Choosing an Intranet Technology Platform

by Toby Ward - Is SharePoint the best intranet platform? What about a portal? A WCMS? An ECMS? Open Source? Social media?
With thousands of intranet technologies on the market, many capable of powering your intranet home page (or portal), picking the one that's right for your business can be daunting. Many vendors, old and new, are more than willing to show you their wares through online flash demos, brochures and webinars. All of them seem to have great features and functionality. Some vendors boast of their extraordinarily powerful and flexible workflow and approval capabilities, one-to-one personalization, ERP/CRM integration, virtual repositories, robust search capabilities and the like. But are all these bells and whistles going to meet your needs?

Without defining those needs, the question is impossible to answer. Long before the question is even asked, a plan supported by a proven methodology needs to be developed. But determining business requirements is only half the process. The other half is determining if the technology can do what it says it can do. Knowing this, the value of a technology-neutral approach to picking the right platform becomes that much more important. An unbiased assessment of the platform's strengths and weaknesses is essential to helping organizations see past marketing ploys and neatly-packaged products.

Complicating this entire process is the fact that the landscape of intranet technology platforms is always shifting. The results from Prescient's own Intranet 2.0 Global Study 2010 support the idea that the technology platform industry is not what it was only a year ago. According to the study, approximately three-quarters of organizations are using a Content Management System (CMS) today to power their intranets, compared to 63% in 2009. And of those, more than half are not using an off-the-shelf CMS, instead looking to other solutions to power their intranet.

The study also confirms SharePoint's large share of the market. Despite the reality that we live in a Microsoft dominated world, many organizations are forgetting that there are dozens of other serious contenders that could potentially be better fits. Many are quick to point out SharePoint's many capabilities and immediately assume that if it works for Company A, it will work for their organization. But it's not as simple as choosing SharePoint. Every organization is unique, and taking the "one-size-fits-all approach" to choosing an intranet technology platform can be quite costly, considering the amount of time and money typically invested in these projects.

Choosing an Intranet Technology Platform is a free webinar, November 30, 2010 at 12pm EST. In this 60 minute webinar, my colleague Heather MacFayden and I will present the findings of an unreleased whitepaper on how to choose an intranet technology platform in such a confusing landscape. The webinar will be a practical approach to this topic, backed by years of experience evaluating, selecting and implementing dozens of different platforms – including portals and CMSs; commercial and open source.

Discussion points:

  • The decision-making process for choosing an intranet platform.
  • Top factors/criteria to consider when choosing an intranet technology: cost, scalability, organization size and more.
  • Portals vs. Content Management Systems.
  • Pros & Cons of Sharepoint.
  • Pros & Cons of Intranet 2.0 tools.

 Register now for Choosing an Intranet Platform.