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The Corporate Intranet Rebirth

So your flat-style intranet has reached the end of its useful life, now what? Are your end-users asking for unreasonable features like personalization, application and system integration, Single-Sign-On and content management? Do they already use industry web portals such as Google's Personalized Home Page, myYahoo or myMSN? Are they wondering why you can't deliver something more like these? Well, you're not alone. The technical skills of today's workforce are light years ahead of where they were 5-10 years ago. The new generation of employees and management are relying on aggregated information sources, served up quickly, through any electronic device. In addition, we've seen social networking sky rocket over the last few years and the use of instant messaging, text messaging, and blogging enter the corporate arena. So back to the original statement, your flat-style intranet has reached the end of its useful life, no what? This is a common question among company's who have a lot of information, in various formats, specific to roles and work units, scattered all over the place, and on various web and file servers.

What does this mean to those looking to satisfy their disgruntled intranet users? It means that with a little planning, design and most times, money, you can resurrect your aligning enterprise intranet or corporate web site into a dynamic, living, breathing, self-service web portal . Users will be thrilled to find that they can manage their content, change the look of their screens, customize their pages and integrate many systems, file folder, applications, into one single view without sifting through disconnected and sometimes unintuitive web pages.

The solution, Oracle 10g Portal. The reason, Oracle Has #1 Share in Business Analytics Market. To continue leveraging the power of a well adopted, but suffering, intranet, a growing trend among companies, both small and large, is the implementation of an enterprise web portal.

A web portal can be defined as many things to many people. In its simplest form a web portal is a website that offers users (employees, customers, partners or end-users) a way to easily find, navigate, and manage information in a consolidated view. Many of the web portal solutions on the market today offer the ability to integrate applications, database content and RSS feeds into their solution.

In 2003, the worldwide business analytics market reached $13 billion in software revenue. In 2003, Oracle was the leading business analytics software vendor with $1.6 billion in software revenue and a 9.6% growth rate over 2002. The company provides a broad portfolio of integrated business analytics software, including d ata warehousing and business intelligence. The business intelligence (BI) software tools provided by Oracle include Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer and Oracle Business Intelligence Spreadsheet Add-in for ad-hoc query and analysis and Oracle Reports Services and Oracle Application Server Portal (OracleAS Portal) for information access and delivery.

Oracle 10g Portal allows data/content/document and message delivery at a granular level, helping secure and personalize your distribution of targeted information. Oracle 10g Portal utilizes it's built-in JSR168 compliant portlets, and has the ability to cross-integrate with other JSR168 compliant portal solutions/vendors.

Enterprise portal users will gain not only personalization, but the ability to share, find, analyze and publish information on a JIT basis with built-in mechanisms like content approval work flow, robust search features, customizable screen, full content authoring (outside of IT), and back-office integration. No more leaving your website to go the the network folders, or going to Outlook to get your email, and no more being overwhelmed with content and information unrelated to your daily tasks/role.

The addition of (BI) dashboards also are a huge part of why Oracle 10g Portal is a winning choice. Business analyst and leadership will have charts, graphs, and gauges delivered to them through a common interface (bye-bye Excel) for easy viewing and decision making. Drill down capabilities with the dashboards can take you from gauge to Oracle Discoverer in 1 click. It's easy to integrate, use and manage.

Start reading about things I have learned about leading portal implementations and migrating your corporate intranet to a robust web portal. The beauty of it, you can use any portal solution, such as Microsoft Share Point Server or even an open-source portal like Metadot.

The author of this article has "retired" from the technical life and now travels the US in his RV. If you want to take a break from reading about Portal you can visit his new blog rv-park.net.

Tim Cambier has over 10 years of IT experience and has led the implementation of both open-source and packaged web portal deployements. His experience migrating and managing intranets allows him to relate, and offer advice, on how to get things done. He has published articles on web analytics ( http://www.oracle.com/technology/pub/articles/cambier_disc.html ) and creating your search engine ( http://www.devx.com/webdev/Article/21909 ) as well as developed and sold his own internet start-up company. He is currently working to establish a website dedicated for web portal deployments and intranet redesigns.


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