Rather than using conventional methods to exchange information, companies can now leverage their investments in Internet technology and use an extranet to exchange information and share applications to a variety of groups.
An extranet is all about sharing information not only within your company, but also externally with customers, partners and suppliers.
Customer, supplier and employee extranets can be used to empower people with controlled access to your business systems. This can quickly reduce your overheads, with less calls, less enquiries, less returns, more sales etc.
Ideal for formalising and sharing your knowledge base, thus maximising the efficiency and effectiveness of your support staff. Allow staff to access information from home or when they are off site by giving it remote access and security.
Inform users of what they typically order or require from your organization allow users to place orders, check availability and delivery dates and manage their account with you online grant users different security privileges according to their status customise the information presented to users according to their status reduce administration costs.
Many companies still distribute and share their corporate information by using vast quantities of paper to create reports that very often don't get read or rapidly become obsolete.
Their knowledge-based system is not properly organized with the risk that the absence of key members of staff can play havoc with their business.
A typical example of an extranet can include any of the following components or combination of components:
security - Ensuring that internal systems can be accessed in a secure and robust fashion. Only the appropriate people should have access to private information, so systems should be fire walled and protected as required.
scalability - It is essential that any system developed for a limited audience is scalable, and that as it is opened up to wider audiences that it performs consistently.
personalisation - Particularly for privileged customers, if they are using an extranet the information must be personally for them or their company, to reward them for communicating in this fashion.
channels - In situations where developing an extranet or intranet system will bring significant administration saving, it is worthwhile to consider closing offline channels (e.g. replacing fax with email, brochures with downloadable PDFs, daily paper updates with online reporting) ensuring that all possible return on investment is realised.
If you would like to discuss how an extranet could benefit your company, please call us and we will be happy to advise you.
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