Can Microsoft Teams Replace the Classic SharePoint Intranet?


In the course of the increasing use of Microsoft Teams, many companies are now asking themselves whether this mixture of chat and collaboration environment could not also be used as an alternative for the intranet. In any case, it is worth taking a closer look at what teams can do and where the classic intranet still scores.

The rapid increase in the use of teams also concerns internal communication, especially in medium-sized and large companies. After the app, which was originally positioned as a chat tool, has grown significantly in the meantime, many communication managers are also looking into the possibilities that teams offer. In an article, we have put together what needs to be considered.

MS Teams Is Sufficient In Small Companies

He initially answers with the short answer “no” whether teams can replace the classic intranet. However, Microsoft teams can take on a number of tasks that used to be typically done via the intranet. And small businesses may even get along with teams only. It therefore depends on a closer look at the possibilities of teams and the needs in the company.

Microsoft’s further strategy is also not unimportant. According to the manufacturer’s will, teams should move more and more into the focus of the digital workplace, and take over internal communication there step by step, including via email.

The Intranet Remains the Official News Site

But despite the wide range of possible uses, Teams cannot completely replace the intranet. The role of the intranet continues to be to disseminate “official” news and information from the company. SharePoint-based sites offer significantly more flexible options, both in terms of information design and support for editorial processes. The search functions in teams are also not that sophisticated.

The Special Strengths of Microsoft Teams

One of the strengths of teams is the immediacy of communication, for example for quick company announcements. But it is also well suited for notifications and discussions of all kinds in the immediate vicinity of the team and department. Due to its structure in teams, channels, chats and contributions, Teams offers simple options for answering and commenting, thus enabling productive and informative dialogues.

Microsoft Teams Weaknesses

Opaque Navigation: Communication in teams is fast and interactive, but also fleeting. In addition, there is navigation that is often opaque. It is also impractical to display new messages in chronological order, as in an e-mail inbox. It often happens that news is overlooked. Even pinning is only of limited help because the overview is quickly lost here.

Little-Used Tabs: Navigation is basically simple because it only consists of a list of teams and channels. Long channel names would be helpful, but they result in undesirably long file paths. The tabs in the channels form a third navigation dimension, but this only works in those sections that a user visits regularly. Otherwise they are hardly used.

Limited Range: In addition, communication is limited to team members and never reaches the entire company. This creates communication bubbles again that have been trying to bridge with various digital channels for years. Even if department-based teams are set up to be open to everyone, it takes a lot of effort to network with a dozen or more teams. SharePoint Hub Sites solve such tasks better.

3 Tips for Efficient Team Use

  • Set up an “Entire Company” team for last minute announcements. Important messages that reach all employees can appear here. It is advisable to keep this short and to link to corresponding intranet articles.
  • You can collect all the important questions and answers in a Q&A channel. For more comprehensive topics, it is best to link to more detailed descriptions on the intranet.
  • With Live Events, Teams offers a webcast function that brings together video conferencing, streams for recording, and Teams or Yammer for broadcasting questions live.

Conclusion: Enable Free Use of Teams

The advice for employees in internal communication is to view teams not as responsible, but as users. In any case, give employees the opportunity to freely use Teams to keep up to date. For most, teams will be the environment for productive collaboration and communication, and that should be fully enabled.