SharePoint vs Teams: Can Microsoft Teams Replace Your Intranet?

March 3rd, 2022 by Esther Daga

Digital Workplace & Intranet Marketing & Comms

Use of Microsoft Teams as a collaboration tool has grown immensely over the past few years. It has become such an integral part of many digital workplaces that people wonder if teams will replace their SharePoint intranet? In the battle of SharePoint vs teams, it’s safe to say that the SharePoint intranet isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. Here’s why.

Microsoft Teams allows employees to communicate, share documents, and collaborate on ideas from one central location – all core functions of a corporate intranet. This has led some companies to wonder if SharePoint is obsolete. Some organizations ask if replacing their SharePoint intranet with Microsoft Teams is a) possible and b) a better solution.

We can see where the idea to deploy Microsoft Teams as a SharePoint intranet replacement could originate. But can Microsoft Teams really take the place of your intranet? Let’s look at the compare SharePoint vs teams and the roles of both to see.

What is the difference between SharePoint and Microsoft Teams?

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 third-party apps’ integration, even greater functionality is available directly through the Microsoft Teams application.

On the other hand, SharePoint is a Microsoft 365 service for storing and sharing files and building web pages for internal communication. It’s comprehensive corporate communication and document management tool that companies turn to. Many companies choose to leverage a third-party solution that makes it easier to design, deploy and personalize the SharePoint intranet.

Why is SharePoint a better Microsoft intranet solution than teams?

It’s easy to understand how Microsoft Teams can start to feel like an intranet. Still, the bottom line is that when we look at SharePoint vs teams, Microsoft Teams is missing many critical parts of a successful corporate intranet, and it’s not likely to get them anytime soon. Compared to SharePoint, you can’t publish articles or share blogs in Microsoft Teams, and communicating essential company news and information is complicated 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 the SharePoint intranet. And in truth, there isn’t really a battle between teams vs SharePoint. In fact, we believe that the ideal solution is a seamless experience that integrates both Microsoft Teams and your SharePoint company intranet into one comprehensive, fully functional digital workplace. Integrating tools like Microsoft Viva, Viva Engage, and Viva Connections will only help enhance the employee experience further.

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What is the benefit of integrating teams and SharePoint?

Trying to decide whether to use Microsoft Teams or SharePoint as your intranet is futile; ultimately, you will create the best employee experience by combining the power of both Microsoft offerings. We’ve found that when used for its intended purpose, Microsoft Teams is a complementary technology that can bolster your organization’s intranet usage.

Increased productivity

One of the key roles of an intranet is improving findability –helping your employees locate the right information quickly. With an intranet built on SharePoint, employees can access documents and information from anywhere and search efficiently for content. 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 Microsoft 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 be opened directly in SharePoint.

Better engagement

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 your SharePoint intranet, your employees are given a platform 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.

Brand presence

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 using Microsoft Teams as a standalone intranet replacement.

Furthermore, using Microsoft Teams as an 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.

It’s worth noting that targeted communications and customization in SharePoint can be costly and time-consuming. But, fear not – with a third-party solution  (like Powell Intranet, for example), you can easily design and deploy an intranet that matches your branding and gets the correct information to the right people!

How to simplify designing and deploying your SharePoint 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 of ways to reduce those costs.

Choose an off-the-shelf intranet solution

The widespread adoption of corporate intranets has led to several 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 Intranet offers an intranet solution that comes ready with customizable templates that integrate Microsoft Teams and your intranet seamlessly.

The ultimate goal is a digital workplace

SharePoint vs teams in the end, there’s no real battle. Can you use Microsoft Teams as an intranet replacement? The bottom line is probably not. Companies that try to use Microsoft Teams instead of a SharePoint intranet will eventually outgrow this solution as the organization grows and will only delay the inevitable by putting off intranet adoption.

Interested in learning more about how a third-party intranet solution like Powell Intranet will help you create the best SharePoint intranet? Watch the webinar.

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