How We Chose the Best Intranet Software
Office-based companies have used intranet software for years to communicate in-house and off the main internet network. As more and more businesses move to a remote work model, intranet software has evolved.
We’ve compiled a list of the 15 best intranet software products for your business, whatever its size or your IT knowledge. To help you make an informed choice, we examined all the intranet programs according to three main criteria.
Any intranet software lives and dies on the strength of its private network capabilities. At the most basic level, an intranet functions as a kind of private internet for a company. It can handle email, browsing, and data transfer.
The latter could take the form of sending secure payment details, documents, or reports. It’s also vital to note that if an intranet incorporates an outside force, whether it’s a client, partner, or supplier, that section of the network becomes known as the extranet. However, most intranet private networks are used solely for the base company.
There are multiple benefits to using intranet software, which we’ll go into later on. However, one of the most significant benefits is how the best intranet software can help consolidate your company’s human resources department.
Intranet software is perfect for keeping staff up to date with company developments, accessing relevant training, and sharing essential assets. It acts as a support network for employees, a quick and comprehensive notification delivery system for higher-ups, and, ultimately, a secure business-wide communication network.
The best intranet software can seamlessly integrate with a company’s existing HR system. It’s also becoming commonplace for businesses to use team networking tools, like Trello or ClickUp. The last thing you want is intranet software that can’t adequately incorporate these things into your private network.
The 15 Best Intranet Software of 2021
We’re starting with one of the most comprehensive intranet software options around. Axero is behind Communifire, a sleek, centralized platform for everyone in your business. It offers separate sections for each department of your company but allows easy sharing of information between each area.
Add articles, blogs, wikis, photos, events, videos, and so much more. Communifire also features a drag-and-drop page builder so you can literally build up your intranet however you want. Need a specific page to handle customer orders? Done. Want a Content Management System that lets your employees discuss specific projects? Sorted.
You can also set up a pre-described workflow to streamline any process. For example, you can empower employees to write blogs about your company products but set it so the blog automatically goes through specific channels for approval before going live.
|Starts at $500/month billed annually|
Enterprise plans available
|Free Trial||>Activity feed
>Reward participation with gamification tools
>Social media features to encourage discussion
>More features at Axero
Pros & Cons of Axero Intranet Software
|>Loads of customization options|
>Calendar management for all staff
>Workflow approval system
|>Social media functions are more novelty than useful|
All the best intranet software applications on our list try to distinguish themselves from one another in some way. With Beezy’s software, it takes the form of being billed as an “intelligent workplace.”
Beezy offers what it terms the cornerstones of a modern workspace: collaboration, communication, knowledge, and processes. Many of these overlap thanks to features like a company-wide newsfeed and an intuitive sharing facility. Beezy’s intranet framework is also mobile-optimized so you can access it on the go.
Beezy’s intranet software prides itself on putting employees on the same page, whether they sit next to each other or are in different countries. Each branch of a business can have its own hub, complete with employee-centric blogs and wikis. Sharing information between hubs is a cinch, and social network-style likes and comments act as engagement tools.
Automated workflows and a built-in “helper bot” mean you can focus on running your business as various work-related processes take care of themselves.
|Custom Quote||Free Demo Only||>Modular design allows extensions
>News feed integration
>More features at Beezy
Pros & Cons of Beezy Intranet Software
|>Custom connectors allow easy integration of other programs, like Skype and Outlook|
>Contextual knowledge centers
>Advanced user profiles to help you find the right employee for a job
|>Parts of the intranet function more like social media, which could be a distraction|
We mentioned above how intranet software can occasionally be referred to as an extranet if part of it is made available to someone outside your business (e.g., a customer). Another term that’s occasionally used in conjunction with the best intranet software is “frontline.”
Blink promotes itself as the ideal frontline solution for your business, as its intranet capabilities are touted as the first, and therefore most important, tool in your company. Part of this program’s appeal is in its mobile dashboard application. Accessing the software’s features on the go is one way for your employees to stay connected.
