Shopping for a new intranet can be a seemingly insurmountable task. One of the many caveats modern-day intranet buyers face is the sheer number of options currently available. Navigating and evaluating all the software solutions on the market requires a well thought out plan. To help you evaluate intranet software, the team of experts at IC have put together our brand-new Modern Intranet Buyer’s Guide, which helps you with every step of the intranet buying process. This free eBook is sure to help you knock your intranet project out of the park and impress your leadership team.
Read on for an excerpt from our latest eBook, specifically on how to best evaluate intranet software.
Evaluate intranet software: A crucial step in the buying process
There are many intranet software options out there, and many ways to evaluate them. Perhaps you have specific features or functionality (like Push communications or automated forms) that are a deal-breaker for your organization, or perhaps you’re looking for a specific integration.
Once you have a better sense of your top three to five vendors, arrange some discovery and live demonstrations. Most vendors offer free trials, so you and your team can work through some real use cases to ensure the software satisfies your needs. Shortlist from there and bring the larger stakeholder group to final demos to ensure all can be part of the decision making.
To help you build your list of preferred or shortlisted vendors, it’s helpful to build a scoring matrix so you can evaluate your options objectively. We’ve put together a vendor response questionnaire template, within our free eBook, that can be used to determine vendors’ functional capability and ability to deliver a solution through objective scoring. You can provide the tool for your potential vendors to complete, and then compare solutions side-by-side. Further instructions are included in the template.
Seeking social proof: evaluate intranet software in context
When you begin shopping for an intranet solution, you’ll be bombarded with a multitude of offers from different software companies. The success of your intranet project hangs upon choosing the right software for your organization and your goals, so you are going to need to do a bit of research into the vendors you think are your best fit to help you choose to partner with.
First, know what denotes good proof of success. Case studies are great, and easy to access, but nothing beats talking to someone in an organization within your industry who is using that specific intranet software. Discuss pros, cons, and measurable improvements they saw with their intranet. To get in touch with existing customers, you have three choices:
- Ask for customer references during the sales process
- Approach the IT department of a listed customer on an intranet provider’s site
- Join industry events, roundtables, and webinars that may connect you with current customers
A good intranet provider won’t shy away from putting you in touch with current customers if their software really is as great as they’re selling it to be!
Before you have a shortlist of intranet vendors, make sure to do your research! It’s possible to find upwards of 80% of the information you need before even having direct engagement with salespeople. Other places to find social proof are:
- Online review sites, like Capterra or G2
- Publicly accessible resources published by the intranet provider (like free eBooks, templates, etc.)
Reviews, while they may be biased, will give you a quick peek into the psyche of current customers; and public resources will show you how much effort a provider puts into improving the customer experience.
Pro tip: If an intranet vendor has resources about best practices and governance, it shows that not only do they provide software, but they can also help you on your path to better internal comms.