Involv Partner Qaixen: Why Choose Involv Intranet?

UK Partner Profile: Randy Perkins-Smart from Qaixen 

Microsoft 365 consultant and project manager, Randy Perkins-Smart from Qaixen, first got to know Involv whilst working on a couple of projects with a previous consultancy where the customers were looking to enhance SharePoint due to its limited intranet functionality.  

After considering various solutions, Involv was chosen because of the product and the people who’d be delivering it. He has subsequently rolled out the Involv intranet to several UK customers, including NatureScot.

What do you like about working with the Involv team?

Randy Perkins-Smart: Having worked with several partner organisations, both in and outside the intranet space, I’ve found Involv to be very proactive about their product and its development/roadmap.  

They’re very responsive. They’re always really open and honest about whether something a customer asks for can be done or not. And whether it will be easy to do or not.  

Many other intranet vendors will take the customer request back to their development team, and we would then have to wait for a response.  

Yet with Involv, the partner manager knew immediately if the product could do what was being asked, or whether it was just a quick fix or change in configuration. If it was not straightforward, I would be told whether it would be on their roadmap. 

This helped me move my projects forward and helped me prioritise the work that had to be done at the time. So, for example, if the client wanted something done, and Involv knew it wasn’t going to be possible, we would be able to give the customer feedback straight away, and we could make a decision quickly. 

What intranet challenges are your customers coming to you with?

RPS: It varies depending on the size of the organisation. But typically, they’re coming up with challenges around collaboration and SharePoint limitations, information management concerns, or workflow enquiries to help them. 

Is native SharePoint as good as any out-of-the-box product these days? Or is there still a demand for an additional layer on top of SharePoint?

RPS: Good question. There’s always room for improvement with any product. And I think Microsoft has seen that with SharePoint. Some of the core functionality in SharePoint is based on lists, which are very customizable. But Microsoft’s ethos of letting people use SharePoint like a Swiss army knife has existed for some time. Microsoft lets developers expand on SharePoint’s capabilities and make it do what they want it to do. 

There are pros and cons to this approach. It often results in multiple solution providers trying to achieve the same thing, customising SharePoint in two different ways.  

Yet, from Microsoft’s perspective, they receive so many different requests that they can’t possibly service them all. So, they rely on partners to fill that gap.  

This is an advantage for the customer, because with all the competition out there, solutions like Involv are constantly evolving and striving to be the best, so the functionality they offer is excellent. 

Branding is a good example. SharePoint doesn’t let customers do this very well. Yet, this is one of the first things customers want applying to SharePoint – their brand colours and logo, and Involv lets you do that.  

What do you like about Involv Intranet?

RPS: I like how they use existing data and reformat it as required – which can either be done via the UI, or there’s options to do something a bit more technical.  

I also like how I can see Involv’s code up front and how search query language is used. This means that I don’t have to worry about asking developers to do menial tasks and they can stick to the harder tasks. 

How happy were your customers with Involv intranet?

RPS: Customers were very happy with the work done. I know one client even promoted it on LinkedIn, which few clients do! 

Are you a SharePoint specialist looking for a way to enhance its capabilities then we want to work with you! Join our growing partner network and learn how Involv can take your customer’s intranet journey to the next level.