5 Advantages of Extranets for External Collaboration

Does your organization’s external collaboration tool kit consist of email and phone calls? Then have you considered an extranet? If you already have an intranet in your organization, you’ll know the benefits of having a central hub for collaboration, communication and information sharing. But if not, read on…

According to Gartner an extranet is an “Internet-based network that facilitates intercompany relationships by linking an enterprise with its suppliers, customers or other external business partners.”

So, if your organization collaborates with external partners either on an on-going or project basis, here are five advantages of extranets for external collaboration that you’re going to want to know about:

1. Extranets create a central hub for news and information sharing

If your organization relies on email for knowledge-sharing, you could really benefit from using an extranet. Whilst we wouldn’t advocate ditching the medium altogether, email communication can be unreliable and hard to track.

One huge advantage of extranets for external collaboration is that all your news and information is available on one central hub.

With Valo Extranet, built on SharePoint, you can keep your external network up-to-date with the latest news and upcoming events shown in one central location. So, your external users can pick which events to join right from your event calendar!

Special Olympics Canada worked with Valo Premium Partner Creospark to adopt Valo Extranet. Their goal was to try and simplify communications in a complex federated structure of head office staff, regional “Chapter” employees and external volunteers.

Special Olympics have used Valo Extranet to simplify communications in their complex federated structure.

They found that the flexibility of Valo’s Mega Menu feature really helped deliver the multi-layered structure the organization required.

The Chapters are going to be the ones that really benefit from Valo Extranet because now they only have one place to go to get information.

2. Security is enhanced with invitation-only access

Security is an understandable concern when it comes to sharing business-critical information and documents externally. However, with a modern extranet, it doesn’t need to be. Another advantage of extranets for external collaboration is that the platform is accessible via invitation only. In addition, as it is built on SharePoint, groups can be set up quickly and easily to manage permissions within the extranet.

Your resources are safe with Valo Extranet’s invitation-only access.

To simplify the process even further, Valo Entrance is Valo’s access management tool offering self-registration for external stakeholders, which can be managed via a central dashboard. Valo Entrance also uses Microsoft’s Azure AD security which makes it easier to share data and applications by automating and streamlining many time-consuming tasks.

3. Document and information sharing is easy

As well as being a central hub for news and information sharing, extranets can be a useful space for document control; making project management easier. Organizations that had previously relied on email for sharing documents can access them centrally, making version-tracking easier and eliminating the need for requesting resends.

With Valo Extranet you can facilitate different access requirements by creating different groups in SharePoint based on their business type or even by location.

4. Branded extranet for team building

Designing a welcoming branded environment is crucial for creating a unifying, shared digital workplace for external stakeholders. This is where extranets for external collaboration really come into their own. Branded extranets can make a great impression, having a positive impact on relationship-building.

extranets for external collaboration
A branded extranet is great for team building.

Valo Extranet is fully customizable, allowing you to add your company’s unique colors, logo, and look and feel. In fact, here at Valo, we have our very own Valo Partner Hub extranet that we share with our network of over 250 partners in over 50 countries worldwide.

From company news and product information, to updates on new releases, product demos and media assets, our awesome Valo Partners have access to it all!

5. Quick and easy set up

If you’re yet to be convinced about the advantages of extranets for external collaboration, let us share another key advantage of Valo Extranet. As a ready-to-go solution, built on SharePoint, Valo Extranet is quick and easy to set up, with minimal IT involvement and training required. Although we would necessarily advise it, it is possible to get your extranet up and running in just a week!

Once it’s live, creating content in Valo Extranet is so easy and intuitive. Anyone in your company can use existing templates to easily create informative and visually branded content!

From centralized news and information sharing, secure access and document management to customizable look and feel, and a quick and easy set up, the advantages of extranets for external collaboration are clear.

Plus, Valo’s add-ons, features and other digital workplace solutions that integrate fully into the Microsoft ecosystem make it an even more compelling proposition.

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If you are struggling with an uncentralized and unorganized way of working with external users, why not book a demo today and see for yourself what Valo Extranet can do for you?

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