and roles will not create security or audit issues.

The company had been very pleased with the product and the relationship with the Fastpath team, but the IT team did its due diligence, evaluating other options. In the end, it was clear that Fastpath was still the best solution.

“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 Tavenier. “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."

While Pattern Energy was pleased with the on-prem version of Fastpath Assure, they are even more delighted with the cloud version, which is easy to navigate, makes generating and distributing useful reports easier, and is well integrated with Dynamics 365… making it ”perfect” for audit purposes.


The implementation story here is a short one. “It literally requires getting the connections with Dynamics 365 and other components (third-party solutions, etc.) figured out and then importing the data. Honestly, it can happen in an afternoon,” says Nick Tavenier, ERP Systems Analyst.

With Fastpath, the IT team can map those controls to the corresponding conflicts within those entities much faster. Both Nathan Kirkpatrick, Director, Financial Systems, and Nick agree that this is “perfect for an audit.” Nathan continues, “It’s great to be able to run a report and quickly point to specific mitigations when conflicts arise. If a new conflict arises, it isn’t necessarily a fire drill because there might already be mitigating controls in place.”

The Technology: 

When it came time to upgrade from Dynamics AX 2009 to Microsoft Dynamics 365, there was no doubt the company would stay with Fastpath Assure for their SoD and security needs, upgrading to the Fastpath Assure cloud solution. They are as thrilled as ever with Fastpath: Even with a unique, complex process of building user roles, Fastpath does all the “heavy lifting,” ensuring no conflicts arise.

Disruptive Factor: 

The IT team takes its cues from the SOX philosophy on how to ensure security:

  • The ultimate goal: No deficiencies, no weaknesses.
  • How to attain that goal: Pass your audit and fully document everything.
  • How to pass the audit: By having no conflicts.
    How to ensure there are no conflicts: Don’t give someone a permission they don’t need.
  • How to get there: With duties, roles, and users.
Shining Moment: 

“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,” says 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.  Our entire system is road-mapped there…it has been my ‘multi-tool’ from day one.”

About Pattern Energy Group

Pattern Energy is a U.S.-based, independent renewable power company. We operate utility scale wind and solar facilities throughout the U.S., Canada, and Japan with a portfolio that has almost tripled since going public in 2013.