SharePoint Intranets

A Look Into an Intranet

SharePoint is one of the leading platforms for building intranets and extranet portals. With a strong focus on security, usability, and scalability – SharePoint can meet the internal demands of both small and large organizations. By combining the capabilities of SharePoint with some careful planning, your company can reap many benefits from a robust Intranet.

Collaboration

Intranets offer an online environment where an organization can get its employees the information and documents they need in real time. Encouraging employees to work together, intranets allow instant collaboration around the globe. SharePoint has a host of features such as notifications, document version control, message boards, and wikis to help with collaboration.

Communication

SharePoint Newsfeeds and announcements allow users to communicate company-wide or directly with teams or departments quickly and efficiently. These communication capabilities keep employees involved with the larger goals of the organization.

Automation

Intranets also give companies the opportunity to automate processes that are used commonly throughout the organization. This can eliminate the time employees spend on unnecessarily repetitive tasks that a computer can do for them. SharePoint has both built-in workflow automation capabilities and compatibility with leading third-party tools.

Organization

Intranets allow for document storage, data consolidation, metadata classification​​ and powerful search functionality to allow employees to easily find the information they’re looking for. With metadata and built-in organization features, SharePoint is one of the most powerful platforms available to help with organization.

SharePoint Extranets

The ability to share information outside your organization with customers, stakeholders, vendors, partners, and suppliers is integral to most businesses. SharePoint extranet solutions can increase your customer service levels and improve communication flow with potential clients or partners.

SharePoint’s industry leading extranet capabilities drive home its status as a robust and intelligent platform. This is future of business technology, and the plethora of out-of-the-box features such provides multiple options for a system that houses or integrates with your core business applications.

Intranet Development Case Study

Background

A global staffing, training, research and consulting firm wanted to develop an intranet portal solution tailored to their globally distributed workforce. The firm required a common platform across the organization for application access, controlled access to documents and document templates, and to allow collaboration globally.

Solution

To provide the firm with an architecture solution that met their global needs, Total Solutions built their intranet on a SharePoint 2013 platform with a SQL 2012 database. In order to initiate the development of the intranet, we first obtained access and tested remote access of the existing SharePoint environment. Additionally, we ran a series of diagnostic tests as part of a pre-development System Health Check to confirm that the environment was configured appropriately, functioned properly,​ and meet the requirements for SharePoint 2013. Next, we applied a light branding scheme to the intranet master page incorporating the firm’s logo, color themes, and other branding elements. Once the master page was completed, we developed multiple structures that governed production and consumption of content in the intranet. Content structures included items related to site collections, sites, sub-sites, document libraries, lists, out-of-the-box apps, custom apps, app parts, and web parts. Additionally, we created several custom content structures to offer key functionality improvements for specific business units. For the recruiting team, we created a Global Job Opening site to display current job opening and allow the recruiting team to track, edit, and update the status of those job opening. For the Finance department, we built a custom workflow for notification of payment.

Benefits

The development of this intranet provided a number of unique benefits for many of the firm’s business units. A common platform across the organization brought continuity and provided a globally unified platform for application access. Additionally, the intranet portal solution was specifically tailored to the globally distributed workforce and provided a platform for controlled and security trimmed access to documents and document templates. The new intranet design also provided global access and distribution of business processes and process controls.​

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