Enterprise Portals - The Next Big ThingWritten by Paul Brassil
Just when you finally got comfortable with transformation of Web from a simple server of static HTML to a complex application centered in B2C and B2B concepts, along comes latest in E-Business initiatives - Enterprise Portal. Enterprise Portals are Extranets developed by companies to satisfy secure communications with their customers, partners, and employees, and it's an idea whose time has certainly come. Both big companies and small have discovered multifaceted value of such systems, and it's only a matter of time before they will be main channel of communication between companies and their customers.
The history of web for many companies has been interesting in lack of planning and focus. Companies were reluctant to go on web at first due to concerns with permanence of Internet. By end of 1990's, however, departmental web sites were popping up throughout corporate world, and prevailing impression was that more stovepipe web sites a company could build better. Soon, corporations were faced with a confusing glut of Intra/Extra/Internet sites that tended to defy a consistent branding, offer overlapping functionality, and require users to amass a large number of login accounts. The goal of an Enterprise Portal is to collapse these disparate corporate web sites into a single entry point into company, offering users a consistent brand, a single login, and reliable access to wealth of a company's offerings.
So, what are some of features found in these Enterprise Portals? Customers might use an Enterprise Portal for accessing product information, sign up for training and view course offerings, leverage service features such as on-line call center interactions or software distribution features, register for a company sponsored conference, or simply access company's online commerce offerings. Partners might use site to strengthen channel ties, download content to extend relationship, or collaborate online with company on new programs. Employees would use site as they would company Intranet, with benefit of using traditional Intranet features outside firewall (like checking email). Across all these users, Enterprise Portals offer established "Portal" features such as industry news, event calendars, and user preferences to promote return visits and longer sessions.
Monitoring Customer Satisfaction on the WebWritten by Daryl Clark
If you have an e-commerce site, you need to know if you customers are satisfied. Unlike a brick and mortar business, it is very hard to monitor customer satisfaction on web. If your business is Internet only or if it is a brick and mortar business, customer satisfaction has to be a priority or else your business will fail!
If you don't physically see customer, how can you tell if they are satisfied? One of best methods I have found, is to use free services of (Bizrate.com*) http://www.bizrate.com
After you have filled out their on-line application and your web site is approved, Bizrate.com sends you some simple HTML to paste into your receipt page. This HTML offers customers a chance to win a prize if they fill out a short survey about their shopping experience. Customers will rate your company and your web site using a 1-10 scale on following parameters of satisfaction:
* Overall Rating * Ease of Ordering * Product Selection * Product Information * Price * Web site Performance * On time Delivery * Product Representation * Customer Support * Order Tracking * Shipping & Handling
Having this type of feedback is essential to continuously improving your operations. Bizrate provides you feedback weekly in form of a customer approved survey link that is posted on your web site.