Intranet Approaches: Build with cool tools, or use an out-of-the-box best practices solution?
Recently, we have seen a number of organizations who are looking to deploy an Intranet Structure wrestling with the approach of building it themselves using tools, pieces and parts, from vendors vs. using an already built out-of-the-box application based on best practice design. They are looking at companies like Live Tiles, Unily, or Valo that provide building blocks, thinking they can design an effective intranet structure.
This is interesting because many of people shopping may not fully understand that just having the tools, does not mean you know how to design an Intranet portal structure.
Like building a house with no architectural plan
Let’s step back and compare building an intranet structure to building a house. We have all gone into custom built houses that are poorly designed and wondered what were the original owners thinking?
Imagine you have bought a lot and you are ready to build your home. You can have a bunch of materials dropped off, get power tools and build it yourself. Maybe you have watched some videos and think you can design it yourself. Or you just start building it with the cool new power tools you got.
Often owners had designed it themselves without the benefit of best practices experience of an architect. It does not matter how good of tools you have, it does not mean you are an architect.
The results often are devastating, because you used your resources, budget and the project failed because you thought you could design it (although you may have never done this before).
Like a house, having the tools, parts and pieces does not ensure a great intranet. You need to make sure you have the resources, because you are “building” your intranet, not buying an out of the box solution.
Are you building your Intranet without an architecture?
Intranet Parts and Pieces does not equal a full solution. Like a house you are starting with an open lot, your Office 365 SharePoint environment. You already paid for it and now are ready to build your Home-page. Do you just take a bunch of materials and tools and start building or do you step back and do some design? Here are some of the questions:
Full Best Practice Intranet Solutions Packages are Available
Technology follows a very predictable maturity cycle. When new technology arrives on the scene, it generally is delivered as a platform, and solutions are built by hand. Then vendors bring out new tools to make it easier to build. With experience, best practices start to come forward, and eventually vendors see repeatable solutions which become out of the box applications. Take a look at your Accounting or HR systems. They went through this cycle years ago. You would not dream of building your own these days. Well the same thing is happening with an Intranet structure.
Example Intranet best practices structure
We at SP Marketplace have been providing Intranet Portal Solutions on Office 365 for over six years now. Our first products were templates, and now they are full best practice solutions that still are 100% customizable. We learned what works and what does not from over 1000 deployments and designed that into our Operational Portal Structure. Our best practices structure provides:
Spend your time populating content not building sites!
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