SharePoint extranets allow you to share information outside your company with customers, vendors, and partners. SharePoint has become one of the most popular applications for building extranets because of its collaboration features and features that let developers easily build custom applications integrated seamlessly into the corporate network.
SharePoint business extranet technology includes features that you would expect from any enterprise content management (ECM) solution, such as document storage and retrieval functionality, versioning, search, alerts and announcements, and process management, but these features can be fully customized and exposed to select external users or a broader public as desired.
Security is another critical feature of SharePoint extranets. A network administrator can set levels of access easily, because the permissions can be fully integrated with the business’ global directory and security system.
SharePoint’s design flexibility also allows companies to customize their extranet portals to ensure branding is consistent internally and externally. SharePoint’s power platform provides yet another opportunity: organizations can consolidate intranet, extranet, and websites into a single management platform.
In addition, SharePoint Online (part of Office 365) allows customers to leverage its built-in extranet capabilities to simply implement the features described above.
The Benefits of SharePoint Business Extranets
A tightly integrated SharePoint extranet architecture provides the following benefits:
- Easily access important company information at any time and on any device.
- Improve communication, collaboration, and alignment with customers or among external partners and vendors.
- Permit access from the Internet while efficiently maintaining organizational security and permissions.
The 3Sharp Approach to SharePoint Extranets
3Sharp knows SharePoint extranets inside and out. We are one of the industry’s leading experts in SharePoint integration, collaboration, and building SharePoint intranets, portals, and extranets. Our solutions help you work smarter and faster with anyone inside or outside your company.
3Sharp proved its expertise with SharePoint extranet ECM during a project with an environmental consulting firm. The consultants for a large power plant needed approvals from a variety of regulatory agencies for the documentation produced. Independent technical contractors had to review the documents and file reports. Different sections of the report were available for revisions at different times, then certified as final. 3Sharp’s SharePoint extranet solution made all of these things possible for anyone with Internet access.
Here are some more ways that 3Sharp might build effective SharePoint extranets:
- An oil pipeline company was required to conduct routine inspections of flora and fauna along a 1,000-mile traverse. Contractors inspected their local sections and filed reports from their hotels or local offices each evening. These reports were reviewed by management, appropriate action taken, then maintained in an archival repository. This was all done with a custom SharePoint portal.
- A law firm had hundreds of clients and handled thousands of client matters. Each client had his/her own website where contracts, briefs, and other documents were stored, revised, and archived. Only clients and attorneys with appropriate access credentials could see these documents. Using SharePoint, the exchange of information was secure, instantaneous, and convenient for all parties.