Project No 3: Enterprise PortalsBy Connie Winkler | Posted 2005-05-23 Email Print
Today's enterprise portals are polished, professional machinesa breed apart from their scruffy skunk-works ancestors.Project No 3
Technology: Web-based software that provides employees, customers or partners access to business information.
Goals: Deliver data to key audiences faster; standardize templates to allow groups to build portals faster
Average planned spending in 2005: $6.8 million
Today's enterprise portals are polished, professional machinesa breed apart from their scruffy skunk-works ancestors.
Prudential Financial, Continental Airlines and the Bank of Montreal are all prime examples of companies seizing on the maturity of enterprise Web portal software to find new flavors for customers, employees and business partners. Plain vanilla is out, but at the same time, cost-consciousness is in.
Prudential, as with other companies, is standardizing its departments' portals by providing a set of prebuilt templates. The goal is for the groups to develop Web portals with greater cost-effectiveness, says Michael Mandelbaum, chief information officer for the company's e-business development group in Roseland, N.J.
"Portals are going to be a key infrastructure technology that all our business units take advantage of, a core building block that improves value," he says.
Now, in cookie-cutter fashion, Prudential's e-business group spreads the lessons it has learned implementing portals for customers and service agents in the past few years. For example, the e-business group can show a business unit how to restrict or grant access to content; a vice president, say, may be allowed to see information that's shielded from other team members. "Our experience implementing customer portals has given us a case study in best practices," says David Kennington, vice president of information systems at Prudential.