The Challenge of Choosing the Right Intranet
So you know you need a solution that will give you a better way to get your team communicating and working together, but you don't want to spend a ton of time and money on creating and maintaining it.
Ideally, you'd like to reduce the email noise and have a single knowledge base where you can share company news. You'll also want to notify employees of mandatory content and task management, and chats in your personal profile or group forums.
SharePoint does have a lot of useful features; it boasts user dashboards, document management, Office 365 (of course), and web publishing tools. But setting it up and managing it can be pretty complex and time-consuming. The result has led to many companies complaining about user adoption and ease of use. Resource consumption and ongoing maintenance costs are also common complaints.
So lets take a deep-dive into the areas that are causing the most frustration.
Most Common Complaints from Sharepoint Users:
1. Employee Adoption is Low
SharePoint intranets are notoriously hard to maintain, which makes them hard to use and adopt for your employees. Many users complain that SharePoint is difficult to use, and does not have enough training for businesses and employees, which makes it a poor employee experience. User satisfaction ratings gathered by peer-review site G2 found that only 71%* of Sharepoint users found their intranet easy to setup and use, which is well below the average.
Our philosophy at Hub is simple: if your employees can't use it, it's not worth using. That's why we've packaged a feature-rich intranet that anyone can use and maintain, and is specifically designed for non-techies like Marketing, HR and Comms teams to manage, with an impressive 90%* of users rating the Hub easy-to-use.
2. Cumbersome Data Management
SharePoint doesn’t always make sense for all teams. SharePoint collaboration isn't automatically GDPR-compliant, which is a problem for many HR teams. Even though Microsoft does offer some tools to help you comply, many tasks still need to be done manually and require considerable technical set-up to ensure your user data is managed and deleted in the manner you want. For example, you need to manually set up data retention policies and conducting a Subject Access Request (SAR) is super complicated.
3. Budget-Wise, It Can Be A Bit Pricey
Although SharePoint Online offers different deployment and pricing models to suit many budgets, and additional feature packages, the price can still be a problem for many. Standard Sharepoint packages come with limited data storage, and don't boast the beneficial chat features of MS Teams or Yammer - and if you want those, you're suddenly looking at $23 per user.**
Compared to SharePoint, Hub offers a lower-cost intranet package which includes unlimited data storage. We don't charge extra for support or maintenance, and we don't believe in charging extra to unlock better features. We have one package which comes with every feature and integration as standard. Pricing is a single annual fee that's customized based on your organization's user numbers, and because we offer volume discounts, the more users you have, the cheaper the per-user cost.
4. It Can Be Hard to Manage and Maintain
SharePoint Online is great, but it can take a lot of work to get started. You need IT and admin support if you want to reorganize your site hierarchy, move pages around, or change the branding. And if you want to create new pages, embed video files, or manage user access permissions, you'll either need to consult IT again or use a third-party tool. This high level of complexity leads to frustration, with 1/4* of Sharepoint users saying the product is going in the wrong direction.
In addition to robust knowledge management and advanced search features, the Hub puts you - the HR, Marketing, Comms person - in full control of your intranet and its content. No more running to IT to make changes, instead the Hub gives you the power to change anything and everything on your intranet in just 3 clicks or less. Create bespoke permission levels, easily tag and categorise news so users can find relevant content quickly, and customise the branding and content for different user groups. Your Hub gives you full ease of control over how you manage and maintain your intranet, without any technical knowledge required or input from IT.
5. Misses Fully Integrated Collaboration Features
SharePoint alternatives like Hub have become increasingly popular because users want to post, share, like, and comment easily. Collaborative features are one of the most important intranet features. SharePoint's My Sites and Newsfeeds are not integrated as standard, nor is Yammer or MS Teams, so you might be left without good social collaborative features. There's also no built-in chat functionality, and user creation is severely restricted.
If your company uses Sharepoint or Google Workspace a fair bit, but want to bolster user collaboration, consider using a social intranets like Hub that can connect to both Sharepoint and Google Workspace to offer the social collaboration features that are sorely missing.
