As you may know, SharePoint is a collaboration platform focusing on establishing intranets for organizations. It is available in 2 offerings: Cloud and On-Premise. SharePoint Online comes with Office 365. SharePoint offers powerful features like Employee Directory, Discussion Boards, Blogs, Wiki Pages, Document and List Management Capabilities.
Well, that’s not all! You also get a load of engaging features like smart search, user friendly navigation which helps the employees to explore the company intranet portal effectively.
Looking at the past, Microsoft SharePoint was a neglected platform for a long time and vendors were losing customers as they had no idea about the solution’s capabilities.
It’s 2017 and with the current updates and enhancements, SharePoint has emerged as the greatest platforms for Enterprise Content Management. Check out the facts:
- SharePoint emerges as the Leader in The Forrester Wave Report – Enterprise Content Management – Business Content Services.
- SharePoint Community – Over 10,000 active members with up-to-date SharePoint news and add-on features.
- TopSharePoint.com is one of the promising websites that showcases SharePoint Site’s UX designs and portal features. What more can you expect from this SharePoint Directory?
- Increase in Turnkey Intranet Portals – As of today, there are over 32 Intranet Portal Solutions available. Today, companies are investing in third-party solutions (Like Dock Intranet Portal) which sits on top of Office 365 or SharePoint Server offering a perfect Company Intranet Portal.
Do you need to manage and organize Collaboration Platforms?
Yes, you have to! With SharePoint, it is easier for creating team spaces where a non-techie person can set it up and build areas for users to collaborate. Employees need to be empowered with their collaboration portals. These elements help in building a complete employee network to boost productivity and communication.
Why organizations fail to implement a perfect intranet? There’s no point of having loads of intranet sites with hidden content.
How to overcome this?
- Developing rules when creating new spaces. Encourage your team to use existing space whenever required instead of making a fresh one
- Formulate a plan to integrate important content into the Company Intranet Information Architecture.
- Indexing all your team’s content properly.
- Leveraging eDiscovery Feature in SharePoint.
Why do you need a Custom SharePoint Implementation?
We have been working with several clients for the past 15 years and their feedback on Intranet Portals are:
- 70% of the customers focus on functionalities rather than look and feel.
- 30% of the customers believe in having own branding on their portals and don’t want to look like SharePoint.
Spending lot of time and efforts for branding is not going to help your organization achieve their goals. You hire a consultant/developer and work on it, you end up losing lot of money and at the end of the day, you regret for the decision taken. Your Project timeline gets delayed and by the time you get it up and running, your team would have already made up their mind of not using it anymore!
This is where Ready-to-Go Intranet’s play an important role. It has got all the ingredients which most industries would require (For e.g. Departmental Portals, PTO Request, Expense Reports, Discussion Boards, Employee Directory, Alerts, Events, Image Sliders and so on).
Our experience shows:
- Users below 5000 never asked for heavy customization for their Intranet requirements.
- Industries such as Aviation, Retail and Media Agencies require lot of custom workflows to smoothen their daily tasks.
Next, I will be discussing more about the SharePoint Design, Customized Looks and Development.
Lot of SharePoint UI Designers are out in the Market
Hiring lots of SharePoint Developers/Admins is not going to help you manage SharePoint for your organization. You need someone with creative skills – A UI Designer to be precise. For a SharePoint good looking UI, UI Designers with SharePoint skills is going to be an added advantage for your organization. Let them come up with fresh graphical concepts and later, that could be your major requirement, right?
Lot of time required for Custom Portals
Lots of our prospects and customers speak about having customized SharePoint Intranet Portal for their business with their own branding. Most of the comments are like this – “Our Intranet Portal shouldn’t look like SharePoint”. Why so? What’s wrong with SharePoint? Especially with the 2016 SharePoint upgrade, SharePoint content management has gone to a great extend along with UI enhancements. We at Dock 365 Inc. have a dedicated team of UI designers with an average of 4 years of experience to cater our business needs. If you are looking for UI designers without SharePoint expertise, refrain yourself from signing up with them as your project timeline will get delayed for a longer period.
4 Key Elements – Plan, Design, Research and Develop
What’s the success factors for organizations implementing a Microsoft SharePoint Intranet Portal? It’s all about a perfect plan -> design -> research and development process that you need to follow wisely. There are various design strategies you can follow by following the developer’s recommended practices. Check out our strategy:
- Promoting your Intranet Portal within your Organization.
- Providing support and training facilities to boost your employees’ productivity.
- Considering your organization’s long term goals and how effectively an Intranet Portal can better perform the workforce and how it can transform into functional needs.
- How efficiently can you migrate your existing content to the latest Intranet Portal? You need to formulate a strategy for sure!
- Considering the company-change management policies before working on Intranet Initiative.
- SharePoint content management and SharePoint Governance.
- Intranet Navigation and Information Architecture planning – To better index files/documents and making it easier for access.
- To impress your Employees with the Intranet Portal UI design – making it easier for them to reach their desired files and workflows.
How to win the Best SharePoint Intranet UI?
Our SharePoint experts make use of SharePoint’s existing features to the maximum. We compile all these exciting features under one roof i.e. Dock Intranet Portal. There are various providers of Intranet Portals across the world. If you are confused on choosing the right partner, Collab 365 Directory is the right place for you to research on different products
(P.S. We are one of the active partners at Collab365 Directory)
So, what are the most important elements required to build a perfect UI for your SharePoint? Check them out:
- Content Rotator (Image Rotator) that is filled with Company Announcements, News, Alerts along with great images
- Company Branding which should be visually appealing (of course yes!)
- Easy Navigation – Your users shouldn’t complain of getting lost. 2-3 clicks and they should be there at their desired lists/libraries or sites.
- Availability of core features within the Landing/Home Page.
- A Perfectly designed User Guide linked within the Landing/Home Page.
- Color combinations used in the Intranet Portal design.
- Highlighting important tasks and search functionalities to help the employees use them effectively.
Who says SharePoint Is Turnkey?
SharePoint is just a platform developed by Microsoft. Simply subscribing to these services is not all! It’s just a hollow machine where you need to add features to get started. With dedicated and trusted SharePoint Experts like us, you will be able to attain the best SharePoint Intranet Portal for your business. That’s our promise!
So, if anyone asks if SharePoint is a Turnkey? You know what to answer right?
There are success stories and downfalls for SharePoint Implementations. It’s nothing to do with luck or other factors but depends on how strong your SharePoint resources are. SharePoint alone is not going to solve all your problems (It is not a plug-and-play solution). Realizing that will solve your first issue.
What you need to follow to ensure the success of your SharePoint Intranet Portal project?
- Understand that SharePoint is just a platform and installing that alone doesn’t solve your problems/requirements.
- Don’t be overconfident with your SharePoint Plans. Be wise.
- Research from SharePoint authenticated sources only (For e.g. blogs.mic wo’t lose lot of time, budget and of course quality!
It’s your call: Ready-to-Go Intranet Portal or Custom SharePoint Development (Don’t worry we have got both!