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Selecting an intranet vendor

by Martyn Green on April 7, 2014

Before you even consider an intranet supplier for your project, it’s absolutely vital that you have gathered information on the requirements of your users and have a firm understanding of what you want to achieve.

Once you’ve got to this stage, you’ll be ready to go through the process of selecting a supplier.

There are 3 main components (in no particular order) to consider when you’re selecting a supplier:

  1. Technology
  2. Relationship with supplier
  3. Budget

How you prioritise them will depend on the needs of your organisation.

Technology

Blog-choosing-supplier-technologyAn intranet should be considered as a business tool that evolves with your business. You’ll get the most value out of your site by thinking of it as a long term project. Assess about what you want to do in the future, not just what you want to achieve right now.

Consider your resources and think about which departments will be managing your site on a regular basis. If your IT team are responsible for choosing your supplier, but the day to day running of the intranet will be done by your Communications team, there may be a conflict of interest if the chosen technology is too technical. Keeping the site moving with the business may prove difficult without heavy reliance on the IT team.

Relationship with supplier

In my opinion, the relationship with the supplier is the most important factor to consider. The right supplier for you will listen to your requirements, and understand what you need as well as make suggestions for how the site can be adapted further. Using their knowledge and expertise they'll help you uncover intranet opportunities to meet your business objectives, as well as focus on the long term business benefits of an intranet.

A good way of gauging the relationship that suppliers build up with their clients is to ask them to give you four examples of situations where a client asked for help, and get them to explain how they went about assisting them. How much effort do they make to maintain a strong relationship with their customers?

A good supplier won’t just focus on your immediate needs, but will help you to maximise
your returnon investment by uncovering opportunities within your business to get the most
from your intranet.

Budget

Your intranet budget will be reflected by what you are actually trying to achieve. If you haveBlog-choosing-supplier-budget defined and fairly straightforward requirements, you can implement something cheaply that will achieve your immediate needs.

Although it may not be on your current agenda, if the solution you choose isn't flexible enough to keep pace with new opportunities to engage your staff you may have to factor in additional costs for meeting these challenges.

To ensure your solution matches the needs of your organisation, supplier selection needs to be made by a team that provides a true representation of the staff within your company.
Having staff from different teams involved will ensure you get an understanding of what your users require.

When assessing a vendor, consider technology, and budget, but most importantly, the relationship with your potential supplier.

We’ll be happy to talk you through our technology and introduce you to the team that would create a site for your needs, arrange a demo.

Topics: 2. Plan

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