Who stood out: Intranet Choices
We spend over 700 hours creating our independent assessment report into SharePoint intranet in-a-box products. We cover over 50 products with the aim of showing you how SharePoint (on-premises and online) can be transformed into a fully-featured intranet and collaboration environment. But even when people see the summary tables in our report, they still ask us “who’s best?”. There is no single ‘best’ product: there is only a product that is the best match for your needs, and that’s why we 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 – Europe
In this category, we consider vendors with appropriate European support hours and an established track record. We expect the products to support multiple languages with ease too.
Omnia was one of the highest scoring products this year and is a pleasant product that works elegantly alongside and on top of Microsoft’s applications. Omnia’s approach to multiple languages is also very strong.
Powell 365 will tackle complex communication and collaboration needs in medium to large businesses with ease. Powell Manager continues to be one of the best examples of an intranet management and governance tool, with powerful design and deployment capabilities.
Valo closely follows Microsoft innovations, and makes a solid product choice with plenty of scope to customise to your needs. Support for a multilingual intranet is robust and includes automatic translation.
Intranet Choice – North America
For our ‘North America’ badge we look for vendors with either a HQ or strong presence in the region, as well as overall high scores. North America tends to be more cost-sensitive, so price-performance is a factor too.
Akumina is an extremely flexible and versatile product with powerful news and publishing capabilities. It also gives many options for getting the branding just how you want it.
Intranet Choice – Digital Workplace
Our ‘Digital Workplace’ category reflects the 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 also understand that most organisations also use other suppliers, such as Salesforce, Workday and SAP.
Akumina fulfils this brief well. We particularly liked the extent users could edit their own home page and control what widgets are on display. The ‘service hub’ makes it easy to aggregate information across a digital workplace, and not just from Office 365 sources.
Beezy takes a unique approach, integrating employee services from third-party systems with considerable flair. Beezy also has a solid mobile offering, making it an excellent option for those with remote or field workers. They both continue to offer very comprehensive tools for communicators too.
Intranet Choice – Intranet Essentials
Out ‘Intranet Essentials’ category gives us an opportunity to highlight two vendors that perhaps don’t score as highly across the board, but which get the basics right and deserve a second look.
Involv offers a strong product at a very good price point. Feedback from customers is consistently positive and we feel they cover the essential elements of an intranet very well.
OneSource is a new product in our 2020 reports, and it has scored well already, particularly for communications-based intranets. Not only that, but we’ve already seen them take on board feedback from customers we highlighted in our Version 5.0 edition.
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 2020 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.
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.