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For nearly twenty years, Microsoft has made SharePoint available to its (primarily) business customers. Two decades of a professional cloud-based document system in which colleagues across a company can edit and share files in real time and provide feedback, make updates, and collaborate without having to email files back and forth. For nearly a score, Microsoft has sat atop their cloud as the premier project management software.
However, it may be time for a change. In 2001 when SharePoint began, it was one of the first and only programs of its kind. Over the past eighteen years, several competitors have cropped up to take down the software giant. The industry has evolved and business needs have vastly diversified. Microsoft’s SharePoint may still be the elite software, but if all you need is a pair of scissors, why would you pay for a swiss army knife? Businesses of every size are cognizant of their operating budgets and operational costs, and it wouldn’t make sense to overpay for a software with fifty different features when they can get precisely what they need for a fraction of the cost.
As we take a look at some of the best SharePoint alternatives, understand that many of them are streamlined software that focus on one or two aspects of the SharePoint software, but many come with some free options as well. Without further ado, let’s jump into some of the top alternatives to Microsoft SharePoint available on the market today.
Arguably the most predictable and most recognizable alternative out there is being produced by Google. In everything from a search engine, to email, to their stock prices, Google delivers. When Google went public, shares could be had for around $200; today those same shares have more than quintupled to over $1,100 per share at the time of this writing. The long term value of Google Drive has mirrored those results.
With the ability to store up to 15GB in an off-site facility with the ability to access your files and documents from any device, Google Drive provides omnipresent access to your data so long as you remember your password.
Should your company require more space than the 15GB Google Drive provides, you have the ability to upgrade your package to various levels up to 10TB at eighty percent of the cost of SharePoint. The customizable packages of Google Drive scaled to each business’ needs versus a blanket cost for any customer leads us to believe that Google Drive may be one of the top alternatives to Microsoft SharePoint.
One of the more customizable alternatives to SharePoint on our list, Workzone provides a unique sharing experience based on their individual clients’ needs. With their base program providing up to 100GB of storage space available to an unlimited number of computers, their basic offering far exceeds the most basic of Google Drive plans.
With a wide variety of project templates and the ability to manage an unlimited number of projects and files, your business will find the infrastructures it needs to succeed in any individual project.
One of the most positive unique offerings of Workzone is that they provide an unlimited number of training sessions for your employees as well as an unlimited amount of support. With added functionality such as commentaries and documentation of the completion of work and tasks, Workzone provides an interface that allows its users to meet all of their business’ needs.
As far as pricing goes, Workzone prefers to specifically demo their features to their potential clients, gauge the parameters of their company, and quote a tailored rate to match the expectations of their clients, so they receive and pay for exactly what they need, no more and no less.
A product that is growing in recognition and notoriety, Box for Business is gaining traction especially for international companies as an alternative to Microsoft Sharepoint that provides the same cloud based project management service at less than half the monthly expense of Sharepoint ($5 per month).
Storing files “in the box” gives any user the ability to access them from a workstation and provides the security of both file encryption and password protection. These additional levels of security and privacy make Box for Business an ideal product for businesses that operate in a sensitive profession – financial offices, medical clinics, and legal or government based clients can all trust that Box for Business can optimize the productivity of their staff while protecting the sensitive information with which they are trusted.
In addition to the on-site training available to Box for Business customers, there are also webinars and partners tasked with working alongside a company’s employees to make sure that each business is getting the absolute most out of their relationship with Box.
Admittedly, some of the packages that Box for Business makes available can outstrip the costs of Microsoft SharePoint, the extra levels of care, including the ability to work with a HIPAA compliant program, make Box for Business one of the most renowned SharePoint alternatives on the market.
For open and shared workspaces, Confluence is an up and comer to the party. Like all of their competitors, Confluence is working to find their niche in the cloud based project management market. For simple projects requiring less technological expertise, pre-loaded templates are available on which users can leave their individual mark via images and more.
One of our favorite features that Confluence offers is the free seven day trial. Many of these companies require an up front investment after the demo in order to get the software in front of your teams. In addition to the demo and training Confluence provides, they are so willing to stand behind their program that they offer a week of working in the box to win over the potential clients with the quality of their product.
With a simplistic price point, Confluence charges a simple $10 per month for plans using up to 10 users with an easy to follow scaling program up to 100 users, and custom quotes for any businesses requiring more than the century mark.
