What is an Enterprise Portal? In broad terms, it is a decentralized internal system deployed by big and middle-companies for the sake of fluent and timely communication between the company’s employees, and sometimes with customers as well. Enterprise portals are designed for content management and content distribution.
All big companies use Enterprise Portals in their work. Why? An effective workflow would be impossible without it. Let’s further discuss why and how Enterprise Portals are useful and also what it takes to develop one. After that, you are probably going to know for sure whether or not you need one for your company.
What is the enterprise portal?
An enterprise portal is web-based software for integrating information, people, and accesses inside the company. It categorizes all data and makes it available in a single interface for all departments. Enterprise portal makes the process of searching for information easier as employees interact with the relevant content through the portal that gathers the business information and applications in one place. Among the key benefits of enterprise portals are:
- Rather simple and user-friendly experience
- Responsive design
- Customized application launcher with real0time application
- Flexibility with Cloud and Hybrid deployment
Types of Enterprise Portals
There are different types of enterprise portals. Each of them suits for a particular business area. Start by writing a list of features your Enterprise Portal is going to have like this one:
- Customer Relationship Management
- Content Management
- Time tracking
- Order tracking
- Data analysis
- Product lifecycle management (medical equipment and supplies)
- Supply chain management
These are just some of the most popular things to include in your own Enterprise Software.
Enterprise Portal Solutions & Platforms
There are already several readymade solutions that can be used for your organization. They are often used for managing the inside work processes and give the ability to record and show all data in one place. That makes the workflow more simple and optimized. These portals have diverse levels of access and consequently secure. The company headers can easily set access levels or particular groups of employees and control the safety of the data. Among the most popular enterprise portal solutions are Atlassian Confluence, SharePoint, Oracle Webcenter, HCL Connections, and others. all of them have similar and different features and can be easily integrated into your company.
However, if you want to have specific functions and a customized portal, it is better to develop your own enterprise portal. Of course, enterprise platforms give the basis for building your own customized solution bt some features, functions, and design that will be fully personalized and suitable for your organization. for this process and individual you’d better hir a team of professionals and experienced developers who dealt with building this kind of software solutions for business.
Top 5 Platforms for enterprise Portals
Red Hat JBoss Portal Platform
This is an open-source enterprise application platform or building java and EE apps. This portal perfectly suits for creating customized and widely scalable applications that deliver perfect performance. It has a particular range of features, among them are:
- Jakarta EE 8 support – the development process becomes easier.
- Flexible deployments – possibility to move from traditional to cloud deployment without rewriting a code
- DevOps – it has integration with the rest of the Red Hat ecosystem
- Eclipse MicroProfile support – developers can use Eclipse MicroProfile APIs to create microservices-based applications.
- Adaptable Resource Usage – it is suitable for a lot of types of apps
SAP Enterprise Portal
This enterprise portal is a front-end component for SAP NetWeaver. This solution helps to get access to SAP and non-SAP data sources, enterprise apps, databases, and other services. The architecture of this SAP portal gives the opportunity to build a scalable and secure portal for the enterprise. Here is a list of main features:
- Role-based access: easy access to business processes and information via desktop or mobile version
- Personalization: Users can simply personalize the appearance of their portal experience
- Pre-defined content The UI client provides access to -defined content and work item lists coming from Universal Work List, Power List (POWL)
- Application launching: Users can easily launch integrated web apps such as Web Dynpro for ABAP, Web Dynpro for Java, Web UI Framework, HTML5 (SAPUI5), and SAP GUI.
This is a collection of software products and components from Microsoft, which includes a set of web applications for collaboration, functionality for creating web portals, information retrieval module in documents, and information systems. So here are the critical features of Sharepoint:
- Content and files shares in and out your company
- Managing content using metadata, libraries, records, and policies
- A platform for users to collaborate on content or data
- Shares of messages across the company
- Access to content on Android, iOS, and Windows devices
- Helps to create the workflow and alerts to automate work processes
IBM WebSphere Portal
This is a corporate software solution that is used for building and managing web portals. It gives access to the content and applications giving them a personalized experience for users. WebSphere Portal is a component of WebSphere software. Among the main features are:
- Web Analytics framework
- Personalization engine
- Integration of WebSphere Portal and WCM
- Step-up authentication
WebCenter Portal Cloud
This is a platform that provides cloud-based management of hardware and software. It helps companies embed innovation and business transformation by reducing costs, increasing agility, and decreasing IT complexity. Consequently, the features are:
- Reducing costs
- Management of all business processes
- Easy to scale
Three pillars of the enterprise portal
Security is considered to be a critical issue of enterprise development as there is a huge probability of data breach. OWASP constantly reports about an impressive number of security concerns for web apps. Also, they publish recommendations about how to avoid your data to be stolen and choose an appropriate level of security for your web solution.
Access to data of your organization should be restricted. It can have two-level secure access – VPN and a particular group of people. It is important to implement diverse levels of access to information for different employees. They only can have permission to use another information in case if it concerns their work. Also, a good feature is to make limitations for the number of gadgets that can have access to the network.
