Looking for a simple portal? Please don’t use Office 365! Using Office 365 SharePoint for a basic customer or vendor portal is like buying a Lamborghini to go to the grocery store. Not that it wouldn’t work but are you really getting the value out of your investment by limiting its potential? That is how I feel about companies that use SharePoint business-to-business (B2B) portals for just simple portal applications.
The Office 365 framework, including SharePoint as the portal front end, offers an overabundance of functionality for collaboration with your customers and vendors. Lists, libraries, pages, a ton of standard web parts, as well as thousands of apps are available to be added. This is just the low-hanging fruit. It gets even more interesting when we consider the integration products such as Power Automate, Power BI, Power Apps, and Microsoft Forms. Each of these fulfills certain requirements that can easily be incorporated into the portal through web parts or the standard integration functionality.
This robust framework is the very reason DynamicPoint picked this platform to host its customer and vendor portal app. The application allows the connection to virtually any data and its inclusion on the portal site. This includes information from an ERP, CRM, or another line of business application. Maybe the back end is SQL Server, MySQL, or an Oracle database. Whatever the source, there is a high likelihood our portal app can make a connection and begin the collaboration of this information within a SharePoint portal.
With all these enterprise tools at your disposal, for a customer to get the full value out of it, they must have an enterprise vision. Sharing such data as invoices and sales orders with customers or purchase orders with vendors is a start, but where it really begins to shine is when you incorporate Power BI dashboards, Power Automate business process automation, and Power Apps and Forms collaboration.
If you are going to go with an Office 365 portal solution, let the reins loose. Don’t limit yourself to just data sharing and transaction creation, incorporate the features and functionality that will maximize your investment, increase efficiency, and drive customer satisfaction. As a standard portal is just that….standard.
*Above depicts what the Office 365 platform is and what it consists of.