Article Summary

What Is a Board Portal + How to Choose the Best One

Public and private organisations alike have a board of directors that is responsible for leading its strategy. This involves bringing together a collection of experienced and expert team members. However, there are many moving parts in the process of holding meetings and making decisions. These need to work in harmony for it to work efficiently and effectively.

This is where a board portal can play an important role. These collaborative tools align all stakeholders on the board. They reduce admin, enable collaboration and facilitate enhanced discussions. They also help monitor actions and hold board members accountable.

This article explains what board portal software is. You will also discover how it can transform the entire ecosystem of your board and committee meetings. Additionally, find out what you should look for when you introduce this key piece of equipment into your organisation.

What is a board portal?

A board portal is a secure digital corporate governance platform. It is designed to streamline and enhance the communication, collaboration, and information-sharing processes. Companies use it both within a board of directors and between board admins and directors.

Board portal software is also referred to as board management software or board meeting software. It offers a centralised space for managing a wide range of board-related activities and documents.

Not only does this type of program replace traditional paper-based procedures, it also:

  • Facilitates easier board communication
  • Improves meeting preparation
  • Enables better decision-making
  • Runs the video conferencing aspect of virtual and hybrid meetings
  • Creates an audit trail
  • Collects data on board activity
  • Monitors progress on action items.

A board portal is available to all members at all times via mobile and desktop devices. This means they can access the most important information and carry out board work wherever they are.

It becomes the primary communication tool between all stakeholders. It keeps conversations in a secure environment and centralises all board-related activity in one, easily accessible place.

What can you do with a board portal?

A board portal is not just used for running a meeting of the board of directors. Public and private companies also use this type of software to improve their workflows at every stage of the meeting process. For example, here is how iBabs’ board portal works in relation to board meetings:

Meeting Stage For Directors For Assistants
Pre-meeting
  • Collating agenda items in an agenda builder
  • Distributing agenda for upcoming meetings
  • Distributing board papers
  • Updating papers based on input
  • Reviewing, annotating and approving the uploaded documents
  • Collaborating with other members
  • Referencing archived documents for research
During the meeting
  • Tracking and recording decisions
  • Assigning tasks
  • Recording digital signatures
  • Attending remotely
  • Accessing documents needed for presentations
  • Referencing passages for discussion
  • Voting using the portal
Post-meeting
  • Checking on requirements for action items
  • Approving minutes from previous meeting

More use cases of a board portal

Work remotely

Availability on mobile devices means that board members can be connected to their work even when they are out and about. They can access the portal whenever they need it. Using the video conferencing integration, directors can attend meetings when they cannot be there in person.

Manage minutes

Board portals usually offer functionality to generate meeting minutes within the platform, using the agenda as a base. This makes the process more straightforward and faster, allowing you to distribute them whilst they are fresh in the memory. Board members can read, approve or suggest adjustments.

Manage action items

Add action items to the agenda or minutes, designate someone to complete them and set a deadline. You can also track the status of action items using a task manager to ensure the work is on target.

Validate documents and decisions

Use your board portal to collect legally binding digital signatures without directors having to be in the room. The portal also records all data relating to decision-making. This simplifies the retrieval of important information in the event of an audit.

Collaborate in real-time

Board members might not find themselves in the same room very often. However, they can connect in the cloud through board portal software. This way, they can collaborate on documents and the changes will update automatically in all users' profiles.

Manage meeting preparation

Board admins can schedule meetings, invite members and sync to their calendars within the portal. They can use an agenda builder to put together agenda items in minutes and prioritise the most pressing topics. There is also functionality to attach relevant documents to bring leadership teams up to speed.

Share documents securely

Board portal solutions offer a layer of security by storing all documents in a central repository. Only those with access to a profile can access them on this secure platform and there is no chance of them being buried in email chains.

