A college or business portal is ideally a pretty, user-friendly ‘window’ giving access to everything the visitor needs. If you are using your portal to integrate with or point to a self-service portion of your ERP system, don’t use that cool portlet (or similar widget) to deep-link to everything within your already functioning self-service. Sure it might look neat, but you’re recreating the wheel one spoke at a time. Keep it simple. End users these days are savvy. They want their data and they’re not afraid to figure out a different looking functionality if it will help them find what they need more efficiently. Save your easy-buttons for integral, time-sensitive tasks (open enrollment, registration, pay now, etc.) and switch ’em up. Users like to see fresh content.