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What is an intranet and what are its features?

An intranet is a private network, accessible only to the staff of an organization. It serves a wide variety of purposes, but its core functionality is to help employees work more efficiently, support business processes, provide secure information sharing, enhance internal communication and collaboration. The primary features of an intranet are, centralized document sharing, effortless access from anywhere, active social space for employees, convenient team sites and pages, company-wide announcements and updates, polls, surveys and quizzes, branding and customization, etc.

What are the components of an intranet?

The primary purpose of an intranet is to house all the applications your employees need to work, collaborate, connect, to save time by automating redundant tasks, and to make information easily accessible. Some of the must-have components of an intranet are:

  • Workflows and forms – Automated workflows and forms enhance the overall efficiency of the organization by eliminating the need for printing documents or circulating them in emails. Forms like time off request, expense reimbursement, purchase request, and help desk requests can help streamline and simplify HR, IT and Admin processes.
  • Project and task management – Every company manages projects or tasks, whether internal or customer related. Having project management tools as part of the intranet helps to consolidate information on one platform. All project related discussions and activities can be captured and stored for future reference.
  • Document management – Businesses generate loads of documents and having a central place to store and manage them makes it easy for everybody to find information when they need it. A document management system provides complete lifecycle support, including capturing, organizing, storing, accessing, approving and archiving documents. Know More about Document Management Features Offered in BizPortals 365.
  • Mobility – The mobility factor of an intranet allows employees to work on multiple devices, wherever they are, and the accessibility to information and systems they use for work from anywhere, delivers flexibility and boosts productivity.
  • Better Integration – An integrated solution makes everything work-related available from one place, which increases usability and adoption. Also, the usability of the intranet increases manifold when it can integrate with the business systems that are already in place at an organization. These could be simple chat and task management tools or industry specific line of business systems.
  • Enterprise search – Discovering relevant information is of the utmost importance for every business. An intranet that allows information to be tagged and categorized, makes searching quick and easy. And when various information pertaining to the business, like forms, projects, employees, news, etc., is centralized, search results will be more relevant and inclusive.
  • People directory – A directory that is well thought out, visually pleasing and complete can be an asset to a company. It is the single source of truth for employee information. It makes it easy to lookup people and connect with them and find employees with specific skills and expertise.

Visit our blog for more details – 5 Essential Elements of a Corporate Intranet

Is the intranet still relevant with Microsoft Office 365?

Yes, in fact an intranet on Microsoft Office 365 provides all the tools your employees need to work and be productive. Microsoft Office 365 intranet enables a digital workplace where productivity tools (Word/Excel/PPT, SharePoint Planner, OneDrive), communication tools (Yammer, Teams, Outlook), and automation tools are all accessible on one platform. It is also extremely easy to integrate your external business systems with the intranet so you have access to all your information in one place and can run meaningful reports. Watch our on-demand webinar for more details – Drive business success with an awesome intranet on Microsoft Office 365.

How much does it cost to build an intranet?

The cost of your intranet will depend on what functionality you want it to have and what problems you are trying to solve. If your list is extensive and you want a fully integrated business solution, you will pay a lot more than someone who is just looking to improve their document storing and sharing capabilities. The cost will also depend on how many users you have, the number of customizations, integrations, and support/training hours you require.

We can help you no matter what your requirements are. Contact us to get a quote.

What is the difference between an intranet and SharePoint?

This is like asking for the difference between websites and WordPress. SharePoint is a development platform that offers robust communication, collaboration and document management functionality and sophisticated capabilities (site pages, web parts, lists and libraries, search, integrations) to build intranets; whereas an intranet is a single solution which enables employees to engage and collaborate around corporate news, content and business data, etc. All intranets are not built on SharePoint although in the last few years most intranets were built on the SharePoint framework.

What is the average cost and time commitment of migrating to SharePoint?

