A more cost effective alternative to SharePoint

Travelling around numerous intranet meet ups and conferences, I tend to meet Intranet Managers who feel restricted by their SharePoint intranets and are often looking for a viable alternative to SharePoint so they no longer have to struggle with a platform that wasn’t their choice but is now their burden.

Whilst undoubtedly there are some great SharePoint examples and remarkably talented practitioners, the budgets those examples and practitioners command are simply unrealistic for the majority of companies out there, resulting in most intranets bearing the marks of “doing what we can with what we’ve got”.

The once trusty mantra “nobody got fired for buying Microsoft” no longer stands true with a third of SharePoint implementations either having no impact, a doubtful impact or just making things worse according to Osterman’s SharePoint Census 2012: Key Management and Governance Challenges.

This risk combined with the challenges and costs (upfront and hidden) of being a SharePoint customer has seen half of businesses looking for something better – a SharePoint alternative that is more cost effective and less risky; according to a recent poll that something is most likely to be Interact Intranet, allowing companies to deliver headline business benefits and award winning intranets no matter size, reputation or budget.

What is it these companies have uncovered and why should you consider following their precedent?

The Hidden Total Cost of Ownership for SharePoint

Traditionally Microsoft recommended to their partners that a SharePoint product deployment requires approximately $8 of customisation services for every $1 of license fee. But what happens when you’re not a large enterprise, like Coca-Cola or AstraZeneca, with a huge budget and you aren’t able to implement these customisations?

You have a SharePoint solution which stops people feeling able to contribute without extensive training and a user base disengaged with content which looks poorly produced and does not meet their needs and therefore an alternative to SharePoint is required.

Jason Comer, Head of Marketing and Account Development at NSL, previously used SharePoint and turned to Interact Intranet as an alternative, commenting:

“NSL moved from a SharePoint intranet and chose Interact Intranet as an alternative solution after careful analysis of both the operational and financial implications of the change. The barriers SharePoint presented to us are now a thing of the past – Interact is easy to set up, easy to administer, flexible and gives users the power to collaborate, developing new ideas and making the most of the expertise across our business. Easily configurable modules and widgets, first class support and regular software updates has given us an intranet that exceeds our expectations.”

The sheer amount of customisation SharePoint will demand of you will obviously impact on the time it takes to launch.

Whilst the time from project initiation to launch averages 3 months with Interact, the same process using SharePoint can often take you over 11 months – you could have launched three Interact intranets in that time or to put it another way your Interact Intranet should be three times as good by those eleven months than it would be by launch with SharePoint!

The hidden SharePoint costs don’t stop there; the on-going cost of ownership per user of SharePoint averaged $48.47 in 2012, up from $45.77 in 2011. SharePoint is very resource intensive, which is why many seek an alternative to SharePoint like Interact Intranet.

“There are a number of factors inhibiting faster adoption of SharePoint, but IT management issues seem to emerge as the most critical…Fundamentally, there is a shortage of trained and skilled SharePoint administrators. Furthermore, many IT departments are understaffed because enterprises underestimate the operations resources required to manage, secure, patch and back up SharePoint sites, databases, servers and farms.” (Osterman).

Interact Intranet is a great SharePoint alternative, with 85% of our implementations being ran by non-technical teams like HR, Internal Communications and Marketing. We have a great track record of working with the IT team to install the intranet – it is then owned by the non-IT teams.

The Osterman report goes on to state that your SharePoint installation will need you to have at least two SharePoint specialists.

You Are Likely to Need to Hire Specialist Resources Which Are in Demand

Assuming you need to hire a SharePoint team, you are likely to need to pay GBP42,500 ($65,025) per head plus with a typical recruitment agency fee of 15% according to Monster, you’ll spend an additional GBP12,750 ($19,507.50) if you can’t recruit these hard to find skills directly.

Likely total additional cost year one for employing SharePoint technical resources:

2 x GBP42,500 ($65,025) salary + GBP12,750 ($19,507.50) recruitment fees

= GBP97,750 ($149,557.50) + Employee NI, pension and benefits

Over 3 years that salary cost is GBP267,500 ($409,275) assuming salary is not increased during their tenures.

Interact Intranet does not require specialist resource and as discussed above is low maintenance, particularly for your IT department. The beauty of this is you do not need to get your recruiters hat on, the skills you need are likely to already be sat in your offices and will barely be called upon.

Likely total additional cost year one for employing Interact technical resources:


To learn more about why you might chose Interact Intranet as an alternative to SharePoint then download our new guide today >>