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Why use Sharepoint for intranet portals?

This article will give you an insight on why use SharePoint for Intranet Portals in 2022

Why should companies use Intranet portals?

In this digital age, with pandemics like covid 19 limiting physical contact, your businesses should use some kind of intranet solution. Primarily an intranet portal helps increase the productivity of your teams by facilitating easy collaboration. It also helps drive strong company culture even in a distributed working environment.

Keeping your information secure is another challenge that an intranet portal can overcome without sacrificing engagement by supporting a connected workforce.

According to MarketsandMarkets the global enterprise collaboration market is expected to grow from 47.2 billion in 2021 USD to 85.8 billion by 2026. That’s almost a 100% growth

According to MarketsandMarket 

“Growing demand for real-time and remote collaboration tools, adoption of cloud-based services to accelerate collaboration, demand for a workplace connectivity platform, need for project and task management solutions, and need to increase competitive advantage are expected to be the major factors driving the growth of the Enterprise Collaboration Market.”

Why SharePoint is the best solution for Intranet Portal

According to G2, SharePoint is the leading employee intranet portal software in the market as per customer reviews. 

Why use SharePoint for Employee Intranet Portal

Microsoft SharePoint intranet portal is a world-class enterprise portal platform that can be configured to run intranet portals. An intranet portal solution is a restricted computer network that helps connect individuals within the organization, drives employee engagement, and provides access to business-critical information at all times. The main reason for your company to use Microsoft SharePoint for building corporate intranet software is the wide range of leading productivity tools available to employees in a cohesive digital workplace. We implement and deliver SharePoint intranets to help your employees collaborate from anywhere.

Read more on SharePoint Intranet Portal

One of the primary advantages of SharePoint is its seamless integration with the Microsoft O365 suite and applications. SharePoint is simply the most adaptable portal software that’s available in the market today. 

SharePoint ships with a huge set of out of the box capabilities. These OOTB capabilities can be extended with Sharepoint custom development to develop any solution unique to your organisation

SharePoint - An overview

According to Microsoft SharePoint is a collaboration, portal, search, Enterprise Content Management(ECM), Business Process Management and Business Intelligence platform. 

Sharepoint is a web-based intranet that can help your organisation by effectively helping employees manage and access data. SharePoint helps your organisation to set up a centralised, secure space for sharing enterprise information and helps authorised people find that information easily. 

Video Courtesy Microsoft 

SharePoint can refer to one or more SharePoint products or technologies 

SharePoint in Microsoft 365:  A cloud-based service, hosted by Microsoft, for businesses of all sizes. Instead of installing and deploying the SharePoint Server on-premises, any business can subscribe to a Microsoft 365 plan.

SharePoint Server: Organisations can deploy and manage SharePoint Server on-premises or with an Office 365 Enterprise subscription to take advantage of all the latest features. And it offers additional features and capabilities, such as modern site pages, modern web parts and authoring, modern lists and libraries, modern search, integration with PowerApps, Power BI and MS Flow, and SharePoint home page. 

SharePoint Designer 2013:  A free program last released in 2013. Used to build powerful, workflow-enabled solutions. And used to edit external content types for an external data solution based on Business Connectivity Services. 

OneDrive sync: A desktop program that you can use to sync documents from a team site or OneDrive for work or school to your computer for offline use.

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Types of SharePoint Portals to opt from

With both Office 365 or SharePoint on-premise as your digital office space platform, there will be a point when you will have to consider how you would like to go ahead with your SharePoint intranet Portal. There are two ways you can go ahead with your intranet portal development with SharePoint

  • SharePoint Out of the Box Portal
  • Customised SharePoint Portal

SharePoint Out of the Box Portal

SharePoint Out of the Box (OOTB) represents the features and components that comes with SharePoint as default. 

SharePoint OOTB Portal means that you will be developing a SharePoint portal with features and components that are shipped with the product.

Microsoft recommends that you use OOTB features to build your intranet portal.

But there are use cases where you have to step outside the boundaries of OOTB.

