What Is an Extranet?

An extranet allows you to extend your company intranet to your supply chain. Extranets are an extension of the company network—a collaborative Internet connection to customers and trading partners designed to provide access to specific company information, and facilitate closer working relationships. The way you extend your company network to your extranet partners can vary. For instance, you can use a private network for real-time communication. Or you can leverage virtual private networks (VPNs) over the Internet for cost savings. You can also use a combination of both. However, it’s important to realize that each solution has different benefits and security solutions. A typical extranet solution requires a router at each end, a firewall, authentication software, a server, and a dedicated WAN line or VPN over the Internet.

Typical Extranet Applications
- Supply-chain management - Customer communications - Distributor promotions - Online continuing education/training - Customer service - Order status inquiry - Inventory inquiry - Account status inquiry - Warranty registration - Claims - Online discussion forums Extranet applications are as varied as intranet applications. Some examples are listed above. Extranets are advantageous anywhere that day-to-day operations processes that are being done by hand can be automated. Companies can save time and money in development, production, order processing, and distribution. Improving productivity increases customer satisfaction, which drives business growth.

Example: Supply Chain Management
The traditional business fulfillment model is linear, with communication flowing from supplier to manufacturers in a step-by-step process. Communication does not transcend down the supply chain resulting in inefficiencies and time consuming processes. Effectively managing the supply chain is more critical now than ever. Customers today are looking for a total solution—they want ease of purchase and implementation, they want customized products, and they want them yesterday. Today, in order to better service and retain customers, companies realize that they need to

Benefits of Extranets What are the benefits of using extranets? You can decrease inventories and cycle times. Like the Internet itself. demand forecasts can be updated in real time. more effectively manage the supply chain. resulting in reduced cycle times. and manufacturing line statuses.Give suppliers access to customer order information. An extranet's web site looks and acts just like any other Web sites. You can increase customer satisfaction and. and product fulfillment can be queried by any member of the supply chain. With an extranet. . thus providing them with the necessary information to alter their production mix accordingly.Enable suppliers to see real-time market demand and inventory levels. while improving on-time delivery. What is an extranet: A network based on internet protocols belonging to an entity that provides various levels of accessibility to outsiders. One effective way to do this is to improve the system processes that make up the overall supply chain. at the same time. You can access an extranet only if you have a valid username and password. so they can fulfill those orders directly without having to route product through you.Use the network to hold online meetings where product design teams work together with suppliers to discuss prototype development.improve their business processes in order to deliver products to customers in reduced time. . and your identity determines which parts of the extranet you can view. Secure extranets are in demand because they are much less expensive to build and manage than private networks based on . . You can reduce costs by automating everyday processes. You can improve sales channel performance by providing dealers and distributors with product and promotional information online. extranets are used to share information. companies can: . while it’s hot. but the security surrounding an extranet fends off unauthorized access.Using the network. You can improve customer satisfaction by streamlining processes and improving productivity.

appointment calendars. get calendar events and record task activity. vacation schedules and other vital statistics can be kept in a central location. It really helps keep my team on the same page. Repository for vitals: Employee contact information. Discussion boards: Most extranets include discussion boards." "An extranet can be especially useful for ad agencies that share a lot of documents with employees and clients." A recent survey of U. "It enhances collaborative knowledge gathering. can more easily allow for collaboration on a message. . and easier management. enabling smaller groups to collaborate among themselves at a project level to get work done. particularly for a company that has more than one office. graphics and multiple Web pages. . . So how can an extranet help your company? Here's how. And it is really nice to allow our clients to go to a [private] Web site to look over different layouts for their campaigns. sales and marketing data and brochures. With an extranet. without creating massive e-mail threads. for employees to easily access and to add their own contributions. Extranets are becoming a very popular means for business partners to exchange information. whose Same-Page eStudio system currently deploys 7 eStudios (one for each of his ongoing clients). and can keep a message in front of people for as long as necessary. without tying up e-mail servers.S. project calendars. such as reporting forms. Project collaboration: An extranet allow an administrator the ability to restrict read-or-write privileges. can place a priority on certain messages. we have a number of people who travel regularly and they can quickly login. The advantage over regular e-mail is that an extranet can more easily store large file sizes and longer messages. storage and transfer of documents." adds Cutter. How would they benefit? By being able to work more efficiently and productively in groups. retrieve documents. "You can provide a lot of helpful information to your team. Information sharing: An extranet allows a company to quickly post announcements and items of interest to the group. a web site that is restricted to employees and other authorized external users. That means certain parts of the company extranet can be off-limits to certain people. they answered in the survey. . Document sharing: Most businesses already share files through one or more servers. where issues can be hashed out in an open forum. organization. depending on the employee or project. "Also.proprietary protocols." Ramsey says of an eStudio. An extranet also allows for quicker access to files. companies with five to 500 employees by Modalis Research Technologies found that 70% felt their companies would gain from having an extranet. you benefit from a digital dashboard for project information and include status reports of who has reviewed and signed off on various documents.

