If you use SharePoint for your intranet or modern workplace, the integration of various tools and applications is a must. According to some of the best SharePoint development companies, Integrations add value to your SharePoint intranet in many ways:
- It turns your SharePoint intranet into a central point for your users to interact with many industry solutions in your company
- This enables your users to complete tasks in different applications without switching the application context.
- It supports your users in finding information stored outside of your SharePoint intranet
- It enables process improvements and increases productivity by saving time and avoiding multiple logins for multiple applications.
Integrate Microsoft SharePoint and intranet
It used to take months to integrate a solution into your intranet. Once implemented, it may take additional weeks for all minor changes to be implemented. We can no longer afford this effort nowadays.
Working as a SharePoint development company for years and having a vast experience in this field, we can say that the business strategies and needs are constantly changing, requiring organizations to have an agile model that can adapt to changing needs.
By responsibly including power users in a company’s development strategy, they can benefit from faster innovation and lower development costs.
Importance of SharePoint Integration
In the last 2 years, the demand for SharePoint integrations has grown exponentially. That’s in part because many teams exploring digital workplaces are realizing the value of integration as an important part of the digital employee experience, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic with the increase in remote and hybrid work.
The best digital tools are those that work together.
That’s also because Microsoft has made integrating applications with SharePoint much easier, faster, and cheaper thanks to:
- The seamless integration with all apps of the Microsoft 365 suite: e.g. the collaboration features in the Microsoft 365 Apps, Microsoft Viva, integrations between SharePoint and Teams like the start site, etc.
- A massive library of out-of-the-box connectors for popular enterprise apps like Salesforce and ServiceNow.
- Improved APIs and single sign-on support via Azure AD
- Certain integrations that are now possible via configuration instead of customization
Thus, with the help of SharePoint development companies, the picture of SharePoint integration has changed from a lengthy and expensive, error-prone process that required highly specialized developers to do all the work, to one where highly effective integrations can now be achieved without much help from a professional.
SharePoint is user-friendly
SharePoint integrations are no longer as complicated and difficult as they once were, but are now largely user-friendly to create. This is what the process looked like just a short time ago. Although this way is still suitable for very complex applications, there is also a much simpler way.
Nevertheless, it is still important to carefully plan a company-wide integration and to involve experienced people in this. We at Al Rafay Consulting (ARC) are working as a SharePoint development company for years and now having vast experience in the field can help you do this with ease.
We encourage you to outline and plan your SharePoint integration process and go through these steps regardless of company size and complexity.
To do this, follow these steps and your SharePoint and intranet integration will run smoothly:
Strategy and planning
Clarify what business need you to want to fill. To do this, identify the stakeholders, talk to them and collect their requirements. Explore the capabilities and features of SharePoint that you can use to meet your business needs. Understand the required content classification levels, such as e.g. public, confidential.
Plan for governance, privacy, and permissions. After that, you should determine the metrics that indicate a successful integration and determine the baseline. Plan resources needed for development, implementation, and testing.
A little tip: When planning, always allow a margin of 15%-20% for contingencies. Why? Requirements and business needs often change during the life cycle of your project and it is important to avoid running out of resources towards the end.
Data architecture and structure
Determine what storage containers you will need. Do you want to use lists, libraries, pages or a mixture of these to present the content and data to the users? How will end users access the content and what will the data structure, metadata, etc. look like? The most important feature for the end user is that he can find what he needs quickly and intuitively.
Model your solutions early and often, and demonstrate them to stakeholders to gain their acceptance and buy-in. The market does not remain the same and business requirements keep changing. So make sure your design takes these factors into account when solving.
SharePoint development is the main area where the real solution comes from. Create a product backlog, clarify roles and responsibilities within the development team, and ensure you follow Microsoft guidelines when developing specifically for SharePoint.
A little tip: use agile methods wherever you can and avoid the classic waterfall model. This makes it easier for you to stay on schedule and resource plan, and if necessary adjust the project as needs or requirements change.
This aspect is overlooked in many cases, but it is very important. Define tools and test procedures and test all possible scenarios.
Deployment & Support
Time for final preparations and to go live. Every solution needs support. Therefore, plan enough resources for it. Create detailed documentation that enables support teams to deliver what is expected of them.
SharePoint is one of the best and the most secure data management platform. It has some of the best features for making the flow of work seamless and more productive. SharePoint intranet and the ability to integrate with other application and tools makes it ideal to use for your data management.
SharePoint development companies are always helpful to make some of the little more complex features of this platform easy to use and produce more work in less time. For more information and professional opinion please contact us at Al Rafay Consulting (ARC).