How does Oak compare to Microsoft SharePoint?


This is a question we are asked frequently. Of course, both solutions have their advantages and disadvantages, but in this article, we are providing you with information about both solutions to help you make your decision. We hope you find it useful.


1. An intranet built on experience or a toolkit to build your own

Oak is an out-of-the-box solution based on 24 years of experience delivering intranets to companies of all sizes. It does everything you would expect a modern intranet to do, without further tech development or integration costs. It is ready to configure and has a user-experience that continuously engages employees to derive maximum value from its use.

SharePoint is a comprehensive set of tools that are “primarily sold as a document management and storage system.” If SharePoint is to meet the depth & breadth of requirements and, equally importantly, the intuitive user experience and engagement expected of a modern intranet and digital workplace, it needs to be built in a bespoke fashion with specialist skills.


2. Time required to implement

Oak has been created as a stunning and comprehensive intranet solution. As a result, all the proven intranet functionality, user setups, data, and content foundations are ready to go. All that is required is to plan and configure your content areas, page layouts and user structure. You then simply configure your intranet with no technical knowledge required. Following two days of training for administrators or “super users”, Oak can be set up and running in as little as a couple of weeks.

Using SharePoint to build an intranet that attempts to match Oak’s capabilities and user experience will require a development project. In the majority of cases, this is often a few months of work and in many cases, scope creep will take place extending the timeframe even further. A recent Gartner report highlighted that over 60% of SharePoint projects are delayed and cost a lot more than originally estimated.


3. Implementation costs

SharePoint is a comprehensive set of tools that need to be used to build an intranet to bespoke requirements. This approach will require specialist developers and in many cases, user experience (UX) designers as well. Hundreds of intranet tenders have been analysed by Independent European consultants, North Patrol, who report that in general intranet development costs alone range from €17,000 to €115,000.

Oak is a completely configurable, ready-to-go intranet and digital workplace solution. It’s cloud-based so you don’t need to purchase any expensive hardware. With Oak, no technical development is required, therefore the only significant cost is the annual subscription fee.

4. Ongoing costs and support & maintenance

With both solutions, you can expect to pay more each time you add new users, but other ongoing costs differ significantly.

SharePoint sites need to be managed with specialist knowledge to maintain the application and back up sites and databases. The IT advisory firm Gartner has stated that “Most organisations underestimate SharePoint’s maintenance and service costs. These can be two or three times more than the initial license price, once add-ons are deployed.”

When you choose Oak, you get access to our incredible support team. Their sole expertise and purpose are to make sure your intranet is running perfectly, and that you have help when you need it. With Oak, there’s no more to pay. Support is included within your subscription fee, with unlimited telephone and email help, comprehensive in-line support with documents, explainer videos and free training webinars. 

Oak is very intuitive so it’s unlikely you’ll ever need support, but in the event of coming across an issue, just give us a call and consider it sorted.


5. Evolution of your intranet

Change is inevitable. No matter how good your intranet is, at some stage you’re going to want to make changes to it.

The toolbox nature of SharePoint means you will go back to the drawing board to create more functionality. Any additional requirements and functionality will have to be developed with associated additional costs, adding to the total cost of ownership.

The flexibility of Oak lets you switch on new applications, update homepages and create new areas within seconds. Its drag and drop nature enable you to create new stylish pages without any technical expertise or design experience.

With Oak, you get full access to every application. Simply choose to use them as your needs evolve. Even better, as an Oak subscriber, you’ll automatically get all new standard Oak features and apps we develop (and we’re adding to it all the time) for no additional cost.


6. But I already use SharePoint for document storage and sharing

If you already use SharePoint for its primary purpose of document sharing, then you still have the option of using Oak to access the material in your current SharePoint system, using our Sharepoint integration feature.

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