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Intranet Choice 2019

We launched our SharePoint intranets in-a-box report 2019 in November ’18, and it’s our most comprehensive analysis yet of a growing marketplace. We evaluated 39 products in depth and summarised the key details of 17 more.

We’ve always maintained that there’s no single ‘best’ intranet product for SharePoint: there is only a product that is the best match for your needs. That’s why we really encourage potential buyers to do the groundwork on requirements and strategy first.

However, we appreciate that in a complex marketplace like this one, some signposting can be helpful. Based on our scenario scores, pricing, vendor track record and customer feedback, some products do stand out in our opinion, and deserve recognition for it. Here we present ones that we expect will often be on people’s shortlists.

Intranet Choice – Value

Intranet Choice - Value - 2019

It’s easy to look at the ratings and forget that the price point for some of these products is a big factor. We see a very broad range of prices for what is on offer in our evaluations. We compared a product’s score against price band to get a sense of who offers the best deal.

Overall, we feel that Involv stands out for an impressive combination of a well-rounded product, quick implementation and excellent value. For mid- to large-sized organisations Valo also has a lot to offer and plenty of flexibility to extend. Omnia scores very well on value too (see the Intranet Choice – Europe section).

We commend products that have a simple fixed-fee model, as these make a lot of sense both for small companies and larger organisations that want to fill a few gaps over standard SharePoint. For small to medium enterprises The Hub, Mozzaik365, and ElevatePoint also offer many of the essential features at a good price

Intranet Choice – Europe

Intranet Choice - Europe - 2019.
Powell 365.

In this category, we consider vendors with strong European support hours and an established track record. We expect the products to support multiple languages with ease too.

Omnia by Precio Fishbone scored very well indeed this year as well as being very competitively priced. It gets the balance spot on between SharePoint compatibility and custom approaches where they are needed. The product evolves steadily and is now a very well-rounded offering that will particularly appeal to internal communicators. Powell 365 is a great option if you want to stay closer to Office 365 standards. Their handling of multiple languages has improved significantly, making them a good choice in Europe.

An honourable mention goes to EasyShare, a good option for UK customers. Unily continues to be a popular option, reflected in its impressive client list, only its pricing makes us hesitate.

Intranet Choice – North America

Intranet Choice - North America - 2019.
Powell 365.

We’ve always thought LiveTiles was an interesting product, but its building-blocks approach made it less of a pure-play in-a-box offering. Now they have added the Neon Circle layer on top, we feel this has more instant appeal, without losing any of the underlying flexibility.

Powell 365 also has a solid presence in North America, and their rich feature sets will meet many companies’ needs admirably.

An honourable mention goes to Bonzai; it has always scored well in our reviews and is well worth considering. But just for the moment we’d like to see how things play out under new ownership before putting it on our Intranet Choice list.

Intranet Choice – Digital Workplace

Intranet Choice - Digital Workplace - 2019.

‘Digital Workplace’ is a new Intranet Choice category this year, reflecting a shift in emphasis from news and publishing towards a toolset that integrates across Office 365 and beyond. We don’t expect any tool to be a full digital workplace, but we looked for products that could help unify the various collaboration and communication tools offered by Microsoft. The best vendors understand that most organisations also use other suppliers, such as Salesforce, Workday and SAP.

MatchPoint and Akumina both fulfil this brief well. We particularly liked the way they demonstrated dashboards that pull together information from multiple sources. Beezy takes a somewhat different approach, integrating employee services from third-party systems with considerable flair. All three continue to offer very comprehensive tools for communicators too.

Intranet Choice – Innovation

Intranet Choice - Innovation - 2019.
Fresh intranet.

We felt it important to recognise vendors that are doing more than simply filling the gaps left by Microsoft with this category.

Sparrow, new to the report in 2019, stood out for its approach to frontline workers. Their mobile-first design has a consumer like approach that makes it highly accessible. They’ve put thought into how to onboard people without email addresses too, a key issue for many organisations.

Fresh by Content and Code showed us some forward-thinking concepts for how they simplify the user experience for Office 365. For example, their ‘Around me’ widget is everything the Office 365 waffle should be, turning it from a simple menu into a valuable dashboard.

You can find out more about what impressed us with these products by reading our full report. While these intranet products offer great features, we encourage you to consider the many different products in the marketplace and factor in your own priorities too.

The SharePoint intranets in-a-box report 2019 (launched November 2018) is our 600-page detailed analysis, covering 56 intranet products and accelerators for SharePoint and Office 365. Our reviews are completely independent, detail the strengths and weaknesses of each product, and score them systematically, based on eight common business scenarios.

Take a look at our full report now.

SharePoint intranet products - 2019 report.

Our Vendor Neutral Policy

As a consultancy, we think it is essential that we act with our client’s interests foremost, so ClearBox has a strict vendor-neutral policy. This means that we do not enter into any agreements with vendors that would bias our recommendations to clients. No vendor has paid any money to be in our reports. We don’t take payments for referrals or to write reviews. We don’t sell any software or licenses. We only write the reviews we want to, and we fund them ourselves (including all the work that went into the report).

This doesn’t mean that we won’t talk to vendors though: we are keen to keep up to date with developments in the intranet and digital workplace field and enjoy a good relationship with many of the companies working in the SharePoint world.