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How Microsoft Teams Fits Into Your Intranet Plans

12 min. read

Christian Buckley

Christian Buckley

CollabTalk LLC

Christian has been a Microsoft MVP since 2012, and is the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC. You can follow him on Twitter at @buckleyplanet

If SharePoint sits at the center of your intranet model, you’ve likely heard the question, or are asking yourself, how does Microsoft Teams fit into my plans?

For many organizations, SharePoint has long been the standard for intranet platforms. Microsoft’s success was largely due to the idea that SharePoint could be shaped into whatever you needed it to be to meet your unique business requirements. Need it to be a project management hub, with individual project sites and a centralized portfolio dashboard for statistics and timelines? Check. Need it to be a search hub for data and documentation across multiple legacy systems? Check. Need it to be a ticketing system, a simple CRM, an ad hoc collaborative platform, or a document repository? Check, check, check, check. SharePoint came to be known as the “Swiss Army knife” of document collaboration, which helped it rise to the number one intranet (and more) platform in the world.

However, every product manager or engineer who works on SharePoint will tell you that SharePoint is not the answer to every problem.

It’s the leading intranet platform for a reason: it does a lot of things really well. But there are other solutions that are a better fit for specific communication and collaboration needs.

The role of the intranet has never stopped evolving. My first foray into intranets was while working on an IT team for the phone company early in my career, and was asked to build out some simple workflows and visualizations to help internal visitors more easily identify content and team members. To accomplish these tasks took some development effort, and by today’s standards, the end result was quite rudimentary — but the site was functional and met its goals.

And then Microsoft released Teams. Not that Teams replaces the need for SharePoint — if anything, Teams helps surface content being stored within SharePoint, and will actually increase its usage as many organizations that may not feel the need to build out a formal intranet using SharePoint start using Teams instead, which is partially “powered by” SharePoint.

Leveraging Microsoft Teams

In my latest eBook, entitled “Creating the Modern Intranet with Microsoft Teams,” I provide some of the history behind SharePoint as the leading intranet platform, and how the shift toward the cloud — and an increased focus on end user engagement — has shifted much of Microsoft’s messaging and positioning of SharePoint toward the intranet. Which is not to say that you cannot or should not continue to leverage SharePoint in whatever way that best meets your organizational requirement (please continue to do so!) but that Microsoft wants customers to use the right solutions for their business.

With the arrival of Microsoft Teams in mid-2016, there has been both excitement and some confusion within the community because of some of the overlapping capabilities of Teams, SharePoint, Yammer, and Skype. Beyond that, other productivity and communication tools have been popping up inside of most organizations, some which may not be secure and compliant, but many of which have unique features and capabilities that your employees requires to get their work done.

That is the reality of the modern workplace: no single tool or platform will meet all of your needs. What is different about Teams, however, is that it allows organizations to support these varying tools and solutions within a single platform or construct. With a shared communication and document collaboration layer — which is all SharePoint under-the-hood — organizations can support the many different options end users need within one system. Microsoft Teams works alongside SharePoint, and helps surface SharePoint content for project and virtual teams within your organization. When you save or share a document in Teams, it is using SharePoint.

Download the KanBo eBook

My goal in writing this eBook was to set the stage for the evolution of the traditional intranet model, and help organizations understand what has changed, why, and how Microsoft Teams alongside SharePoint offers the most secure and dynamic solution for the modern workplace.

What you’ll learn from this eBook:

  1. The changing role of SharePoint from “Swiss-Army-knife” solution for every problem to the leading Intranet and Extranet platform.
  2. Impacts a UX focus can have on employee adoption and engagement.
  3. That Microsoft Teams reinforces the value of SharePoint, and improves collaboration and communication.
  4. How KanBo provides context to every day work, extending the capabilities of both Teams and SharePoint.

I’ve been a SharePoint user since 2005, and a Microsoft Teams fan since it was released. If you’d like a perspective on how these tools work together — and how KanBo can extend your platform even further, this eBook is for you.

Download your copy today!