Try the board portal 3,000+ organisations use

iBabs provides all the functionality you need to transform the way your board runs its meetings. To find out more about our powerful board portal, request a demo to see it in action and discover how it would work for your business.
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Article Summary

Key features of a board portal

iBabs provides all the functionality you need to transform the way your board runs its meetings. To find out more about our powerful board portal, request a demo to see it in action and discover how it would work for your business.

Access controls and permissions

Set permissions to ensure that each user has appropriate access to the board portal's content and functionality while keeping sensitive data secure.
Keep track of all your actions and decisions. Assign tasks to the relevant stakeholder and track progress with our traffic light system.
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Alerts and notifications

Receive automated alerts and notifications to stay up-to-date on important board portal activity and ensure timely action is taken.

Annual filings

Store and manage important annual filings and other legal documents securely within the board portal.

Approval process control

Ensure a streamlined approval process with customisable workflows and automated notifications.

Apps

Use our native app on your preferred platform. You can find the iBabs app in the Microsoft Store, Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Calendar management

Schedule meetings, set reminders, and view all upcoming events in one place to streamline board operations.

Compliance management

Stay compliant with regulations and guidelines by tracking deadlines, completing forms and storing relevant documents in a centralised location.
Access your personalised homepage. Instantly see all your upcoming meetings, action items and relevant reports on your dashboard.
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Sign documents within the iBabs platform with our legally valid electronic signature.
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Discussion items

Make your meetings more efficient by determining in advance which topics you want to discuss.

Document management

Securely share important documents with board members, control access settings and always access the most up-to-date document versions.
Create an approval route for your documents and create transparency around your processes.
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Securely store your sensitive data. iBabs uses the same secure encryption trusted by banks and departments of defence – 256-bits AES encryption.
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File sharing

Share your sensitive documents with your board members in a secure environment.

File support

Upload any file type to iBabs (including PDF, Word, Excel, emails and more). iBabs automatically converts all your files to PDF.

GDPR-proof

Ensure compliance with GDPR regulations. All our servers are hosted in the EU in order to meet the requirements of the regulation.

ISO certified

All iBabs processes and procedures comply with ISO 27001 and ISO 27002 requirements, which ensures iBabs meets the highest international information security standards.

Language support

Use our board portal in your preferred language. Our platform is available in 15 different languages, supporting organisations around the globe.
  • English,
  • Dutch,
  • French,
  • German,
  • Flemish,
  • Spanish,
  • Italian,
  • Arabic,
  • Portugese,
  • Norwegian,
  • Finnish,
  • Swedish,
  • Danish,
  • Thai,
  • Romanian

Meeting pack builder

Create and share meeting packs with ease, including agendas, minutes, reports and other relevant documents.

Member directory

Access a directory of all board members, featuring contact information and other relevant details.
Integrate your office ecosystem into iBabs and make your meetings more intuitive and productive.
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Create your meeting minutes directly in iBabs and effortlessly track all actions, decisions, voting results and motions.
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Mobile access

Access the board portal from any location using mobile devices. iBabs’ native app is available on Android and iOS.

Mobile device management

Manage and secure your mobile devices. iBabs supports mobile device management, including InTune, Citrix and Okta.

Multi-board support

Manage multiple boards within one portal, with separate user access and permission levels for each board.

Notes & annotations

Make notes and annotations on documents and share them easily with other board members.

Offline access

Access documents and other portal features even without an internet connection. Documents are automatically stored offline in the iBabs app.

Public Information Portal

Create more transparency for your public organisations by broadcasting your meetings and sharing results through your custom public information portal.

RSVP and attendance tracking

Track RSVPs and attendance for meetings, ensuring that the necessary number of attendees is present for a quorum and that members can be held accountable for their attendance.

Single Sign-On (SSO)

Easily sign into iBabs using your company’s account. We support Microsoft Entra ID (formerly known as Azure AD), Google, Okta, ADFS, and SURFcontext.

