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Web-based portal for small business

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article image Microsoft’s Richard Duffy.

MICROSOFT Business Solutions (MBS) has made high-powered portal functionality more accessible to small and medium organisations with the Australian release of Microsoft Business Portal.

Business Portal is a single Web-based portal for the midmarket and corporate account segment (CAS) that gives an organisation's employees, suppliers and customers easy access to information and processes.

It helps businesses realise benefits by reducing IT/support costs, increasing availability of business information and extending access to business applications.

Business Portal offers full integration with the Microsoft Business Solutions-Great Plains and Microsoft Business Solutions-Solomon business applications and delivers out-of-the-box access to business information pages and standard reports, as well as ad-hoc information queries.

The portal joins the family of solutions already offered by MBS, the Axapta Enterprise Portal and Navision User and Commerce Portal products.

MBS strategic accounts manager Richard Duffy said the release of Microsoft Business Portal was the first opportunity for small and mid-market businesses to utilise portal technology without having to spend a fortune.

"In the past, it was a costly exercise to get this functionality developed and it was only larger organisations who could afford it," he said.

"By delivering a business portal out-of-the-box, we are reducing the total cost of ownership and the cost of acquiring this technology for small to medium-sized businesses.”

Microsoft Business Portal, which is .NET Connected logo certified, was built on the Microsoft .NET Framework to enable companies to deliver security-enhanced, role-based access to information and applications, with integrated workflow management for increased productivity.

"Business Portal's .NET foundation helps protect the data and the code against unauthorised access and because it is also based on SharePoint and Digital Dashboard technology it means the application can be extended with plug-in web parts from external vendors," Mr Duffy said.

Business Portal user licences are available at no charge to existing licensed users of Great Plains and Solomon who are current on their Annual Enhancement Plan (AEP).

"When an organisation purchases Microsoft Business Solutions - Great Plains or Solomon, for every user licence of the core application those users have access to the business portal as a standard feature," Mr Duffy said.

"Additional user licences, at $87 per user for one to 100 users, will give those users access to information stored in the back office without having to go ahead and buy a full client licence."

The application comes with its own software developers kit, and wireless extensions are currently under development.

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