The Changing Trend – Self-Service Portals

Portals were preferred over other content sites to provide consolidated, personalized and up-to-date information. The trend has shifted to one-click weather, cities, movies, music, communities, breaking news, stock updates and more with a personalized and personalized web space. Users have come to expect the ability to pay bills, check bank accounts, transfer funds, city information and track insurance claims via a secure online platform. Users no longer wanted to be caught in the slow and time-consuming request-processing loop offered by call centers.

Highly acclaimed community portal, Yahoo, introduced the user-centric custom portal My Yahoo! in 1996. Users needed to create a profile to access a range of information through a personal web space. Users experienced an up-to-date view of the information conveyed based on their preferences. Self-service portals have therefore developed a user-centric web-based platform approach. It enables a model anywhere anytime with data integration from multiple sources facilitated through an open architecture. Users can access instant information through a personal web space, where they can even specify their preferences for viewing specific categories of data. With Service Oriented Architecture enabled, information can be accessed through PCs, cell phones, PDAs and other channels. With the online self-service model, companies save significantly on customer service.

The Customer Self-Service Portal is targeted to meet the specific requirements of the B2C domain. It provides an end-to-end solution for e-commerce activities enabled through a custom single sign-on platform for users with data and applications accessible on demand. End users receive extensive information transmitted through a wide network of sources. The information is then processed and grouped precisely into the data requested by the end users.

The overhead costs incurred with free phone support, emails and chat sessions are much more than a self-service portal. Intelligent data analysis is provided by sophisticated aggregation and portal integration functions. Advanced analytics capability allows easy identification  of potential customers by capturing user browsing behavior. ‘Customer lifetime value’ can be enhanced with an instant personalized interface. It also optimizes the business environment for remote and local collaboration on data, software and applications. Portals are designed to manage large data requirements such as data integration, storage and processing.