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Nandha Kumar

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intranet as a service

Hubfly, the Quintessential Small Business Intranet

Intranet used to be an exclusive asset that only big businesses once enjoyed, but not now. Cloud-based intranet has changed the game altogether. Intranet software for small businesses such as Hubfly Intranet is now affordable and scalable and small businesses should embrace it and set on a growth path.

Intranet is not all about providing a platform for collaboration and seamless communication; it is more about enabling and incentivising employees to be more involved (engaged) in the objectives of the business for which they are working. Thanks to the cloud-based intranet, employees can work anytime – from home and while travelling.

Cloud-based intranet can be easily adapted for multiple tasks. It is ideally suited for storing documents, minimizing the use of emails, getting information and sharing ideas. If used innovatively Hubfly Intranet can even double as a branding enhancement in which it is possible to give your employees a unique touch and feel.

The learning curve is almost absent when it is coupled with enhancements such as Hubfly Intranet that does not require any SharePoint knowledge. More importantly, cloud-based intranet is scalable, so you can begin small and grow as your organisation grows, and you pay only for what you use.

The utility of SharePoint in team collaboration is unquestionable. It rules the world of intranets for offices where a near-perfect communication link is essential for seamless operation.

The usefulness of SharePoint goes far beyond as a huge file storage tool. It is more robustly designed to connect individuals in teams widely dispersed in different geographies. Yet, it’s a tool with its own set of strong and weak points. Indications are that a large number of enterprise-level businesses use it for communication, but the question whether it’s oriented for smaller businesses still lingers. A more precise question is, is it an intranet for a small business that employs 25 or fewer people?

SharePoint as Intranet Software for Small Businesses

There is undoubtedly a large number of benefits of SharePoint for small businesses. The first and most important point is affordability and then comes flexibility. It is affordable because the business is not required to invest in any special hardware and it is flexible because it is accessible on a wide range of handheld devices. One of the biggest benefits that accrue is that documents can be uploaded to the cloud and a large number of users can work on it at the same time. There is simply no need to bother about software versions as it often happens with on-premises intranets. Yet another benefit is that organisations can set up internal websites specific to a particular project and then move on to organizing content in a centralized manner.

What are pros can sometimes turn into cons easily and quickly. For example, you may not be able to utilise SharePoint’s ability to eliminate the use of hard copies if your employees feel they are better off with a printed document. It amounts to underutilisation of a strong feature for which SharePoint was made. However, it is going to be different for a small business with mobile access inherent in web applications. The benefits will be largely tangible and users will love it. SharePoint as an intranet software for small businesses can take advantage of some of the best tools for improving total workflow and improved project productivity.

To narrow down, the communication feature in SharePoint is what makes it an ideal intranet for small businesses. A good example of SharePoint’s usefulness is its social networking tools like chat that will enable and arm teams as well as individuals to talk bypassing the phone. Employees who travel vastly for business purposes can stay connected to their specific project endeavours from anywhere in the world. It is virtually like putting the world in their hands.

An often-overlooked feature of SharePoint is its integration with Microsoft Office components. It is a fact that staffs immensely depend on Office tools such as Excel for example to record sales, and PowerPoint for projections. Adding a Microsoft office tool is a breeze because it is already integrated to work with SharePoint.

It is not however a bed of roses all the way. Users will still find the SharePoint platform to complex to master in their current context and relevance. A typical example of where complexities raise their head is in customisation; an area that users are often not comfortable with. Given the complexities, administrative staffs will not like to optimise SharePoint making the end user feel frustrated over a period of time.

Pros and Cons of In-a-Box Intranet for Small Business in Depth

An appropriate platform for collaboration can determine your uniqueness and make you stand out from the crowd. Here is what you should ask yourselves.

1. Are you putting your intranet to optimum use?
2. Is your intranet the best that money can buy?
3. What other alternatives are open to me?

The answers to these questions will be apparent once you understand the pros and cons of an In-a-Box intranet. Here are the pros and cons; keep reading.

Quicker Deliveries

Customized intranets take anywhere from 4 to 6 months to become operational and to this you will incur additional expenditures for procuring hardware. Ready-to-Go intranet is a different ball game altogether and can be made operation in under 15 days. The time you save will help you to focus on getting content and processes ready.

The time you will otherwise let slip can be used to focus on processes and capturing knowledge from within your organisation for making best use of the intranet. The end result is you will be able to engage employees and help them to focus on what is critical.

