Modified 24 July 2019 by Lucy Taylor

You know your business right?  Your products or services, your suppliers, Partners, subcontractors, customers or resellers. You’ve got a list of priorities and goals, maybe sales objectives to meet and a whole raft of other things to do. One of those things, even if you haven’t realised it, is setting up an extranet - a private site where you can securely share content with people from outside of your organization.

Why? It’s simple - because you want to keep things running smoothly.  

Collaborating with people outside your organization can be challenging but connecting with these external stakeholders is vital to the success of any organization or business. Getting people the right information at the right time in an accessible and simple way is key to keeping projects on track, communicating clearly with customers and contractors, keeping suppliers up to date and Partners or vendors on the same page.

If an extranet sounds a bit techy and mysterious, it just isn’t. You may know it as a Client, Customer or Supplier Portal, Partner or Reseller Site, Professional Services Portal, maybe a Digital asset store, Digital libraries or Self service portal. In fact there are loads of uses for an extranet and lots of everyday business challenges that it can solve.

5 everyday business challenges solved with an extranet

Maybe you want

  1. customers to have secure self-service access to financial reports
  2. a website to support a network of partners or resellers
  3. to share design resources such as images, pdfs and photos with customers and creative agencies
  4. suppliers to have access to delivery schedules, price lists or inventories
  5. to share Drive files and G Suite information securely with people outside your business that don’t use G Suite.

OK, that all seems to make perfect sense and you see the benefits of an extranet but if you had to build one, you wouldn’t know where to begin, right? Wrong. Just think how great it would be if you could do that on your own, without having to pay someone to set up and maintain a fancy portal. If you’re using G Suite you can set up a G Suite extranet or Google Drive extranet in minutes and you don’t need to be a technical genius or web expert to do it.

How? OverDRIVE turns G Suite and Google Drive content into web pages automatically. It integrates perfectly with Drive, so just tell it which content to use and it creates the site structure, navigation and pages at the touch of a button. Your web page content is the same as your Drive content and they’re kept completely in sync. Change one and you change the other, automatically. There’s a great choice of non-Google logins, including Microsoft and Facebook accounts or an email address and password, so unlike Drive, users don’t need to have a Google account. OverDRIVE permissions groups help you to manage who sees what information, so you have complete control and they have the complete picture.

Whether it’s confidential price lists or discounts, events information, downloadable documents, product details or design resources, all you need to do is put the content in suitable Drive folders and then choose the best way to present the information in your OverDRIVE site. Workflows can be built using Drive documents with an approval process and email notifications. You can easily share other information from G Suite like maps and calendars or bring in external data such as a Twitter feed or even a SmartSheet or an Awesome Table.

OverDRIVE sites also work well on mobile, play nicely with Google Team Drives and have great search facilities so users can find what they need quickly and easily. With a choice of designs, styles and custom branding you can make your site your own and set up a self-service portal for people outside your organization to securely find all the information and support they need to build a beautiful relationship with you.

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