In addition to the Confluence software, there are over 3000 apps that can be downloaded to assist your team with imaging, diagramming, and workflow management to increase the versatility and productivity of each business’ management team.
An infinitely scalable solution to business communication and collaboration, Intranet Connections provides your team with the ability to exist online within a practical, digital workspace. Beyond simply engaging in file sharing, Intranet Connections also provides online induction training and workflows and approvals.
One of the more unique offerings of Intranet Connections is the feature that allows colleagues within a professional environment to communicate with one another without leaving the intranet. While remaining within the Intranet Connections portal, employees can dialogue about the various projects and documents on which they are working.
Pricing is determined entirely by the size of a company’s team, but can support any number of colleagues in any industry. Whether in business, finance, or medicine, Intranet Connections provides networking solutions for many major customers including Nintendo, Standard & Poor’s, and NASA, among many others.
With a long list of happy, major clients, your business can rest easy knowing that one of the best in the business is managing your intranet connections to reach peak productivity and the pinnacle of efficiency.
As we continue down our list of Microsoft SharePoint alternatives, we arrive at Igloo, a company focused on streamlining productivity and removing the roadblocks created by poor connectivity. Unlike some of their competitors who require colleagues to go to third party sites to download apps and plugins to get the most out of their workspace, Igloo designed many of their own apps to increase efficiency and uniformity across your company.
Whether the apps your business needs most are calendars, blogs, personnel directories, wikis, or forums, Igloo is a step ahead and designing the apps and spaces you need before you know you need them.
For those tools that Igloo is unable to pair with, such as Box, Dropbox, and Salesforce (among others), Igloo does provide the flexibility to work with these programs to get the absolute most out of your shared workspace environment.
Because many of their clients work in sensitive-information industries (finance, medicine, law, etc), Igloo puts a premium on information security. With multiple levels of data encryption available, Igloo goes a step farther and conducts regular, third-party audits to ensure that all your firm’s data is being kept safe and secure from the many internet security threats that have plagued companies for years.
A final plug for Igloo – any good business owner understands that their company’s most valuable assets are the employees who work for them. Igloo wants to help the world’s biggest companies highlight and recognize the individuals that work for them, and as a result strive to create a digital destination where your employees can feel acknowledged and rewarded for the hard work they do.
No one has ever been excited about buying a random suit off of the rack. Many of us do it out of convenience only to find that while it looks great in the shoulders, the sleeve length isn’t ideal. What we do get excited about are tailored suits that fit exactly the way they are supposed to from top to bottom – and that is what any business is getting with Alfresco. A specialist in the field, Alfresco is owning the design space as the true custom alternative to Microsoft SharePoint.
With offerings of everything from open APIs and standards to analytics, process, and content services, Alfresco has all the tools any business needs to fit their precise needs. If you need the suit to have a little more room at the top and trim down towards the middle, Alfresco can design their workspace specifically to meet that need; and not a lot of the companies on our list can do that quite as well as Alfresco does.
Perhaps best of all, because their system designs are each unique, there is no guidebook or manual that covers how every Alfresco system runs, so your company and colleagues will receive highly specialized training upon integration to ensure that everyone knows exactly how the workspace will function at release. Not only does Alfresco craft the suit, but they also teach you how to wear and care for it.
Sometimes getting everyone on a project onto the same page is difficult. Different colleagues sometimes have opposite views of how a project should be tackled and approached. Thankfully, it’s easy to get everyone collaborating on Samepage. Designed as a simpler approach to Microsoft SharePoint with a focus on ease of collaboration, Samepage works hard to get everyone on your team together in real time. With text and video based chat features, your team can be simultaneously working on the same project from miles or countries away and yet still feel like they are in the same room.
Going along with Samepage’s more simplistic approach, a decided effort keeps third party apps and never-ending email streams at arm’s length. Collaborating on a project should be a simple process and the last thing any team needs are breakdowns in the process because one or two team members downloaded a third party app that the rest of the team did not. Samepage works to keep everything in one software application.
What helps to really push Samepage’s design is the free availability of their programming. For their basic services, you can simply download an app, invite your co-workers to access the documents and pages you’re working on together, and get started with everything from file sharing to co-editing.
Samepage also reaches out to a unique group – educators. With the free nature of their software and the design of their programming, teachers and professors can invite their classrooms to one Samepage. It makes it extremely easy to distribute assignments, syllabi, and also to submit and distribute grades to their students. Thus far in our search for the best Microsoft SharePoint alternative, it is the first one whose price point and software offerings dovetail well with the specific needs of teachers in the classroom.
