Summary: Microsoft has recently announced the SharePoint Foundation 2016 is no longer available in the SharePoint Server 2016 release, which has many organizations scrambling to uncover some suitable SharePoint Alternatives.
SharePoint Foundation 2013 is a limited free software provided by Microsoft as a SharePoint alternative. That being said, Microsoft will no longer support Sharepoint Foundation 2013 nor will it sell Sharepoint Foundation 2016 (or the licenses for it) unless your company already has Exchange or Office365. Can we say ‘uh-oh’? Sharepoint Foundation 2013 provided a basic collaborative document management system that integrates with Microsoft Office. Primarily best for small companies who do not require a complicated functionality or features.
Questions you may have:
- Is there a free offering of Sharepoint Foundation 2016 available? Short answer, no. Long answer; you can start a trial with Office 365 but, apart from charities and non-profit organizations, there aren’t free subscriptions available.
- Are there any ‘free’ alternatives to Sharepoint Foundation 2016? Short answer, no. Long answer; Microsoft doesn’t offer any other ‘free’ alternatives’ but there are a variety of one-time fee intranet software providers that provide all necessary features ‘out-of-the-box’.
- Are there risks associating with continuing on Sharepoint Foundation 2013? Short answer, yes. Long answer; with Microsoft no longer offering support to Sharepoint Foundations 2013 many users are finding bugs and issues. In addition, clients who want to migrate to 2016 or Office365 don’t have a ‘free’ Sharepoint Foundation option. Overall, continuing on Sharepoint Foundations 2013 will put your organization at risk
What to Look for in a SharePoint Foundation 2016 Alternative?
Most organizations I speak with who have worked with the free version of SharePoint have very few good things to say about it. So I ask them – why haven’t they made the switch before? Well, it was free.
Now that it isn’t free, let’s address these key concerns to outline what you don’t want in your new SharePoint Alternative.
Subscribe for Intranet Tips
3 Concerns with Free Intranet Software Like SharePoint Foundation 2016
1. Intranet Software that’s Difficult to Update and Manage
Usually, a SharePoint site lives in the hands of IT. Updates and changes to the site are exceptionally rigid and time-consuming, which means the site gets updated infrequently, if at all.
Your SharePoint Foundation 2016 alternative should, therefore, be easier to update. In fact, what if it was so easy to update that it didn’t live in the hands of IT at all, but could be passed off to intranet admins from other departments?
It’s therefore important to look for an intranet with Simple Intranet Administration, such as drag ‘n’ drop functionality.
2. There’s Low Employee Engagement, and Finding Information is Complicated
Your end users have likely complained about finding content on the SharePoint site. In fact, since it takes so long to look for content once they do find it they might just end up saving the document to their desktop for next time. This means your employees are now using outdated versions of documents, policies, and procedures.
The site is usually also static – just a landing page of links to other resources and applications they need. It is therefore difficult to be “thrilled” about the intranet and intranet adoption decreases.
Your SharePoint alternative should, therefore, have dynamic content right on the homepage, which is engaging and updated frequently. It should have a robust enterprise search which not only looks for titles of content but within uploaded documents as well, ensuring that your employees find what they need quickly.
3. The Intranet Capabilities and Feature Sets are Limited
Free means you only get so many features and functionality. Just the basics to house the content you need such as links to other resources and a document repository.
Your SharePoint Foundation 2016 should be a real INTRANET. An engaging, interactive portal with hundreds of features and applications to help streamline internal workflows, improve business processes, generate employees engagement and keep them informed.
A full list of features can be found within our Corporate Intranet Whitepaper.
So How Much is a SharePoint Alternative?
You shouldn’t have to pay through the nose for something that is replacing your free version. Unfortunately, so many intranet providers are now charging per user per month license fees – which adds up!
On average, Intranet Connections customers have been untiring the software for 7 years. That’s a long-term commitment. We, therefore, think it makes more sense to charge a one-time license fee, and then never charge for organizational growth.
Think Intranet Connections might be a good fit for you?