To best meet the needs of modern businesses, Abel Solutions creates custom SharePoint intranet systems for our clients. We take user needs to heart when designing and implementing clients’ efficiency-boosting intranet solution.
The Need for a Quality Intranet
Every company eventually meets communication difficulties. Email is only so effective at broadcasting updates that every employee needs to see and often complicates the collaborative process during group projects. Online file storage services do not provide a method of corresponding with each other and may have lacking document search functions. Neither of these options comes with process automation programs to help cut down on workload. Centralizing information and ensuring that the right people can easily find and use it at the right time help to fight miscommunication. Many companies find that the most effective solution to their communication struggles is to adopt a company intranet.
An effective intranet acts as a portal through which employees interact with a company’s information. As the first thing workers see every day when they log into their computer, the intranet’s home page should be a centralized location where they can find company-wide announcements (as well as more targeted messages pertaining to their department or specific duties), open avenues through which they can connect with corporate and human resources, present shared calendars for reminders on upcoming events, house the data and documents needed to perform tasks, and offer the tools they regularly use to accomplish their daily goals. A well-designed SharePoint intranet can meet these demands and more due to the scope of its offerings and flexibility of its software.
The Case for a SharePoint Intranet
SharePoint is a widely used platform for consolidating information and business processes into a single intranet system. Apps display information and allow users to interact with it. Document libraries, for instance, act as repositories for files that employees need to access. Individual libraries can be dedicated to specific subjects like an ongoing project or generalized to serve the needs of an entire department. Metadata on the files themselves allow for categorizing files into easily-navigable sub-groups; employees can classify like documents together according to any number of shared characteristics into a mutable, folder-like structure. Employees more interested in finding their target via a search function can do so, as SharePoint’s document search can delve into a file’s contents as well as its metadata to provide more relevant results (even if the employee doesn’t know the exact name of the file).
Versioning control measures ensure that every employee using the document library has only the most recent version available of every file; checking out a file ensures that only one person is editing it at a time, and options to store old versions of the document keep them available for either audit or recovery. The designated intranet administrator will grant varying levels of permission regarding the use of any app, ranging from a lack of viewing clearance to the ability to edit the shared copy.
All of these features and options only pertain to a single app, of which there are dozens. Companies find that SharePoint experts like Abel Solutions tease out the greatest benefits from their intranet by designing and implementing a custom SharePoint-based solution.
Abel Solutions takes a comprehensive approach to providing companies with their intranet solution. Before we ever begin designing the home page, one of our SharePoint consultants will confer with the client to hear the issues they are seeking to address with the installation of an intranet system. Gaining a thorough understanding of the difficulties that they are facing equips us to deliver an intranet solution that meets their needs.
Once we have determined the difficulties plaguing a company, we can begin engineering their solution. We believe that a successful employee intranet is a comprehensive system that not only eases communication within the company but that it also improves productivity among employees and promotes the efficiency of daily operations. An average SharePoint intranet solution that we design may include any or all of these features as they may be relevant to the client:
- Sleek and functional navigation design
- Home page layout: visually engaging and easily navigable, retains the flexibility to accommodate new information
- Department sub-sites for IT, HR, Marketing, and Finance/Accounting: delivers immediate utility without diminishing ability to brand your intranet to your business; also, able to add further departmental sub-sites as needed
- Personal time request workflow: a thorough management tool for tracking and approving paid time off
- Benefits information database: promotes consistent, compliant benefit information to employees
- Recruiting tracking workflow: completes the steps of the employee addition process that don’t require direct managerial oversight
- Provisioning function for team sites and project collaboration pages
- File tree application: presents an interface familiar to Windows Explorer users to aid document management
- Pre-configured search: used to find specific verbiage within an individual file, its containing library, or the entire intranet
- MyPortal page: hub through which employees access their individual projects, tasks, requests, etc.
For those clients in need of a less personalized solution that can be deployed very quickly, consider implementing Share|Net — Abel Solutions’ pre-configured intranet software solution. As an out-of-the-box option, Share|Net still leverages the highly-customizable SharePoint intranet platform with all the powerful functions listed above but requires extra time and effort to extend beyond these base capabilities.
Abel Solutions: SharePoint Experts
For over 20 years, Abel Solutions has been delivering impactful, SharePoint-based solutions to clients from around the country. We offer further supplementary IT services such as data security, helpdesk support, and network administration. If your company needs some assistance in conquering internal communication hurdles, contact Abel Solutions. Our SharePoint-powered intranet solutions can help.