“Alright team, we’re going to be running a 42-right with a reverse end around. We’ve been running the 42-left all game and they’re not going to be ready for it, ready? Break!” The whole point of the huddle in football is to get every member of the offense in on what the plan is, and to get them motivated to go out and execute. No team has a great huddle and immediately walks over to the bench to sit down – they go out and run the play and hopefully execute it well enough to find themselves crossing their goals.
This is exactly what Huddle is trying to encapture in both the name and the service of their Microsoft SharePoint alternative.
With a government approved level of security and multi-factor authentication, Huddle provides one of the premier secure workspaces for your team to operate without fear of intrusion from corporate or governmental interference. So well trusted is Huddle’s process and security that the United States Department of Defense partners with Huddle for their team project management needs.
Content is streamlined, the client manager can submit a project or proposal for review by the managing director who can immediately see the entire project in real time and submit the project to the client in a matter of seconds.
One of the other features we love about Huddle’s technology is their version updates. Better than most, Huddle integrates all of its users with updates so that questioning whether or not a team member ran a specific software update to be a part of the conversation is a thing of the past.
Just like the Patriots of the 2000s, your team can be prepared to develop a game plan, go into the Huddle to manifest that game plan, and then go out and execute knowing their Huddle has given them all the tools they need to perform at peak efficiency.
We’ve all been through transitions. One minute things are going one way, and then BAM! Without any explanation or preparation everything is now going in the complete opposite direction. It’s a rough transition going from one way of doing things to another at the drop of a hat. Google Docs and Microsoft SharePoint own the majority of clients in the collaborative workspace environment.
Whether their programs suit your company best or not, making a change is difficult for a company looking to cut costs or increase functionality and efficiency. Liferay Social Office integrates both Google Doc and SharePoint into their shared workspace offerings to allow for a smoother transition period from one of the giants to a more specialized provider.
Liferay Social Office, like its name suggests, prioritizes getting your team communicating about a particular project or development. Instead of just focusing on the document on the screen, it makes shared calendars and contact information a major part of its integrations. It’s a lot easier to function as a team when you know who is in the office at what point.
With the ability to utilize a multi-user chat with tagging functions, user search, and integrated communication, everyone on your business team will always be able to participate in each conversation as projects and management go from start to finish. For those conversations that aren’t able to happen in real time, there are Twitter-style feeds, blogs, and activity feeds so each user can track and communicate what has been happening and catch up on what they missed during a well-deserved off day.
Which is easier – buying a century old home and then refurbishing it to look and function as if it was brand new, or just building new in the first place? Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the answer generally is just building new in the first place. It tends to be cheaper and easier both on the builder and the resident. Not having to worry about what lies behind the walls provides a lot of peace of mind with new builds.
Nuxeo is the new builder of the digital workspace. So many companies have had their server farms for decades and have been trying to slowly upgrade to meet the capabilities of new technology, whereas Nuxeo is the first content services platform to be constructed from the ground up with both traditional content and rich media assets in mind.
Utilizing the latest and greatest technologies, Nuxeo is cloud-native and scales horizontally well. It doesn’t matter how many users you have or how many devices they are accessing Nuxeo from, this company is designed to meet the needs of their business clients without having to worry about hardware or infrastructure limitations.
Confident in their level of network security, Nuxeo allows users the ability to securely login to the business systems to review and approve work, and access content from a mobile device, understanding that the business doesn’t stop working simply because you left the office.
Presenting customization options that trickle all the way from the individual user interfaces up to content management structures, Nuxeo understands that every business is different and there is no one size fits all – that is why they work so hard with their clients to ensure the best experience available.
With a focus on employee engagement and participation, Jostle is finding results that are far above and beyond the industry norm. For all of the efforts that companies put into their shared intranets to make them relevant, useful, and accessible, the participation rate among employees is just under twenty percent. Less than one in five employees finds themselves using the shared intranets their businesses develop. For Jostle customers, that participation rate jumps to nearly eighty five percent. Jostle attributes this to the relaxed environment they are able to create through their intranet workspaces.
Jostle takes some of the most successful aspects of social media and incorporates them into the workspace environment to make team relationships more dynamic and engaging. With the ability to share videos, upload photo albums, and quickly share company news, Jostle creates an intranet interface that employees want to use. They can quickly navigate to see the latest vlog from the CEO letting them know where the company is headed.
