Portals in e-Business


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Another important concept is the portal. Portal literally, means "gate-way." In the e-business context, portals represent an "entrance" into something. Many portals started out as transitory, sites such as search engines. They then grew from pure indexes into information centers, providing news, views, and relevant information. This content progression was intended to keep the user on the site longer, resulting in more pages viewed, and more advertising revenue generated.

Another development that impacts e-business is the self-created portal - or the intranet. The intranet is the "home base" of the portal world and is usually packed with information designed to improve the productivity and information flow of the internal operation, intranet functions that go beyond internal company usage include extranets and virtual private networks for interacting with business partners and suppliers.

In e-Business terms, a portal is usually a one-stop destination specific to an individual industry or function in the B2B cycle. There are many types of portals, and in this early stage of development, we are seeing only a portion of what is likely to appear in the coming years.

Portals are the workspaces of the future. They are where we will go for relevant information, specific to our individual job tasks and daily routines. Tomorrow's portals will have news feeds, professional information, and our daily tasks all nicely packaged for the day. Although we use some of these tools on today's portals, the current technology is neither as widely used nor as sophisticated as it will be in the near future. Ultimately, these systems will include information from our suppliers, partners, sales, and support. Most importantly, this information will be re-used and customized according to our individual information needs at according to the work task requirement.

Many firms are trying to gain mindshare and market share in these vertical markets across the world. They plan to do this by offering you several different experiences and tools including:
1. Relevant information for you based on your job role and industry.
2. Customization tools to allow companies to create their own "internal portal," defining a new workspace that will combine news, data, content, and tasks (corporate information portal tools);
3. Sophisticated information services that will deliver and route relevant information to those that need it.
4. Real time information to support just-in-time decision support for purchasing, supply chain, and partnership relationships.

State-of-the-art portals are and will continue to be very relevant B2B tools. Because the ultimate position in a B2B market is as a transaction participant, customized portal content is one way to attract participants to a community. After all, a main principal of the portal is that content is king. People come back to sites that have useful, relevant, and exciting content. They leave the others, and do not return.

The corporate information portal is a more recent and relevant offshoot of the portal. The corporate information portal allows users to interact with information and systems applicable to the corporate world, and is customizable to meet their needs. Corporate information portals are one effective method of dealing with the continuous requirement of customizing the desktop.

As more companies with a presence on the Internet realize that content is one of the best means to bring visitors back to their site, these customized, portal-related tools and sites are increasing in number and significance.

The Delphi Group of Boston, Massachusetts has been tracking the development of the corporate information portal marketplace. The sector's growth has been prodigious: from $37mn in 1998 and $178mn in 1999, it reached $390mn in 2000 and is projected to reach $740mn in 2001. The hybrid portal of the future is currently in use, and will become more mainstream according to The Delphi Group by mid and late 2002.
 

 

 
 
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