Powell Intranet vs. SharePoint: The Comparison You’ve Been Looking For

by Matthieu Silbermann

For organizations using Microsoft 365, SharePoint Online is an attractive intranet solution. But its functionalities only go so far, third party providers like Powell Intranet help it go the extra mile.

About SharePoint

SharePoint, a Microsoft 365 service, has over 200 million users worldwide. Why? Organizations using Microsoft 365 turn to SharePoint to store and share files and build web pages for internal communication and collaboration. It’s a comprehensive intranet solution that suits many companies’ needs. But while IT teams could be quite happy with their SharePoint site, Communications Managers and HR have some questions. Is a SharePoint intranet enough? Are there better solutions? How can they create a SharePoint site employees and IT love? Do the new Modern Experience and Viva Connections fill enough of the gaps?

Filling the gaps in the SharePoint intranet

The answer argued by analysts such as GartnerForrester, or Clearbox is that in most cases, SharePoint and Viva are not enough to create a complete intranet solution that meets modern workplace needs.

An intranet which is based solely on Microsoft SharePoint has shortcomings in terms of ease of content management, publishing, updating site architecture, user profiling, and employee engagement. Filling these gaps without going through a third-party solution requires costly custom developments, which are complex and risky to maintain over time.

That’s why over 400 organizations globally have chosen Powell Intranet to improve the intranet experience for nearly 2 million employees.

This article compares Powell Intranet against the SharePoint intranet and answers your most pressing questions.

What are the benefits for Communications Managers?

Targeted communications

Communications Managers have a common challenge; ensuring every employee reads the news they publish. To achieve this and avoid information overload, Comms should target information to employees based on their profile: their title, location, and interests.

But in native SharePoint, targeted communications are complicated.

With Powell Intranet, Communications Managers can easily set up multi-criteria targeting to reach the right audience in the right place. It’s also easier to create a multi-lingual intranet.

Aligned and Engaged with corporate communications

Customizable & personalized

An intranet should be easily customizable, match your company branding, and look good. But creating a branded look and feel in SharePoint online is expensive. On top of that, every update requires you to start all over again.

Powell Intranet allows you to change your intranet theme in a few clicks. You can choose a custom theme or one from our catalog.  So you can give your intranet a refresh and makeover as often as you like.

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Ensuring consistency in a large organization with several sites is another challenge. You want local contributors to be able to publish even if they lack technical skills while ensuring uniform formatting, image text, and functionality. These are expensive features to maintain and implement with a SharePoint framework alone, but made possible with Powell Intranets powerful engine.

An example is the maintenance of a navigation bar, where one of the menus includes a long list of subsidiaries or company locations. If you’re a company that opens dozens of stores annually: you’ll want to update the list of locations without re-coding each time.

Powell intranet user focus

What are the benefits for HR leaders?

Hybrid work ready

The Covid pandemic revolutionized work, making remote and hybrid options more popular. Now, HR teams want to cater to these new employee needs.

Those managing hybrid teams want their intranet to have certain capabilities:

  • The ability to book a desk for in-office days
  • Gamification and fun to promote engagement in company life
  • Reward and recognition for employees through “kudos”
  • Personal classified ads
  • Virtual coffee breaks

But these features aren’t available in SharePoint.

On the other hand, Powell Intranet offers these capabilities as standard to all our customers. Why? We know how important it is for you to build a better remote company culture. By choosing Powell Softwares SharePoint intranet-in-a-box, you can develop and deploy an employee engagement program at your own pace. 

Accessible to everyone, even field workers

The Microsoft 365 suite caters to office workers with a desktop. While Microsoft has a solution for field workers, it is often considered too expensive for what employees need.

But questions remain; how can we ensure that messages reach frontline workers? Do employee engagement measures involve everyone? How can we include employees who don’t have a computer or Microsoft 365 license?

The Powell Intranet mobile app creates a tailored experience for field workers. They can access company news, the staff directory, a search tool, and key company documents. The mobile app makes it possible to include all employees regardless of their role.

What are the benefits for IT Teams?

Up-to-date functional code

As we’ve seen, creating a modern SharePoint intranet requires custom IT developments, which are a risky investment for IT.

Why? There are several factors to consider. Your IT team needs to plan how they will:

  • Ensure that code remains functional even with regular updates from Microsoft
  • Deploy the inevitable evolutions requested by different departments

With a third-party solution like Powell Intranet, your code is continuously updated by dedicated professionals.

Greater ROI

With Powell Intranet, you get a better return on investment than custom developments. Here’s how:

On average, building, deploying, and updating a SharePoint site collection takes 8 hours.

With Powell Intranet and its powerful engine, it only takes an hour.

Then factor in that our average customer intranet consists of about forty SharePoint sites (or several hundred for large companies). And each site is updated on average 2 to 3 times a year.

The ROI is significant!

Advanced Intranet Page

Microsoft recognized

Microsoft 365 is a hefty investment for any company, so IT teams want to get the most out of it.

Microsoft recognizes Powell Intranet as one of the best integrations of Microsoft’s productivity services through the use of the Graph API and all the latest features such as Viva Connections maps.

Powell Intranet vs SharePoint Viva Cards

Secure data storage

IT teams are also guarantors of information security. With Powell Intranet, it’s a guarantee that all employee identities and intranet content remain hosted in your Microsoft 365 tenant.

Tailored scalable open

Which solution is best for you? Powell Intranet, SharePoint, or both?

Microsoft 365 and all its cloud services, including SharePoint, are essential tools for employee productivity. But SharePoint alone doesn’t meet the needs of employees, Comms, HR, or IT teams.

Ultimately, it’s not a question of which is better, Powell Intranet vs SharePoint. Our customers choose Powell Intranet to make the most of their Microsoft investment. Together we create a truly user-friendly, collaborative, and modern intranet built on SharePoint and packed with Powell Intranets’ innovative features.

If you take anything away from this article, let it be this:

  • On average, our customers double their intranet adoption rate from 40% to over 80% with Powell Intranet
  • IT & Communications teams reduce by 80% time spent on constructing and maintaining their intranet

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