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Intranet Alternatives to SharePoint

28 Feb 2024

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Ever found yourself wondering if SharePoint is the only road to travel for your intranet needs? With the digital workplace constantly evolving, many organisations are peering over the SharePoint fence to see what else is out there.

From sleek, user-friendly interfaces to all-inclusive licensing models, alternatives to SharePoint are showing up on the radar, and they're worth a look.

This journey isn’t just about finding a substitute; it’s about discovering a platform that resonates with your team's unique rhythm and propels your organisation forward.

Stick around as we explore the vibrant landscape of intranet alternatives, why a SharePoint alternatives intranet solution could be what you need, and how to navigate the transition smoothly.

Top Intranet Alternatives to SharePoint

There multiple SharePoint intranet alternatives you can consider. These include:

Elcom

Elcom offers an all-inclusive modern intranet, tailored to user roles. With its unlimited user licensing model, all employees, including those without company email addresses or Microsoft 365 accounts, can access the platform.

The platform can also be extended to power Learning Management Systems, Partner and Supplier Portals, and Websites, offering a comprehensive suite of tools for creating a range of digital experiences.

Jive

Known for its community and collaboration features, Jive facilitates dynamic internal communication networks.

It offers a range of social intranet features designed to enhance employee engagement and foster a strong corporate culture.

Oak Engage

Oak Engage focuses on enhancing employee experience with an intuitive interface and personalised content.

It provides tools for internal communications, employee engagement, and recognition, making it easier to build a connected and motivated workforce.

Blink

Blink targets frontline workers, providing a mobile-first intranet solution that delivers effective communication and operational efficiency.

Its emphasis on accessibility ensures that all employee stays informed and engaged.

Assembly

Assembly is designed to boost employee engagement and productivity through a suite of recognition and rewards tools.

It encourages a positive workplace culture by making it easy to celebrate achievements and milestones.

Axero

Axero combines knowledge management, collaboration, and social intranet features into a centralised platform.

It aims to streamline communication and collaboration, making it easier for teams to share knowledge and work together efficiently.

Glasscubes

Glasscubes focuses on collaboration and document management, presenting a straightforward platform that might appeal to teams looking for ease of use and quick setup.

It's a viable option for those prioritising simplicity in file sharing and project management.

Thoughtfarmer

Thoughtfarmer prioritises ease of use and personalisation, offering a customisable intranet solution that enhances internal communication and collaboration.

Its focus on user experience encourages high adoption rates among employees.

Happeo

Happeo integrates with Google Workspace, offering a unified intranet and collaboration platform that enhances productivity and communication.

Its strengths lie in content management and social networking features designed for the modern digital workplace.

Jostle

Jostle aims to simplify internal communications with a clean, easy-to-navigate interface.

It supports a variety of content types and integrates social features to foster a vibrant community within the organisation.

Firstup

Firstup focuses on employee communication and engagement, offering tools to reach every employee with personalised content.

It supports a data-driven approach to internal communications, helping organisations measure the impact of their efforts.

Liferay

Liferay offers a more flexible platform, often favored by organisations looking for a customisable solution.

Its strength lies in its ability to create tailored experiences, which can be particularly beneficial for very large enterprises with complex intranet needs.

Igloo

Igloo Software targets the digital workplace with a suite of tools designed to enhance communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.

It's an option for those who value out-of-the-box features.

Why Bother with SharePoint Alternatives?

This comes down to a few critical factors that can significantly influence the effectiveness and adaptability of your digital workplace.

At the heart of the debate is the principle of inclusivity. Some independent intranets such as Elcom offer an unlimited licensing model where accounts are created directly in the platform. This means all employees, including those without a company email address or Microsoft 365 accounts, can gain access. This inclusivity is crucial for organisations with large frontline employees, including casual staff, contractors and part-time employees, ensuring that everyone is connected and has access to the same resources and information.

Beyond inclusivity, the allure of independent intranets lies in their out-of-the-box readiness. These platforms are engineered to deliver a comprehensive suite of features tailored for enhancing internal communications, collaboration, and employee engagement – in a user-friendly way - from day one. This turnkey solution sidesteps the extensive customisations and developments often necessary to mould SharePoint into a full-fledged intranet.

Adopting an independent intranet solution can also streamline your digital transformation journey. With less dependency on intensive IT support and a clear, upfront cost structure, these alternatives can offer a smoother, more predictable path to achieving your digital workplace goals. In sum, while SharePoint presents a formidable option for some, the benefits of exploring independent intranet solutions - chief among them being inclusivity - can not only match but potentially exceed the value proposition for many organisations.

