In the past few years, Microsoft Teams has grown as a tool to become an integral hub of many digital workplaces. Teams allows employees to communicate, share documents, and collaborate ideas from one central location – all core functions of a corporate intranet. This has led some companies to wonder whether using Microsoft Teams as intranet is a possible solution as digital workplaces enter a new decade.
We can see where the idea to deploy Microsoft Teams as intranet replacement could originate. But can Microsoft Teams really take the place of your intranet? Let’s take a look at the roles of Microsoft Teams and the corporate intranet to see.
Microsoft Teams as intranet: the new corporate portal?
Microsoft Teams shares many of the core functions of an intranet. The Microsoft Teams portal is a streamlined central hub through which users can access messaging, conferencing, file sharing, calendars, and more. With the integration of third party apps, there’s even more functionality available directly through the Microsoft Teams application. It’s easy to understand how this can start to feel like an intranet.
Nevertheless, the bottom line is that Microsoft Teams is missing many key parts of a successful corporate intranet, and it’s not likely to get them anytime soon. You can’t publish articles or share blogs in Microsoft Teams, and communicating essential company news and information is difficult through the platform. As an administrator, you also have significantly less control over the end user’s Microsoft Teams experience than you would with a corporate intranet.
Still that’s not to say Microsoft Teams doesn’t have its place within an intranet. In fact, we believe that the ideal solution is a seamless experience that integrates both Microsoft Teams and your corporate intranet into one comprehensive, fully functional digital workplace.
A better solution: Microsoft Teams integration with your intranet
So if using Microsoft Teams as intranet isn’t the answer, what is the benefit of integrating both technologies into one common solution? We’ve found that Microsoft Teams, when used for its intended purpose, is a complementary technology that can bolster your organization’s intranet usage.
One of the key roles of a corporate intranet is improving findability – that is, helping your employees locate the right information in a short amount of time. An Office 365 intranet solution uses SharePoint for this purpose. Through SharePoint, employees can access document and information storage from anywhere and search efficiently for content. Microsoft Teams doesn’t have this same functionality.
However, by integrating Microsoft Teams with SharePoint, you’ll get the best of both worlds. Each team in Teams is assigned its own SharePoint site, where documents shared via Teams are automatically stored and organized by channel. These items are easy to find in the channel’s Files tab, where they can in turn be opened directly in SharePoint.
Corporate intranets are an effective way for communication to flow from company leadership to the end user, including information like company updates and news. But the typical intranet lacks the capacity for communication in the opposite direction – from the end user to company leadership. This type of feedback is essential for an organization to function effectively. With the addition of Microsoft Teams to the intranet, your employees are given a platform through which to express their thoughts and ideas.
Microsoft Teams also supports better peer-to-peer engagement through group and individual communications. In addition to collaborating on documents, employees can use MS Teams to discuss ideas, ask questions, and give each other feedback on ongoing projects.
Microsoft Teams lacks the customizability of corporate intranets, including creating a branded experience for users. Accessing a corporate intranet should feel like visiting a virtual location of your company office. Your employees won’t get this experience from using Microsoft Teams as a standalone intranet replacement.
Furthermore, using Microsoft Teams as intranet doesn’t allow you to create customized experiences for different user groups. A sales team, for example, needs to access different sets of information from an accounting team as part of their daily workflow. With a corporate intranet, you can set different default views for these departments based on their unique needs.
How to save costs without ditching your intranet
Although intranets are generally accepted as tools that help your company reduce overall expenditures by streamlining processes and improving efficiency, the cost of maintaining an intranet can still be a potential barrier for some organizations. Here are a couple ways to reduce those costs.
Choose an off-the-shelf intranet solution
The widespread adoption of corporate intranets has led to a number of off-the-shelf or out-of-the-box solutions that can be implemented by your organization with little to no IT support needed. These digital workplaces are easy to set up and manage with relatively low costs. Powell Software offers a number of Office 365 intranet solutions that come ready with customizable templates that integrate Microsoft Teams and your intranet seamlessly.
The ultimate goal is a digital workplace
Can you use Microsoft Teams as intranet replacement? The bottom line is probably not, unless you’re a very small company with only a few employees. Even then, companies that try to use Microsoft Teams to replace their corporate intranet will eventually outgrow this solution as the organization grows and will only delay the inevitable by putting off intranet adoption.
With the cost efficiency of modern cloud-based intranet solutions, there’s no reason your company can’t integrate Microsoft Teams and a corporate intranet in one seamless digital workplace.