SharePoint is a web-based collaboration, content management and document management platform produced by Microsoft.
SharePoint offers a wide variety of options and tools that enable businesses to create an intranet tailored to their specific needs, while being cost effective with the chosen features.
Like all intranets, SharePoint intranet homepages tend to bring together a wide variety of different web parts, but often include a hero area where major news stories can be presented. It can also include: targeted news feeds, quick links to major applications, and act as a launching pad for promotional items.
SharePoint out-of-the-box supports all the elements you need to implement a global navigation with a megamenu, which can help employees reach the sites and pages they need. Note that the navigation can be targeted to different groups, although there is a limit on the number you can implement.
A team site is another templated SharePoint site provided by Microsoft, but this time focused on collaboration. A SharePoint intranet could include team sites, although these tend to be less common that communication sites within the intranet estate.
Communication site template
A communication site is a popular SharePoint site template provided by Microsoft that comes with a standard layout and set of web parts that can be easily configured as a departmental or group information and reference site. In practice, many SharePoint intranets include multiple communication sites.
Policy & procedure library
A popular feature of a SharePoint intranet is the ability to centralise policies and procedures, providing an essential reference point for employees. Simple policy and procedure storage and management can be attained with SharePoint libraries, however, a more robust and complete solution can be achieved using Xoralia policy software.
Personalisation and targeting
A major “must have” element of any SharePoint intranet is personalisation and content targeting, particularly in a global or complex organisation with a diverse workforce. This allows employees to access different content and experiences based on their Active Directory (AD) profile reflecting their location, division, role, region, level of hierarchy and more.
Intranets can be an important reference point for employees, enabling them to find key information and documents, refer to specific areas, and get things done easily and promptly. A SharePoint intranet is likely to be a set of sites, each of which might contain pages of usual reference information.
Hub sites are communication sites that have been configured so that other communication sites sit in a hierarchy below them and inherit certain features by default, for example: with news rolling-up. A home site is a communication site that equates to an overall intranet homepage and sets standards for other sites on the intranet.
SharePoint intranets can be used for news with an attractive template, however, if you are using an in-a-box product you’ll tend to have even more options for news. News can be personalised, have approval workflow attached, and also roll-up to aggregate on the homepage across several different sites, depending on how you’ve set your SharePoint site up.
Forms, workflow and automation
Embedding forms and adding different workflows means your SharePoint intranet can be used to improve processes. You can create simple processes or more complex workflows using Microsoft Forms and Power Automate integrated with SharePoint. More complex automation involving the intranet can also be used with other parts of Microsoft’s Power Platform.
Lists are a unique SharePoint feature which allow data to be stored in a table, but then displayed and managed in various different ways which drives value. Lists can be used to power information displayed on an intranet that is frequently updated. This may include a central directory of apps for example, but can also be used as part of workflows involving information that needs to be updated on other systems.
Most SharePoint intranets will feature integrations with other digital workplace apps to help employees get things done, and also to create a more coherent and consistent overall digital employee experience. Some other 365 tools like Yammer have their own dedicated web part, while SharePoint comes with a library of out-of-the-box connectors to other popular non-Microsoft technologies like ServiceNow.
Document libraries are a key strength of SharePoint and come with all the necessary features such as version control. You can add document libraries at both the overall intranet and the site level.
Your SharePoint intranet will leverage Microsoft’s search capabilities to create a helpful site search that can cover intranet content and more.
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A SharePoint intranet brings together the entire hybrid workforce regardless of whether they're office-based, remote or frontline workers.
SharePoint is often already covered by an organisation’s subscription to Office 365 or Microsoft 365, or in their general enterprise agreement with Microsoft. This means that for many organisations there are no licensing costs associated with using SharePoint for their intranet; this is attractive for many IT functions, although it is likely there will be other costs to factor in. The total cost of ownership always needs to be considered.
Integration with other Office 365 and Microsoft tools.
Most organisations investing in Office 365 and the Microsoft stack will centre their digital workplace around the use of these tools. SharePoint integrates seamlessly with the Microsoft suite of tools, so it means you can place a SharePoint intranet right at the centre of your digital workplace. For example, you can integrate Yammer into SharePoint intranet pages, access your SharePoint intranet from Microsoft Teams, and more. You can even start to integrate parts of the new Microsoft Viva suite of tools into your intranet.
Flexible and scalable.
SharePoint is a highly flexible and scalable platform that can meet the needs of organisations of any size, from small businesses through to global brands, and across multiple industries. It is also extremely flexible so you can build the intranet in accordance with the needs of your employees, whether that be: comms focused, engagement-focused, more about getting things done through referencing content, or more wrapped around transactions, integrations and processes.
A wide range of essential features.
SharePoint has a huge range of capabilities and features that deliver the core capabilities of a modern intranet. Some of these features are powered by native SharePoint, but sometimes they work in conjunction with other Microsoft tools or software.
Our SharePoint intranet build services provide organisations with fast installation and advanced features and functionality.
At Content Formula we are Microsoft SharePoint specialists with experience in developing both bespoke and off-the-shelf intranet solutions, as well as custom built SharePoint applications and integrations for clients across multiple sectors to help improve their internal communications, employee engagement and collaboration.
|Information Architecture planning|
|Configuration and setup:|
|• Requirements workshop|
|• Policy library|
|• Department pages|
|• Out Company pages|
|• Quick links|
Intranet manager coaching
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AI Assistant (Bot)
MS Teams toolkit