Intranets.com, the world’s largest and fastest growing provider of Web-based intranets, today announced new capabilities that allow its 350,000 intranet member groups to turn their intranets into extranets. These new Extranet Options give Intranets.com users flexibility to control how broad an audience they engage collaboratively over the web.
“Extranets have become critical business tools for many Fortune 500 companies,” said Rick Faulk, vice president of marketing at Intranets.com. “Intranets.com brings the capabilities of an enterprise-quality extranet to small businesses and organizations in a way that allows them to turn their intranets into sales, marketing and promotional tools.”
By selecting one of the three Extranet Options, Intranets.com users can choose to give their partners, customers, suppliers, clients or prospective members access to some or all of their intranet functions.
For example, by activating the Extranet Options on an intranet, suppliers can refer to a company’s calendar before scheduling a delivery; potential customers can read about special promotions and then talk directly to a sales person via instant messaging; or business partners can leave messages or updates on the message board.
The Intranets.com Extranet Options provide three layers of selective access. Guest access allows visitors to browse the intranet to learn about the group or organization. Invitation by request allows visitors to submit a request to the administrator for full membership to the intranet. Open membership allows visitors to instantly become full members by completing a simple online registration form.
Bob Innes, owner of Marketing Communication Consulting in Plano Texas, uses his free Intranets.com intranet as part of his company’s brand management strategy for his clients. He stores sample marketing brochures, print ads and other client-ready documents on the site.
“The guest access provided by Intranets.com is a powerful tool for my company,” Innes said. “I can customize information for already-established clients and vendors or for newcomers looking for marketing information. The best part is that I can track the frequency of visits and determine which information draws the most interest. It’s a highly effective business tool and a natural extension of my company identity.”
Intranets.com is helping their small businesses and organization members attract potential customers or new members by providing an Intranet Directory on the Intranets.com main page. The directory allows a member group to list its intranet site in more than 20 different categories such as Business & Finance, Computer & Internet, News & Media and Small Business. By listing itself in the directory, a small business can leverage the sales and marketing reach of the entire Intranets.com network.
Dennis Holm, president and CEO of Career Path Coach Midwest Job Fair in Minneapolis, has been using a free Intranets.com intranet for the last year as a secure resource for his 98 clients and more than 900 employers who use his employment services.
“Intranets.com’s new extranet option is going to work out well for companies like mine because it will give me easier access to more potential customers,” Holm said. “Now I don’t have invite people to join, rather they can explore the open areas of my intranet site to see if my employment solutions are right for them. At the same time, we can keep other portions of the site private so we can still use the service for internal company communications.”
“An extranet is a natural extension of an intranet,” said Karen Leavitt, vice president of product marketing of Intranets.com. “Our extranet options are just that — an option. Intranets.com will continue to provide secure, private intranets to those small businesses and organizations that want to keep their information private. However, our extranet
options bring a powerful business application to those users who want to explore web-based sales, marketing, promotions and recruitment, without sacrificing the privacy of their internal communications.”
Privately-held Intranets.com is one of first businesses to spawn from Internet incubator idealab! Intranets.com is based in Woburn, Massachusetts, with worldwide offices in Tokyo and in the Netherlands. Other idealab! public companies include eToys, GoTo.com, CitySearch, NetZero and Tickets.com.