Advantages of Extranet for Small Businesses

The extranet simplifies communication, data management and issues related to promotion of products. Discussed below are some advantages of having an extranet system:
Communicating with Customers–if you run the kind of business that requires you to communicate with clients frequently, or you need to be in touch with your contractors, vendors, and suppliers all the time, then the extranet helps you stay connected with them.

  • Streamlined Communications–the extranet can streamline the communication between the company management or employees and their customers, contractors, and other service providers.
  • Online Conferencing–One of the biggest advantages of having an extranet connection. Just add web cams and special software, and you are ready for an online meeting with your clients or service providers.
  • Records keeping–through the extranet, you can keep the records of the communication between you and other parties, which is very useful in case of lawsuits.

How to Choose an Extranet Service

The following is a checklist you might want to consider when choosing an extranet connection for your small business:

  • Availability of chat rooms to which you can restrict access according to your requirements.
  • If you have a meeting or an important appointment, make sure you can share a calendar of events with the concerned people through the extranet.
  • File sharing is an important part of the extranet if you wish to send many documents to your clients or contractors.
  • The extranet should be synchronized with Microsoft Office and other relevant software.
  • The extranet should be easy to navigate. People should not just be able to find information on a particular page but also be able to search the site with keywords.
  • Update alerts are another great feature of most extranet services. People interested in your services should be able to get email alerts when the site is updated.

Data Security in Extranet Service

Data security is a major concern for small businesses that choose to put information online. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that the information you put online is secure and cannot be accessed by anyone apart from the designated members:

  • The company that provides you the extranet service should be reliable and financially successful.
  • If your data is hosted by an external services provider, make sure that it is safe in case of theft and weather issues.

By following the above guidelines, you will be able to select the best extranet system for your business. An extranet system not only helps you streamline communications with employers but keep a record of all communications with the third parties.