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Web portal application in the company performing design works “under key”
Today the portal becomes a key component of a corporate IT Infrastructure. New portal software products do not intend any more only for representation and management of the information in the Network. The latest portal decisions have character of the software of an intermediate level (middleware), and many software producers for portals deliver the decisions directed on integration of portals with corporate appendices, such as ERP, CRM or e-procurement. Besides, portals also are applied to increase of return from use of corporate appendices at the expense of simplification of work with them: even inexperienced by means of portals easily work with difficult appendices. Features of the companies, performing design works “turnkey” in application of web portals, are: Association of geographically divided developers and customers in the uniform convenient and protected environment of work, orientation of web portals to work with graphic materials and specific (open) formats (for example, DXF), expansion of client base on a global scale.

Importance of portal decisions for the companies is reflected and in structure of IT-expenses. At the general falling of expenses on projects of electronic commerce in the global financial crisis, many heads, nevertheless, plan purchase of portal decisions.

Portals connect inherited and new corporate systems.

Really, as an example it is possible to result the company Maysteel – the manufacturer of components for electronics and electrical engineers which shows application of portals for integration of the corporate data and increase of efficiency of use of corporate information systems. In the company there was an object in view of increase of efficiency of its operations, partially at the expense of standardization of productions on each of its six factories. Thus it was supposed to direct a part of efforts on careful studying of indicators of quality of manufacture, however it was found out that reception of the necessary data from existing corporate ERP-system too difficult for any employee who is not the experienced user of system. Thus, there was a problem to provide an easy approach to the necessary data from ERP-systems for heads of the company and the personnel on quality assurance.

In connection with a mode of rigid economy and decrease in IT-expenses, could not be and speeches about replacement of ERP-system on more modern and functional. Then experts of IT-division of the company have developed the program on application of a corporate portal as tool of simple access to the ERP-system data.

Portals serve for contacts to clients.

Really, as an example it is possible to result Maysteel which reflects improvement of an internal efficiency of work of the company at the expense of portal application, but many companies use portals to involve new clients.

So, company Cigna specialising on the organisation and management by social programs of the companies and physical persons (the program of medical insurance, management of pension deductions etc.), used a portal for access of clients to the necessary information that has as a result strengthened competitive advantages of the company.

Potential corporate clients Cigna (HR departments of the companies) spend many forces for search of optimum programs of medical insurance and management of pension deductions which thus should be “are transparent” for employees of the company. Granting on portal Cigna of the developed information on offers on insurance of health and programs of management of deductions, and also placing of the personalised information for clients of the company about work under their programs has served for attraction of new clients. As these functions of a portal performed a part of work of the personnel of HR-departments of corporate clients and did “transparent” for the serving companies-clients all benefits of their social packages.

According to research Cigna, many employees would operate medical and pension grants more actively if had “adequate dialogue tools”. For three months from the beginning of use of portal Cigna for these purposes, 348 thousand from 14.9 million clients of the company have subscribed for this service.

Other example: company Pratt and Whitney, the manufacturer of jet engines, used a portal on purpose to grasp the big share of the market of service and repair of engines at the expense of the clients who have bought engines Pratt. The corporate portal of the company supports about 4 thousand employees, suppliers and the clients of the company using more of 100 services of a portal. One of services allows to reduce time necessary on major repairs of the engine by 30%. Use of Web-technologies helps manufacturers of engines to provide to itself the constant income of service of airlines and repair business.

Many airlines have own repair shops, and in need of repair they choose, proceeding from parametres of cost and the repair time, one of variants: whether to do these works independently, whether to send the engine back to the manufacturer or to use for repair the third party. Considering the status of service of their engines through a portal, clients-airlines and experts Pratt can operatively make the decision on necessary actions, for example, whether to wait for repair one or several of 28 thousand parts of the engine, or to establish new, etc. Considering that clients need to make such decisions many times for each engine, it becomes clear: the these decisions, the more likely the mullions-strong engine at cost again are fast made is ready to use, saving airlines cost of idle time of planes.

Portals find application in economic activities of the companies.

Portals serve many companies for the centralised management of the corporate data and services.

So, for the large industrial conglomerate Menasha uniting 5 companies which are engaged in manufacture of packing, cardboard, plastic, polymers etc., the portal serves for placing by clients of orders and tracing of the status of orders, for reception of the inventory and logistical information from ERP-system (SAP), for on-line interaction etc. The portal use 3 thousand end users; the information is personalised; portal services are organised so that as much as possible to satisfy inquiries of clients.

Company Maids Home Services International uses a portal as a communication center with the franchisees. Specialising on granting of cleaning service of premises, this company actively uses franchising and has about 140 companies-partners. Portal Maids Home Services is used for distribution of corporate documents on the companies-franchisees which as a result have the full information, important for their activity, – from the general managements, marketing and advertising materials to professional notes about new methods and receptions in work. And the head office saves money as necessity to dispatch a bale of paper documents has disappeared.

Besides, the portal is actively used by the companies-franchisees for the organisation of on-line forums and discussions on professional themes. Maids Home Services has incurred administration of forums (maintenance of an urgency of the contact information and cataloguing of discussions on themes). As a result partners had an opportunity, without using correspondence, to discuss new technologies, an operational experience, resolutions of problems etc.

Let's consider ways of an estimation of efficiency of a web portal.

