In simple terms, a web portal is a web-based platform that provides employees, customers, and suppliers with a single access point to information. A web portal can be used to provide the user with personalized elements such as employee training, safety manuals, or a personalized customer profile. This service can also be used to enhance the collaboration of information and improve the way employees, customers, and suppliers interact with your business.
Types of web portal:
- Access portal: Associated with ISP
- Horizontal or functional portal: Offers a range of services, for example, search engines, directories, news, recruitment, personal information management, shopping, etc.
- Vertical portal: Covers a particular market, such as construction, with news and other services.
- Media portal: Main focus on consumer or business news.
- Geographical portal: May be horizontal or vertical.
- Marketplace portal: Could be horizontal, vertical, or geographical.
- Search portal: Main focus is on search (Google, Ask, etc)
- Media type portal: Maybe voice or video and delivered by streaming media or download of files (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)
Search engines are the most popular type of portal, as they are used by all internet users to access certain topics. Some argue that the term ‘web portal’ is a general term and it can be referred to simply as ‘website’ ‘intranet portal’ or any other development for the web.
What is a web portal application?
A web portal application is a web-accessible interactive tool on a secured website that delivers both related and unrelated applications, services, and links.
The Portal applications provide data in an easily understandable format, modify or manipulate data, and communicate with companies or individuals about the data.
Once a user logs in, a portal application also enables the service provider to track users’ website activity. A portal application may also be known as an enterprise portal.
Commercial benefits of a web portal
The benefits of a web portal can include user fulfillment, improved access to important data, and basic user login stats. However, most organizations that have deployed web portal software cite that they have achieved the following commercial benefits:
- Removal of back-office administration
- Scalable IT licensing options
- Improved decision making
- Improved communication resulting in stronger customer and supplier relationships
Does my business need this service?
A question frequently asked, if you want a specialized tailored answer you will need to contact us, however generally— the process of developing and deploying an online business portal can be triggered from a single ‘pain’ or ‘flashpoint’ that the business experiences.
Normally this includes multi-location-based teams or the need to improve communication and access to information between your business and suppliers. These can vary depending on the nature of an organization and how it operates.
Key points that may indicate you need a web portal include:
- Multi-location premises e.g. national/international office
- Home or field-based employees
- Requirement for external contribution to data and processes e.g. to manage supplier or channel retailers
- The requirement to provide a scalable IT licensing option
- Increase the visibility of information e.g. by department, manager, or tailored for a specific individual
- Existing business systems are missing a critical module that is needed by your exact day-to-day processes
If these apply to you, research more into web portals and how they can benefit your business, or simply contact B2be for more guidance. Need a way to collaboratively interact with your trading partners and your staff? B2Be can assist, get in touch with us today.