SharePoint Intranet – All you should know about
As organizations grow, they face various challenges related to employee collaboration, knowledge sharing, document management, storage of employee details, and other vital processes.
SharePoint is one of the best technologies to help companies set up a process for their content and document management system. Intranet portals are the best examples of SharePoint company pages, which are widely used as a collaboration hub.
What is SharePoint Intranet?
SharePoint Intranet helps organizations source information, knowledge, collaborate, discuss potential issues, and make informed business decisions.
In the modern era, the company intranet is a platform that binds staff together and improves employee engagement. The right intranet platform increases productivity and improves interactions between internal and external teams.
Why Choose SharePoint for your intranet?
We have identified how an intranet platform is beneficial for any organization and staff can utilize this platform to improve the collaborative process. But one other important challenge which should never be underestimated is user adoption. According to Microsoft Ignite 2019, SharePoint report shares how online users have doubled in the last few years.
Besides the adoption rate, here are some reasons why you should choose your intranet platform carefully.
In the last few years, Microsoft spent a lot of time and money continuously developing and updating the SharePoint platform.
The platform offers a large set of out-of-the-box features that can be customized to fit your unique business requirements and create a digital workspace.
Also, because SharePoint Online leverage the benefits of cloud services with Office 365 your organization can adapt your SharePoint usage according to your needs.
2. Organized and Comprehensive
One problem companies have with an intranet is keeping it organized and easy to use. SharePoint’s structure keeps all sites within the intranet organized by using the following framework:
- SharePoint Team Sites : Share information within a specific team, group, or department.
- SharePoint Communication Sites : Share information companywide.
- SharePoint Hub Sites : Organize all SharePoint sites into a comprehensive directory.
3. Robust Document Management system
With SharePoint, companies have a shared space to store all their documents and files. Anyone in the organization with the required user access permissions can access these files.
SharePoint also allows multiple people to work on a single document simultaneously. You can easily track any updates made to a document with version management features. Once the employees are done, your organization will have a single unified version with input from all stakeholders. SharePoint Document Management System can help you to manage all your important document in one place
4. Intelligent search engine
SharePoint’s search functionality uses exceptional data discovery processes. For example, if you’re struggling to find a company policy, simply use SharePoint’s search to find the specific policy you need. SharePoint’s search engine goes through all sites, pages, wikis, lists, libraries, folders, and files in SharePoint. SharePoint searches the full text of documents as well as their metadata. Metadata includes the file name, title, author, and any keywords or category systems you’ve put in place.
SharePoint is available to those with Office 365 subscriptions. If you already use Office 365, you can start using SharePoint without worrying about spending money on a dedicated, complex Intranet service.
Compared to an on-Premises solution, SharePoint can save your organization from investing in infrastructure and resources. SharePoint Online is a part of the Office 365 business plan and can be purchase on a per-user per-month basis. There is no need to purchase additional licenses.
Here are more reasons which will help you easily choose SharePoint as your favorite platform
- Team collaboration
- Enterprise workflows
- Smart Digital workspace
- Social networking
- Knowledge management
- Analytics & dashboards
- Task management tools
- Enterprise communication
SharePoint Intranet Components
Components of any specific company intranet mostly depend on the aspect of the company processes. It is solely based on staff and management requirements that what web parts they want to show on their Intranet page. Below are some of the most common SharePoint Online components based on their usage.
- News web part
- Events timeline
- Employee Directory
- Task management – calendar
- Employee Spotlight
- Birthday reminder
- Image gallery
- Corporate and HR documents
- Live Tiles or Metro tiles – Quick links to internal SharePoint sites or third-party systems
- Questionnaires, polls, and surveys
- Intranet search
- Weather forecast
- Social features
- Knowledge base
- World clock
How can you build a Modern SharePoint Intranet?
When you build a corporate intranet, think of three major types of space uses.
- 1. Self or individual space
- 2. Team collaboration space
- 3. Enterprise-wide collaboration space
For any type of Intranet to be successful, people must adapt it to fit all three types of collaboration. Below, we share how a Modern SharePoint site can effectively work for each type of user role.