An employee directory, along with calendar and event management, means collaboration and feedback are easier to implement across your entire company. Analytics means you’ll get detailed reports on just about every aspect of your business, from post engagement to which team members work well together (and which don’t).
|Starts at $6.18/user/month||Free Trial||>Multiple support options
>Monitor feed engagement
>Secure chat function
>More features at Blink
Pros & Cons of Blink Intranet Software
|>Content management hub|
|>Cheaper alternatives are available
>Micro-apps are an unnecessary extra
A few of the best intranet software applications we’ve recommended use an existing program as the basis for its service. Bonzai Intranet is an example of this, as it uses the SharePoint platform as a jumping-off point for its raft of features.
As such, integration is one key component of this particular software. Bonzai Intranet promises an all-in-one solution straight out of the box, with a five-week turnaround before it’s fully up and running.
A fully responsive design means the software works wherever your employees do. Mobile optimization and a focus on global engagement serve to enhance collaboration whenever and wherever your staff are.
Bonzai Intranet’s innovative and flexible technology helps employee engagement reach new heights. Social features, two-way communication and targeted notifications serve to keep everyone in the loop.
|Custom Quote||Free Demo Only||>Policy management
>Rapid employee onboarding
>Easy to maintain
>More features at Bonzai Intranet
Pros & Cons of Bonzai Intranet Software
|>User training so everyone gets the most out of the software|
>Customize your intranet with user-friendly templates
>Content tailored to each employee
|>Uses SharePoint as a basis, so might not be ideal for businesses that prefer a fully tailored experience|
eXo Platform has perhaps the broadest range of pricing options available out of our list for the best intranet software. Many companies specialize in certain size businesses, so to find one that offers a diverse range of hosting and integration options is a boon.
An intranet is, at its core, a community tool. eXo Platform recognizes this by emphasizing employee engagement and collaboration tools. eXo Platform understands that an intranet, or any digital workspace, is useless if it doesn’t serve employees as much as the actual business.
If you sign up with eXo Platform, you’ll get access to various staff-centric tools, such as the ability to allow remote work without a loss in efficiency and accessible knowledge management. Share news, documents, and more with ease between department hubs, leverage social network connections to reach team members, and send targeted notifications.
|Professional: $5/user/month billed annually, starts at 100 users|
Enterprise: $5/user/month billed annually, starts at 300 users
Enterprise Unlimited: $9/user/month billed annually, starts at 500 users
|Free Trial||>Gamification capabilities
>All-in-one collaboration software
>Integrated employee-focused hub
>More features at eXo Platform
Pros & Cons of eXo Platform Intranet Software
|>Free trial available|
>Focus on employee engagement
>Dedicated online spaces for secure collaboration
|>Gamification features could take the focus off a project|
Some of the best intranet software we recommend uses a preexisting platform as the basis for its application. Others, like IC Thrive, have a proprietary program that allows for greater flexibility regarding software customization.
In this case, the bespoke software that fuels the IC Thrive intranet is called Source. It acts as a single, unified depository for your business’s policies, standards and other files. It also allows for detailed discussion between you and your employees — if someone’s stuck on a project, they can easily find the right help from anywhere within your company.
A few companies we’ve mentioned provide additional resources, but eXo Platform is one of the only intranet software programs that offers free, regularly updated intranet-related resources. From channel audit tools to content planning tips, you’ll likely find the extra help you need without the extra cost.
|Custom Quote||Free Trial||>Fast integration
>Virtualized training and onboarding programs
>Strategic communication support
>More features at IC Thrive
Pros & Cons of IC Thrive Intranet Software
|>Comprehensive customer support|
>Free internal communications assessment
>Customizable digital workspace
|>Pricey if you want the full suite of intranet software options|
Many companies tend to use the terms intranet and digital workplace interchangeably, as nowadays they’re often considered the same. Igloo, however, makes a distinction. It considers traditional intranet to lack the social tools standard in all the best intranet software and promotes itself as an innovative digital workplace.
