I often get asked this question from customers, whether they should use SharePoint Online out of the box or if they should purchase a Content Management System (CMS) that integrates with SharePoint and Office 365.
Before this year, I would have recommended them to go with one of the CMS systems. There are several that exist in the market today. To name a few – Bonzai, Unily, Attini, and Hadron to name a few.
Back then, these products provided several benefits to customers that SharePoint could not:
- A much richer User Interface (UI) to SharePoint when only Classic interface was available in SharePoint
- Set of templates available to get your intranet started
- Forms / Polls / Survey types of capabilities
- Advanced content management capabilities
- Social integration capabilities
- Directory capabilities
Today, things have changed significantly with SharePoint Online. SharePoint addresses the features above nicely:
- New communication sites provide a much richer interface
- New web parts provide easily configurable forms, polls, survey, and social integration capabilities
- An Employee Directory is available with Delve which can further be enhanced
- Analytics are available for each audience, from SharePoint’s Site Usage for content owners to Power BI for more indepth internal campaigns. You can also integrate your preferred tracking code like Azure App Insights or Adobe Analytics for further analysis.
With these features in SharePoint Online and Microsoft’s extensive roadmap, we don’t see the need for our clients to purchase other third-party CMS system. We recommend using SharePoint Online out of the box and customize with SPFx where needed.
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