If you are talking to a large number of business partners that are outside the corporate boundaries you can derive enormous benefits by getting them onto your email network. Providing email access to mobile and desk-less workers of the extended enterprise improves communication flow between the core of the enterprise and it’s extension- the franchise of resellers and suppliers, offering a combination of related benefits such as greater efficiency, reduced communication cost, improved management of communication, greater security and enhancement of the corporate image, brand and trust.
The trick is simple one of setting-up an additional mail server / mail service for the business partners outside the enterprise and connect it to the mail network within the enterprise, thus creating an email network that connects all the people within and outside your enterprise securely.
The FAQs below take a more detailed look at the needs and solutions for an Extended Enterprise-
1. What is an Extended Enterprise?
Wikipedia definition – The “Extended Enterprise” is a loosely coupled, self-organizing network of firms that combine their economic output to provide product and service offerings to the market. Firms in the extended enterprise may operate independently or cooperatively. Alternatively referred to as a “supply chain” or a “value chain”, the extended enterprise describes the trading relationships among a community of participants involved with provisioning a set of goods and service offerings.
Some examples are freelance Insurance Agents, Investment consultants, sales force, outsourced process agents, etc.
2. Why is there a need to provide branded email ids to the extended enterprise?
In several SME to large enterprises the organisations or individuals, which form the extended enterprise, are interfaces to the customers, like in the case of Insurance agents, or investment consultants, etc. The brand value of the organisation is strengthened if the agents would communicate with the customers via branded email ids rather than free public ids. Have a look at 7 reasons why you should stop using free email for your business.
3. What are the characteristics of the use of Email by the extended enterprises?
While it is important for the organisation that the users in the extended enterprise front end with a branded email id, the fact is that the users in the extended enterprise are independent, possibly working on multiple freelance jobs and are constantly shifting. The turnover in this space is quite large and its quite likely that the email system proposed by the organisation may not be actively used by all the users.
4. What features of such an email system are important to the organisation?
a. Security & Email Archival
Since there is very little control over this volatile field force, it is important for the organisation that every mail is stored in a one way email archiving service for audits and ediscovery. The email system should support strong security features to prevent misuse or access of the individual accounts. Features like mail policies to be used to control mail flow to and from the outside world. MIS Reports are required to audit usage of the system
b. Storage and Bandwidth management
To keep this field force up-to-date on the latest offers, product releases, market information etc, the organisation may routinely need to send out information to these users via email. To help manage the flow of these documents to the users, the email system should feature strong mailbox management features and de-duplication features like Mailbox Quota, Automatic Attachment Stripping, etc
c. Lower cost of operation
Since the depth of use and benefit of this system cannot be easily quantified, the organisation would prefer either minimal infrastructure investment or a fully outsourced model, a “pay per use” model of operation, and affordable client access options for the users.
The users of the extended enterprise to possess email ids on a domain which is associated with the organisation’s email domain name. In some cases it is a different domain name and in some cases it is same domain name (tight co-existence required with the organisation’s email system). Have a look at 7 reasons why you should stop using free email for your business.
5. What features do the users want?
Users of this system would like an easy anytime anywhere access client like the web client, which allows them to use this system without configuring anything special on their PCs. Also since these users are typically always on the move, access via mobile devices would be a definite plus. For easy communication with the organisation teams and their peers, a shared address book accessible via any of their clients would be very helpful.
6. Should the organisation choose a fully hosted (SaaS) model or an On premise model?
Considering the requirements, we feel the organisation would like to fully outsource this to a service provider to deploy, host and manage the setup on a “pay per use” model. However you may want to look at this comparison to help decide the best hosting method for the email infrastructure of the extended enterprise.
7. Can Mithi fill this need?
Mithi has several deployments for users of the Extended Enterprise. One such deployment is SBI Life Insurance, where the users of the branches are provided this email system. The model of operation here is a fully outsourced pay per use model. Another live cloud based deployment is Mahindra and Mahindra, where the auto dealers are connected together via email. Click here to download the Mahindra and Mahindra case study.
Mithi offers a range of cost effective and secure email solutions that can be easily integrated with the existing mail set-up at your enterprise. While offering a flexible subscription plan to ensures a quicker return on your investment.
The key capabilities of Mithi’s SkyConnect collaboration solution that can be specifically leveraged for the Extended enterprise are –
- Ability to co-exist with different email solutions to share the same SMTP address space.
- Open standards to offer a wide choice of free and paid desktop and mobile clients, which can be used to access the applications
- Baya (Web client) to allow easy anytime anywhere access from any client
- Shared Address book
- Attachment Stripping, Mail policies, access control, built in archival.
- Great payment options – “Pay per use”
- Free upgrades for the software during the subscription period.
For further details, please visit www.mithi.com