6. It Doesn't Put The User First
You'll be more likely to find an enterprise portal than a social employee network when using SharePoint Online. As a document store, Sharepoint is fine, but if you're looking for an engaging intranet that excites your employees and builds a better working environment that increases retention, Sharepoint just doesn't cut it. Because its hard to use, you will inevitably end up relying on Sharepoint's support services more to assist you, and this service is woefully poor. Only 79% of peers felt Sharepoint offered high quality levels of support, compared to 93% for Hub.*
Hence, we developed the Hub as a dynamic social platform that prioritizes the experience of both you, the intranet admin, and your end users. We focus on engagement-driven content management, with features that deliver real value to your end users. Your Hub becomes the central space for your employees to easily access resources, collaborate, and feedback using through polls, surveys, likes etc. It's the Hub's strong user-centric focus that makes it a great SharePoint alternative.
A Solid Sharepoint Alternative - The Hub
What is The Hub?
Since you're here to find out about SharePoint Online alternatives, let's take a closer look at Hub. The Hub is a modern employee intranet designed to improve communications, boost engagement, and unite your teams and content within one central digital workplace.
If you're looking for an intranet that combines enterprise knowledge management with social engagement features, but is also easy to update and maintain, look no further than Hub.
Here's 5 key features you and your team are going to love:
1. Easily manage files remotely and provide remote access to documents
As well as being a social intranet, the Hub provides secure file sharing and a cloud-based document management system. You can create as many pages as you like, and it's easy to navigate, plus you can fully customise your navigation menu to make key information easily accessible. Intelligent expiry features make file management a breeze, with automatic notifications to page owners when content needs reviewing or archiving.
The Hub keeps a full audit trail of all previous versions of all content pages, so you'll always know who added what. And if you need to backtrack, version control makes it simple.
2. Remote team collaboration tool with employee intranet that simplifies document accessibility and sharing
The Hub is a company portal that lets you promote collaboration, not isolation.
With Hub, you can build your company culture and promote collaboration between remote teams. You can drive social engagement with your news stories through 'Likes' and comment threads. Send automated alerts to employees about new content that's relevant to them, helping to reduce the email noise. Our philosophy at The Hub is that people are more powerful when they work together.
3. Helps grow company culture
Through the Hub, a company can increase employee engagement and productivity in order to grow its company culture. With the Hub, you'll be able to give your employees a modern, clean intranet that they'll be proud of, with content and features that enable them to feedback and feel like their voice is valued and heard within your organisation. The Hub has helped hundreds of SME and Enterprise organisations to build their own social networks, including Dominos Pizza, Nikon, Legal & General.
4. Employee Directory that powers better experiences
The Hub isn't just about knowledge management, its also about people. It helps you get to know your employees by giving you a personal profile for each one, which helps power social features like Birthday, Work Anniversary or New Starter announcements. Every employee's profile can be customized with photos and information about their interests and expertise in The Hub's employee directory. You can also see details on what content they've liked, who they report to and their group memberships. You can even keep track of status updates, so everyone knows who is in the office, working from home or on leave.
Your Employee Directory is not just an easy way to search and find people. Smart tags on every user's profile help to power the content experience on your intranet. These profile tags allow you to change the branding and content that users can see, meaning users at different offices or brands can experience an intranet that feels relevant to them.
5. Strong Security, Integration and Interoperability
Powerful Integration Features - Easily connect your cloud drives with The Hub, embedding your Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and SharePoint files and folders into your Hub pages, so your users can navigate and access cloud files without having to leave your intranet.
Security features - The Hub's smart SSO allows you to quickly login and securely connect to your third-party systems, providing instant hassle-free access without needing to remember passwords. Plus Google's 2 Step Verification adds an extra layer of security when logging in.
Detailed usage reports - With over 20 management reports tracking site usage, individual user activity and content engagement, the Hub makes it easy to understand exactly how your intranet is performing and your users are consuming content, and provides insights on how to make future improvements.
Here are a few key takeaways
In contrast to Microsoft SharePoint, The Hub is an out-of-the-box intranet solution designed to be extremely user-friendly and intuitive for agile teams and creative teams. Thus, we made sure that it was as easy as possible for any user to get started right away. We believe in the power of together, so we're with you every step of your Hub journey, from onboarding and consultancy, to launching and beyond, we're there to help you plan your intranet and ensure it delivers you continued success.
Are you ready to boost your employee engagement and productivity?
Speak to our intranet software specialists to see how The Hub could help you make your internal communications seamless.
*According to peer-review tech site G2's 'Employee Intranet' Report Fall 2022.
** Pricing correct as of Nov'2022: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/sharepoint/compare-sharepoint-plans