Support

iBabs just works. It is stable and user friendly. On the off chance that you do need support, our dedicated support team is ready to help troubleshoot any issues and answer your questions.

Third-party integrations

Integrate with third-party software such as Microsoft Office and Google Drive, as well as other document management systems.

Universal search

Search for documents, files and other information across the entire portal using the universal search function. This allows you to quickly and easily find whatever you need.
Organise hybrid or virtual meetings with our video conferencing feature. You can connect to the virtual boardroom directly on the iBabs platform.
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Capture votes securely online. With iBabs you can use manual, live or anonymous voting and generate voting summaries.
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Create custom workflows that reflect your internal processes. Workflows enable you to track the status of tasks, auto-assign them and create custom reports.
Read more...

Learn More About iBabs’ Features

iBabs provides a leading board portal that scales with your business. You only pay for your active users. You also enjoy all the features needed to improve decision-making. The portal also increases board engagement and streamlines the meeting process.
Explore Features

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How much does a board portal cost?

The cost of board portal software can depend on a number of factors. These include:

  • The solution you decide to use
  • The features you need (some providers have different prices for a range of tiers that offer more functionality the more you are willing to pay)
  • The number of users for your board portal (some solutions are charged per user or there are tiered plans based on the size of your organisation)
  • Whether you pay monthly or annually
  • The cost of paying for the provider to train your users

For example, using iBabs, and that is set at €12 per user per month. In addition, we provide full on-site training for both administrative staff and end-users of the board portal for a one-off fee of €995.

Of course, you can also factor in the value of the time your users spend learning how to use the tool. You can minimise this by taking a full training package directly from the provider, such as the one iBabs offers.

When considering a board portal, you should also consider the return on investment. Not only do you benefit through increased board effectiveness. You also enjoy the benefits of increased security around your sensitive board documents and the general work of the board. When you compare the cost of implementing board software to the benefits of a provider's solution, you can make an informed decision.

Read our ebook on the ROI of a board portal to find out more.

 

Find out about iBabs’ simple pricing

iBabs provides a leading board portal that scales with your business. You only pay for your active users. You also enjoy all the features needed to improve decision-making. The portal also increases board engagement and streamlines the meeting process.
Request a Demo Today

Article Summary

What questions should you ask your board portal provider?

When you start looking for the perfect solution on the board portal market for your organisation, you need to know what to ask the vendors you engage. These questions will help you to determine whether their board portal is the right fit for your business.

Functionality and usability
  • How user-friendly is your platform?
  • Do you offer features like digital signatures, voting functionality and integrated video conferencing?
  • How does the portal facilitate document management, version control and real-time collaboration?
  • Does it allow for offline access
Accessibility and compatibility
  • Is the portal accessible on desktop, tablet and mobile and across different operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows)?
  • Do you provide an offline mode for document access
Security and compliance
  • What protocols do you have in place (e.g. encryption standards, multi-factor authentication) to make this a secure platform?
  • Are you compliant with GDPR or other relevant data protection regulations?
  • How do you handle data backups and disaster recovery
Customisation and integration
  • Can the portal be customised to our organisation's specific needs?
  • Does it integrate with other tools and systems we currently use?
  • Do I have complete control over the integrations I use
Training and support
  • What kind of training do you provide to onboard new users?
  • How accessible is your customer service?
  • What does the contract include?
  • How is the platform priced?
  • Is it a one-time fee, subscription-based or based on the number of users?
  • Are there any additional costs or fees, such as for training or advanced features?
  • What is the contract length and what are the terms for renewal or termination?
Updates and enhancements
  • How often do you release updates or new features for the portal?
  • How do you gather and incorporate feedback from users to improve the platform?
Data ownership and portability
  • Who owns the data stored in the portal?
  • In case we decide to switch vendors in the future, how can we retrieve or transfer our data?
Uptime and reliability
  • What is your platform's uptime history or percentage?
  • How do you ensure the reliability of your service?
References and case studies
  • Can you provide references or case studies from organisations using your portal?
About the vendor
  • How can we be sure that you will continue to provide this business-critical service in the long term?
  • Is there any risk that the vendor is aqcuired by a larger competitor?

