SharePoint is a multifaceted Microsoft product that provides several services to companies. It is the modern day Swiss sword of corporate IT solutions. SharePoint offers various solutions to companies. It is an information portal, a system for management of records and content as well as team and project management. It is also a comprehensive Document Management System that easily integrates with other Microsoft products. Above all, it offers an Intranet platform for streamlined data access and management.
By using SharePoint, your company creates a central repository for storage and sharing of all your business’s data. The design makes it easy to trace audit changes, enforce standards and publish policies. It offers you instant reports and prepares better reports by consolidating your data. SharePoint also integrates other software making it possible to get data from other applications on SharePoint.
SharePoint is very well adapted for the global market and has numerous vendors around the world. SharePoint offers a variety of licensing models suitable for different business size. For small businesses, SharePoint Online or Office 365 is a perfect solution. It is a cloud-based service where your employees can create sites and share documents.
Over the years other alternatives for SharePoint have been developed. Interact is one of them. However, unlike SharePoint, interact is designed purely for intranet purposes according to more information acquired through in-depth research. It aims at meeting the communication requirements of business intranet rather than data storage. This post looks extensively into some of the features of the Interact as compared to SharePoint as platforms for your intranet needs.
Skill set requirement.
SharePoint meets your business IT needs. Therefore, it requires a specialist to develop, secure, manage, patch, secure and backup its databases, servers, and sites. You can hire or employ the expert. Interact on the hand meets your communication needs. Therefore, it is a low maintenance software. A standard IT department can support it as it can be integrated seamlessly into your company’s existing environment. Besides, you do not require real programmers to handle its permissions, apps, users and customize pages.
SharePoint offers high-level security. However, you are only assured of the security when you forego the cloud version. As web access control pointed out, SharePoint lacks dynamic security measures. Dynamic security secures the content on the intranet as users and documents change in real time.
If you intend to keep your files in the cloud, then you should consider Interact. Unlike SharePoint which is a document storage intranet, interact is for document sharing. It, therefore, has a more secure cloud version. Interact offers in their data centres dedicated servers for their cloud version. You can as well install their on premise option on your server. Using cloud storage ensures proper securing of content without burdening system users or administrators.
An active employee directory is one of the most requested intranet features. This feature enables employees to locate colleagues having different skills even when they do not have a name to begin the search. SharePoint also allows such collaborations. Interact has made it simpler. Interact creates employee profiles similar to LinkedIn endorsements. It also provides search functions for titles, names, skills and groups.
Purchasing new intranet platforms involve the investment of time and money with the aim of providing long-term efficiency in business operations at minimal cost. It is, therefore, necessary that every Board involved should conduct a thorough analysis of the intended intranet regarding cost reduction. Maintenance and service costs are important factors you need to consider in addition to the initial cost of the intranet platform.
It is true that SharePoint comes with their Microsoft license packages, a compelling advantage it has over Interact. However, it has a few hidden costs as well. The hidden costs in SharePoint fall into three categories;
- Customization costs: SharePoint is a software development project. Which means you cannot estimate the extent to which it can be customized. Microsoft recommends $8 of customization services for every dollar of the license fee. Interact offers a developer platform which your It specialists can use to customize the intranet as per your preference at zero cost.
- The cost of personnel: As earlier mentioned, SharePoint requires skilled personnel to manage and customize. It will be necessary that your company either employs or hires a specialist. The salary for a specialist is about $74,000 and £42,500 in the US and UK respectively excluding other benefits. Hiring a specialist costs £350 per day. On the other hand, when using Interact Intranet platform, you do not have to employ an expert. The IT personnel you currently have in your company can efficiently run and manage the system.
- Product Lifecycle:Another hidden cost on SharePoint comes in term of its products life cycle. SharePoint products have a 3-year life cycle, after which you have to upgrade or buy the latest version. The stepwise transformation not only disrupts your company’s operations during the upgrade but also means your changing needs can only be met after three years.
Interact however, is designed to undergo three major upgrades yearly. The design makes it flexible to meet your dynamic demands. Besides, interact offers a free maintenance service yearly.
The choice of the intranet platform to use depends solely on the requirements of your business and your understanding of the different available alternatives. Whereas SharePoint is a comprehensive document management system, interact is designed primarily for intranet services. Just as SharePoint is an excellent document storage strategy, interact can be an essential part of your organization’s communication strategy. Remember. Interact is designed for file sharing rather than storage.
If you need a high-level security document storage and management, then SharePoint is an ideal option. However, if you want to make collaboration among employees easier and manage the process without hiring unique skills then Interact is a better option. Most organizations which enjoy the most SharePoint benefits have a significant budget set aside for its maintenance and have more than 7000 employees. Before settling for SharePoint or Interact it is important to have a proper knowledge of what your business needs are.