It is no secret that SharePoint is the proverbial Gorilla for enterprise intranets. Early adopters of a SharePoint Intranet have often called upon us as they found SharePoint was too much work and too costly to actually get off the ground. Although initially they romanticized about customizing the perfect intranet solution with a custom built SharePoint intranet, they quickly realized it was an unmanageable and cost prohibitive project that likely would never come to fruition. Now they seek a SharePoint alternative that is a simpler, comprehensive, out-of-the-box solution with reliable customer service and fast installation/implementation.
Looking for a SharePoint Alternative
In my weekly Sales Meetings, I hear of more and more organizations switching gears on their mature intranets, looking to migrate their intranets off SharePoint and onto a simpler, all-inclusive provider. Are IT Leaders starting to abandon SharePoint? Microsoft has made no bones about its focus to build upon its cloud market, but with SharePoint 2013 now in the cloud, many on-premise customers are worried what the future holds.
An interesting article on the tipping point between on-premise and cloud intranets provides a significant statistic that stood out based on a keynote session with 400 attendees (read the full article here).
Of the 400 attendees, 90% had an on-premise intranet with SharePoint, of those 70% cannot move to the cloud due to sensitive data, customizations to their intranets, or compliance / regulations.
Essentially of this select group, this leaves at least 250 organizations in limbo as Microsoft makes a strong push with SharePoint to the cloud. The obvious concerns over private and sensitive data, and potentially being forced into the cloud, has a lot of organizations turning to full suite, on-premise intranet solutions like Intranet Connections, with IT feeling more comfortable keeping their intranet and data in-house. And with the popularity of hybrid options and IaaS models on the rise, it perhaps removes the black and white choice of pure on-premises versus cloud and this topic could take a back seat to other considerations when looking for a SharePoint alternative.
Why Now is a Good Time to Abandon SharePoint
Talking to our happy customers, they shared the compelling reasons why they abandoned their SharePoint intranets in favor of our more simple, yet robust, alternative.
A primary reason that has been mentioned time and time again, our customers want their data and documents safely stored on their intranet with no concern of any security breach. In addition, everything they upload onto their intranet is in the control of the company, primarily the IT Department.
Intranet Connections is also extremely easy to use, which is a significant motivator for our customers to switch from SharePoint. It is easy to implement and get started on Intranet Connections and non-IT staff can easily learn to use and administer it. One of our customers, Diversified Search, that switched to Intranet Connections from SharePoint was able to full-deploy their new intranet in just 90 days to all of their employees.
A SharePoint Alternative Intranet Will Cost You
Intranet Connections is not just easy to implement, it also costs much less than SharePoint. Many of our customers have saved tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars switching to Intranet Connections from SharePoint.
Here is a quick example of a pricing structure for SharePoint:
|Intranet Provider||Number of Users||Licensing Cost||Implementation Costs||Total Costs|
|Intranet Connections||1000 Users||$37,500||$0 (included)*||$37,500|
* 1st year of support and product upgrades are included in the one-time licensing price.
(1)SharePoint Licensing Costs — http://www.degdigital.com/blog/sharepoint-2013-licensing-for-dummies/
(2)SharePoint Implementation Costs — http://www.pythagoras.co.uk/resources/the_total_economic_impact_of_microsoft_sharepoint_server_2010_whitepaper.pdf
As you can see just from the initial cost and implementation, an Intranet Connections customer could save over $250,000 selecting Intranet Connections over SharePoint and that doesn’t even take into account the ongoing costly maintenance required for SharePoint.
Comparing SharePoint in the Cloud
SharePoint in the cloud means a multi-tenant solution and where you lose control over nuances and customization unique to your implementation. For software vendors, cloud is good. Cloud is less of a headache for vendors. Cloud means the vendors have the control. Cloud means charging more – subscription, hardware, space, size, capacity, etc.
Do I believe in the cloud? Yes, I do. Especially for the consumer. I think IT leaders need to look into the future and adapt to the demands and expectations of the consumer, but the final answer has yet to shake out. IT has a job, to protect the company data.
When comparing the cost of SharePoint in the Cloud vs. Intranet Connections over a period of 5 years (a minimal for lifespan for an intranet solution as many of our clients have been on Intranet Connections for well over a decade) the cost savings are substantial:
|Intranet Provider||Number of Users||Licensing Cost: Yr 1||Licensing Cost:
Yr 2 – 5
|Support & Product Upgrades||Total Costs|
|Intranet Connections||1000 Users||$37,500||$0||$30,000*||$67,500|
|SharePoint||1000 Users||$60,000(1)||$240,000(1)||$0 (included)||$300,000|
* Ongoing support & product upgrades are approximately 20% of original purchase price – Year 2+ (subject to change)
(1)SharePoint User Pricing — https://products.office.com/en-us/sharepoint/sharepoint-online-collaboration-software
Intranet Benefits Beyond Cost
While the cost savings of moving forward with an Intranet Connections’ intranet are significant, there are many other reasons customers select Intranet Connections over SharePoint. With an on-premise SharePoint solution, finding, hiring and sustaining a third-party developer to assist with implement, design, and maintenance of a SharePoint intranet can be costly, stressful and require added IT management time. In some cases, those SharePoint consultants/developers also go out of business or become too busy to answer questions, which leaves your IT team with an intranet they don’t know how to fully manage themselves.
One of our customers that switched from SharePoint experienced this exact scenario and knew there had to be a better intranet solution that could be managed in-house with less frustration. Read more about Westminster Canterbury’s experience with SharePoint in their case study: From IT Program to Overall Corporate Strategy
Since many organizations do not have in-house SharePoint experts, they are limited with what they can execute in SharePoint. Without instant access to support or a decided SharePoint developer, customers have claimed to wait days or even weeks to hear back from someone to help them with their SharePoint issue. This can set an organization back as they are having to solve an issue before they can move forward. The Intranet Connections Technical Support Team are quick to respond to any issue a customer has and we take the time to build lasting relationships with our over 1,600 customers.
Other compelling reasons our customers abandoned their SharePoint intranet:
- Simplicity and ease of delegating
- Easy server set-up and implementation
- Simple maintenance year-over-year
- Product upgrades every year, not every 3 years
- All-Inclusive Buy Intranet versus Build Intranet (like SharePoint)
- Customers have a voice and direct impact on product direction
Intranet Connections is All About Intranets
At Intranet Connections, our sole focus is intranets. It is all we do and we are good at it. For the last 16 years, we have developed intranet software design with the end user in mind from ease-of-use and user interfaces to smart delegation and simple administration. Our intranets are all-inclusive and designed to engage and deliver from day one.
Interested in reading more on how our intranet customers moved from SharePoint to Intranet Connections? Check out our case studies:
Also, watch our SharePoint Alternative Video: Why Not SharePoint? to discover more reasons why customers choose Intranet Connections over SharePoint:
Why Not SharePoint?
Have you had experience with SharePoint and made the switch? I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below.