Benefits of adopting a board portal 

Better decisions and accountability

With better collaboration facilitated by a board portal comes better decision-making. Everyone arrives at the meeting with the benefit of having heard colleagues’ views on topics. They have been able to research them further to create robust counterarguments or uncover their validity. This preparation means that the board can take better-informed decisions for the benefit of the company.

This increased accountability drives the board to effect real change.

The administrative dashboard shows how often directors attend meetings. It also displays how many documents they open and other engagement figures. This helps to hold directors to account.

Improves your ESG rating

Both public and private companies are evermore aware of their obligations towards sustainability. Ridding the board meeting process of paper is a big step toward your environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) goals.

Board packs can be long, running into the tens, if not hundreds, of pages. Board meetings can use a lot of paper, especially if there are amendments to make and send out. A board portal eradicates this and distributes all board material digitally, in the cloud.

Improves compliance and record-keeping

Compliance is a key element of the board’s work. A board portal helps maintain the requirements for record-keeping, such as minutes. It also keeps corporate data, trade secrets and information on clients. This is essential as part of risk management.

A board portal maintains digital records of the meeting. This includes board meeting minutes, decisions, resolutions and more. In addition, the security protocols in place on the platform help you comply with strict data protection laws.

A leading board portal requires multi-factor authentication for logging in. It also allows you to adjust which profiles have access to which information and remotely wipe data if you need to.

Cost savings

Boards save money in terms of the time it takes both administrators and directors to prepare for meetings. In addition, a paperless approach reduces the cost of materials, printing and distribution.

Your portal offers multiple functions. It has its own cloud-based storage, video conferencing tool and minute-taking software, for example. This way, you save on separate subscriptions.

Meetings become shorter and more efficient. Improved decision-making helps increase revenue. Both count as cost savings from using a board portal.

Increase efficiency and productivity

A board portal reduces the time spent creating agenda items and minutes. It also reduces the time administrators spend creating documents like minutes. It is more efficient to upload documents to the cloud than. use the traditional paper process.

Directors can suggest changes. Board admins can action them immediately. This ensures that everyone works on the same, most accurate version of the information. This leads to more productive meetings. All attendees arrive ready for discussions, without having to spend time bringing colleagues up to speed.

Article Summary

Challenges and concerns

Whenever you introduce a new way of working into an established group, it can cause concern and that is only natural. Here are some potential challenges to the smooth adoption of a board portal.

Cyber threats

Locating all your sensitive board information within a platform can seem daunting. Some people worry about cyberattacks and other security risks. Most board portals use high-quality security protocols to protect their data. The board stays safe as it discusses and shares private business information. Check the security features of the board of directors portal before you sign up.

Training and skill development

A new tool that provides the functionality of a digital board portal will require users to undertake training. This can take place internally, using the literature provided by the company. In some cases, it can take time and require initial users to learn on the job and then trickle down their knowledge.

This is why it is advisable to take advantage of training packages offered by the board portal provider. They will have worked out the most effective way of imparting the information that new users need. This manner helps bring them up to speed as quickly as possible.

Technology infrastructure requirements

Directors and board administrators need to have compatible devices to use the board portal. It might require the company to provide these devices initially. Thankfully, most board portals work in the cloud and do not pose too many demands on the IT infrastructure of the business.

In addition, features such as an agenda builder are intuitive. They are easy to use within the meeting management software.

Transition and adoption hurdles

Some people do not like change and that can cause hurdles when encouraging adoption of the new portal. Transitioning from your current process can seem daunting too. You may fear it will be disruptive to the work of the board.

However, this is where you need to arm yourself with the multiple benefits of the tool you want to install. Demonstrate why it is in the best interest of the company. Most providers will also have a well-practised installation process in place. This minimises disruption and gets boards up and running in record time.

