Gartner predicts that 80 per cent of board-run organizations use collaboration systems that are specifically intended to support the unique needs of a board. So what is the value of board portal software and how do you pick a tool that’s right for you? Read our board portal feature comparisons.
Years back, paper board binders being heavy to lug and costly to produce and courier was a major motivator for companies to go paperless. Today, there are more modern drivers making boards adopt board portals: security and efficiency.
“The use of purpose-built content sharing and distribution portals has become a common practice for sharing sensitive documents with corporate directors in preparation for board meetings.”
Emailing board documents or sharing with free editions of software like Dropbox or Google Drive poses real security risks. More sophisticated file-sharing solutions like SharePoint often frustrate directors who struggle to find the right materials within unfamiliar folder names and labelling conventions. On the efficiency front, many boards are seeking to best engage high-contributing directors, which means offering online convenience. And for organizational efficiency, corporate secretaries and administrators are seeking automation tools to perform their work in less time as governance demands grow.
In case you haven’t already used board portal software, it’s like a web application that executives and directors log into to perform their role for an organization’s Board of Directors. A board portal offers directors confidential access to board materials, past and present, and provides tools that make it easier for administrators to prepare for board meetings and conduct committee activities. Board portals also improve information flow to and among busy board members even as they travel.
There are many different board portals available on the market. How do you choose one right for your organization?
As Gartner reported in their Market Guide for Board Portals, “The majority of boards have very similar processes, and board portals have very similar feature sets.” With most board portal software performing similar functions, it’s very important to evaluate service, pricing and track record with organizations similar to yours.
Conduct a smart, efficient board portal product comparison with a simple checklist. Use the Board Portal Buying Guide to find a tool that’s right for you. Download the free Board Portal Buying Guide.
Explore how a board portal eases the process for administrators to prepare for board meetings and provide updates to directors when dates or documents change. Consider the routine effort you take today and enquire about how much time you can save.
A principle function of board portals is to provide timely, transparent access to board information. Assess the ease-of-use of different products. What will be intuitive for your board?
Travel is a routine part of daily life for many directors and executives. Both for recruiting high-contributing board members, and for keeping them engaged, technology matters. Explore the conveniences you can offer mobile directors, including tablet apps, offline access, support for remote approvals, and more.
Safeguarding the confidentiality of board documents and communication is a key motivator for boards to use a board portal. Select software that both secures board materials and makes accessing information simple for directors.
Software has no impact on efficiency or security unless it’s adopted by your whole board. Understand the help that vendors offer to get your whole board using their technology. Do they provide personal training for both board admins and directors? Do they give guidance on portal set up?
How can you ensure the tool you select today will evolve along with governance best practices and the needs of your organization?
Next to product ease and reliability, service is the biggest deciding factor on whether customers are happy with a software vendor or quickly move on. Vendors who stand behind the performance of their products will also be happy to provide testimonials and references from their customers.
Talk with peers who use the product. Ask about their service experiences and how issues were resolved. You can also go back to the questions on this list. How do they rate the ease of use and level of security? Does the vendor follow through on its promise of great service and support?
Because a board portal is used by some of the most influential and time-starved people in your organization, it’s paramount that help is highly professional and useful. Consider calling a vendor’s support line to test the support you’ll receive.
It’s buyer beware when it comes to board portal pricing. Be on the lookout for vendors that demo full-featured software then share pricing for “lite” products.
While conducting a software assessment, you’ll meet the people on different vendors’ teams. Consider the help they provide, their responsiveness, and interactions with your team. Which vendor is the best fit?
While most board software may seem the same on the surface, there are big differences in customer service quality and overall price among board portal software offerings. This leaves boards in the position of deciding which portal offers the best value.
Here’s a rundown of how Aprio offers better value than its competitors.
Aprio software is priced 50% lower than its main competitors. It’s our mission to make good governance affordable for boards of any size, not just those from the Fortune 500 crowd.
Our software licensing price includes initial training for administrators and directors, and any ongoing training you may need. Your subscription includes 25 user licences – any number of which can be administrators — and unlimited committees at no extra cost. The annual fee gives you access to both desktop and mobile applications.
Other board portals take an à la carte approach to extra fees and services. Access to training and adding committees are generally both options, but they’ll cost you more money on top of what you’re already paying for the software itself.
Aprio’s board portal software offers all the same tools and features you need to better manage your boards: a library of current and past board materials, calendars, annotations, decision tracking, desktop and remote access, attendance reports, surveys, remuneration and expense tracking, and many more. There’s no reason to pay double for these same features if you don’t have to.
Board portal software is useless if you can’t use it properly. We know how frustrating it is to encounter unhelpful — or even rude — customer support representatives when under a time crunch while preparing for a board meeting.
Got a burning question at 11 p.m. and your board meeting is tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.? We’ve got friendly people on the other end of the phone or computer 24/7 to help you with advice or to walk you through a challenging task.
We also offer ongoing webinars and quarterly outreach. Providing you with prompt, accessible and exceptional service is our priority.
We know that administrators and directors need access to technology that makes maintaining good governance straightforward and affordable. Board members and administrators are busy and hardworking, and we aim to support you with the best value software to run your meetings smoothly.
Financial institutions, crown corporations, non-profits and public companies choose Aprio board portal software because it helps them achieve transparent communication, make efficient decisions and run board meetings well — all for the best value in the industry.
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Try Aprio – the board portal making good governance simple and affordable with 99% customer loyalty. Request A Demo.
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