PWC Consulting Unveils Portal Offerings

While technologies such as document management, CRM and workflow software can help enterprises better compete, the technologies don't work if employees can't access them. To help bring business tools to users, PwC Consulting, a division of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, unveiled a series of portal solutions for integrating online tools.

PwC's new offerings, which it calls B2E, for "Business to Extended Enterprise," are targeted primarily at enterprises with a distributed workforce. The solutions create a Web-based portal that aggregates applications so that users, particularly remote workers, have a single point of contact for online needs.

For example, a sales person would be able to access personal information, such as e-mail and contacts, along with a CRM application and inventory databases—all from a single Web page. The portal reduces the complexity of training users on how to find and use the services, and reduces the need for end-user support.

Robin Lissak, global leader for Business to Extended Enterprise at PwC, says creating portals is a good way for enterprises to get the most value out of technology investments. He says most companies have spent a great deal of money on solutions like CRM, but have difficulty moving the technology out to users.

Cost-cutting through Webification
With the recession, many enterprises are looking to make the most of existing investments, and one of the ways they see to create value out of existing solutions is to move them onto the Web. Lissak says his customers are no different. "Companies are coming to us and saying, ‘We absolutely have to do this,'" he says.

PwC worked with partners such as PeopleSoft and NetIQ to tailor solutions for Webifying enterprise applications. The result is not a one-size-fits-all product, but, as Lissak says, multiple solutions to meet specific needs for different industries, geographies and applications.

Lissak says that PwC hasn't traditionally launched a solution set the way a software company launches a new application. In light of the economic climate, the consultancy decided to "productize" its offerings to help clients understand how PwC can help. "It's about finding a way to sell ourselves out of the recession," he says.