When I worked (late 1990s) as a consultant for the Greenwich Enterprise Board, I sometimes referred to online guides for small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) on various marketing and web-related matters. This morning I found Business Link pages ‘What is an extranet?’, ‘Benefits of an extranet’ and ‘Planning for an extranet’. Pretty simplistic stuff, but good to see UK government offering at least some general pointers for enterprises looking to collaborate with their business partners.
One small moan, though: under ‘actions’, the site suggests a link to a US-based site (the Extranet Benchmarking Association) to find out about extranets. It’s a shame that there isn’t a link to a UK-based site offering further free, up-to-date information (the EBA site isn’t helpful at all). For UK construction businesses a link to the NCCTP site would be useful (this, at least, is vendor-neutral – and includes links to various UK-based providers), but for businesses in other vertical markets, I am not aware of any similar resources.
The best I could find was a brief column on extranets in a guide to mobile working (PDF) from http://www.ukonlineforbusiness.gov.uk – AKA Business Link! The National Computing Centre, which helped produce the Business Link pages, produced a guide to implementing extranets in 1997, but that costs £25 and will now be horrendously out-of-date.
If anyone knows of any other free sources of generic advice on extranets (ideally aimed at UK organisations), please let me know.