1. Self or Individual space: In all on-premises versions of SharePoint, you can find My Sites that offer capabilities for individual work. My Site is an employee’s area that shows the information on this person and their core activities, contact details and a short bio, document storage, a personal blog, a news feed, and a task list are a few possible components of My Sites that can be tuned individually.
It’s all available on the SharePoint ‘My sites’.
Note: Most SharePoint users do not know about My sites and look for other apps or solutions to jot down their personal info or task list.
Related article: Enable Team collaboration list templates on modern site collections.
2. Team Collaboration space:
Collaboration is an integral feature of any SharePoint Intranet. Team sites are known to assist in building a strong channel for faster and effective collaboration and communication.
The team site is where teams can store their content, communicate, manage projects, share insights, and more. Modern team sites are easy to launch, and even users who do not have any specific SharePoint knowledge can apply basic customizations to these sites.
Some of the advanced functions available through Team sites, SharePoint consultants can easily help you customize your Team sites to perform the functions you desire.
You can access your team site from the SharePoint start page in the Files section of your Microsoft 365 group (if Microsoft 365 Groups is enabled), or on the go with your SharePoint mobile apps. You can also find your SharePoint files in OneDrive.
Related article: 7 Steps to Restrict Users from Creating Sites from SharePoint Start Page
3. Enterprise-wide collaboration space
A modern team site comes with pages, lists, libraries, and team news thus enabling a group to collaborate and communicate better. A SharePoint Team Site functions as a hub where many team members can access content, organize content, or collaborate on content.
Communication within SharePoint Team Sites is done with commenting on documents in real-time, along with the rest of your team.
The major benefit to team sites is they are owned by IT or the head of a department or working group. That means that permissions can be set by IT or departmental heads.
In-Office 365, Group Sites complement a traditional email/Outlook group. Group Sites allow for solid and safe file collaboration among groups, the membership, and permissions for which can be easily adjusted and managed on a case-by-case basis.
Team Sites offer users and organizations a way to quickly and efficiently communicate and collaborate. As a chat-based workspace, Microsoft’s Team Sites ensure team members never need to worry about missing a crucial conversation. Chats can be private or built around groups ensuring that each user can thread conversations to guarantee no team member misses out on important updates, and no sensitive information is shared with those who don’t have sufficient access.
There are various instances when departments need to share information that is only relevant to them, but not to the rest of the company. For such cases, Department sites come in handy.
Hub sites are another type of SharePoint site and a possible component of a modern intranet that is currently available in SharePoint Online only.
SharePoint hub sites help you meet the needs of your organization by connecting and organizing sites based on the project, department, division, region, etc. These hubs make it easier to:
- Discover related content such as news and other site activities
- Apply common navigation, branding, and site structure across associated sites
- Search across all associated sites
An intranet is a boon for remote working teams
Remote working has become the new normal for many organizations. Because it is still new for many companies, they are looking for new ways to organize their operations.
A robust and intuitive SharePoint intranet can help your remote working team;
- Intranet can become a virtual hub where your team meets to communicate effectively
- It helps collaborators change documents simultaneously without interferences
- Co-authoring is a great way to get real-time feedback on your work and ideas
- You can store crucial documents.
- The advanced search feature ensures users can find the right data
- Provide a central platform where team members can post their innovative ideas, chats, pictures, and more
- With SharePoint Mobile and SharePoint Online, you can use your device to access company data from anywhere in the world.
Related article: 5 reasons why SharePoint Intranet can help your remote teams work better
Build your Intranet with Beyond Intranet
We have read the benefits of the intranet are numerous. That said, implementing a SharePoint intranet will differ based on every business’ requirements. Companies must overcome various challenges such as:
- Incorporating the intranet into the work culture and processes
- Incentivize widespread adoption across the organization
- Offering the latest content on the intranet
Choosing the right platform ensures your intranet becomes a one-stop solution for information, communications, tools, and applications to make your entire digital workplace successful.
SharePoint keeps on raising the bar to make the platform better. The new features and upgrades, functionalities, powerful tools to boost internal communications, employee engagement, and collaborations make SharePoint intranet the best choice for your organization.
Beyond Intranet is in SharePoint intranet development with over 15 + years of experience. Contact us today, so we can help you with your specific intranet needs.