If you have ever experimented with SharePoint you know how complex it can be. It provides the platform to manage documents, store lists as well as plug in to many other Microsoft products. In this blog I’m going to discuss why some organisations choose to use SharePoint as an intranet and why I believe it is not. For more information about this, and more, book a demo.
Launched by Microsoft back in 2001, SharePoint was originally designed as a browser based tool to manage documents and create project focused websites. It gave IT teams the ability to bolt different Microsoft products together adding features such as Yammer and Skype along the way.
Technical teams used this to design and develop intranets that provided a space for staff to communicate and collaborate with each other. Organisations tend to gravitate to SharePoint as it comes packaged with other Microsoft software (SharePoint comes with the business packages of Office 365 for instance).
In my view SharePoint is not an intranet, rather a tool kit that can be developed into an intranet - if you have the time, effort and skills available. Out of the box there is a distinct lack of even the most basic intranet functionality. No searchable contacts directory, events calendar or the ability to blog – these all have to be created or installed, let alone a decent mobile experience.
For a non-technical person it’s also notoriously hard to operate. Adding or editing functionality requires a level of technical understanding that far exceeds that of other SharePoint alternatives. SharePoint works well when you have great technical infrastructure and a budget for consulting. It’s here that you can take the tools that SharePoint provides and create something that solves your unique business challenges. Unfortunately, most organisations don’t have this luxury.
Despite all this, SharePoint still excels at managing the collaboration between colleagues using office documents. As intranet providers we get a lot of organisations that want to keep their documentation within SharePoint but require a much better intranet experience. We provide this with our intranet software, integrating into SharePoint and delivering its content within our easy to use intranet environment.