Why to buy intranet-in-a-box rather than build your own?

Each organization’s intranet is their own, and there are no two alike. Intranet content and functionalities must always respond to the needs of the organization and its users. And to ensure that the employees feel they are using their very own intranet, it must also visually feel like their organization, and not feel like software maker’s brand.

However, corporate intranet functionalities are actually very similar, and therefore increasingly many organizations want to buy an intranet-in-a-box solution instead of building their own from scratch. So, why is intranet-in-a-box nowadays a popular choice, and what are the characteristics of a good intranet product?

The majority of user requirements and the desired functionalities are the same in each intranet: news center, alert news, publishing pages for company information and instructions, document libraries, search, company events, self-service forms and visual branding according to corporate identity can be found in all intranets. Many want to make their intranet social allowing discussions, blogs, surveys as well as commenting and liking content. Internal and external workspaces are often included in the intranet and nowadays also video content and monitoring of external social media channels are all part of a modern intranet.

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Although SharePoint is the world’s most popular intranet platform, it does not really contain any intranet concept. Traditionally, SharePoint intranets have been defined and implemented for each customer individually. And when SharePoint is taken in to use as an easy-to-use intranet solution that employees love to use, a number of platform usability shortcomings must be fixed, such as responsive user interface, templates for easy content production, navigation, breadcrumb path, fat footer, as well as lifecycle model for workspaces – just to name a few.

When all this is done as a traditional intranet project, the price tag could rise to hundred(s of) thousand(s of) euros/dollars and the project could take six months or longer. Why, therefore, should we reinvent the wheel every time?

Intranet-in-a-box solution makes life easier

More and more organizations end up on buying a ready to use intranet-in-a-box product. For example, Valo Intranet product includes all of the above features – and many other. So, customer’s money and resources can be allocated to company specific tasks such as content production, information architecture, governance model, launch planning, trainings and, if necessary, additional customizations. With intranet-in-a-box solution, piloting can start immediately, not after several months. Also, the price tag is clearly cheaper than in the traditional intranet project.

Characteristics of a good intranet-in-a-box product:

  1. The product has its own R & D team. In other words, the development of the product is not done in customer projects – or when resource situation permits
  2. The product has a product description and an end user license agreement (EULA)
  3. The product provides a trial environment
  4. Pricing is based on either a license fee or a recurring service fee
  5. The product is regularly updated, and it has a clear future roadmap

However, Intranet-in-a-box must be flexible

Because the intranet is always each organization’s own, it is super important that the intranet-in-a-box product is flexible. In order to meet ranging business needs of different organizations, extensibility and customizability are required from the product. Valo Intranet can be deployed to production within a week for smaller organizations or it can be deployed to large organizations using same building blocks that provide a scalable and reliable foundation for the intranet. Valo Intranet clientele include organizations from companies employing hundred people to global enterprises with thousands of people.

Valo Intranet is the most advanced intranet product in the market, used by more than 60 organizations in several countries. You can choose Valo Intranet, either as a cloud service from Microsoft Office 365, or installed to your own SharePoint servers. The product is constantly evolving.  In our most recent release just before Christmas we published a new version with surveys and event registrations as new features. If you are interested, please contact us and book a demo!

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Explore our blog for insightful articles and ideas, and get inspiration by reading our new “The Modern Intranet” eBook!

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