The technical part of your solution should work perfectly well under heavy load. Every option has to work with no error or bugs as it can influence your reputation and reliability of your business. There are two ways of providing that – mirroring strategy or server virtualization. It means the work of several servers on the same hardware.
How to Develop Your Own Enterprise Software?
The desired objectives of your future system should be clearly outlined. You need to consider all the ins and outs before you start designing and prototyping. Such a complex project requires professional teamwork of project managers, business analysts, developers, and designers. The plan for such work should foresee all the possible challenges.
Custom ERP System
Why else companies need enterprise software? ERP (enterprise resource planning) is used to track the activity of everybody a company has any relationship with. ERP is also used for security purposes to make sure that everything business-related stays inside and no leakage can damage the company’s interests. Some companies buy a ready-made enterprise software product. Others decide to develop and deploy their own custom solution. What to choose?
When you go with a ready-made product, you pay on the subscription-based model or it can be a one-time purchase. You can have what you need but you may not have something you’d like to have. In other words, ready-made ERP systems are packaged with all the “need to have” features but lack many of the “nice to have” features. And it is often these latter extra little features that distinguish your system from all others and make it genuinely productive.
When you choose custom software development, you can have whatever you want. That is very important as many companies need certain features that are crucial for their business, yet are absent in the ready-made options.
Your employees should have a say in what you will develop. Consider the employees of your company your clients (they are the end-users, after all). You build a product for them to optimize, upgrade, update, and innovate their workflow. It is in your best interest to make their work easier.
And yet most enterprise software is the opposite of cozy and friendly. One of the reasons is those big companies are also old companies. And software gets updated over the years that make architecture more complex, harder to get rid of or substitute, and also messy.
Whether it is a group chat or an employee tracking system, your enterprise software solution should be easy to use. The design should be intuitive. The architecture must be simple and easy to grasp for new developers (eliminate all possible technical debt).
How Much Is It Going to Cost You?
Expensive enough. As we have mentioned before, enterprise software is a very complex and sophisticated product that is going to be used by hundreds of people. The average price is between $50K and $100 000K for a portal with a full range of features. It is going to serve you years, will minimize your expenses, optimize routine processes, reduce communication time, etc. Every middle and big business has some kind of ERP system and your company is not an exclusion. At some moment in the future, it will grow to the point where it won’t be possible to operate efficiently without some sort of your own Enterprise Portal. It is better to have the right software from the beginning.
Our team of business analysts and client engagement managers as well as our senior software engineers will deliver a detailed quote showing how much your project is going to cost you in hourly ratio. We emphasize the estimation process to ensure that every feature is outlined before the agreement stage of our cooperation. Our leading developer Evgeniy Bryl prepared an approximate estimation of the development of the enterprise portal. However, the list of developers and hours of their work can change and depend on the range of functions your solution will have.
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As usual, it is highly advised to first develop the MVP of your enterprise portal. Then, you should test it and add additional “nice to have featured” shipping them via updates. We recommend releasing your product as fast as possible to get user feedback and then adjust the development accordingly to suit the needs of the end-users. This way your employees will get exactly what they need. It is also one of the reasons custom development is a much more preferable option, since every feature you need you can have since there are no limitations. When you go with a ready-made option, these updates are harder to do.
Developing the MVP allows the so-called “fail fast, fail first” to happen. Don’t be afraid, it’s just the startup model for gathering feedback. Mistakes allow learning and without knowing what works and what doesn’t, it is unimaginable to build something if real and lasting value. Therefore, MVP shows what really works and what areas could use some improvement. After releasing the MVP you might consider adding “nice to have featured” to your product thanks to real user feedback available.
Reasons to choose GBKSOFT for enterprise portal development
Our team of specialists provides an individual approach to every project. We deliver high-quality services, constant communication, and inform our customers about every new stage in the development of their solutions. We know how to integrate new software into existing work processes without difficulties and errors. Our main priority is the high security of business processes and meeting all the demands of our customers.
Also, we provide management of every step of the development and pay attention to customers’ requirements a lot. It is important to build software that can be easily integrated into your business and don’t use any troubles in the future. and we, as an experienced team, know how to do it accurately and suitable to you and your organization’s needs.
So, what did we learn today? First, we came to the notion that most of the enterprise software such most of the time. Even Oracle and SAP (the most popular ready-made ERP solutions) are highly criticized, although it is hard to get off it once you’re hooked. A much better option is to develop your own custom Enterprise Software that will serve precisely your needs and will deliver exactly what is required. We can do it.
Your Enterprise Portal includes all internal operations and communication mechanisms in your company or a department. With an ERP software of your own, you create a closed ecosystem to safeguard and streamline your business operations, keep track of accounting or delivery, and monitor your employees’ performance 24/7.
If you want to build a personalized enterprise portal, you should definitely hire a team of experienced specialists who can easily create an appropriate portal for your company and easily integrate it into wor processes.
Contact us for a free consultation and we will discuss possible options. Until then, think about what processes in your line of business can and should be optimized, how much are you willing to spend, and when do you need your software done.