Its innovation is debatable since it offers many of the same features and functions as other intranet software options on our list. However, Igloo does offer a decent array of pre-built solutions designed to save time and get results faster.
Igloo Software also functions as a cloud-hosted SaaS (software as a service) platform, which means it automatically updates. This in turn means you’ll never have to worry about your intranet’s security or it being outdated, as Igloo makes sure both of these are taken care of for you.
|Custom Quote||Free Demo Only||>Configurable solutions
>More features at Igloo Software
Pros & Cons of Igloo Intranet Software
|>Pre-built, customer-tested solutions|
>User-friendly drag-and-drop interface
|>A potentially confusing choice of related solutions
>Based on SharePoint rather than proprietary software
If your business involves a lot of collaboration but is hampered due to either lack of resources or poor inter-company communication, the best intranet software alleviates many of these issues. Collaborative tools are fast becoming a cornerstone of digital workspaces, and Jive knows this.
Top of its features is PeopleGraph, a unique technology that uses machine learning to bring employees together. It pays attention to who interacts with whom and why and builds up recommendations for teams, as well as hyper-vigilant search results.
Integrations are handled smoothly by Jive, including automatic syncing to external apps. This means your staff can continue working wherever they are, whether it’s remotely from home or in another country. As a result, Jive Software promises a 15% rise in productivity and a 24% reduction in staff turnover.
Finally, Jive offers unprecedented analytics, not just for your business but for individual employees, so you see what’s working and who isn’t.
|Custom Quote||Free Demo Only||>Highly targeted search results
>More features at Jive Software
Pros & Cons of Jive Intranet Software
>Removes silos — PeopleGraph technology brings disparate sections of your business together
>Scales with your company
|>Some staff may consider the personal analytics an invasion of privacy|
One of the more recent companies on our list, LumApps was founded in 2014 but quickly saw itself partnered with Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). As such, LumApps is the best intranet software for businesses that use a lot of Microsoft products, like Azure, Teams, and Microsoft 365.
Somewhat confusingly, although LumApps offers many of the same capabilities as others on this list, it promotes itself as a social intranet platform for your digital workplace. If you’re thinking, “Aren’t these the same thing?” the answer is “Technically, yes.”
However, where LumApps differentiates itself from other intranet software is in its clear focus on employee interaction. In this respect, LumApps truly is more akin to a social network than a typical intranet. You’ll still find all the features you’d expect, like native and custom integrations, collaborative tools, and administrative services, just wrapped up in a holistic digital space.
|Custom Quote||Free Demo Only||>Simplifies processes to improve workflow
>Facilitates communication across different departments
>More features at LumApps
Pros & Cons of LumApps Intranet Software
|>Supports multiple languages|
>Enhance workflow with integrated Google Cloud Search
|>You’ll need to use Google/Microsoft products to really get the most out of LumApps
>Turns intranet into more of a social network, which may not be the ideal virtual environment for some companies
The best intranet software functions as an all-in-one platform for internal communication, workflow, training, and team collaboration. MangoApps promotes itself as this kind of solution, suitable for a variety of businesses.
Whether they’re managers, office staff, or remote workers, connecting people is guaranteed with MangoApps, thanks to cross-platform support. Whether your employees are on a Mac, Windows PC, or mobile device, they’ll all have access to the same information, updated regularly.
Manage, plan, track, and share progress on any project through dedicated virtual workspaces. Bite-sized notifications and activity feed mean you can keep informed of your employees’ workflow and receive only the information that’s relevant to you.
