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Jaime López
Jaime López

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Making the Most of Your Intranet: Exploring the Different Types

An intranet is a private network that is used to share information among members of an organization. The main objective of an intranet implementation is to enable organizations to increase efficiency and collaboration by providing employees with access to internal resources, such as documents, software, and messaging systems. This allows employees to access needed information quickly and easily, and to communicate more effectively with each other. Companies often implement an intranet to improve communication and collaboration between employees, to share resources more efficiently, to improve employee productivity, to reduce costs, and to increase security.

In this article, I talk about the four main types of intranets: communication intranets, collaboration platforms, tools hub intranets, and social intranets.

  • Communication intranets: These are used to facilitate internal communication between employees.

  • Collaboration platform: These enable employees to collaborate on projects and share files.

  • Tools hub: These provide employees with access to various tools, such as document management systems and project management tools.

  • Social intranet: These are used to create a social atmosphere within the organization, allowing employees to connect with each other and share ideas.

Most intranet implementations are focused on one of the main intranet types such as communication, collaboration, tools hub, or social intranets. However, the final result is often a mix between some of these types, depending on the needs and goals of the business. For example, a communication intranet might include elements of collaboration to create a comprehensive system. Similarly, a collaboration platform could include elements of the tools hub to create a more comprehensive system.

Communication intranets

An effective communication intranet is an invaluable tool for companies looking to share news and information with their employees. With features that allow data to be easily spread to the right people, and easy ways of publishing news, a communication intranet can be an effective way to keep employees up to date on the latest developments in the company. From external links to creating their own articles, employees can have access to the news and information they need in order to stay informed.

A communication platform for an intranet provides many advantages to a company. It allows for the easy and efficient dissemination of important information to employees. This platform can be used to share news, events, promotions, and more, all in one place. It also allows for quick communication between the company and its employees, making it easier to keep everyone informed and up-to-date. Finally, a communication platform for an intranet can help to foster a sense of community and collaboration among employees, as they can easily communicate with each other and share ideas.

The pain points of a communication platform for an intranet include difficulty in reaching the right people, lack of engagement from employees, and inadequate resources for content creation. Without the right targeting and segmentation, the content created by the company may not reach the right people or may be seen as irrelevant. Furthermore, employees may not be motivated to engage with the content due to lack of incentives or rewards. Finally, the company may not have the necessary resources to create content that is engaging and relevant to the employees. These pain points can be addressed through the use of effective segmentation and targeting, offering incentives to employees, and investing in resources to create quality content.

The Perspective from SharePoint Lookbook

SharePoint Online is a powerful tool for building a comprehensive communication platform for an intranet. Communication sites are ideal for sharing company news and announcements, while Hub Sites provide a centralized hub for related sites to share content and resources. Lists and documents can be used for storing and sharing files and information, and news functionalities allow you to easily create and share news stories. Stream provides an easy way to store and stream videos, while Microsoft Teams Live Events can be used for townhall meetings. Finally, Microsoft Forms can be used to evaluate employee opinion through surveys and quizzes. With Microsoft 365 tools & services, it is possible to create a comprehensive communication platform for an intranet that is easy to use and manage.

Collaboration platform

A collaboration platform based on content, documents, tasks, ideas, and teamwork is an innovative way to bring together a team of people to work on projects. It provides an efficient way to store and share information, assign tasks, and track progress. With this platform, teams can quickly and easily collaborate on projects, exchange ideas, and share documents in a secure environment. This platform allows teams to stay organized, connected, and productive, no matter where they are located. By utilizing this platform, teams can quickly and easily access the information they need to complete tasks, brainstorm ideas, and get projects done faster.

A collaboration platform is a great tool for businesses of all sizes. It provides a secure environment for content and data management, task management, tracking progress, and process automation. It also allows users to easily access, edit, and share documents, information, and other data. Additionally, it allows for improved communication between teams and departments, enabling them to work more efficiently and effectively. The platform also makes it easier to track progress, ensuring that tasks are completed on time and that deadlines are met. Finally, it allows for process automation, which can save time and resources.

Collaboration platforms can be a great way for teams to work together and stay organized, but they can also present some pain points. Content and data management can be difficult to secure in a collaboration platform, as it is often shared between multiple users. Task management can be complicated, as it requires tracking progress and ensuring that tasks are completed in a timely manner. Additionally, process automation can be difficult to implement and maintain, as it requires a certain level of expertise and understanding of the platform. Finally, collaboration platforms can be difficult to scale, as more users and tasks can add complexity to the system. All of these pain points can be managed with the right platform, but it is important to understand the challenges that come with collaboration platforms before making a decision.

Mark8 Project Team from SharePoint Lookbook

Building a collaboration platform using Microsoft 365 can be a powerful way to streamline communication and collaboration within an organization. With SharePoint Online, team sites, document libraries, and lists can be created to store and share documents, while native workflows can be used to automate processes. Microsoft Teams provides teams, channels, chat, notifications, and approvals to facilitate communication and collaboration. Planner is a great tool for task management, tracking tasks, and sending notifications. To Do is a great tool for personal task management. Finally, Power Automate can be used to create automated approval processes, notifications, and integrations with other systems. With these tools, an organization can create a powerful collaboration platform that will enable them to work more efficiently and effectively.

