Implementing Effective Portals
by Peter Brown, PwC




When you ask most people what they think of when they hear “portal,” the most common reaction is a public Internet search engine like Google or AltaVista. But today, this concept pioneered on the public Internet is quickly becoming an integral part of the corporate information infrastructure, enabling companies of all sizes to interact more efficiently and effectively with their customers, business partners, and employees. 


Portals are an important topic for two key reasons. One of the reasons is that portals provide a window into an enterprise's content and applications. As such, portals have quickly become the preferred method of access for many companies. 


But portals are important for a more fundamental and personal reason. When an IT organization upgrades the “behind the walls” infrastructure, most Business Unit Managers (BUMs) neither know about it nor don't care about it. However, when an IT organization deploys a portal it is highly visible to these same BUMs. 


However, successful portal deployment is not easy. It involves a tight linkage between business requirements and a variety of thorny IT issues, including security and content. 


Implementing Effective Portals is a primer on portals written by Peter Brown of PwC, an end user who has successfully deployed an enterprise-wide portal. As Peter observes in the article, “Though the portal is a relatively new phenomenon, building one requires excellence in our age-old specialties: understanding the customer, operational excellence, and continued education.” 


About the Author:


Peter Brown is the director of technology and cross-border services at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the world’s largest professional services firm. Previously, he served as CIO for PRI Automation Inc., was vice president of IT operation at Cargill Inc., and worked at the former Digital Equipment Corp. for 17 years in various roles.



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