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A Basic Guide to a Successful Intranet Portal with SharePoint

When it comes to enterprise collaboration, intranet portal tops the list. More and more businesses are depending on the intranet for their collaboration needs. It is also a growing market, according to Statista, the market revenue from collaboration software is forecast to keep increasing, reaching about 13.58 billion US dollars in 2023. These numbers include the investment organizations do on a large set of collaboration tools; intranet portal will most likely be the top expense item in this list accounting to its higher adoption rates among all groups of employees in all age groups.

If you take the top intranet portals in the market, Microsoft SharePoint leads that list. Microsoft introduced SharePoint in 2001, since then it has seen a lot of transformations, updates, which has made SharePoint the most favored for businesses when it comes to choosing a collaboration tool. SharePoint has been the most used collaboration tool for almost 20 years now. What makes the SharePoint so favored? Well, first it is the ease of use, SharePoint is very easy to use and manage since it is highly customizable it meets the organization’s requirements perfectly. Also, SharePoint is easy to set up and the quality of service is reliable for businesses.

Why should companies adopt a SharePoint Intranet Portal?

There are several collaboration tools available in the market today that businesses can invest in for their collaboration needs, but why choose an intranet? An intranet brings together all collaboration tools in a single portal, it is the one unique capability of an intranet portal. By bringing all this together organizations can maintain information consistency and centralized knowledge distribution all while supporting a unified communication environment. The users can also benefit from this, the centralized information repository allows users to easily access and use it. An intranet portal minimizes the clicks that a user must perform to access a piece of information. Here are some other features of an intranet portal.

  • An intranet can communicate on multiple levels, organizations will have multiple departments, and communication across these departments should be simple and easy, intranet portals simplifies the communication methods.
  • Among the many other features of an intranet, content management is an important one, an intranet will be the centralized interface to store and retrieve documents.
  • Using an intranet, you can manage the collaboration efforts across departments and teams easily.
  • Intranets are a safe and secure frontier for your integrated collaborative environment.

Among the many intranet portal solutions available in market SharePoint is the leading solution. Let us find out why that is. The greatest advantage of SharePoint is its adaptability. SharePoint has a large set of out of the box web parts and it even can be extended with custom web parts. Using these organizations can build a unique intranet portal for them to use. It is this adaptability or flexibility that enables a SharePoint intranet portal to become a comprehensive enterprise system that covers multiple functional areas. These functional areas could vary from an HR management solution to a simple Document management solution.

SharePoint Intranet Development

In the 20 years that SharePoint has been on the market, it has not only been at the top but also has gone through substantial changes. And Microsoft is adding more features to SharePoint every day to make it a better intranet portal. Depending on the various versions released by Microsoft, the SharePoint intranet can have four different builds.

  1. SharePoint Intranet On-Premises Solution
  2. SharePoint Online (Stand-alone)
  3. SharePoint Online (part of O365)
  4. SharePoint Online (Part of M365)

When building a SharePoint intranet, you must keep in mind the objective you are trying to achieve with the intranet. The intranet must address the following work criteria. It should incorporate individual work, you can set up ‘My Site’ for this, for on-prem versions, this is an employee’s personal area which has his personal work-related information, the tasks they are working on. You can use Microsoft’s Delve now for this, in Office 365 versions, you can view an employee’s profile in Delve, what they are working on, who they are collaborating with, etc.

Collaboration for teams is another feature you must incorporate in the intranet portal. One of the features of SharePoint that enables this is the ‘Team Sites’, teams can store and access documents here, share insights, and communicate about what is happening. Team sites are very easy to customize and launch, even for someone with little knowledge in SharePoint can do basic customizations to the site. You can also use the out of the box web parts available in SharePoint to customize these pages. Site owners can easily manage access to these pages, like who can edit the content and who can read them, etc.

Using ‘Communication Sites’ you can make much more visually pleasing sites for teams, it has a lot of amazing features like the Hero Web part, which is a content slider, you can upload images and videos to it. Communication sites are fully customizable just like the Teams site.

Hub Site is another attractive feature that is currently available in SharePoint Online, Hub Sites bring together information from different associated sites both Team sites and Communication site. It acts as a home page for your intranet.

There are many other types of sites that SharePoint is offering to enhance collaboration capabilities in a team, like an enterprise wiki, blogs, community sites, community portals, and project sites.

Using these features, you must design a collaboration portal suitable for your teams, that meets the needs of the users, and simplifies the employees’ task. You can make the team more productive by enhancing the collaboration process. You can always seek the assistance of SharePoint experts to design and build your team sites, customized as per your requirement so that you can have a better collaboration experience.

SharePoint Intranet for Enterprise Collaboration

Enterprise collaboration has only one purpose, enabling all users to access information easily and quickly. In SharePoint Intranet, you can use the homepage to put together information from the entire organization using customized web parts. It will act as the landing page for the organization’s intranet, you must put considerable effort in designing it. The home page should contain all the information about the activities that are happening in the organization, important links, access to important documents and other news, etc.

The functional capabilities of the SharePoint intranet can be made use of in an organization. These capabilities include Project Management Solution, Contract Management, Document Management, Asset Management, HR Management, and many more.

Intranet Management

Once you have adopted an intranet portal for your organization it is essential to manage the intranet properly, you must update the content periodically and make it more interactive so that users adopt the solution. User adoption should be your primary concern, get the users trained to use the intranet, give presentations on new features, and collect regular feedback from them. Organizations put a lot of effort into fine-tuning their intranet solution and ignore user adoption, which results in the intranet staying unused and a heavy burden on the revenue. You must monitor the solution regularly and perform regular maintenance on it. And finally updates, you must update the solution with new changes or fixes regularly, it does not have to be huge customizations. Regular system and security updates are important steps in managing the intranet.

Author

Adarsh D