Customised SharePoint Portal

Usually SharePoint can cater to the basic collaboration and communication needs of your organisation using OOTB, but some organisations might need to go beyond the core functionality offered by SharePoint. 

Customisation of the SharePoint portal becomes important for organisations when they have to improve user adoption of the intranet portal by providing easy to use user interface which encourages users to actively use SharePoint

When you are using SharePoint with other management information systems to streamline your business processes, SharePoint Customisation helps you ensure smooth operation of all these integrated systems.

What AI features are there in SharePoint?

SharePoint now ships with a lot of artificial intelligence enablement. 

Cognitive enterprise search reduces the time to find information within your vast document libraries. Information is valuable if it can be found quickly and when needed.

SharePoint has vastly improved its content understanding features with AI models, which can help you classify and extract information and automatically apply metadata. This saves a lot of time for the knowledge workers.

Advanced AI is now present in SharePoint which can help you capture and tag structured and unstructured content.

Teach the SharePoint cloud to read the content like we humans do.

Using power automate you can automate the capture, ingestion and categorisation of content and streamline content-related processes.

Power automate you can build workflows that can leverage the extracted metadata.

You can use the AI features of SharePoint to enforce security and compliance policies with automatically applied sensitivity and retention labels.

Artificial Intelligence in SharePoint can help content discovery by reducing dependencies on typos, variations in languages and vague queries while searching.

AI-enabled image recognition and OCR helps extract metadata from images and pdf files.

All Intranet Portals are different & SharePoint can cater to each one of them

All organisations are different, so the intranet portal that works for your organisation wants will be different from another organisation. 

The intranet portal that you want for your organisation will depend a lot on the culture of your organisation. Depending on the requirement for heavy teamwork involving lot of document sharing or individual workstyle with less social interaction will decide one aspect of your intranet portal.

So to put it simply, you need a different intranet portal based on your work style, culture and organisation mindset. 

SharePoint is a very flexible platform and now that SharePoint comes bundled with Microsoft Office 365 environment which is very affordable.

SharePoint ships with its ever-expanding out of the box features which can be further enhanced with customisation, which will help you build a unique digital workplace solution as per your company culture and business requirement.

Integration with all the office tools is built-in. Microsoft word, excel, PowerPoint all come pre-integrated with SharePoint. 

Microsoft O365 ecosystem comes with Artificial Intelligence and Automation tools like power automate and power apps to extend its capabilities to automate your business processes.

SharePoint for Business Process Automation

Microsoft has been a pioneer in providing solutions that accelerate time to value, speed up innovation and drive benefits for your customers, employees and organisation.

M365 comes bundled with power automation and power apps in their package with a vision to make SharePoint one of the feature-rich document and process automation tools

Online Office 365 or Microsoft365 makes it affordable so that even small companies can get value out of business process automation. 

SharePoint now doesn’t work as a standalone application. SharePoint works with the entire Office 365 (now Microsoft 365 suite). That’s what makes SharePoint one of the best tools to automate your business processes.

Best practices for SharePoint Intranet Portal

To create an intranet portal that is beneficial for everyone in your organisation you should start with getting all the stakeholders involved.

Determine your business goals and objectives. Have them categorised as per your company key functions like Sales & Marketing, Corporate communications, manufacturing, human resources etc

Identify the key priorities and challenges each of these functions are facing.

Identify the initiatives that every department would like to take up. For example, the Sales Management team would like to train their sales reps, who are geographically dispersed on new products your organisation brings to market. 

Define the success criteria for each of these initiatives. 

Identify how you are going to use SharePoint to handle these challenges. Here if you don’t have experts on SharePoint you can get in touch with us and we can help you. 

List your initiatives for each department clearly. 

Prioritise initiatives from each function based on the following parameters

  • Impact
  • Ease of implementation

If the impact is high and easy to implement, then such initiatives come into the high priority bracket

If the impact is low and the ease of implementation is hard, then it becomes a low priority. During this phase, you will need the help of your SharePoint experts

Create a roadmap based on the above prioritisation and plot it up on a calendar. Share that calendar with all your stakeholders including your SharePoint development company.

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