Elevating Business Communications with SharePoint as Intranet
Effective communication is crucial for the success of any business. It helps in fostering collaboration, improving productivity, and enhancing employee engagement. In today’s digital age, businesses are increasingly relying on intranets to streamline their internal communications. SharePoint, a powerful collaboration platform developed by Microsoft, offers a wide range of features and functionalities that can elevate business communications to new heights.
What is SharePoint Intranet?
SharePoint Intranet is a web-based platform that allows organizations to create a centralized hub for their internal communications and collaboration. It provides a secure and customizable environment where employees can access important information, collaborate on projects, and communicate with each other. SharePoint Intranet can be deployed either on-premise or in the cloud, depending on the specific needs and preferences of the organization.
Benefits of SharePoint Intranet
Implementing SharePoint Intranet as a business communication tool offers several benefits:
- Centralized Information: SharePoint Intranet provides a centralized repository for all important documents, files, and information. This ensures that employees have easy access to the latest and most relevant information, eliminating the need for multiple versions of documents and reducing the risk of miscommunication.
- Improved Collaboration: SharePoint Intranet offers a range of collaboration tools, such as document sharing, co-authoring, and version control. These tools enable employees to work together on projects, share ideas, and provide feedback in real-time, leading to improved collaboration and productivity.
- Enhanced Communication: SharePoint Intranet provides various communication tools, such as discussion boards, blogs, and news feeds, that facilitate effective communication within the organization. Employees can share updates, ask questions, and provide feedback, fostering a culture of open communication and transparency.
- Customization Options: SharePoint Intranet can be customized to align with the branding and design of the organization. This helps in creating a consistent and familiar user experience, enhancing employee engagement and adoption of the platform.
- Integration with Other Tools: SharePoint Intranet can be seamlessly integrated with other Microsoft tools, such as Outlook, Teams, and OneDrive. This integration allows for a unified and streamlined communication experience, enabling employees to access and share information across different platforms.
SharePoint Intranet Development
Developing a SharePoint Intranet requires expertise and technical knowledge. Organizations can choose to develop their intranet in-house or outsource the development to a SharePoint development agency. Outsourcing SharePoint development offers several advantages:
- Expertise: SharePoint development agencies have a team of experienced developers who specialize in SharePoint development. They have in-depth knowledge of the platform and can leverage its features to create a customized and efficient intranet solution.
- Time and Cost Savings: Outsourcing SharePoint development can save organizations time and money. SharePoint development agencies have the necessary resources and infrastructure to develop the intranet quickly and efficiently, reducing the time and cost associated with in-house development.
- Customization: SharePoint development agencies can tailor the intranet to meet the specific needs and requirements of the organization. They can create custom workflows, integrate third-party applications, and design a user-friendly interface that aligns with the organization’s branding.
- Ongoing Support and Maintenance: SharePoint development agencies offer managed SharePoint services, which include ongoing support and maintenance of the intranet. This ensures that the intranet remains up-to-date, secure, and optimized for performance.
SharePoint On-Premise vs SharePoint Online
When developing a SharePoint Intranet, organizations have the option to choose between SharePoint on-premise and SharePoint online. Here are some key differences between the two:
- Deployment: SharePoint on-premise is installed and hosted on the organization’s own servers, while SharePoint online is a cloud-based solution hosted by Microsoft.
- Cost: SharePoint on-premise requires upfront investment in hardware, software licenses, and infrastructure, whereas SharePoint online is subscription-based, with a monthly or annual fee.
- Scalability: SharePoint online offers greater scalability, as organizations can easily add or remove users and storage space as needed. SharePoint on-premise requires additional hardware and infrastructure to scale.
- Maintenance: SharePoint online handles all the maintenance and updates, relieving organizations of the burden of managing the infrastructure. SharePoint on-premise requires organizations to handle maintenance and updates themselves.
- Security: SharePoint online provides robust security measures, including data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular backups. SharePoint on-premise allows organizations to have more control over their security measures.
Intranet Design and Development Best Practices
When designing and developing a SharePoint Intranet, it is important to follow best practices to ensure its effectiveness and usability:
- User-Centric Design: The intranet should be designed with the end-users in mind. It should be intuitive, easy to navigate, and visually appealing. User research and testing can help identify user needs and preferences.
- Clear Information Architecture: The intranet should have a clear and logical structure, with well-defined categories and subcategories. This makes it easier for users to find the information they need quickly and efficiently.
- Mobile-Friendly Design: With the increasing use of mobile devices, it is important to design the intranet to be responsive and mobile-friendly. This ensures that employees can access the intranet anytime, anywhere, using their preferred devices.
- Engaging Content: The intranet should have relevant and engaging content that meets the needs of the employees. This can include news updates, employee profiles, training materials, and company policies.
- Training and Support: Providing training and support to employees is crucial for the successful adoption of the intranet. This can include training sessions, user guides, and a dedicated support team to address any issues or questions.
SharePoint Intranet offers a powerful solution for elevating business communications. Whether deployed on-premise or in the cloud, SharePoint Intranet provides a centralized hub for internal communications, collaboration, and information sharing. By outsourcing SharePoint development to a specialized agency, organizations can leverage the expertise and resources of experienced developers to create a customized and efficient intranet solution. Following best practices in design and development ensures that the intranet is user-friendly, engaging, and meets the needs of the employees. With SharePoint Intranet, businesses can enhance their internal communications, improve collaboration, and drive overall productivity and success.