What is an Extranet?
Extranets let you share information and integrate operations with customers, partners and vendors.
Extranets allow companies to integrate operations with external stakeholders – customers, partners, suppliers etc. These are private portals where external stakeholders can access information, view schedules, communicate with the business, submit orders etc. A company typically has multiple dedicated extranets for different parties depending on information needs and nature of relationship. For example, extranets for clients are called customer portals where clients can access product documents, support information etc.
Solutions like Microsoft Sharepoint allow enterprises to publish extranets without having to program everything from scratch. However, servers stil have to be set up, IT staff hired, and the solution maintained on an ongoing basis. This is suitable for the needs of a large enterprise.
Previously, small to mid sized companies could hardly dream about being able to set up their own extranets. But in recent years, the cloud based extranet software like HyperOffice allow SMBs to use web-based plug-and-play tools to create their own custom extranets for a reasonable monthly fees.
This approach is suitable when an extranet with highly specific and specialized requirements is needed. 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 the most expensive.
There is no software to install, no servers to maintain, no experts to hire! Just get online to start building an extranet.
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Your teams, partners and clients can access the extranet from any web enabled PC, Mac or mobile device.
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