extranet definition

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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Extranet Definition

An extranet is a private virtual space to securely collaborate, share information or integrate operations with travelling teams, suppliers, vendors, partners, or customers. A few examples are a sales extranet containing order forms and client directories for the sales team, a partner extranet enabling management of joint tasks, or a customer extranet portal where you collaborate on specifications documents with clients.


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?

Customized 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

  • No Hardware/Software. There's no software to install, no servers to maintain, no experts to hire!
  • Instant Setup & Deployment. Sign up online and get started near instantly! 
  • Pay-as-you-go Pricing. Access enterprise collaboration solutions for a low monthly per user fee.
  • Feature Rich. Get the power of an enterprise class extranet solution. Set up unlimited extranets with custom desktop, announcements, document management, calendars, task management, contact directories, forums, polls, IM and more!
Extranet Software
  • Extranet Portal Customization. You can easily publish unlimited extranets tailored to user needs. Finely manage branding, look, layout, organization, collaboration tools and membership.  You need no expertise at all!
  • Remote Access. Your teams, partners and clients can access the extranet from any web enabled PC, Mac or mobile device.
  • Completely Secure. We guarantee 99.9% reliability through our secure, offsite data center facilities equipped with redundant servers.
  • Free Webinars & Support. When we say we offer a hassle free solution, we mean it! We are always around to assist you.

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Founded in 1998, HyperOffice is a market leader in cloud collaboration and communication software for small and medium sized businesses. We provide the most comprehensive suite of solutions developed over more than 12 years of understanding your growing business needs. HyperOffice's capabilities include customer portal & intranet software, online document management, online project management, shared calendars, contact management software, business email, Outlook sharing and synchronization, push email and mobile collaboration, online database software and web forms and much more - offered as an integrated, easy to use solution accessible over any web connected PC, Mac, or mobile device. HyperOffice is also a viable Microsoft Sharepoint alternative and Microsoft Exchange alternative for growing companies looking for the power of enterprise class messaging and collaboration - but without the associated costs and hassles.
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