Article Summary

Case studies: successful implementation of board portals

Food and beverage

Berentzen Gruppe AG

As executive assistant to the CFO of Berentzen Gruppe AG (“Berentzen”), Andrea R’s role demands continual coordination, communication and concentration. In a high pressure environment, not only must she fulfil the tasks required by her immediate manager, but she has to meet the demands of a wider group of stakeholders on the executive and supervisory […]
The World Lottery Association is an international member-based association of state-controlled lottery operators, licensed sports betting operators, as well as suppliers to the global gaming industry. As such, the ability to create agendas quickly and efficiently is vitally important. Agendas must be able to be presented to meeting attendees with enough time to allow them […]
The CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (Centraal Planbureau in Dutch), sought to streamline its operations with the help of technology. They wanted to utilise software to ensure efficient management of meetings, agendas, and document-handling processes. Erwin Zijleman, the head of the Information Technology and Research Support department of the CPB, detailed the Bureau's […]

Find out why 3,000+ organisations trust iBabs

iBabs has spent more than a decade in the business. Working with government bodies, councils, medium-sized corporations and industry giants. We help all organisations to streamline their meeting processes.
Read Case Studies

Article Summary

Is it difficult to switch to a new board portal?

The process of switching to a new board portal can seem daunting. Your board is comfortable with your current system and replacing that and retraining stakeholders might appear to be a big task. However, the process can be smoother than you might imagine, depending on the provider you work with. In addition, using a portal that meets all directors’ needs can transform your board meetings.

With iBabs, you will receive support at each step. This is how the switch works:

4
Go live with support

Our trainer and dedicated support team are there to help on an ongoing basis with any queries that you may have. It's as you start to realise the full potential of iBabs' board portal.

3
Training sessions

Schedule training sessions with our team. We help your team understand how to best use the portal's advanced features.

2
Data transition

Book in sessions with our expert trainers to move the data you need from your current system to your new iBabs platform.

1
Migration plan

We work with you to plot out the steps involved in a migration plan. We break the process down into manageable steps toward implementing the right solution for your board.

Article Summary

FAQ

Board portals provide a solution that encompasses all of the functionality of a range of collaboration tools on one platform. This means that stakeholders do not have to switch between apps in order to engage with their work. It also reduces cybersecurity risk. Multiple solutions can increase your exposure to bugs and flaws that could allow hackers into your systems.

Board portals work for organisations of all sizes, as they provide a holistic solution to all aspects of the board’s work. The modern board is a digital board, regardless of the size of the organisation.All boards need to distribute board materials, agenda, and meeting minutes. They also need document sharing, voting functionality, secure record-keeping, and other features. Smaller organisations should look into solutions that meet industry standards and are priced per user to be sure of the best value.

Look for a solution that utilises the toughest security protocols. If they take data protection seriously, they will show their credentials. You can rest assured your information will be as safe as possible on their platform.

It is a good idea to monitor the effectiveness of the portal you use. Ask for feedback from users and pass anything on to the provider that you think should change. They may well be able to implement updates to their board portal solutions based on your experience. If they cannot, review your options with other providers.

Some providers offer the ability to run multiple boards using their board portal solutions. If this is a concern for you, make sure to ask about it during the demonstration period when you look into the board portal market. Use the information to inform your decision.

Conclusion

Board portal software provides many benefits for board administrators, corporate secretaries and directors. A board portal can offer a significant return on investment. It can improve workflows, encourage collaboration, and increase engagement. It also provides secure record-keeping.It is a more secure and effective way to distribute board books, run your board meetings and follow up with tasks. You also create a digital audit trail that keeps you compliant with regulatory requirements.

Discover the leading end-to-end board portal solution

Revolutionise your meeting process with a streamlined procedure that protects your sensitive information. It keeps your team on the same page and fully prepared for board meetings.
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