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Why you should consider a purpose-built information management portal

You’re probably already using a cloud-based tool such as SharePoint to manage your corporate subscriptions, and to manage access to those subscriptions. But how effective is your solution really? Do you get quick responses from your IT team, and does an all-purpose tool really meet the objectives of managing a complex information portfolio?

Cloud computing has become ubiquitous, and so has its benefits, but what’s sometimes missed is how a focused cloud tool can deliver a much better solution to a specific challenge. In this article, we outline why Couranto’s purpose-built information management portal delivers a much-needed, focused cloud solution for information management professionals.

Built with purpose

Without access to a purpose-built tool, information leaders will understandably use available tools to get the job done. Perhaps a mix of Excel sheets and PDFs across countless folders, or something more centralized, such as an online portal that already exists within corporate IT.

Indeed, here at Couranto we’ve found that SharePoint is one of the common tools organizations use to manage an information portfolio. It’s easy to see why. After all, SharePoint captures many of the benefits of getting stuff done in the cloud: it’s accessible anywhere, it can be user managed to a degree, and it’s certainly flexible.

But while the inherent flexibility of cloud solutions is one of Sharepoint’s biggest benefits there’s also an inherent risk that this “flexible” tool can be repurposed in ways that are not ideal. Even in a “best case,” you may have a helpful IT team that customizes your SharePoint portal to a high level, but you’ll always be reliant on your IT team for that customization. And we’re all familiar with overworked IT teams that struggle to respond and complete desired projects within a reasonable time frame (or indeed correctly).

That’s why Couranto set out to develop a purpose-built, cloud-based tool for managing information portfolios. Couranto’s Discovery portal enables librarians to make information products discoverable, while Couranto Clarity delivers a one-stop portal for managing subscriptions contracts.

Let’s examine how Couranto’s cloud information management portal makes life so much easier for information professionals.

Fully self-service

One of the chief advantages of using a cloud platform is the ability to self-service, but this self-service aspect can fall apart when the cloud platform relies on extensive customizations just to function.

Building Discovery and Clarity from the ground up allowed us to place a strong emphasis on self-service. The result: Couranto’s purpose-built tools give you the ability to easily self-manage almost every aspect of discovery, access, appearance and portfolio management – with no IT skills required.

Self-servicing with Couranto also allows you to significantly customize the platform to match your organization’s unique requirements. Our decades of experience gives us a view into information management needs and requirements, so we’ve included just the right level of customization options, while avoiding excessive complexity.

For example, with our Discovery platform, librarians can easily customize how content is discovered – including the ability to provide specific tips on how to make the most of a source, or how to request access. It’s as simple as dragging and dropping. No need to reach out to internal or external teams just to get things done.

The net result is that information leaders can use our Discovery platform to make information much more discoverable and accessible – without expending a lot of time and effort, without a lot of training, and without delays.

Integrates with existing systems

Couranto’s cloud-based information management portal delivers on the interoperability aspect of cloud computing by offering ready-made integration that works with your existing technology. For example, thanks to single sign-on (SSO), you and your colleagues can access the Couranto platform with existing organizational credentials. Further, Couranto passes user SSO credentials to our publisher partners, so your users enjoy single sign-on access all the way from your portal through to the content.

You can accomplish something similar with SharePoint, but that will likely require an intensive effort from your IT team – and equally intensive efforts whenever you want to make a change. In contrast, with Couranto, you can make changes yourself.

Couranto also readily integrates directly with popular procurement platforms such as SAP’s Ariba, Coupa and Oracle so you can plan your information budgets within Couranto and then issue the purchase orders through your organization’s procurement system.

A rich feature set

One of the key tenets of cloud apps is the ability to channel the resources of a vendor into development of an app – which is then widely accessed (and funded) by thousands of customers. Because the developer knows there is a large audience, they're able to invest in incredibly feature-rich apps.

For that reason Couranto’s cloud portal differs from in-house solutions in another key way: the broad range of features on offer. By channeling developer resources towards a cloud portal used by many organizations across regions and industries we were able to include an extraordinarily rich feature set aimed specifically at solving the challenges in information management.

This feature set goes beyond what resource-limited IT teams can be reasonably expected to build into SharePoint. For example, with Clarity, information managers get an at-a-glance overview of their company’s information sources – including usage patterns and trends. Clarity can also issue single-click comparative surveys through which end users can compare and evaluate different tools and data sources.

You can read more about the comprehensive feature set of Couranto’s platform here, but by now it should be clear that a purpose-built information management platform can deliver so much more than in-house efforts that compete with countless other priorities.

Interested in a demonstration, or would you like to know more about how Couranto can help with your information management challenges? Just get in touch with us here.


Information About the Author

Nick Collison

Nick Collison

Director of Business Strategy, Market Development, Library & E-Content

nick@couranto.com

Nick Collison has decades of experience in managing information access, budgeting, strategic planning, and knowledge services. Collison is a Fellow of SLA, the Special Libraries Association.