Gartner Evaluations of Intranet and Digital Workplace Platforms
At the heart of your Digital Workplace is the intranet. In 2016, the vast majority of intranets are built on SharePoint, or its cloud equivalent in Office 365. Microsoft has been recognized as a leader in Enterprise Content Management (ECM), search, business intelligence, workflow, and social collaboration tools, which are common components of the digital workplace. With 15 years of momentum, more than 125 million on-prem SharePoint Server users, and accelerating adoption of Office 365, Microsoft has become synonymous with "intranet". Yet, it's always worth evaluating the market.
In conclusion, Microsoft continues to lead in many factors traditionally associated with intranets, but Salesforce is gaining faster than any competitor.
SharePoint / Office 365 AlternativesWhile Microsoft's offerings tend to dominate internal communication portals, intranets are sometimes rooted in other platforms. These fall into three common categories:
1. CRM and ERP BehemothsCRM and ERP platforms continue to grow dramatically in scope and reach. Chief among them is Salesforce.com, the market leader in sales, marketing, and service automation. Salesforce has ambitious plans to become the go-to portal and social collaboration platform. Like IBM, Oracle, and SAP before them, Salesforce seeks to provide every enterprise application under one roof. While they’ve made inroads, Salesforce is not a mature platform for unstructured content management and other pillars of intranets.
2. Niche Subscription OfferingsWith the rise of Software-as-a-Service, many turnkey offerings have emerged for internal collaboration. Most of these focus on specific facets of intranets, such as horizontal portals, structured data, self-service, process automation, or enterprise search. Subscription services like Box, Huddle, Basecamp, and Coveo continue to expand their footprint to create digital lock-in.
3. Internally-Focused Web Content ManagementSome organizations, such as creative agencies, are more comfortable adapting their Web Content Management (WCM) platforms to handle Enterprise Content Management (ECM). Platforms such as Sitecore, Adobe, Liferay, and Drupal provide many of the building blocks for communications and branded portals, although their governance and featureset tend to be more narrowly focused. So if we're starting from scratch, what's the best approach? Let's take an objective look.
Heuristic: Assessing Intranet Platforms Using Gartner's Magic QuadrantsGartner is a leading research and advisory firm for enterprise IT strategy. As you likely know, Gartner publishes annual analysis in the form of "Magic Quadrants" for dozens of market segments. Gartner thoroughly assesses each vendor's ability to deliver their capabilities, as well as their vision for future success. In order to evaluate each vendor's capabilities relevant to the digital workplace, we selected 18 Gartner quadrants integral to the development, end user experience, and maintenance of modern intranets. Weighted scores are based on the quadrant position (Leaders Quadrant = 4, Challengers Quadrant = 3, Visionaries Quadrant = 2, Niche Quadrant = 1) multiplied by the category's weight. An aggregate score is totaled at the bottom. Reviewing these factors, the two vendors with highest scores (by far) are Microsoft and Salesforce. Third place went to Adobe, which scored in four categories. No other vendor was recognized in more than two categories.
|Factor (Last Assessed)||Role in the Digital Hub||Weight (1 – 5)||Microsoft Quadrant Position and Weighted Score (Quadrant * Weight)||Salesforce Quadrant Position and Weighted Score (Quadrant * Weight)||Adobe Quadrant Position and Weighted Score (Quadrant * Weight)|
|Application Development Life Cycle Management (February 2015)||Customizations and ease of development||2||Leader 4 * 2 = 8||Not Ranked 0 * 2 = 0||Not Ranked 0 * 2 = 0|
|Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms (February 2016)||Self-service reporting, contextual dashboards||3||Leader 4 * 3 = 12||Niche 1 * 3 = 3||Not Ranked 0 * 3 = 0|
|Data Integration Tools (July 2015)||Master data management, business rules, and reuse||1||Challenger 3 * 1 = 3||Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0||Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0|
|Digital Marketing Hubs (January 2016)||Multichannel marketing automation and analytics||1||Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0||Leader 4 * 1 = 4||Leader 4 * 1 = 4|
|E-Discovery (May 2015)||E-Discovery and compliance||1||
2 * 1 = 2
|Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0||Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0|
|Enterprise Content Management (October 2015)||Document, records, knowledge, and metadata management||5||Leader 4 * 5 = 20||Not Ranked 0 * 5 = 0||Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0|
|Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (July 2015)||Personal content management||1||Challenger 3 * 1 = 3||Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0||Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0|
|Enterprise Search (August 2015)||Content search and discovery||5||Not Ranked 0 * 5 = 0||Not Ranked 0 * 5 = 0||Not Ranked 0 * 5 = 0|
|Horizontal Portals (September 2015)||Departmental, functional, and team collaboration portals||5||Leader 4 * 5 = 20||Leader 4 * 5 = 20||
2 * 5 = 10
|Identity and Access Management (June 2015)||Unified identity, authentication, authorization, and management||3||
2 * 3 = 6
2 * 3 = 6
|Not Ranked 0 * 3 = 0|
|Intelligent Business Process Management (March 2015)||Workflow, automation, business rules, and dashboards||2||Not Ranked 0 * 2 = 0||Not Ranked 0 * 2 = 0||Not Ranked 0 * 2 = 0|
|IT Project and Portfolio Management (May 2015)||Project, portfolio, task management, and reporting||1||Challenger 3 * 1 = 3||Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0||Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0|
|Mobile Application Development Platforms (July 2015)||Mobile application development||2||Challenger 3 * 2 = 6||Leader 4 * 2 = 8||Leader 4 * 2 = 8|
|Operational Database Management (October 2015)||Structured data management and customizations||1||Leader 4 * 1 = 4||Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0||Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0|
|Sales Force Automation (July 2015)||Account, opportunity, forecasting, and sales automation||1||Not Ranked as Office 365; Leader as Dynamics 0 * 1 = 0||Leader 4 * 1 = 4||Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0|
|Social Software in the Workplace (October 2015)||Social collaboration, engagement, and knowledge capture||4||Leader 4 * 4 = 16||Leader 4 * 4 = 16||Not Ranked 0 * 4 = 0|
|Unified Communications (October 2015)||Integrated communications, presence, and collaboration tools||1||Leader 4 * 1 = 4||Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0||Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0|
|Web Content Management (July 2015)||Branded microsites||1||Niche 1 * 1 = 1||Not Ranked 0 * 1 = 0||Leader 4 * 1 = 4|
|TOTAL HEURISTIC SCORE||100||61||26|
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