We have been working in the SharePoint space for almost 20 years now and have worked with a number of organisations both big and small. Whilst most of the business leaders we have spoken to are quiet clear about the importance of a good intranet solution as part of their communication strategy, quite often there are some preconceived notions which generally stop them from looking into intranet options further.

These misplaced perceptions are:

  • Intranets are mainly for large organisations with a dedicated marketing/HR teams
  • Intranet solutions are very expensive to deploy, maintain and add more functionality as the business grows
  • No fast ROI – Intranets contribute very little to overall staff productivity and so are not a priority
  • The business has limited in-house experience to work out what is required and don’t know where to start

With the evolution of cloud and availability of solutions like Office 365, even a small organisation can now reap massive productivity gains from a good functional intranet solution at a price point which was not possible a decade ago. The technology has come a long way, with some of the third party integrations and reporting mechanisms that in the past required months of development, now potentially being delivered in days, if not hours.

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Professional Advantage has developed an intranet-in-a-box solution based on Microsoft’s Office 365 environment targeted for SMEs (less than 100 seats). Here’s why we think ready-made intranet packages are an ideal SharePoint solution for SMEs.

1. Affordability

Smaller businesses have traditionally avoided implementing SharePoint solutions because of large upfront costs and ongoing maintenance and support fees. While it is true that highly customised, enterprise-grade intranet solutions can be expensive, ready-made intranet packages can be purchased, implemented and maintained for just a fraction of what you might expect.

By eliminating the need for costly and often time-consuming heavy customisation and allowing you to only pay for the SharePoint functionality that you really need, ready-made intranet packages are an extremely affordable option for small to medium businesses.

2. Fast deployment

Unlike customised intranet solutions that can take six months or more to implement, ready-made intranet packages can be deployed almost immediately (both online and on-premise). If you need to get your SharePoint environment set up and running ASAP or would like to tailor and support an existing environment without the headaches, there’s a ready-made intranet module to help get you there quickly.

3. Scalability

Whether you work for a multinational corporate giant or a medium-sized professional services firm in Sydney, you want your IT investments to grow with your business. We know that organisations can be reluctant to purchase off-the-shelf products because they believe they’re not scalable. However we also know that not all off-the-shelf products are created equal.

Apart from being easy to implement and inexpensive to install and maintain, these ready-made intranet packages can grow with your business. They are flexible, completely scalable and work seamlessly both on premise and in the cloud.

4. Easy to configure and personalise

Need a responsive SharePoint homepage but don’t really want project management functionality? No worries. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to SharePoint success, which is why our ready-made intranet packages make it easy to configure your SharePoint environment to reflect your organisation’s evolving needs.

With eleven modules to choose from, there are endless options for customising your organisation’s SharePoint environment, and if you need multiple modules you can always purchase a bundle at a significant discount.

5. Pay only for the SharePoint functionality that you need

If your organisation only uses SharePoint for a few specific purposes, such as managing leave and travel requests or streamlining workplace health and safety procedures, why pay more for features or capabilities that won’t be used?

Each ready-made SharePoint module provides a number of commonly-used functions to help your organisation work more efficiently. For example, the workplace health and safety module comes with online checklists, escalation workflow, a prepopulated resource library and a project overview dashboard. It’s everything your organisation needs to comply with workplace health and safety legislation, and nothing you don’t.

6. Quick ROI

Leverage SharePoint’s powerful workflow engine to automate manual paper-based processes and increase staff productivity.

7. No technical skills required

With SharePoint Online now delivered on Office 365, a platform fully managed and maintained by Microsoft, no in-house technical skills are required. Your Office 365 subscription also includes automatic upgrades to the latest version available which gets you out of the cycle to pay for costly platform upgrades every couple of years.

See how an intranet can boost productivity and collaboration in your workplace

If you want to learn more about the benefits of a ready-made intranet, sign up here for a free live demonstration and consultation with one of our workplace innovation strategists.

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