The difference between an intranet & an extranet

Helping employees better communicate and collaborate with each other is one of the key benefits of having an intranet and why so many businesses look to have them. Indeed, many of the apps and tools available for intranets focus on improving the flow of information within an organisation.

But what if much of that communication and collaboration has to happen with external, third-party partners, suppliers or clients? Enter the extranet. An extranet is an extension of an intranet. Like an intranet, an extranet is a private network that is separate from the internet, but the difference is that it is available to selected users outside an organisation, whether individuals or groups.

The benefits of an extranet

Creating a network that breaks out of the confines of a business at first might seem counterintuitive – the whole point of an intranet is that it enables staff to use tools specific to them and their business. However, providing outsiders with limited access to certain elements of an intranet can create significant advantages.

  1. Process automation – extranets connected to external suppliers can be set up to monitor business activities and automatically place orders when certain parameters are met, such as supplies are running low or a specific event is coming up.
  2. Improved customer satisfaction and loyalty – providing customers and partners with access to their order, account and other information offers them greater control and convenience. The added benefit is that this can be viewed at any time, making the life of customers easier while reducing the burden on, and associated costs of, customer service operatives.
  3. More immediate and accurate information sharing – sensitive or important data can be changed and distributed to relevant parties at the click of a button, reducing any confusion or costly errors caused by delays, for instance updating prices or inventory information.
  4. Quicker time to market – sharing designs and specifications immediately with suppliers can improve the speed at which products can be created. An extranet can also keep customers and partners in the loop to stop them from losing interest in purchasing or investing.

Ultimately, an extranet breaks down the barriers between a businesses and external stakeholders. The benefits of improving such communication and collaboration can have a great positive impact on a company, driving innovation, efficiencies and ultimately profits. In short, an extranet offers extra benefits.

Upcoming events

View all

Latest Insights

  • Turn your intranet into the ultimate employee recognition tool

    Employee recognition should become a top priority for any enterprise interested in maximizing performance across their organization. According to a LinkedIn survey, as many as 70% of employees believe they would work harder if their efforts were more thoroughly acknowledged. In this blog, we explore the crucial qualities all successful employee recognition initiatives must possess and offer tips for utilizing a modern intranet to help your enterprise master workplace appreciation.

  • How optimizing digital employee experience can help reduce turnover

    Many stakeholders understand that turnover can be costly but few are aware of just how much it can harm their enterprise. According to a paper from the Center of American Progress, when highly skilled employees leave an organization, losses can equal as much as 213% of the worker’s annual compensation. In this blog, we explore four common causes of turnover as well as solutions that an optimized digital employee experience can provide.

  • Sign of the times: why digital signage is the future of internal communications

    Digital signs are more effective at engaging consumers and changing buying behavior than any other form of media, research shows. Now, modern workplaces are capitalizing on this trend and we are seeing digital signage become a cornerstone of corporate communication. Why? In this article we look at why digital signage is emerging as a leading communication solution in the office and on the frontline and what benefits it offers to internal communicators and beyond.

View all

Where next? Latest insights.

Turn your intranet into the ultimate employee recognition tool

Employee recognition should become a top priority for any enterprise interested in maximizing performance across their organization. According to a LinkedIn survey, as many as 70% of employees believe they would work harder if their efforts were more thoroughly acknowledged. In this blog, we explore the crucial qualities all successful employee recognition initiatives must possess and offer tips for utilizing a modern intranet to help your enterprise master workplace appreciation.

How optimizing digital employee experience can help reduce turnover

Many stakeholders understand that turnover can be costly but few are aware of just how much it can harm their enterprise. According to a paper from the Center of American Progress, when highly skilled employees leave an organization, losses can equal as much as 213% of the worker’s annual compensation. In this blog, we explore four common causes of turnover as well as solutions that an optimized digital employee experience can provide.

Sign of the times: why digital signage is the future of internal communications

Digital signs are more effective at engaging consumers and changing buying behavior than any other form of media, research shows. Now, modern workplaces are capitalizing on this trend and we are seeing digital signage become a cornerstone of corporate communication. Why? In this article we look at why digital signage is emerging as a leading communication solution in the office and on the frontline and what benefits it offers to internal communicators and beyond.