Key Features When Looking for an Intranet

When scouting for the ideal intranet provider and solution for your organisation, pinpointing the key features that align with your goals and needs is crucial. Here’s a roundup of essential features to look for:

  1. User-Friendly Interface: The intranet should have an intuitive design that's easy for all employees to navigate, regardless of their tech savviness. A straightforward, engaging interface ensures quick adoption and minimises the learning curve.
  2. Comprehensive Search Capabilities: A powerful search function is vital for employees to quickly find documents, contacts, and information. Advanced search features, including filtering options and search by metadata, can significantly enhance productivity.
  3. Mobile Accessibility: With the increasing shift towards remote and flexible working arrangements, a mobile-responsive design or dedicated app is essential for ensuring employees can access the intranet anytime, anywhere.
  4. Collaboration Tools: Features that facilitate collaboration, such as team spaces, discussion forums, and real-time messaging, can transform the intranet from a static information repository into a dynamic workspace.
  5. Customisation and Personalisation: The ability to customise the interface and content according to department, role, or individual preferences makes the intranet more relevant and useful to each employee.
  6. Document and Asset Management: Robust document and asset management capabilities, including version control, permissions, and integration with office suites, are crucial for managing the lifecycle of documents efficiently.
  7. Automation: Forms and workflows, events manager, onboarding hub and other automation features save significant time spent collecting employee information, distributing resources and improving internal business processes as a whole.
  8. Employee Engagement Tools: Features like employee recognition programs, social networking, and interactive elements (polls, surveys) contribute to a vibrant workplace culture and lower employee turnover.
  9. Security and Compliance: Ensuring data security and compliance with industry regulations is non-negotiable. Look for features like secure access, data encryption, and audit trails.
  10. Analytics and Reporting: Insightful analytics and reporting tools help measure intranet engagement and effectiveness, guiding continuous improvement.
  11. Easy Integration: The intranet should seamlessly integrate with existing tools and systems (e.g. CRM, HRIS) to streamline workflows and avoid siloed information. Some intranets also integrate with SharePoint document manager.
  12. Scalability: Choose a platform that can grow with your organisation, easily accommodating new users, departments, and functionality without significant overhauls.
  13. Support and Training: Comprehensive support and training resources are essential for troubleshooting, maintenance, and ensuring that employees make the most of the intranet’s features.

Evaluating the Right Intranet Solution

Understanding whether SharePoint is the right platform for you or whether you should choose an independent intranet hinges on aligning with your organisation's unique objectives, whether that’s improving communication, facilitating seamless collaboration, or building a robust document management.

The best starting point is gathering insights from across the organisation to understand diverse needs and anticipated challenges. This collaborative approach ensures the chosen platform can support varied departmental requirements while promoting widespread adoption.

Prioritising user experience is key here; an intuitive, easily navigable interface encourages consistent use, making the intranet a central hub for your digital workplace.

On the technical front, consider how well potential solutions integrate with existing systems, their scalability to accommodate future growth, and the security measures they employ to protect your data. The sustainability of an intranet solution is significantly influenced by its ability to evolve alongside your organisation.

Finally, assess the level of support and training vendors offer, as robust support helps you navigate not only the implementation phase but well beyond this as your needs evolve.

Transitioning from SharePoint

Transitioning from SharePoint intranet alternatives involves careful planning and execution to ensure minimal disruption and maintain data integrity. Here's a concise guide to navigate the process:

1. Assess and Plan: Begin with a thorough assessment of your current SharePoint environment. Identify which features are most used, the structure of your data, and any customisations or integrations in place. This assessment will inform your transition plan, helping you identify what needs to be migrated and any potential challenges.

2. Choose the Right Solution: Based on your assessment, select an intranet solution that meets your organisational needs, offers a user-friendly interface, and can accommodate the features and data currently housed in SharePoint. The new platform should support seamless integration with other tools your organisation uses.

3. Prepare Your Data: Before migrating, clean up your data. This includes archiving outdated content, organising documents, and ensuring all data is correctly formatted for the new system. A clean dataset will simplify the migration process and enhance the usability of your new intranet.

4. Pilot and Train: Implement a pilot program with a small, cross-functional group of users to test the migration process and gather feedback. Use insights from this pilot to refine your approach and develop comprehensive training materials for the broader rollout. Training should cover how to use the new platform, emphasising improvements and new features.

5. Migrate: Execute the migration according to your plan, leveraging tools and resources provided by the new intranet vendor if available. There should be a clear process for transferring data, maintaining data integrity, and verifying that all content has been successfully migrated.

6. Launch and Support: Once migration is complete, officially launch your new intranet. Provide ample support during the initial phase, addressing any user concerns promptly. Collect feedback to make any necessary adjustments and ensure users are comfortable with the new system.

7. Evaluate: After the transition, evaluate the new intranet’s performance against your initial objectives. Assess user adoption, satisfaction, and productivity changes to gauge the success of the migration and identify areas for improvement.

Conclusion

And there you have it—a glimpse into the world of SharePoint alternatives for intranets. 

Transitioning from SharePoint might seem daunting, but with the right preparation and steps, it can lead to a more connected and engaged digital workplace.

Remember, the best intranet solution is the one that feels like it was made just for you. So, why not explore what lies beyond the SharePoint horizon? Your perfect intranet match might be just around the corner.

Need additional information to get you started? Check out our Intranet Buyers Guide. We'll run you through step-by-step the elements of evaluating and buying an intranet solution that truly meet the needs of your organisation. There is also a detailed checklist to compare intranet solutions.

Intranet Evaluation Guide - Blog Banner 
 

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