SharePoint Intranets and 7 Reasons Why You Need One

computer with an intranet
A SharePoint intranet can have all the advantages of SharePoint -- better security and information management -- with all the benefits of an intranet -- improved user experience on a mobile device.

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We’ve heard a lot of discussion about SharePoint. It can unfriendly, but it does absolutely everything. With so many features available and the backing of Microsoft, it’s become an indispensable. Intranets are all about user experience and usability — getting the right information at the right time, quickly and easily. But they lack some of the features that SharePoint has.

Put them together and you have exceptional functionality with a clean, user interface that’s easy to search and use. 

Here are a few things you can do with a SharePoint intranet.

1. Manage information better

When you’re in communications or IT, you spend a lot of time thinking about how to manage information — updating content, ensuring it has a content author, etc. But if you’re an information manager or quality manager, you may be thinking about managing all the information in your company. That includes financial documents, audit reports, etc. And it’s why they want to use SharePoint.

In fact, that’s where SharePoint excels. It manages content, yes. But because SharePoint is a file management tool and centralized repository, it manages content better. It knows what was updated and when. It knows the types of files available. SharePoint also knows who has access.

SharePoint makes it easier for information managers to work with departments, knowing what should be updated and when and then verifying it.

And because you’re using an intranet, you can navigate to that information simply and quickly.

2. Do security like a boss

digital workplace and microsoft flowThese days, security is everything. In fact, IT leaders are spending more on security in 2019. Because SharePoint is a Microsoft product, it has security created and supported by a leading technology provider. IT personnel can use Active Directory to decide permissions and get as specific as needed.

Have a manager portal that should only be available for managers? Done. Need a place to share information about mergers and acquisitions (M&As) without involving employees who shouldn’t know? Done. Care to provide partners information? Make specific items available for your board? All of this and more can be done with a SharePoint intranet.

They’ll even have access to metrics to know who’s viewing or accessing information. 

3. Personalize information and target employees

Because Active Directory knows where employees are and what they do, a SharePoint intranet can use that information and serve up relevant content.

Is there a tornado warning in Dallas, but blue skies for all other offices? Send an alert to your Dallas office employees using your intranet. Need IT security employees to be aware of a possible data breach? That’s possible. Want your HR team rolling out new benefits to get inspired? Get them going with a personalized note on their webpage. Want to give managers or officers of your company specific news? Target just them.

For every situation you can consider where you’ve been thinking email is your only option for getting a personalized message across, a SharePoint intranet can do it. Not only does it ensure information is received and read, but also keeps people from overwhelmed with information that isn’t relevant to them.

In other words, for communicators, a SharePoint intranet is another great communication vehicle.

4. Use more of Microsoft for more productivity

Microsoft Teams — Microsoft’s answer to Slack — is catching on and more employees are using it to communicate. But don’t let that be a standalone communication vehicle. Teams can integrate with SharePoint and can ElevatePoint’s intranet.

That means while you’re chatting with someone in a channel, you can get intranet information, including links, to questions.

It’s not just Teams. Microsoft is known for collaboration. Yammer and other social media is available and makes SharePoint intranets a winner. Employees can tag and ping each other, give ideas across their intranet — not in a separate area. For example, if you’re looking for ideas for innovation, why not open it up for employees to comment on it from a page on innovation.

It also can include video. Communicators know video is a great way to communicate to employees — helping them understand organizational goals, industry insights, and reinforce values.

Not only will this increase productivity, but employee engagement.

5. Demonstrate brand and make it user-friendly, really

intranet strategy and road mapAs it stands without an intranet, SharePoint can be branded. But SharePoint intranets take your brand to the next level. Your logo, colors, and even characteristics of your company — agile, innovative, caring — can come through on your intranet. It’s user friendly, too. Images and more demonstrate your brand, but also make it easier to navigate around.

For remote employees, who may only know your brand through the tools they use, it could be almost as if they were in the office. It’s even mobile-friendly so that your intranet works on whatever technology your employees have — smartphone, tablet, laptop, and desktop as well as iOS, Android, and Google.

You can lock down colors and include approvals for a consistent experience. No more rogue pages that are difficult to understand, have distasteful animated gifs, or are using colors that don’t fit within your color palette.

6. Keep up with the digital workplace

Every year, Microsoft releases more information about where they’re taking SharePoint — how they’re improving. And you get all these enhancements, free. For example, in 2019, Microsoft has already announced they’re making it even easier to create and update information with lists. They’re also making the experience on the back-end more modern.

7. Maximize your Microsoft investment

If you’re a shop that handles Microsoft technology, you want to ensure you’re maximizing your investment. It’s all about getting your money’s worth, while making it easy to access information.

SharePoint is a great backend with security, centralized management, branding, and more. An intranet just makes it more usable and user-friendly, with more brand control. Employees can use it anywhere they are for more productivity and employee engagement.

Together SharePoint and intranets work together to target employees with relevant information, collaborate easily, and more. Many organizations just like yours are using both to increase communication, productivity, and engagement. It’s a user-friendly way to take full advantage of SharePoint.

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