A VISCO Portal is defined as any method of access to the data that is specifically designed to accommodate the needs of a sub-set of (non-primary) VISCO users. This can include your Customers, your Vendors, your Freight Carriers or Warehouses or any other third party who might want to know about or contribute to the data and information managed in your VISCO ERP.
VISCO has extensive experience creating custom and semi-customized portals to access VISCO data for outside sources. We can also integrate with existing websites or portal software using any number of integration methods including our own Application Programming Interface (API) or the integration software’s interface method as well. Since every customer for VISCO is different, we offer flexibility and have options to fit any custom programming budget you have as it pertains to a VISCO Portal.
With that flexibility in mind though, we have chosen to categorize portal design into three easy to understand options (Simple, Custom, or Integrated). Deciding on a category before starting the work helps us pinpoint and focus our design efforts. With clear expectations and budget in mind, we have a better sense of what we can and cannot do and how to best implement your custom VISCO Portal. With all of these portals, of course the # 1 priority is that access to your data is limited to only the relevant records so “filters” of that data are applied throughout to ensure sensitive data is not shared with outside parties.
Simple Portal: A simple portal integration requires compromise. It takes advantage of the existing VISCO interface and a series of configuration options specifically design for our 4.x VISCO version to accommodate the various needs of portal users. In this category, portal users are given a subset of specific options from existing VISCO pages (Create Quote, Create PO, Edit Container, Update Vendor information, etc.) , and a series of pre-filtered reports from our custom reports menu available in either Excel or Datagrid display format. They can access pre-generated documents in the reports as well. Portal users can also be sent to a different “landing page” so a (nearly empty) homepage isn’t the first thing they see when they log in. We have had good success implementing these portals, but many of our customers prefer something more robust and dynamic than just permissions-based page access to an ERP system like VISCO.
Customer Access Portal:
Custom Portal: This portal category gives our customers a slew of new options and compromises are limited.
Nearly anything is possible as long as we remain within the confines of our new VISCO 5.x (V5) interface. Leveraging additional flexibility, we can develop custom code in the “backend” which does not require new versions of the software for each change, but gives the portal design group opportunities to create what are essentially custom pages for the portal users to interact with. Examples of these are when a
Vendor portal user logs in, they are able to view a more simplified version of the “Create Offer/Sourcing” pages currently available to primary users (hiding, for example, the Vendor selection which is no longer necessary). The portal user base will still use VISCO scans, VISCO navigation, VISCO preview and VISCO entity edit (the main components of VISCO 5.x) to manage data entry and view but their available fields for edit and placement of those fields can be altered from standard users. Of course, their access to certain pages or pieces of information within a given page can be modified as well.
Integrated Portal: This portal category naturally offers unlimited flexibility. We essentially design a portal from scratch, often using suggestions drawn from our customer’s websites directly to match User Interface (UI) look and feel. Here the portal site itself exists independently from our VISCO ERP software, and is accessed and maintained using an entirely different URL. We have developers and a support team that are well versed in website design “from scratch” and our vast experience of the VISCO database gives us a good starting point for how a brand new portal site can access and maintain information using our API without stepping on or bumping into day-to-day use by standard users in the VISCO ERP. We can provide basic templates from past customers or you can work with our team to design from the first framework or bring in third party tools for site and design that we can work from or integrate with.
Last, a note about integration with your current website. Many of our customers appreciate giving access to the VISCO Portal for their users directly from their websites. This makes sense given it’s a main landing area and good starting point for any interaction with your customers, or other interested parties. Working with your webpage design team, we can often implement a simple link from your website that will open a new browser and direct portal users to your custom VISCO Portal. This can be implemented as part of any of the portal category options above, provided your install of VISCO is available externally (in our Cloud or yours). We look forward to working with you further to satisfy your VISCO Portal needs. Please let us know where your budget for portal access begins and we’ll get started on a plan that works based on that budget.