- Over the weekend, the N.C. Department of Transportation launched its first extranet website, designed to serve its business partners. Called Connect NCDOT
, the site houses information geared towards contractors, engineering firms and other businesses that collaborate with the department. Previously, that information was available on the department's public website, www.NCDOT.gov. Connect NCDOT is part of the department's overall effort to upgrade its entire web infrastructure to better serve all of the various users who visit NCDOT.gov."For years, NCDOT's website has stored an immense amount of information," said NCDOT Deputy Secretary for Internal and External Affairs Ted Vaden. "Over the past year and a half, we've studied NCDOT.gov and surveyed our users. What we found was that much of the information on NCDOT.gov was geared toward a very specialized group of people -our business partners. Connect is a way to collaborate with them better."Most of the business-focused content will be moved off of NCDOT.gov and made available on Connect NCDOT. There, it will be organized by function. For example, firms looking to bid on construction projects will no longer have to search multiple units' webpages for details on upcoming projects. All the information for advertised projects will be located in one central location, saving them time and making the entire process work more efficiently."We're delivering exactly what our business partners asked for," said NCDOT Chief Engineer Terry Gibson. "By better organizing our information and improving the search function, we're making it even easier for companies to work with us." Users looking for business-related information on NCDOT.gov will be automatically redirected to the new web "home" for that information. The rest of NCDOT.gov has not changed. However, it is being reorganized to make it more useful for the public. The reorganized site will be completed in coming months.