Continued from page 1
Enterprise Portals often leverage best of personalization and one-to-one marketing, allowing for targeting of content and message to unique individuals. Thus, a customer might have access to product manuals or white papers that a partner would not be able to see. At same time, portals often rely on sophisticated CRM and campaign management systems in implicit and explicit personalization and communications of site, allowing company to interact with its customers and partners in better and more lucrative ways. Finally, Enterprise Portals offer amazing analytical data to companies about their customers and partners via direct feedback utilities, or tracking of usage and navigation of site (and implications of what their users are interested in).
In order to offer up such versatile functionality, Enterprise Portals are increasingly built on sophisticated development technologies. Often they'll have at their heart a complex application server/personalization engine such Broadvision One-To-One, ATG Dynamo, or BEA Weblogic. Additionally, Enterprise Portals many times need to integrate with backend legacy systems, requiring a robust and scalable EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) architecture. Open systems languages such as Java and XML make this easier by reducing proprietary interfaces and inconsistent standards.
Obviously, building a system that could be compared to a mini-ERP implementation is never easy, and business process and data issues involved in constructing an Enterprise Portal are as complex as any of application development issues. With that said, companies recognize operational efficiencies, cost savings, and potential revenue offerings of such sites, and it's only a matter of time before Enterprise Portals are as ubiquitous as company 1-800 phone number.
Paul Brassil is the Manager of E-Business Development at EMC Corporation in Massachusetts and is responsible for EMC Powerlink, the company's Enterprise Portal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.