What is an Extranet?
Extranets let you share information and integrate operations with customers, partners and vendors. Learn how you can quickly set up your own.
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Extranets, Intranets and the Internet
Since the above parties are spread over diverse locations, extranets use the internet as a network to reach out to these parties. A company typically has multiple dedicated extranets for different parties depending on information needs and nature of relationship. Extranets can sometimes also be seen as an extension of the company “intranet” or internal network where external parties are brought into the fold of the company’s private network with access to specific areas or information.
How Do You Implement Extranets?
An IT firm is hired to build extranets from scratch according to exact specifications and user needs. Servers are set up, programming is done from ground zero, and dedicated staff is recruited to maintain the extranet. This approach is suitable when an extranet with highly specific and specialized requirements is needed. It typically costs thousands of dollars and takes months before a solution is set up.
Enterprise Extranet Tools
Certain solution providers like offer specialized tools like Microsoft Sharepoint, which allow enterprises to publish extranets without having to program everything from scratch. Although such software save companies the need to reinvent the wheel, they are still complex and costly, and hence suitable only to the needs and budgets of large organizations. Servers have to be set up, IT staff hired, and the solution maintained on an ongoing basis.
Hosted Extranets – The HyperOffice Approach
Earlier, small to mid sized companies could hardly dream about being able to set up tailored extranets for traveling teams, partners or customers because of the costs and effort. But in recent years, the hosted, software-as-a-service approach has enabled us to provide growing companies access to technologies which were earlier available only to mega organizations.
Companies don’t need to set up hardware servers or download software, but rather sign up online and “use” (rather than own) a robust extranet software which resides on HyperOffice’s secure servers. HyperOffice is available for a low monthly fee and is perfect for growing business needs – instant setup, extensive features and "point and click" functionality.
Benefits of Hosted Extranets