Summary: When presented with an out-of-the-box intranet which rivals SharePoint functionality for a one-time license fee – many organizations are eager to make the switch to a SharePoint Alternative. We’ve provided 7 tips on how to successfully migrate from SharePoint to your new Intranet.
Hundreds of organizations each year look to make the switch to a SharePoint alternative. The most common reasons I hear for choosing a SharePoint alternative include:
- “Employees can’t find anything, it’s outdated, unengaging and no one uses it”
- “It’s too expensive”
- “It’s too hard to update and manage, and the IT team doesn’t have time to devote to it”
However, the thought of migrating all that content which has been building up for years can be scary. So much so that the project goes on hold and the pains of SharePoint continue.
How to Alleviate the Pain of Switching to a SharePoint Alternative:
1. Learn the New Site
SharePoint is a platform utilized to build out an intranet. This means that, although there are huge time and resources dedicated to doing so, it’s a fully-customized solution. With out-of-the-box intranet software, the features and functionality have been pre-built out for you. While it is still very flexible in configuration and design, changes are made through the front-end. For this reason, you’ll want to learn how the site is configured and how changes are made. This is easy through Admin Training sessions, unlimited phone/email support, a 24/7 accessible knowledgeable and of course – an intuitive product!
2. Pick your Site Layout
The inability to locate content and resources on a SharePoint site is one of the biggest pain points. I wouldn’t recommend simply copying what you already have. Instead, this is a chance to sit down and decide what really makes sense for your intranet. Most common is to have one main home site, with applications that house content relevant to all employees. Then, create your Team Sites for departments, and sometimes locations, with their own applications that house content specific to that department. A common mistake is for organizations to limit the number of Team Sites because “the ones they have on the SharePoint site aren’t used/updated” or because “one repository for all documents would make it easier for employees to find them”. These are difficulties with SharePoint functionality and not problems you would find with out-of-the-box software with Enterprise Search and Drag-and-Drop for content update delegation.
3. Delegate your Site Admins
Given the simplicity of updates and automation built into an out-of-the-box solution, you could potentially have one person own your entire intranet. However, an intranet with multiple contributors from different departments is the most effective way to get you the most effective information and communication portal for your staff. So, who should own your intranet? Well, who wants to!? You’ll find that there are many who volunteer for Team Site ownership (once they see how easy it is.) You can be sure that those most passionate will keep their content up to date.
4. Choose What Needs to Come Over
A new intranet is a great chance to clean things up. Good thing you now have a clean site layout and Team Site admins to help you transfer content over. Assigning each Admin their area of the intranet, and giving them ownership to decide which content is migrated, leads to a more seamless process. Some organizations prefer to form a small group and discuss it together. This can work too – however, the actual migration is spread out making the job much smaller.
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5. Use Automation Tools
Many out-of-the-box solutions have tools to help the transition to a new product easier. These include features such as Active Directory Sync for both Logins and Employee Profiles, a Simple HTML Editor which keeps the formatting of pasted content, Drag-N-Drop for File Uploads, and even a CSV import tool to transfer over document meta-data.
It is easy to see the huge list of features that an out-of-the-box solution provides and feel that everything needs to be perfect before launch. The reality in many cases is that even starting with logins, an auto-populated directory, and your key documents would be worlds better than what you’re working with now. The cleaner site navigation and Enterprise Search on its own will get employees excited about and using your new solution. The best part about starting out small? Employees have less to get used to and you can continue to roll out new features over time, increasing your intranet adoption.
7. Track Usage with Intranet Analytics
Given that one of the main pains of SharePoint is that “no one uses it” – strong intranet analytics is important in justifying your migration ROI. Analytics can help show trends not only in how many people are logging in during a certain time period but also compared to the previous period, to show how your engagement levels and adoption change over time. You can also track by department – a fun way to encourage employees to begin using the intranet is to let them know you will be tracking intranet usage and then to run reports after a few months and announce the “most engaged department!” You can also create an employee survey to gather responses and feedback for your new SharePoint alternative.
Here are two of our current customers who have made the leap and found great benefits in doing so:
- Diversified Search – Millie Francis had a site built out, on her own, in 60 days and went live in 90.
- Westminster Canterbury – Robert Mann consistently finds new, out of the box tools to improve company communication and processes
Ready to make the switch? Request a demo!