Still using standard sharePoint for an intranet ? Here’s what you’re missing…

If you’re still using native SharePoint as an intranet, you’ll likely come up against its limitations pretty quickly. A year or so in, you’ll be suffering from content sprawl, grappling with an unwieldly platform that’s hard to manage, with overwhelmed end users.

Don’t get us wrong, we love SharePoint. Afterall, we’ve built our Involv Intranet solution on top of it and take advantage of all Microsoft’s latest updates as par for the course. However, having worked in this space for 20+ years, we know SharePoint has its gaps. Which is where we come in.

Using native SharePoint as an intranet will mean, as a comms person, you won’t have access to all the latest tools at your fingertips.

Read on to find out what you’re missing out on by only using SharePoint, and how Involv can help to fill these gaps for you.

1. Branding

Everyone wants a good-looking intranet, right? Well sadly the look and feel of the native SharePoint platform is less than desirable. Although it’s getting better, and improving with every update, it’s still not clean enough.

It looks more like a tool than a publishing platform. For both the end users and the publishers, it’s too complicated – there’s too much on the screen, there’s no decent layouts, and it doesn’t look and feel like a modern website.

One of the big advantages of installing Involv is you can:

  • Easily change the colours and logo to match your company brand
  • Quickly adjust the layout using the drag and drop interface
  • Redesign your homepage in the blink of an eye with pre-made layouts
  • Build your unique homepage design
  • Use the drag and drop page builder to add any content you like; text, images, videos and any other widget

2. Search

Frustrated with poor search? That’s because SharePoint on modern doesn’t have a lot of search flexibility on its own. Microsoft does offer the ability for you to access open-source search components, but this requires your in-house IT team having a good working knowledge of SharePoint to be able to install it.

So, if you’re working in an organisation that only has access to SharePoint search, then this is a big problem. Native search is not configurable and has limited capabilities. Therefore, it’s very hard for end users to refine their searches, leaving them struggling to find the information or documents they need.

With Involv search you get a lot of flexibility. The search function reaches across all sites and pages so users can find what they need quickly.

Involv’s search includes:

  • Instant search with suggestions and synonyms
  • Get a real-time overview of documents, content and people as you type
  • Search for people by name, department or skills
  • Search and filtering is integrated in different components

3. Quick Links

You’ll no doubt already be taking advantage of SharePoint’s quick links functionality. Although you can add links as basic hyperlinks, you can’t actually specify links for a specific audience. Nor can colleagues add a suggested useful link or links to a personal page to personalise it. Visually, you can select icon styles, but with a limited choice of styles and colours.

With Involv’s Quick Links you can create:

  • Customisable icons
  • Personalised links
  • Departmental or site-specific links

4. Events

If you need to organise and promote events as part of your role, then you’ll likely be constrained by Microsoft’s default option. SharePoint events are list-based, which means yes you can add a title and a short description for your event. You can even add an image and dates to it. But that’s where its functionality stops.

With Involv’s events feature, based on pages, you can design your Events pages however you want them to look. You can put videos in – and do anything you can do in a news page. Our event module has some extra functionality such as the ability to add subscriptions, and you can even integrate it with Microsoft Forms if you need advanced subscription options.

Benefits of Involv’s Events feature:

  • Add any content type you like, such as text, images, map, videos and any other widget thanks to the visual page builder
  • Highlight one or more events on the homepage (or add to specific department sites)
  • Add a target audience for your Event
  • Schedule your Event ahead of time
  • Create your own page templates for your Event
  • Get an instant overview of your scheduled Event with the Publishing calendar
  • Build your custom templates

5. Multichannel

You work in a company with a main headquarters in one location, site workers in another, plus colleagues out in the field – how can you reach them all? If you’re trying to connect with colleagues spread over multiple locations, many of whom are not desk based, using native SharePoint you know that this is a challenge. Yes, you have a mobile app for SharePoint, and you can use Viva Engage, formerly Yammer, but that’s about it. Your push notifications to mobile default to news – which means you can’t send any custom notifications or have any control over how the notification looks.

With Involv you can create your own branded app. Plus, you can adopt a truly multichannel approach to communicating with your colleagues. Involv offers features that Microsoft can’t/doesn’t for example, digital signage with Involv Casting. Plus, we allow you to brand all your communications on every channel, helping you to create a consistent look and feel at every touch point.

Take a multichannel approach with Involv:

  • Add a target audience for your News, Events, Jobs, Faqs, Incidents and Apps to increase engagement and relevancy
  • The Involv mobile app helps you reach non-desk employees
  • Share alerts through e-mail, browser notification or the Involv Mobile App.
  • Involv Casting digital signage for hard to reach employees

6. Digital workplace integrations

Digital workplace is not just a buzz word, it’s an essential requirement for any modern organisation. Yet using SharePoint alone, providing a truly joined up digital experience is a challenge. Largely because SharePoint integrations don’t go that far.

You’ll need to rely on open-source integrations for planner, tasks, calendar etc. or else rely on basic links. As for advanced integrations with third platforms you’ll need an experienced developer to help you do this, yet with Involv, this functionality is built in.

Benefits of Involv’s integrations:

  • Involv is built on Microsoft 365, ensuring a perfect integration with all the M365 apps
  • Enjoy an evergreen intranet with all the latest Microsoft ánd Involv updates
  • Rely on the world’s best security measures to keep your data safe
  • Want to integrate your other tools? We can provide all custom integrations. Some tools we’ve integrated already with Involv are Bynder (Digital asset management) and Zenya (Quality and risk management)

7. Multilingual

You’ll have noticed that SharePoint’s multilingual feature is better than ever before, yet it still has its limitations. Automatic translation is still not available yet. This means you still have to request a colleague to translate content for you using the SharePoint tool.

Create multilingual, localised content with Involv:

  • Translate your intranet and content like news, events, jobs, faq and notifications in any language you like
  • Involv offers eight languages out-of the box (English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Thai and Polish). Translate your content automatically, by the click of a button
  • The intranet will automatically show in the language that’ s been set in your profile
  • Workers that don’t have a language set yet will be able to choose their preferred language
  • Easily switch between languages

If you want a good looking and stylish intranet experience akin to a website, choose Involv. Our experienced team are on hand to not only make your site look and feel good, we’ll be here supporting you every step of the way, from inception to roll out. We’ll share our best practice know-how with you. What are you waiting for? Time to get Involv’d.

Book a demo with one of our friendly experts today for tips and advice.