Extranet comprises an extension of intranet which helps in sharing documents, files, and other essential information with someone who does not form part of your organization or business but requires the information. In easier terms, it is about exchanging your files through a web portal with someone external to your office.
Possessing an extranet offers plenty of consistent advantages and is ingrained to business at present that hopes to study the market. It aids to maintain security while offering access to information across boundaries. It can assist in effectively interacting with your business partners, associates, and even customers.
There are many examples of extranet applications, like customer portals, collaborative project workspaces, distribution or partner portals, team workspaces, and so on. Some of these are explored, along with extranet advantages, below.
# 1 Information Sharing Is Easy
In the absence of a client extranet, you’re probably sharing files with outside parties through email. This results in outdated document versions, big file attachments blocking inboxes, and vital information getting lost or overlooked. It can also consume time and irritate to search for information hidden deep in email threads.
An extranet confirms all relevant information – including entire versions of uploaded documents- lies in one place. Include in that the indexability of a modern solution and everyone discovers what they require within a few seconds.
# 2 Documents Are Safe And Secure
Information constitutes the lifeblood of any enterprise. An extranet keeps your vital documents up to date and stored safely, usually with SSL encryption. A strong extranet can offer access control, permitting you to restrict access to specific areas and files. It can even offer an audit trail, allowing you to see which users have accessed files and when.
# 3 Project Management Becomes Simple
It’s easy for internal personnel and third parties to associate within a modern extranet, including remote workers. Users can reach the information and tools they require from any smartphone or mobile device and work on common documents at their ease.
By benefitting from the numerous collaboration tools in an extranet, you can prevent having unlimited meetings, making phone calls, or dispatching emails for keeping all stakeholders updated. You can upload, collect, and edit documents; earmark and manage tasks, organize calendars and conference calls; begin and contribute to discussions; make announcements, and rapidly collect group feedback.
# 4 Setup And Training Need Slight To No IT Involvement
While conventional extranet solutions were cumbersome to set up and maintain, modern versions don’t require IT assistance, technical knowledge, or specialized hardware. These extranets are usually cloud-based, implying they practically maintain on their own. Additionally, most are quite intuitive, allowing users to speedily grasp how to accomplish things. The outcomes are a simpler-to-use platform and reduced costs.
# 5 Professional Branding Casts A Splendid Impression
Modern extranets can be customized to your needs, aiding you to cast a positive, professional image to customers. Not only can you build a secure, online environment, but it can also be branded to seem like your organization’s individual collaboration solution.
# 6 Productivity
Due to a growth in the quantity of time saved, there is a definite rise in the productivity of the business and the persons related to it. In an age where time corresponds to money, every second saved leads to immense gains for an organization.
# 7 Meticulousness
With extranet in the picture, the margin of error is considerably lessened as you possess a single portal through which the information can be accessed. Multiple email exchange can corrupt a file or by merely a simple human mistake confidential information could go to wrong associates. Direct exchange information by extranet passes the precise information leading to a rise in meticulousness.
# 8 Relationship Building
The greatest benefit you obtain through an extranet sharing is the faith in the eyes of your customers and vice-versa. Clients always require speedy and safe solutions and extranet is one such gem. This could result in improved relations going forward which is beneficial for any organization’s growth goals.
# 9 Cost Saving
Extranet in position can aid save on precious resources that are dedicated to supervising the security of the files being exchanged. Besides freeing up valuable resources, it also aids save time and lets you focus on the more essential aspects of the business.
# 10 Better Flexibility
Due to trends in innovation and technology improvements, businesses are adopting electronic forms of transactions and communication. Extranets can aid elevate the level of convenience by which you perform these exchanges as they present an efficient way for organizations to join with affiliates. As extranets are generally accessible 24 hours every day and there is comparatively no downtime, clients, vendors, associates, and other business partners can interact with your business at a time of their convenience.
# 11 Greater Efficiency
Since you furnish direct access to information on your network to your chosen associates, the use of extranets can enhance efficiency and raise productivity. For instance, a customer can receive answers to questions concerning your policy information without needing to wait for a reaction from your customer service personnel. When employed to offer access to internal applications, direct entry to your business information through your extranet permits users to alter and update their personal information, which not only raises productivity but aids to lower errors.
# 12 Security
On the one hand, security is an extra advantage if you create an extranet since you manage who accesses your site and thereby who accesses your data. Conversely, extranets can reveal your systems to breaches in system security as you give outsiders access to your system and internal databases. To offer access to external associates, you must build openings in your firewalls. Several openings in your firewalls lead to higher risks for unauthorized entries. Also, bear in mind that extranets offer access to proprietary data, and this access to your information can deliver another chance for unauthorized users to access confidential and sensitive information.
# 13 Expense
It can be expensive to implement an extranet as you may have to bear the cost of software, hardware, manpower, and any other related costs, including the training of external affiliates. Fixes and maintenance can also raise the cost of managing an extranet. While start-up costs may be substantial, you may experience cuts in other expense areas if you implement an extranet. For instance, since your affiliates have direct access to documents on your network, costs related to mailing or faxing information are considerably lowered or eliminated.
Extranets lower your supply, staffing, and different overhead costs by streamlining your operations. Extranets join multiple intranets together, so their primary use in the business world is to promote cooperation among various companies on initiatives, joint projects and information sharing. They also enable companies to join with customers in a more regulated setting than the Internet.