1 January 2010
When analyzing a portal, we usually divide its components to three main types of portal components: goal-supporting components, inventory and winner applications.
Goal-supporting components are the content, data and lists that serve as the portal's professional core. This content is the reason we decided to set up a portal in the first place; it supports the business goals we set for ourselves (hence its title) and is the content we expect to cause users to enter the portal: the supplier list in the purchase portal, financial data in the banking portal, the reaction portal in the R&D portal, etc.
Another type of content we include in the portal is the 'inventory' content, which is the content and components we add to the portal since they already exist. The resources were already allocated and so we allow exposure to content with professional and organizational added value, revealing organization knowledge and information to enable transparency and sharing while incidentally gaining the workers' involvement and broadening their professional horizons in other areas.
Another type of content and components is referred to as ‘winner applications’, i.e. components that are entered most and serve as the portal's most attractive features. Winner Applications can be either goal-supportive or inventory components. Applications that attract users to enter the portal aren't necessarily those that store the professional knowledge or those that serve as the focal point for data that will generate the professional added value. Is this a bad thing? Not at all! When a user enters the portal, we can expose them to various content, accustom them to using the portal and "push" knowledge towards them via the homepage or other components.
What type of winner applications are common among organizations?
Access to pay slips: many HR portals in organizations scan the pay slip monthly and grant access by authorization.
Viewing the lunchroom: You can publish the 'menu of the day' and set up a small webcam that broadcasts the length of the lunch-line at the moment.
Sales and welfare: tickets, discounts, and attractions
Reporting presence: requires workers to quite frequently enter the portal to report work hours
Transportation reservation: a safe wat to "force" workers to use the portal.
Intra-organizational tenders: available jobs/positions
Organizational give & take board: some portals allow selling/transferring personal possessions; some only allow "selling" organizational equipment, transferring it through the different parts of the organization
Phone usage details compared to the monthly quota: allows the worker to follow phone usage on a daily basis
WEB 2.0 components: an organizational social network/blog of a senior manager or simply a worker, option to response or prioritize news in the portal
When considering a professional/organizational portal's upgrade/analysis, it is best to dedicate some thought to winner applications (such as those mentioned above). This type of components can increase the portal's level of usage, even turn it into a popular, familiar and user-friendly tool. Furthermore, entering the portal exposes users to data relevant to them and takes them to further destinations.