System News
The Making of a Portal
With Sun Open Net Environment
November 19, 2001,
Volume 45, Issue 3

The SunTM Open Net Environment (Sun ONE) makes it easier for businesses to combine what they know about their customers with Internet technologies to leverage their information assets into new services online. The inside Sun ONE portal demonstrates the Web-based customer-centric approach to doing business online.

The inside Sun ONE portal provides access to information and the latest releases of Sun ONE products. The inside Sun ONE community provides user feedback loops and a collaborative environment for Sun ONE software users and Internet drivers.

The inside Sun ONE portal is designed to help Sun:

  • Expand the scope of the customer relationship
  • Provide more timely and flexible access to customized information and services
  • Drive costs out of marketing and sales processes
  • To gain and act on "real-time" feedback from customers

Rhodes Klement, marketing chief for the Inside Sun ONE portal, says Sun ONE is following the advice that Sun gives customers--work with an iForceSM Partner, build on the Sun ONE platform and host with a SunToneSM Partner.

In the case of the inside Sun ONE portal, the project proceeded through several basic steps:

1. Definition of business objectives: The inside Sun ONE user community has two core objectives in serving its customers: First, aggregate content and tools to help customers succeed and to help build a better relationship with Sun ONE customers. In addition, to create a forum and provide an environment where these Sun ONE customers can build better relationships among themselves.

2. Rapid development of a working prototype: The iForce Partner, in conjunction with Sun, was able to define, design and develop a working prototype in just three weeks. This gave Sun ONE marketing professionals a working model to evaluate against the objectives that had been set for the project.

3. Aggregate and personalize all the required content: As an "edge integration" technology, the Portal Server allows existing assets to be aggregated and personalized for each individual in the community.

4. Build personalized, interactive channels within the portal: Connecting with customers requires "closed loop" communications. The inside Sun ONE user community allows different methods of closed loop communication. There is an opportunity for inferential analysis. By examining which channels are subscribed to, it is possible to infer what content customers might want.

5. Refine the quality of individual channels within the portal: In order to go beyond the inferential method in the previous step, the portal includes a "Tell Us" channel, which is designed to collect feedback from the user community. It helps elaborate the vision for the future of the inside Sun ONE user community, and to gather specific suggestions about what features to add.

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