The cost and time it will take to migrate data to SharePoint depends on:

  • The size of the data and the complexity of the process. Cost will be more for many terabytes of data vs. a few gigabytes of data.
  • Where the data to be migrated resides. If the migration is from an older version of SharePoint, it could be easier than if it is on another platform.
  • Customization and organization elements in case of a SharePoint to SharePoint migration because it will include the cost of porting over those features (workflows, web parts).

Contact us for more details about migration services.

What is the best intranet for small to medium businesses?

There is no one size fits all when it comes to an intranet, and there are numerous solutions to choose from. Choosing the right intranet for your business can become a daunting task but preparing a list of things the company wants to accomplish through an intranet, problems it wants to solve and taking into consideration the tools your users need to do their work more efficiently would help narrow down your list of contenders.

Why is an intranet important?

An intranet provides a simple, intuitive web interface that helps businesses streamline business processes, drive operational efficiencies, automate business tasks, reduce expenses, and improve productivity.

It is important because it provides a central location where employees can easily find the information, people, and tools they need to get things done. It provides them a platform where they can engage, be up to date with the latest company information, share their ideas, and collectively contribute to the company’s goals.

One of the greatest advantages of a modern intranet is its cloud-based nature which makes it possible for users to work and access information from anywhere and at any time. To read about more benefits of an intranet, read this blog: Top 15 Advantages of Intranet on Microsoft 365.

What is a SharePoint intranet portal?

SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that encompasses a wide variety of capabilities. A SharePoint intranet portal is a tool that consolidates all its features like enterprise search, document management, data security, digital asset management, data storage, collaboration, etc., and brings them to a unified location so employees can find information quickly and work more productively.

A SharePoint intranet helps organizations manage their internal communications, applications and information more easily which translates to increased employee engagement, centralized process management, and reduced on-boarding costs. It also connects your employees, customers and vendors which makes sharing information and managing tasks easier.

Overall, a SharePoint intranet is a tool that helps boost productivity and profits and is flexible enough to meet the needs of all businesses irrespective of their industry or size.

How much does MS Microsoft Office 365 cost?

Microsoft Microsoft Office 365 is packaged and priced differently for home, student and business use. For pricing details, please visit Microsoft pricing details.

What is an intranet in a box?

An intranet-in-a-box is a pre-configured business solution which is ready to use immediately after deployment and which satisfies 80-90% of the needs of any organization. It comes with added features and functionalities for better user adoption and provides a great user interface, customizable corporate branding, and the flexibility to step up or step down the subscription level. It consolidates all the tools and applications your users need on a unified portal and its mobile-friendly features enable access on mobile devices for better collaboration.

Before the advent of intranet-in-a-box, the only way for companies to have an intranet was to custom build it. This took a lot of time, effort, and was expensive – so only the large companies could afford it. With the ready intranet solutions, businesses of all sizes can afford it since it is subscription based (it can scale from five to thousands of users), it is up and running within days or weeks (instead of months or years) and doesn’t require IT involvement.

Can a non-profit benefit from having an Intranet solution?

Yes, like any other organization, non-profit organizations also need an intranet solution to streamline and simplify its operations, connect people, share information, and effectively communicate and collaborate, to achieve their goals.

An intranet helps them:

  • Recognize their contributors
  • Onboard and train their employees and volunteers
  • Distribute information easily
  • Connect workers and volunteers
  • Manage charity projects effectively
  • Automating forms for tasks like requesting time off, recruiting staff and volunteer sign ups

An intranet makes it easy to spread awareness, support the cause, engage employees, coordinate with multiple stakeholders and much more.

What is a digital workplace?

The terms “digital workplace” and “intranet” are oftentimes used synonymously or interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.

The digital workplace; as the name suggests; is the digital counterpart to your physical workplace and although it can mean and encompass different things, it simply is the technology used by a business to enable it to be more effective, collaborative, connected, and productive, while also making employees’ working lives simpler. Email, intranets and web conferencing tools are typical components of a digital workplace and help it achieve its organizational goals.

Get a free guide on for more details.“How to Create a Comprehensive Digital Workplace?” for more details.

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