Choosing a new intranet solution? Start here.

June 14, 2017

Thinking of revamping or re-launching your intranet and don’t know where to start when choosing a new intranet provider? Read this first. As employee experience aficionados, we've seen our fair share of intranets (we’ve even written a white paper on intranet best practices). Believe us—choosing an intranet is no small feat. So, here’s our best advice for choosing a new intranet provider wisely:

1. Ask questions before conducting any research

Before beginning this process, reflect on why you’re seeking a solution. Think about these questions:

  • How do our employees currently get information–what’s working and what’s not?
  • What would an ideal intranet look like?
  • Where do we picture our company in the next year? The next 5 years?
  • How will the intranet help achieve business goals? Which ones?
  • Who needs to be involved in making this decision?

2. Think ahead

Securing an intranet provider is just one piece of the puzzle. We recommend including this decision as part of a larger strategy. Consider your intranet launch (or re-launch) in these five stages:

  • Assess: evaluating and developing criteria
  • Plan: developing a site map, project plans, etc.
  • Build: platform identity, editorial calendars, etc.
  • Launch: beta testing, internal marketing campaigns, etc.
  • Ongoing support: analytics, executing editorial calendar, building engagement

3. Decide on your ‘non-negotiables’ and ‘nice-to-haves’

Let me tell you from experience, a list of criteria makes this process much smoother. Not only does it help you in preliminary research and negotiations with vendors, but most importantly, it helps keep everyone on the same page. Things to consider:

  • Integrations / APIs
  • Scalability (in cost and functionality)
  • User interface and user experience
  • Engagement tools
  • Key features: analytics, social feeds, notifications, etc.

4. Be patient, observe and keep the peace

As you begin this process, you may get feedback such as, “We need to move faster!”. In these situations, take a step back and remind everyone that this is a pivotal moment for the company, and taking the time to assess will assure the best decision is made. Also watch how the intranet vendor acts during the demo phase:

  • How’s their customer service?
  • What do their reviews say?
  • Does their culture align to yours?
  • Most importantly–what does your gut say?

A decision like choosing a new intranet provider can feel overwhelming and even political. Consider appointing a champion or peacekeeper between all stakeholders to keep the project moving and everyone focusing on the bigger picture.

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