He and other extranet proponents insist that most businesses will get a greater return on their investment in an extranet than trying to build an intranet or e-commerce site. eStudio does not require a huge investment of information-technology staffing or resources.Work Log: Team members can have a central location to file their work logs and update the status of tasks that have been assigned to them. and $ 59 a month for an unlimited number of users. or their own servers. The only things you need are a PC (or Mac) and Internet access.to medium-sized businesses actually have extranets. mobile phone. postage and other costs. large and small." says Bruce Collen.and medium-sized businesses nationally — along with government agencies and nonprofit organizations — are recognizing the potential cost savings and other advantages of having an extranet." says Walt Harris. "The money you save with an extranet will go directly improving your bottom line. (Among larger businesses. The main barrier to getting an extranet was concern about the cost of development and maintenance and the lack of technical staffing and know-how.) The number will jump when more small businesses discover that the new solutions on the market.and medium-sized businesses looking at this opportunity. travel. Times are improving right now for many businesses. But word about lower-cost and low-maintenance extranet solutions is just now getting out in the small-business market. "I increasingly see more and more small." . There is no research indicating how many small. as well. But many small. A key reason for this growing interest is because extranets have become affordable and scalable for both small and medium-sized companies." Collen says. and believe there are better ways to work collectively. "They are relying on e-mail. You can sign up for a package online in a few minutes. President of Same-Page eStudio. the more you are likely to benefit. recent studies show that 85% of Fortune 200 companies and more than 67% of Fortune 1000 companies have or are developing corporate intranets. Businesses with five or more employees -particularly employees in different locations -. they cannot collaborate as well as they would like right now. "An extranet can save you money." says an owner of Florida-based Cable TV Network "The more employees you have in different locations and the more you outsource/collaborate on projects. who designed and analyzed the survey." "A lot of small businesses are frustrated." Some 58% of the survey respondents said they rely mostly on e-mail to collaborate with colleagues. But only 21% wanted to continue relying on e-mail for this purpose. such as Same-Page eStudio. such as Same-Page eStudio. "It's all about working more efficiently. A small but increasing number of turnkey solutions are inexpensive and easy to build and use. are affordable and don't require significant staffing and oversight.can save up to 50% on materials. Same-Page eStudio packages cost as little as $39 a month.

They may give customers access to support information or downloads for their software. vendors or contractors. a company may set up an extranet to share information with their customers. Audience: The audience in an extranet has some sort of relationship – typically of a business nature . Security n hacking course appinonline.com/hacking-expert Become ethical hacker security pro Study with leaders Make career Ads by Google Extranet Extranets are set up by organizations to provide restricted access to special information. The . Bright Hub has a network of servers that serve web pages containing articles like this one. Audience: The audience for an intranet is typically an organization’s employees. Type of Information Served: As mentioned above. As an example. even TV shows – nearly any piece of information or media can be found on the internet. For example. reference materials. the internet has the largest audience by far.nternet The internet is the easiest to define since you’re accessing it as you read this article right now. Search engines like Google and Bing catalog sites allowing users to find information easily. These sites are not accessible from the internet.with the organization hosting the extranet. The internet is a series of computers networked together to serve up information to the public. it’s probably on the internet – news. organizations may offer intranet access to close business partners. documentation or other pieces of information. extranets are password protected thus limiting the accessibility to the site. software downloads. Bright Hub is a part of the internet. or media that the hosting organization doesn’t want to make public. most extranets are built for customers and thus serve information related to the business – support information. Type of Information Served: If you can imagine it. In some cases. Typically. Intranet Intranets are private internal networks that serve information to employees or other closely related individuals of the organization. Audience: The audience is really everyone and anyone – ranging from kids who use the internet to help them with their homework to the elderly using web mail to email friends. When compared to intranets and extranets.

take a look at this five part series that covers the ins and outs of intranets including how to set one up for your organization. internal user guides. Type of Information Served: Information served in an intranet can range from business process documents. business presentations and communications to employees. For more information on intranets. training materials.content served is meant to allow employees to collaborate. . The other main purpose of an intranet is allowing employees to better organize information in their organization as well as being able to find it. communicate and organize information that is proprietary to the business.