Tools hub

The Tools Hub Intranet is a powerful platform designed to provide employees with quick access to the most relevant and useful tools and applications. It offers a set of shortcuts and quick links, as well as integration with the most commonly used apps for increased productivity. This intranet makes it easy for employees to find the tools they need in one convenient location, saving them time and effort. With its intuitive design and user-friendly interface, the Tools Hub Intranet is the perfect solution for companies looking to streamline their workflow.

An intranet based on providing a set of shortcuts and quick links can be a great advantage for employees. This allows users to quickly access the most relevant and useful apps used in the workplace, and easily navigate the intranet. With the integration of apps, employees can quickly access the information they need, without having to search through multiple pages and menus. This makes it easier to find the information they need, and saves time and energy. Additionally, this kind of intranet can also be used to easily share documents and other resources, allowing employees to quickly collaborate with one another. All of these advantages make an intranet based on providing a set of shortcuts and quick links a great asset for any workplace.

The pain points of an intranet of this kind is that it can be difficult to keep up with the ever-evolving needs of the workforce. As employees’ needs change, the intranet must be updated to reflect their current needs. This can be a time-consuming process and require frequent updates to keep the intranet up to date. Additionally, it can be difficult to ensure that the apps that are integrated with the intranet are the most relevant and useful for employees, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Finally, it can be difficult to ensure that the shortcuts and quick links are intuitive and easy to use, as they must be tailored to the needs of the specific workforce.

New Employee Corporate Onboarding Site from SharePoint Lookbook

Our Tools Hub Intranet can be implemented using SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams, and Power Apps functionalities. SharePoint Online provides useful links to our intranet, allowing users to quickly access documents, forms, and other information. Microsoft Teams allows us to create personal apps that are tailored to the needs of our users. Finally, Power Apps enables us to develop and integrate custom apps into our intranet and Microsoft Teams. This allows us to create a comprehensive and user-friendly intranet that meets the needs of our users.

Social intranet

This kind of intranet provides a great way for employees to stay connected and communicate quickly and easily. It offers features such as chat, audio and video calls, and a metaverse for virtual meetings. It also offers gaming features which allow employees to post photos, videos, and messages for their colleagues to see. This allows for a more interactive and engaging work environment, and helps to build relationships between employees.

An intranet focused on providing useful and quick ways of communication between employees can be a great asset to any organization. It can help to increase efficiency by allowing employees to quickly and easily communicate with each other, share documents, and collaborate on projects. It also helps to foster a sense of community by providing a common platform for employees to communicate and interact with each other. With an intranet, employees can access information quickly, which can help to improve decision-making and productivity. Additionally, it can help to improve morale by providing a platform for employees to connect with each other and share ideas. Finally, an intranet can help to reduce costs associated with communication, as employees can use the intranet to communicate instead of having to use more expensive methods such as email or phone calls.

One of the main pain points is the lack of engagement from users. Without a clear purpose and incentive for employees to use the intranet, it can be difficult to get them to use it and make it a part of their daily routine. Additionally, without the proper training and support, many employees may not be aware of the features and capabilities of the intranet, making it difficult for them to use it effectively. Finally, without proper monitoring and maintenance, the intranet can become outdated and cluttered with irrelevant content, making it difficult for employees to find the information they need.

Viva Engage screenshot taken from Microsoft Viva Engage official video

An intranet of this kind can be built using Viva Engage, Yammer, and Microsoft Teams. Viva Engage is a platform that allows for quick and easy communication between employees, allowing them to easily share ideas, ask questions, and collaborate on projects. Yammer is a social networking platform that allows employees to post messages, share documents, and hold conversations with other employees. Microsoft Teams is a collaboration tool that allows employees to work together on projects, share files, and communicate in real-time. All of these tools can be used together to create an intranet that is focused on providing employees with a fast and efficient way to communicate with each other. This intranet can be used to quickly share information, collaborate on projects, and keep everyone up-to-date on the latest developments within the company.


This article has been written based on my experience working in projects to build intranets for companies around the world. I have seen firsthand the challenges and successes associated with creating intranets that are user-friendly, secure, and cost-effective. I have also seen how intranets can be used to improve communication and collaboration within organizations, as well as to increase efficiency and productivity. By sharing my experience, I hope to help others who are considering building an intranet for their own organization.

Building an intranet is a complex process that requires careful consideration of a variety of factors. There is no single, simple solution that can be used to build an intranet, but each of the different types described can be used to create a custom-made intranet that meets the needs of the organization. Ultimately, organizations must decide which type of intranet best suits their needs and resources in order to create an intranet that meets their requirements.

OpenAI's GPT-3 was used to help write this article by providing the author with ideas and suggestions for content.

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