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For each of the software solutions, there's general information (e.g. manufacturer, costs, market representation), as well as a general description ("management summary") of its functions. A classification may be made with regard to their type:

  • Complete solution: The software includes all the features for an intranet
  • Universal platform: the software "can also intranet"
  • Suite: Several software (maybe a mix of cloud and local installation) complementary functionality for intranet

Some solutions follow a best-of-breed approach as others follow a all-in-one approach. But after all considered solutions should correspond to what is considered an Intranet.

The criteria are categorized with respect to the use of the intranet (e.g.' communication', ' office/collaboration'). There are no mandatory or optional criteria as this strongly depends on the intended use by a company. Criteria are to be considered "soft" as different viewpoints may lead to different judgments on a criterion. Sometimes criteria are not fulfilled by the intranet solution itself but maybe by another solution or product from the same (or another vendor).

Unless stated differently criteria evaluation should be based on the solution's state after installation but before additional implementation of other solutions (except more or less configuration).

Many of the solutions have a history, by which they determine usage with respect to corporate culture for a (1.0 vs. 2.0) or of different applications are particularly well suited (such as CRM or CMS).

No information about a criterion just means that. The solution may or may not fulfill this criterion but there is no information for it at the given point.


  • Price (license), when possible and appropriate, price per user per month is shown
  • Maintenance fees (for e.g. updates, support)

Additional information may be given about Implementation effort (time + expenses)

For on-premise installations costs for hardware are not considered.

Architecture (infrastructure/integration)

General description of the solution's infrastructure and possible intregrations, eg.

  • On premise, cloud (SaaS) 
  • Integration of Exchange/Outlook/notes
  • Backup in portable formats (E.g., XML)
  • Tools for app development and deployment
  • Interfaces/connection E.g. ERP, CRP, BI
  • API for own development
  • Marketplace / Appstore (E.g. third-party)
  • Scalability
  • How often does the software change to a new major version (approx. very x years)
  • Migration effort with major version change (low < 10 days; 10 days <= medium >= 50 days; high >= 50 days)

Ease of use

In the context of the Intranet Compass we put emphasis on how easy and how fast people will be able to use the solution.

Administration by user

Will users be able to perform some adminstrative tasks (creating spaces, groups, communities), i.e. central IT/administration only for central components/objects without separate backend.

Archiving content by user

May user archive content so that content (fields) is not searched and not visible in the current interface (but via a separate search in the archive)?

Editorial search results

Is it possible for intranet managers to edit search results with proposed results (from view of corporate communications)?

Fully responsive

The surface of the system should be optimized for all viewports and not only for desktop systems. There should be no limitations with mobile browsers.

Incremental search ("typeahead")

Show search results for user (drop-down list) as user enters a search term. Result list changes as user types more characters.

Inline editing

editing text without opening the editor in a separate page (clicking in content shows editor incl. toolbars)

Inline view of documents

Is there a possibility to preview a document within the intranet solution on the web interface. Most systems only offer previews for common file types like PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Images. A preview does not require anything but a HTML5 browser. Systems without a preview will only show a thumbnail or an image that represents the document and will need users to download the file and open it with a local software.

Intranet keyboard shortcuts

As a user I want to speed up my daily usage of the intranet with keyboard shortcuts, that decrease the usage of my mouse (e.g. gs for "go search").

Link preview

As a user of the intranet I want to have a quick snapshot of the page for every link, that is inserted in the system (e.g. as overlay or inline in the page or none).

Message center

(with all messages of users, page changes, activities that can be answered if necessary)

Mobile app

As a user I want an app that offers secure access and offline availability of my intranet content. This app can be downloaded for the Apple AppStore, the Google Playstore or any other mobile os marketplace.

Mobile web

Use with smartphone or tablet (iOS, Android, any Windows)


A permalink remains unchanged indefinetly (Wikipedia). As a user I need a way to send permanently available links, that do not die when the page is updated, changed or moved in the system. In the best case those links should have a readable format that allows the user clicking the link (e.g. from an email) to anticipate, where it's headed. I a good solution, this permalink is directly accessible in the address bar and needs no specific retrieval from a "permalink"-section.


does the user gets content that is based on their profile information and permission settings

Recently viewed pages

As a user I want the intranet to offer my quick access to pages that I have accessed recently.


Is there a full-text search within public and own information (search by category, such as blog, keyword, contact, documents, Web). Can the search replace a enterprise search ("enterprise search") or add results to it?


The editor's capabilities are crucial for acceptance, ease of use and productivity in concerns of working in an intranet as it is used in so many instances. So for example the editor is used to edit or post blog articles or status updates, to edit a website page (e.g. a wiki page) or to edit profile information.


Common features and terms should be automatically recognized and completed by the system if the user wants that.


If a user inserts a YouTube link or a Slideshare presentation or a Vimeo video or a flickr picture, the link should automatically convert into an media embed in the page, that can be tailored by the user.

Documents in documents

I want to embed content from one document in another intranet page without copying it. In a good solution, the content will only live at one single place in the system and can be displayed in different ways at different places.

Drag & drop in the editor

Taking a document (e.g. Excel, PDF, JPG) right from the Windows Explorer or Finder (Mac), dragging it onto the browser's window and dropping in the editor (not just a page). The expected behavior is, that the editor will upload the file and show it "in place" where it was dropped.

