ECM customers are no strangers to license costs. But year-over-year price increases and per-user licenses for a growing company can put a strain on any budget. In addition, most ECM platforms today come packaged with an “everything and the kitchen sink” user interface. The complex nature of such interfaces requires a large amount of user training, can lead to low user adoption, and are oftentimes difficult to customize for specific business needs. Additionally, consider the company that has business requirements to share documents with clients and third-party vendors – how can a per-user license be justified?
But every business needs an ECM, right? Enter the Consumer Portal.
1. What is a Consumer Portal?
A consumer portal is read-only interface, separate from the ECM, where content can be published following pre-determined business rules. User access is provided separately, with unlimited user accounts – given user management protocols are implemented (LDAP or Active Directory, for example). TSG has many years of experience implementing consumer portals for clients across industries.
2. What are the benefits of a Consumer Portal?
- Cost savings are the primary benefit of using a consumer portal. Many of TSG’s clients are medium-sized companies with a large number of third-party vendors and customers with whom they share information. These clients have ECM licenses for the appropriate number of internal users, then publish read-only content to a consumer portal for wider access by third parties.
- The consumer portal can also provide a simplified, streamlined interface that increases user adoption and allows them to use the portal with minimal training.
- The consumer portal will remain accessible, even when the ECM is out of service. This separation of systems is another appealing option to allow for high availability and maximum amount of uptime for third party access.
3. Does my business need a Consumer Portal?
There are many factors when deciding to implement a consumer portal. Consider the following questions:
- Does your ECM require per-user licenses?
- Do you have a small amount of content creators, editors, and publishers, but a high number of content consumers?
- Do you have third parties that need to consume content?
- Are your users frustrated with the provided ECM interface due to its complexity?
- Do you have a need for high availability and maximum up-time for users to access documents?
TSG has years of experience implementing consumer portals for clients across many industries. Stay tuned for more information about consumer portals and the ways they can benefit your company.
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