Jostle stays focused on staying current and relevant. They argue that low participation rates among their competitors is due to outdated appearances and stale content; something they strive to fight against in their intranet approaches – an approach that is working for such companies as the Dallas Mavericks and Coldwell Bankers.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Town criers selling newspapers long out of business! For as long as there has been print media, there has been a need to relay printed information quickly to a large group of people. It used to be kids on the corner selling newspapers for a penny a piece so everyone could read about the happenings both at home and abroad. Now, in the days of the internet, Facebook, and Twitter, news is at our fingertips. Stocks in the market can rise and fall based on a tweet from the White House or a fourth quarter filing from a manufacturing giant.
When is the last time you tried to make a comprehensive communication plan for your entire business? That’s what Process Street is here to help your business accomplish. With recurring workflows and processes happening ad nauseum, it is easy for steps to get lost in the shuffle. Process Street identifies your company’s needs in order to create easy to follow checklists and reminders to ensure that client emails, welcome packages, and agendas are clearly communicated to those both inside and outside the company. For the management team, the added functionality of tracking and collaborating with the entire team helps everyone in the group stay on top of those important communications and steps without missing a beat.
Process Street integrates with over a thousand apps to automate some of those emails and welcome packages for your company’s clients. Some of the apps Process Street pairs with include SalesForce, Google Drive, Dropbox, and many more. These integrations also allow you to add rich media to your communications, so it becomes easy to send a video or voice message to your entire team to alert them of an upcoming change, or provide a heartfelt thank you for their hours of service to helping your company thrive.
This is the problem that Redbooth is setting out to address as a company. With over 39 million tasks set and achieved in Redbooth’s history, they are continuing to develop their infrastructure to help companies find the tools they need to ensure that the various corporate goals are happening in the order they need to happen and that they have been assigned to the correct colleague to achieve them.
For all of the tasks and assignments in your company, Redbooth allows users to sort them by due date, assignee, and tags to help prioritize the myriad things that have to be accomplished in a given day. With all the projects and tasks assigned to the system, instead of having an open message board, employees and users have the ability to collaborate within a specific task or project, erasing the need to read the comment and then sort through all the tasks assigned to the company to find the one that is being referenced.
From a customization stand point, there are several views available to users to ensure that deadlines are being met – tasks can be ordered chronologically on a timeline, or on a board so users can visualize when certain items need to be completed instead of cross-referencing dates.
For the company concerned about time management, deadlines, and project efficiency, Redbooth is a phenomenal alternative to Microsoft SharePoint and has the ability to be used by up to 10 individuals at no cost to the company.
One of the most reliable intranet offerings in the marketplace, Podio boasts a 99.99% uptime stability that guarantees that your workspace is going to do what you need it to do, when you need it done. Their project management and workspace programming is intuitive, creative, and designed to meet the needs of some of the most popular business names in the world including the NFL and Sony.
Advanced reporting capabilities give management the information they need in a time efficient manner to make the best decisions possible for the company based on the information available at the time. Advancements in their workflow features also reduce or eliminate some of the more repetitive tasks, allowing your colleagues to spend the majority of their time planning the project and driving results, instead of repeating mundane processes that have the ability to be automated.
The administration capabilities of Podio allow project managers to quickly and easily manage who is on their team. Freelancers can quickly be added to the Podio team to offer their contributions to the project and upload them for the entire group to see, and then just as quickly be removed from the group so they don’t continue to have access to any of the more sensitive data that a company’s workspace could contain.
Whether your biggest workspace challenge is data visualization, integrated chat features, personal dashboards, or simply a more automated workflow, Podio has the teams and tools in place to provide efficient answers to your group’s greatest needs.
Lastly, what we love about Podio compared to some of their competitors is they offer unlimited storage space. No longer do you have to be concerned about the data or file size of the rich media images you need to incorporate into your workspace, Podio has you covered. It may be one of the best alternatives to Microsoft Sharepoint you will find out there.
For every business out there, there is an alternative to the cost and rigidity of Microsoft SharePoint. Certainly, we recommend taking advantage of the specific and tailored solutions for your business workspace needs. After all, no one wants to spend more to get less, and the companies that design their intranet workspaces to your company and clients’ needs is far more likely to get you the results you want than the company who hands you a box to unpack with the “some assembly required” instructions we all know and love.
If you don’t see an app that should be here, let us know what it is