PwC Consulting Unveils Portal Offerings

While services such as document management, CRM, andworkflow software can help enterprises better compete, they do no good, ifworkers do not access them. To help bring business tools to users, PwCConsulting, the division of PricewaterhouseCoopersLLP, unveiled today a series of portal solutions for integrating online tools.

PwC calls its new offerings B2E for “Business toExtended Enterprise,” which are targeted primarily at enterprises with adistributed workforce. The solutions create a web-based portal that aggregatesapplications, so users, particularly remote users have a single point of contactfor online needs.

For example, a sales person would be able to accesspersonal information, such as email and contacts, a CRM application, andinventory databases from a single web-page, simplifying his time online. Theportal reduces the complexity of training users on how to find and use theservices, and reduces the need for end-user support.

Robin Lissak, global leader for B2E at PwC sayscreating portals is a good way for enterprises to get the most value out ofinvestments in technology. He says most companies have spent a great deal ofmoney on solutions like CRM, but have difficulty moving the technology out tousers.

With the recession, many enterprises are looking tomake the most of existing investments, and one of the ways they see to createvalue out of existing solutions is to move them onto the Web. Lissak says hiscustomers are no different. “Companies are coming to us and saying ‘Weabsolutely have to do this,’” he says.

PwC worked with partners such PeopleSoft and NetIQ totailor solutions for Web-ifying enterprise applications. The result is not aone-size-fits-all product, but, as Lissak says, multiple solutions to meetspecific needs for different industries, geographies, and applications.

For example, PwC consultants experienced in helping theautomotive industry helped design a framework for integrating applications inthe industry. Geography also comes into play. PwC helps localize portals fordifferent countries by translating text into the native language or meetingspecific technological needs, like wireless-enabling portals for the Japanesemarket.

Lissak says that PwC has not traditionally launched asolution set the way a software company launches a new application. In light ofthe economic climate, the consultancy decided to product-ize its offerings tohelp clients understand how PwC can help. “Its about finding a way to sellourselves out of the recession,” he says. –Chris McConnell