Now that we’ve explored the current challenges faced by financial institutions, the cultural and community benefits of an intranet, and the technical advantages an intranet provides, you’re probably wanting to know how to select and buy an intranet vendor for yourself. At Intranet Connections, we’ve provided organizations with purpose-built financial intranets for over two decades, and we know how to evaluate intranet software when making a big purchase. When shopping for a financial intranet, not only do you want to make sure it features solutions to current challenges, but it also is being continuously developed to keep up with the rapidly changing industry your organization is in.
Evaluate what you need most in a financial intranet
The first step of the intranet buyer’s guide is evaluating the needs of your financial institution. Is there a specific business process that you need to simplify? Are you spread out across branches and need a way to bring your community together? Do you have a smaller IT team and need an intranet that can be launched out of the box? Perhaps you need a specific integration with SharePoint. Whatever it may be, create a shortlist of dealbreaker features, and remember to check them against every intranet vendor you reach out to. Pretty soon, you’ll be down to 4 or 5 financial intranet platforms that will work for your organization.
Pssst! Use our free scoring matrix in our Intranet Buyer’s Guide eBook to help select your vendor shortlist!
Book demos, get trials
A financial intranet provider worth their salt will be able to demo their software and offer a free trial—so you can play around with the software yourself. Ensure to include key stakeholders in these demos and trials, so there are no surprises down the road.
Test each feature for ease of use and ensure it accomplishes what you want it to get done. Are form submissions easy to manage? Are communication records kept in an easy-to-access place in case of audits? Is the software secure? A trial environment provides you with the hands-on ability to answer these questions for yourself.
Look to the future of financial intranet software
Don’t be afraid to ask your shortlisted vendors for what updates and upgrades are on the roadmap for their financial intranet software. Not only is it nice to know what features you’ll have access to in the future, but it’s also essential to select an intranet vendor that will exist for the next 4-5 years! The last thing you need is to go through the hassle of setting up an intranet only to realize the vendor is pulling it out of production, leaving you back at square one.
Seek social proof for your financial intranet software
The success of your financial intranet, and your financial organization, hangs upon choosing the right software for your organization and your goals, so you will need to research the vendors you think are your best fit. 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 the 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 is as great as they’re selling it to be!
Be realistic about your goals
Finally, it’s essential to be realistic with yourself and your leadership team about how quickly you expect to see results from implementing a financial intranet solution. While many technical benefits may be almost immediate (depending on how quickly you can train staff), some of the more cultural and community-building results will be seen slowly over the longer term, as opposed to overnight.
Become savvy in all things financial intranet
Check out our free eBooks that cover financial intranet benefits in more detail, and help you with modern intranet buying! And if you’re ready to put what you’ve learned to the test, book a free demo with our team to see IC’s financial intranet software in action!