SharePoint Intranet Software

Overall Price Advantage; long-term, short-term

The money that you need to invest initially in an Out-of-the-box intranet is less, but you pay for an annual subscription. The emphasis here is on the low upfront cost – this makes it affordable. The upfront cost can be as little as 20% of an on-premises intranet. It does not stop here either – it is a turnkey service without any maintenance cost. The formula for reducing price is:

Less users = Lower cost.

High on Features

The out-of-the-box approach of SharePoint is a big draw towards it. This means developers get a big opportunity to develop customized application that enhance and add value to SharePoint. There are large numbers of developers such as Hubfly Intranet that make it easy for offices to adopt it. Hubfly is itself customisable and can be adapted to customers’ requirements. What is more attractive is that users don’t have to grow through the pain of learning SharePoint.

Cloud-based Intranet for Small Business

Before going deeper into cloud-based intranet let’s see how intranets relate to your organisation. The general benefits that businesses are able to realise are a robust communication system and a tool for collaboration.

More and more businesses are able to realise the importance of internal marketing viz-a-viz the highly competitive market place. They are able to recognise that their employees are their brand ambassadors and they are potentially the biggest group capable of spreading positive images about their products and services to the consuming public. That is not the end of the story either; more importantly intranets are the connecting point between the workers and their employers and serve as a productivity tools. It is widely recognised that a happy employee is a valuable asset and adds more value to the business and is the ultimate growth driver.

It is now time to examine what other benefits that is specific to cloud-based intranets over traditional on-premises intranets.

Flexibility & Accessibility

Cloud based is an anywhere anytime intranet. To say in a nutshell cloud-based intranet is an amplification of the on-premises intranet that is restricted by territory and is not accessible to your employees who have to travel extensively and frequently. The problem is they have to return back to office each day to complete even the minimal chore. Compare this with the cloud-based intranet and you get an intranet that your employees can use in the middle of the night, while travelling in railroad and even at their home. It is a seamless way of doing things and in comfort.

Your millennial employees are a special lot of workforce and want global accessibility for all their work-related tools that only cloud-based intranet can provide seamlessly. It has been widely established through research that the younger generation are more interested in working remotely and when you give them this tool you will be able to realise not only productivity but also a higher level of motivation. The end result is a collaborative atmosphere that acts as a force multiplier. Experienced users who are familiar with cloud technology will agree on this.  Round-the-clock accessibility means providing flexibility and convenience at the same time to help your employees achieve work objectives in a collaborative environment.

Instant Scalability

To survive as a business organisation they have to grow by leaps and bounds. The days of slow and steady philosophy are dead and forgotten. Don’t forget that when your business was established you also intended it to grow manifold in as little time as possible and it is possibly growing too.

Don’t you then realise that you have to extend access to your new employees too? Here come the cloud-based intranet; it is easily scalable and it can be done in as little as couple hours. We mean it literally and to achieve this all that you have to do is to request an enhanced service from the cloud solution provider. It is as simple as this. Compare this with the on-premises intranet that requires additional hardware resources, newer software and a few engineers to make it a reality. In short cloud-based intranet is dynamic and the sky is the limit for expansion.

Overcoming Current IT Constraints

If you already have an on-premises intranet, you probably also know how difficult it is to expand it and find the resources that you have to allocate to make it functional. You will face problems such as installing, maintaining and securing, and many more issues. More importantly, if yours is a small business, you probably don’t have a separate IT department to do it.

If you have an IT department it should be willing to take appropriate initiatives such as resource allocation and processing. But this is easier said than done because it increases the time factor and causes strain on the department. The cloud-based intranet is a different ball game altogether; it does away with IT resources and frees your technical personnel to focus on other more pressing endeavours that are business related.

Set-up Cost Minimised

As a small business owner it is imperative to under the differences between the cloud-based intranet and the on-premises intranet – both are radically different pricing models. Cloud-based intranet is a SaaS model that is contracted for a monthly fee and you are free from maintaining it or updating it. This compare with on-premises intranet – has a higher upfront expenditure plus software license fee, training and other overheads that are difficult to predict and provide in a budget.

Now ponder over this. Which one will you want? – The SaaS model or the on-premises? The on-premises intranet is much like buying a house with cash, but which small business has that kind of money. SaaS is like buying with mortgage – it is a pay as you go option in which you earn and then you pay.

Why Hubfly Intranet?

Hubfly Intranet brings you the best of both the worlds – it is one of the best enhancements to SharePoint intranet you can ever buy. It is an Intranet Software for Small Businesses that can be deployed within a short period. Users don’t have to go through the rigorous training that SharePoint mandates.  To learn more about the exclusive features of the Hubfly Intranet software call today itself and request a demo.

Nandha Kumar

Written by Nandha Kumar