Intranet portal

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An intranet portal is the gateway that unifies access to all enterprise information and applications[1] on an intranet. It is a tool that helps a company manage its data, applications, and information more easily, and through personalized views. Some portal solutions today are able to integrate legacy applications, other portals objects, and handle thousands of user requests. In a corporate enterprise environment, it is also known as an enterprise portal.

History[edit]

Corporate intranets began gaining popularity during the 1990s. Intranets quickly grew more complex as the result the concept of intranet portal was born. Today, intranet portals provide value-added capabilities such as managing workflows, increasing collaboration between work groups, and allowing content creators to self-publish their information.

One typical example of an intranet portal is Microsoft Sharepoint, which is used by 46% of organizations.[2] It provides a lot of features necessary for collaboration, integration and customization.

Main features[edit]

Integration — Ability to integrate with your current tools or the possibility of adding new tools. You have your outlook calendar and email integrated within intranet.

Security — Enable user or group based security to secure documents and sites throughout the intranet portal.

Customization — Software that is flexible to allow for organization. Web Parts can be used to create custom modules which can make interaction easier with the site. Ability for users to customize tools and resources they use most often.

Collaboration — People are now able to collaborate their work with each other. Example would be multiple people working on one document.

Communication Channels — Allows corporations to promote corporate culture and present information in a more interactive way than before.

Automation — Things like workflows and templates can automate specific document creation. Alerts can be created to help learn of changes and new additions to the intranet.

Applications — Links to applications for associates to perform duties.

User Friendly — Application must be easy to use and understand due to a wide range of technical abilities.

Remote Access — Ability for users to access content away from the office.

Document Repository — Ability to store and retrieve document information while maintaining regular backups to prevent data loss.

Blog — Used as a method to provide more timely information to employees, customers, and business partners.

People Search — Search enterprise wide for employee information such as contact information, specialty areas, group membership, personal interest, etc.

Enterprise Search — search enterprise content using enterprise search

Targeted Content — Business portal administrators can target content by business group area, e.g., HR, Marketing, Legal, Corporate Executives, etc.

Advantages[edit]

Intranet portal helps employees make better and more informed decisions, which result from increased knowledge. It also helps reduce costs, saves time, increases collaboration, increases productivity and effectiveness.

Intranet portal can help employees find information more easily and perform their jobs better, though few portal designs are optimal just out-of-the-box. In fact, especially in smaller companies, designers can realize some features found in off-the-shelf portal software through simpler (do-it-yourself) means. Most intranets have become completely unwieldy and present a highly fragmented and confusing user experience, with no consistency and little navigational support. Portals aim to correct this problem by presenting a single gateway to all corporate information and services. One benefit of creating this consistent look and feel is users need less time to learn how to use the environment. They also more easily recognize where they are in the portal and where they can go—no small feat when navigating a large information space. By integrating services and presenting personalized snippets on the initial screen, intranet portals also reduce the need for users to browse far and wide to obtain needed information, thus making it easier for them to perform their jobs.[1]

Intranet portal is a Web-based tool that allows users to create a customized site that dynamically pulls in Internet activities and desired content into a single page. By providing a contextual framework for information, portals can bring S&T (Science and Technology) and organizational "knowledge" to the desktop.[3]

Disadvantages[edit]

Intranet Portals can be a large business cost. The maintenance and management can be time consuming and expensive. Not only is it a cost to keep the portal running but a cost when the system goes offline. Most intranets are established to put all an organization's resources into one place and having that offline can force operations to be put on hold.

Security issues can become an ongoing problem. Unauthorized access is a concern and can result in users gaining access to sensitive information. Denial of access can cause issues for users needing access for their work.

Having everything in one place is only good if it's organized. Information overload can make finding information very difficult - lowering productivity.[4]

Activities[edit]

Tools & Resources — Area for employees to link to or download necessary applications to perform work functions. Information also provided to find internal and external resources.

Associate Services — .

Business Operations — To give users access to important business policies and manuals.

Company Calendar — To give user access to important company event dates and times.

Access Point for Employees — Location for employees default main company webpage to obtain all information regarding the company.

Wiki — can be used in the business environment for knowledge management

Workflow Management — Establish work flows for common business tasks such as submitting expense reports, submitting corporate HR paperwork and document approval processes.

Bulletin Board — Manage corporate announcements.

Task Management — Create and update shared task lists throughout the corporation.

Notable software tools[edit]

Product Name Vendor Cost Software license
Backbase BACKBASE Not free. Proprietary
Banc Intranets Banc Intranets Not free. Proprietary
Bitrix24 Bitrix Free in cloud. Paid on premise editions. Proprietary, Open-API
Central Desktop Central Desktop Inc. Not free. Proprietary
Claromentis Claromentis Ltd. Not free. Pricing depends on deployment option and number of users. Proprietary
Collanos Collanos Software Free Download Copyright (Freeware)
Confluence Atlassian Pty Ltd. Support From $49.00/month to $3,990.00/month Proprietary
eXo Platform eXo Platform FREE under LGPL. Must pay for support. LGPL
Huddle Huddle Not free. Pricing depends on package options and number of users. Proprietary
Hyperoffice HyperOffice Not free.Various Price Models. Proprietary
IGLOO Software IGLOO Inc. Not free.Various Price Models. Proprietary
Intranet DASHBOARD The ADWEB Agency Not free. Proprietary
Intrexx United Planet GmbH Not free. Proprietary
Lotus Domino IBM Not free. Proprietary
Liferay Liferay FREE under LGPL. Must pay for support. LGPL
Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Microsoft FREE Proprietary, Open-API
Microsoft SharePoint Server Microsoft Not free. From $90/user or $3/mo Proprietary, Open-API
MindQuarry Mindquarry GmbH Free.(open source) Mozilla Public License
MindTouch MindTouch Not free. Proprietary
Plone Plone Foundation Free Download. Free/Community and paid support. GPL
OpenAtrium DevelopmentSeed Free Download. Free/Community and paid support. GPL
Regroup.com Regroup Not free. Proprietary
Silverpeas Silverpeas Free Download. Free/Community and paid support. AGPLv3
SORCE Intranet SORCE Not free. Proprietary
TeamLab Ascensio System Online. Free Intranet Server Bundle. GPL
TeamWox MetaQuotes Software Corp. Free for 10 users. SaaS or Standalone. Proprietary
WebSphere IBM Not free. Proprietary
Zoho ZOHO Corporation Free for individual. Prices depend on needs of team or group Proprietary
Clinked CLINKED Not free. Collaboration software

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Usability of Intranet Portals Executive Summary". Nielsen Norman Group. 
  2. ^ Ward, Toby. "2012 Social Intranet Study". prescientdigital.com. Prescient Digital Media. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Ongoing projects at DTIC - Intranet Portal". Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC). 2009-05-28. 
  4. ^ "Disadvantages of Intranets". University of Toronto. 1998. 

External links[edit]