The Hoozin extranet has become a key collaboration portal for numerous Fortune 500 companies. But what is an extranet and why build an entire strategy around it?
While an intranet connects employees inside an organization, an extranet connects employees to external parties. These external parties can be key customers, suppliers or distributors. The extranet creates customer loyalty and removes the amount of unproductive emails. An extranet is a controlled private network that allows access to partners, vendors and suppliers or an authorized set of customers – normally to a subset of the information accessible from an organization’s intranet.
The benefits of an extranet are quite clear.
While your external parties and groups may not be official employees, they are still valuable members of your organization. An extranet can help them immediately feel engaged and connected to your organization and your people.
An extranet can serve as a joint project management system where responsibilities and tasks are tracked and organized. Also, by leveraging forms on your extranet you can create relevant workflows that benefit both the organization and the external group.
An extranet can serve as a location for keeping external members updated on important news and events. Assuming the extranet has built-in analytics, you can easily measure the effectiveness of your communication.
Depending on the role of your stakeholders, they may require extensive debate and collaboration with each other, or with an employee. An external site provides a safe and secure space for sharing and collaborating on important documents with external groups.
Interactions between you and your partners generate a mine of knowledge. Phone calls and emails can determine an incredible amount of information. But if this information is not managed correctly, it can be a waste of resources.
But communicating the ‘old Intranet style’ with your external users, may not be the right way forward any more. Often, organizations require a different way of looking at it. Instead of looking at the world in terms of internal or external, we look at this as ‘anybody is welcome’. What does this mean?
Hoozin is community centric and we allow organizations to create Business centric communities. Some will only have internal users, some only external, some a combination. The center of collaboration is based on secured, user friendly communities. These communities facilitate the needed knowledge and collaboration. But there is more.
Would it not be great to enable Workflows and Apps in these secured communities? Document Management, Meeting planners, ERP Workflows and many others can directly be consumed within the context of a community. In Hoozin, each community comes with an App Store to boost collaboration and Knowledge Management.
Last but not least, each community can have it’s tailor made Branding, allowing a real identity for each Business centric community and their users.