Mr. Voitsekhovsky, the Vice-president and CIO companies Menasha, notices that in its company the first portal has been constructed on the means allocated with board on development of the project on electronic commerce, and accordingly was meant that the portal becomes the tool of electronic commerce. However already then the future portal was perceived also as means of reduction of costs in a chain of deliveries, such, for example, as time spent by employees of the company on telephone conversations for the purpose of attraction of new clients and reception of new orders. The portal helps the company and to keep clients, and as a whole to raise profit.

CIO the companies “Pratt and Whitney” Mr. Longo considers a portal as a part of the IT Infrastructure of the company. However it finds it difficult to define efficiency of a portal in quantity indicators, speaking about quality indicators – for example, time which is required for marks cargoes, intended for manufacture which managed to be reduced. This and other functions of a portal intended for suppliers, certainly, help to reduce monthly expenses of time which accompany operations on delivery and storage of cargoes. At the same time, Mr. of the Ox (Maids Home Services) the basic advantage of a portal names reduction of paper document circulation, and accordingly and the money spent for departure of mail.

Mrs. Ananija (Cigna) considers that the basic indicator of efficiency of a portal is degree of satisfaction of clients of the company. To find out it is possible by interrogations of clients that in Cigna and becomes. Other indicator efficiency of a portal is attendance of a site of the company.

In the conditions of global financial crisis the companies performing design works, aspire to expand client base and at the expense of advancement in the environment the Internet of the Internet representation which in this case acquires additional functionality for the purpose of the organisation of a new communication channel with customers and rendering of design services “turnkey”.

It is necessary to note, what exactly now probably both to increase a trade turnover, and to organise a new trading platform, and even to begin new business by means of new technologies in the environment the Internet as they practically do not demand the big initial capital investments and are simple accompanied. It is necessary to master that area which mention least both economic crises, and recessions of turns are Internet sales. Now both buyers, and sellers – all wish to save the savings. The first will spend now more time for goods choice to find the cheapest, and the second will try to reduce the prices to involve clients.

Let's consider economy on rent and the personnel.

Unlike usual trading platforms Internet shops possess a number of advantages. Pluses for buyers will be:
1. Lower prices (the prices in Internet shops on the average 10 times less, than in usual shops)
2. Home delivery (economy on road, gasoline, time, at last, convenience)

For sellers presence the shop Internet not less favourably. We will consider advantages of such trade channel:
1. Absence of a rent (it is necessary to pay only for a domain name (the site address) and a hosting is on the average makes from 2 to 4 thousand roubles a year)
2. Smaller staff. There is no need to contain managers on sales, couriers are necessary basically only.
3. A bolshy stream of clients. Lower prices will involve new clientele.

Let's consider economy on advertising.

It will be possible to save and on advertising. After all the Internet shop is favourable for advertising on the Internet, where the prices (at not smaller coverage of an audience) on the average more low, than the prices on television, radio, printing and the outdoor advertising. It is not surprising that in more advanced in this plan of the USA expenses on Internet advertising on turns are on 3rd place (conceding television and a print advertising), and in the Russian Federation – on the last (passing forward even external and advertising by radio). Versions of Internet advertising weight: search advancement, contextual advertising, banners, text blocks, advertising in videoclips and others. Absolutely clearly that problems with popularity of your Internet shop will not be, and this popularity will be got for the ready smaller sum, than popularity of a usual trading platform.

Theoretically benefit of presence of a virtual trading platform is clear. How now to realise conceived on practice?

It is necessary to consider that, no less than the quantity of the money enclosed in advertising, will affect quantity of visitors of the future shop, and quantity of the money enclosed in working out of shop, will affect its functioning. We do not urge to put great sums in working out, it is simply important to choose standing products and the companies competent of this area, rendering services in working out. We wish to tell about the complex decision, allowing to put the Internet trade in a big way practically from zero.

First of all, it is necessary to notice that any Internet shop is synthesis of two components:
1. Front-office. A platform, a site on the Internet which is intended for interaction with buyers. On the given site your shop is your person before buyers. On this site buyers get acquainted with conditions of execution of orders, choose the goods, form orders.
2. Bek-office. Office in its habitual understanding. Here managers process the orders received through a site, will coordinate time and a delivery condition with buyers, order the goods in suppliers, coordinate couriers. Here there is a small warehouse with the most running goods.

Beautiful and functional, and also advertised enough site will undoubtedly bring a considerable stream of clients. How to make such site? Now for creation of a unique site it is not so necessary to employ programmers and to put it the difficult technical project on working out. Modern control systems of a site (CMS) already include all necessary functions. It is necessary to develop only design or to take existing, often free template. Site adjustment became accessible not only to experts, and simply advanced users of the personal computer. It is necessary to fill only the trading catalogue of a site with the goods and to wait for clients.

Pledge of an overall performance of Internet shop – accurate construction of business processes. Then one manager and five couriers will be capable to carry out to 30 orders in day.

In summary it is necessary to notice that one of the basic competitive advantages of the modern trading companies – business dealing in a virtual network. And if you realise the goods or even – the virtual market is a high time to capture services. If you wish to create Internet shop from zero – now the ideal moment. If you already have a virtual trading platform – you can automate it.

Sources:
1. Portals on business service. – 2002 [http://www.e-commerce.ru/digests/foreign/issue92/press21 03.html]
2. Andreev S., Alyabyev M. Online Trading: a new trade channel in modern conditions. – 2009 [http://www.rg-soft.ru/articles/articles-our.php?ELEMENT_ID=2379]

The author: Челябэнергопроект
Date: 03/23/2010

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