Supplier Portal 1.1 Overview - September 2018
The Exostar All-in-One Supplier Portal platform is a multi-enterprise information hub and/or a suite of supply chain solutions. It aims to comprehensively support interactions with all suppliers across a range of processes, including planning, logistics, quality management, procure-to-pay, supplier onboarding, supply risk assessment, vendor-managed inventory, sourcing, and supplier information management.
The Supplier Portal is a foundation component to Exostar’s All-in-One supply chain offering.
Exostar’s Supplier Portal has been designed to significantly improve the effectiveness of the current individual supply chain applications by providing a digitizing platform that intelligently links the diverse functions together, and adds modern communication, collaboration, and usage technologies.
Many benefits can be derived from Exostar’s Supplier Portal platform including, however, not limited to the following:
- Analytics and Reporting
- Cutting edge system architecture, which, allows for use across channels and devices while enabling the experience of an “unbound” or “headless” portal
- B2B Transaction and Commerce support through the enablement of data exchange, business process management, catalog management or integration
- B2C User Experience Management to ensure the right people have access to the right information and services through the roles and permissions allocated to certain individuals or groups
- B2E Collaboration and Knowledge – by enabling organizations to work together toward common goals through support for conversations, information sharing (DMS), and group interactions in teams.
- Content Management allowing organizations to employ workflows to capture, create, organize, publish, archive, and retire content
- Integration to employ data using applications from third-party sources
- Enablement of organizations to search and discover information, applications, services, and other people
- Ease of Use
September 2018 provides the following added benefits and features:
- Bulletin Board
- Contact List
- Content Editor Widget
- Link from Portal to Adoption Module
- Exostar's Managed Access Gateway (MAG) Reporting
- Portal Background
- Search for Users Page
- Misc. Enhancements
- Enhancements to the I Want To widget
The significant new features of Supplier Portal 1.1 are:
Supplier Portal Bulletin Board
Many times, the tenant organization of the Supplier Portal may have announcements to convey to all users of their portal and/or users of specific areas of the portal. In order to accommodate this need, the 1.1 Release has introduced a Bulletin Board Announcement, which can be set and broadcasted per area of all Supplier Portals.
Announcements can be Added, Updated, and Removed by users of any of the following roles, and must be set individually in each area for which the announcement is applicable:
- Portal Administrator
- Area Administrator
- Content Editor
- Page Manager
Announcements broadcasted in an area are viewable by all users with access to the specific area. The implementation of this feature allows the tenant organization to quickly and easily communicate announcements to portal users, and also provides the users quick and easy navigation of the portal to view broadcasted announcements.
Supplier Portal Contact List
The Supplier Portal Contact List addresses the need for Portal Tenants to view their points of contacts within ALL supplier organizations with access to their portal, and the ability for suppliers to view contacts within their own organizations, as well as the tenant organization.
Contact lists are created area-specific, so contacts can be searched and viewed per area of a specific Supplier Portal. Suppliers have the ability to update contact details for users of their organization, as necessary. Users of the supplier portal may also send secure messages to a specific user directly from the Contact List when viewing the contact details.
This feature provides a quick search capability for specific contacts, along with easier communications.
Content Editor Widget
The Supplier Portal 1.1 Release introduced the Content Editor Widget. This widget allows users with authorized permissions, to add content in any location of a Supplier Portal page. The user can do so by typing the desired text and navigating it to the location where they want it to display. Users can also Edit, Delete, or Add new text as necessary.
Text added using this widget is not specific to widgets, areas, pages, or locations within the portal, but can be displayed wherever needed by the user who is adding the text. The Content Editor Widget implementation can be useful in various use cases, including a need where the tenant organization may want to post one or multiple line announcements in a specific location within their Supplier Portal.
Link from Portal to Adoption Module
The tenant organization may have a need to onboard organizations and users to access their portal. Rather than build an onboarding function within the Supplier Portal, the 1.1 Release integrated with the Adoption Module via a link provided in the portal.
1.1 allows the Portal to consume an API from Exostar's Managed Access Gateway (MAG) Platform , to determine which users of the portal are users of the tenant organization, as well as whether or not those users have Adoption Administrator privileges in Exostar's MAG Platform. The link to Adoption Module is then displayed to only those specific users.
Adding this link allows Exostar to make the best use of the Adoption Module features, as well as allow portal users to quickly access the onboarding functionality.
Exostar's Managed Access Gateway (MAG) Reporting
The MAG Platform Reporting feature implemented during 1.1 enables the Supplier Portal to consume a MAG API to verify users of the portal that are users of the tenant organization, and have a MAG role of Application Administrator or Organization Administrator. These users are provided a link to the MAG reporting page. This feature allows authorized users quick access to MAG reports, while making the best use of the enhanced MAG Reporting feature.
One of the largest benefits Supplier Portal offers is the integration of multiple applications to provide a single supply chain platform. During Release 1.1, a Notifications and Alerts feature allows the Portal to integrate with Vendor Qualification Manager (VQM) and Partner Information Manager (PIM), such that the portal is able consume an API from each application and provide Notifications and Alerts in the Portal platform, so users are not required to go from application to application to view alerts.
Users subscribed to Supplier Portal receive Notifications/Alerts from PIM and VQM based on their subscriptions to each, which display on the portal dashboard via the Alerts icon. Not only has the 1.1 Release implemented integration with VQM and PIM, but also the ability to integrate with additional applications.
Many organizations, and business units within an organization, prefer using a customized background image in their Supplier Portal or specific areas within their Portal. In order to address this need, the 1.1 Release introduced the Portal Background feature, which allows authorized users to Add, Edit, or Remove custom background images. Background images can be updated per each area of the Supplier Portal by all authorized users.
Search Users Page
Pre – Supplier Portal 1.1, the application did not provide a way to search for all Supplier Portal Users of a specific portal, along with the areas to which those users have access. Portal 1.1 allows the Portal Administrator to search for and view all users subscribed to the specific portal, regardless of the users roles or accessible areas by the users. The implementation of this feature addresses the need of a tenant organization to view users subscribed to their portal, along with the roles assigned to the specific users and areas to which the users have access.
Supplier Portal 1.1 introduced minor miscellaneous enhancements based on internal and external feedback and recommendations. The following enhancements have been implemented in 1.1:
- The ability to add 12 widgets per page
- The ability to delete a draft version of a page, which was previously unavailable
Enhancements to the “I want to” widget
The “I Want To” widget displayed the name of each PIM form as I Want to Complete <form name> as a separate link, however, clicking each link redirected the user to the PIM dashboard. As an enhancement to this widget, these links were consolidated to one link, labelled Complete PIM Forms, so users will not be confused with the expectation they navigate to the specific form they click on.
The Supplier Portal team will benefit from the new features. If you have any product feedback, you are welcome to contact our support line or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.