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Successful Building Blocks of an Office 365 Intranet

Digital workplace requirements have become increasingly more complex driving many companies to take a close look at their intranet solutions. For companies looking to leverage their investment in Office 365, it is important to remember that this powerful collaboration tool provides intranet options that can help organizations improve team productivity, processes and help your company realize it’s business and technology objectives.

When it comes to O365 and intranet though – many companies don’t know where to start. Jeff Forsyth, Director of Cloud Computing Platform and Services at Axis Business Solutions, recently presented a webinar aimed at helping business get things rolling.

“Developing a site map is the first step in any successful intranet,” said Forsyth. “Then, start simple and grow. A simple landing page is all you need to start with. Having a single place to publish links and announcements cuts down on confusion and lost emails.”

As you begin to develop a plan for your intranet he recommends you take several important factors into consideration.

  • Have you properly classified your intranet information?
  • Does your organization structure include departments?
  • Do your departments leverage mapped drives to store their documents?
  • What does your security model look like with regard to content creation, content consumption and sharing of content?

By examining what content is for public consumption within your company versus what information is for a private audience – such as team documents or calendars – you begin to create a plan to build your solution.

“Understanding the notion of content types in SharePoint helps categorize content as well as positions you for future customer requests such as ‘I want to see all policies on a single page’” said Forsyth. “Modern intranets incorporate private data from the teams collaboration site for things like HR Benefits, Policies and Procedures or helpful links published by each department.”

When it comes to security start by looking at everyone (except external obviously). Then Active Directory can drive roles for each site within the intranet – Owner, Member, Visitor, etc. Some special attention needs to be taken when building out teams but again, it can be done.

Overall, Forsyth emphasizes taking a deliberate and detailed approach to planning your intranet. The better understanding you have of your requirements the higher likelihood you have of building a site map that works for your company. Then the dive into managing your information, structure, documents and security can begin.

Above all, Forsyth recommends you leverage the right expertise.

“This isn’t our first rodeo – ask for help. The team here at Axis can get you pointed in the right direction and enable your team to manage and grow your intranet footprint.”