Editorial layouts

As a user I want to be able to create columns, rows and sections in a page to make good use of the screen real estate (e.g. column layout in a newspaper).

Editor keyword shortcuts

As a user I want to speed up my daily usage of the editor with keyboard shortcuts, that decrease the usage of my mouse (e.g. Strg+b for bold formatting).

Extendable Editor (Macros, Plugins)

Offer more features within the editor through an open plugin system. These features can be triggered by placeholders like macros.

Preview of documents in editorial content

Preview a document without having to download and open it with a software installed on the user's client (does this refers to the editor or to the ease of use of an intranet as a whole? E.g. when reading an article?)

Reliable platform independent editing

The editor should run flawlessly in any available browser that supports HTML 5 is not older than 3 years. There may not be roundtrip errors or browser compatibility limitations.

Rich support for Tables

As an editor of a page I want to include an Excel-like experience and rich tables into pages (e.g. similar to put an Excel spreadsheet in a word file but in this sense to have a complete table with sort, calculation etc. in or as a page.).

Rich text editing

User experience that is close to word. No source code. Compatible with the needs of non-tech-savvy users.


Activity stream

stream of notifications generated by the system due to an activity of users (e.g. participation in an event) or by changes of content

Audio/video embedding

embedding of audio or video elements in status messages, blogs (e.g. by easy handling of editor)


posting articles in a news or journal fashioned way without greater obstacles like having an editor reviewing it

IP phoning

Audio communication via VoIP (classic, SIP, messaging; one on one)


instant messaging (bilaterally or in groups), including presence / status indicator such as "online", "busy", "absent"


Twitter alike

Status message

actively entered by the user as a message


users may subscribe to activities of other users or to changes to content

Video communication

Having video conversions (one on one)

Organisational communication

Organisational communication describes the official communication done by the organisation (here: within the organisation itself). Very often it is referred to as "communication 1.0" or "top-down communication".

Approval procedures

Editorial workflow for pages so that approval is required for publishing (including multi-level workflow).

Hierarchical navigation

Does the solution support hierarchical page navigation that may be centrally adminstrated (e.g. by corporate communications)

Multilingual content

Does the solution support multilangual content (e.g. same page as English version and as German version including meta data)

Time-controlled publishing

Does the solution offer to publish and to de-publish content at a predermined time.

Interaction & community

Bookmark collections

Collecting and sharing bookmarks  amongst colleaques and let them subscribe my bookmarks.

Business organisation and org charts

As a user I want instant information about colleagues and their position in the organisation (e.g. who else is in the same department, who is their boss, what process she is assigned to, to whom she reports).

Comment communication

Commenting on status messages, blog posts or pages

Comment documents

Commenting on documents, presentations, tables.


forums, message boards, communities of practice / interest of)

Discover people

e.g. colleagues with common interests


Invitation of external to Exchange/communication in communities

Profiles of objects

Meta info to describe and represent groups, pages, spaces or projects in single view or lists.

Profiles of persons

information about the person, centrally edited by administrators, synced with directory or edited by user;

Office & collaboration


Annotations and inline comments on pages / wiki pages.


e.g. team calendar, integration E.g. Exchange or other calendar


preparation, information (calendar, Info page, invitations, photos, comments)


suggestions, incl. commenting, faving

Online Conferencing

Video conferencing, holding webinars, peer-level web meetings (1:1, n:m), Screensharing

Personal task management

Managing personal tasks with due date, start date, priority, tags etc.

Photo galleries


surveys, even simple ones

Sharing with externals

Sharing spaces, pages etc. with externals or guests so they can either view or edit content.


Areas or micro sites for projects, organisational units etc. with optional explicit permission settings.

Task management for teams

Tasks management on a per team base, incl. assigning tasks


Mails accessible via browser, including sending new mails and organising mails


Edit pages in the intranet, together (one by one), shared (parallel), change history

Documents (files)


Commenting and communicating on files

In place commenting with @mentions on specific pages / slides in files (e.g. "Please change the colour of this image here" (Comment on Slide 15 of a PPT file)).

Creating PDF files

Creating PDF files from pages, text, presentations or spreadsheets

Document sharing

Sharing documents with colleagues (possibly with guests too)

Document versioning

automatically versioning files and offering to restore a version

Document workflow

(sharing, publication)


ability to sync file system with client computers for offline access

Live concurrent editing of files

Two or more people edit documents at the same time over a web browser.


Has the solution the ability to create and display presentation (e.g. like EverNote has)


calculations with formulas, filters, blocking of column / row headers

Text editing

Editing and formating text files (e.g. like Word files)


VendorCompany name (with link to company's homepage)
HeadquartersLocation of headquarters
Area servedCountries, continents the company offers the solution to
Number of employees 
Foundation year 
Revenue$ or € (year)


Transparency describes how instantly and transparently someone gets a complete overview of the solution, the solutions ecosystem and the company. It is important to be able to identify essential information instantly and without large additional research. Under transparency, we summarize how transparent the vendor provides information.

  • Pricing
  • System requirements (e.g. operating system, server-side scripting, databases)
  • Sources for support
  • Marketplace
  • Information about the vendor



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