Initiate one-on-one or group chat with just one click to collaborate faster and easier. A shared network means you, or your employees, can post a question and receive an answer from someone in your company with the relevant experience.
|Starts at $10/user/month and scales with number of users||Free Trial||>Modular design
>More features at MangoApps
Pros & Cons of MangoApps Intranet Software
|>Company-wide media library for video, photo and audio files|
|>Push notifications on your mobile device mean you never really disconnect from work
>Over 50 modules to choose from means it can be confusing to pick the best apps for your business
Now we come to one of the most well-known names on our list and the basis for a few of the best intranet software applications. Microsoft SharePoint is a collaborative tool for the Microsoft 365 suite of business applications.
SharePoint builds on the program above and functions like an intelligent, mobile intranet. Users are encouraged to download a stand-alone app, although the available features vary according to the subscription plan.
In general, you’ll have access to 1 TB of cloud storage, which can apply to more than one user if your business demands it. There’s also the option to customize the intranet search function to make it more in-depth, preserve content from being edited or deleted, and access a whole range of related products like Yammer, Delve, and Teams.
Microsoft SharePoint is rightfully well-regarded for its capabilities, but it’s also not surprising many intranet companies use it as the basis for their applications. If you’re looking for all-inclusive, favorably priced intranet software, you may be better off checking out one of our other recommendations, especially if your business is on the smaller side.
|SharePoint Online Plan 1: $5/user/month billed annually|
SharePoint Online Plan 2: $10/user/month billed annually
Office 365 E3: $20/user/month billed annually
|Free Trial||>OneDrive storage
>Secure file sharing
>FastTrack deployment support
>More features at Microsoft
Pros & Cons of Microsoft SharePoint Intranet Software
|>Widely used the world over (reputable and reliable)|
>Easily integrates with loads of existing programs
|>The most expensive subscription includes software that only works on PCs
>Not as many customization options as similar intranet software
All intranet software promotes collaboration between employees, but the best applications foster a dynamic knowledge-sharing environment. Pulse from Neudesic does precisely this thanks to a wealth of intranet features that incorporate social elements.
One such feature is an innovative directory that catalogs staff by location, experience, and specialization. Customizable search parameters also help you find the right person for a task as fast as possible.
Integration to other line-of-business systems like SharePoint, Lync, and Dynamics CRM also means your existing business network isn’t affected, other than to be enhanced by Neudesic Pulse’s task management feature. This feature turns your employees’ workflow into easily digestible notifications so you can track a project status every step of the way.
Cross-platform support is also part of the Neudesic Pulse intranet software. No matter where your employees are or what device they’re using, they’ll be able to keep in touch with each other and remain up to date with all business developments.
|Custom Quote||Free Trial||>Advanced gamification
>More features at Neudesic Pulse
Pros & Cons of Neudesic Pulse Intranet Software
|>Company-wide, searchable knowledge base|
>File libraries that let you preview documents
|>Functions more like a self-contained social network than a typical intranet
>Lack of features compared to other intranet services
SAP Jam Collaboration
SAP offers a dizzying array of business solutions, some of which incorporate a fair amount of crossover in features. However, for businesses looking to focus on intranet software, SAP Jam Collaboration could be the right tool for the job.
Everything your employees need is easily accessible from a central intranet hub, including onboarding and HR communications. Improve communication between staff at all levels thanks to streamlined, collaborative processes.
All the best intranet software ensures it’s up to date with all data compliance forms, and SAP Jam Collaboration is no exception. It regularly undergoes extensive audits and reviews from external sources.
All the SAP Jam Collaboration tools work together to help aggregate different departments and branches into one cohesive whole. You won’t have to worry about organizational silos anymore, nor miscommunication or delayed notifications.
|Custom Quote||Free Demo Only||>SAP cloud platform
>Integrated third-party applications
>More features at SAP
Pros & Cons of SAP Jam Collaboration Intranet Software
|>Streamlines knowledge sharing between employees and departments|
>Collaborative documents and tools support
|>Doesn’t do anything in particular to stand out from the crowd
>Isn’t as customizable as other intranet software
One of the biggest concerns with any intranet application is how easy or complicated it is to administrate. Simpplr presents itself as one of the most modern and intuitive examples of the best intranet software around.
Simpplr isn’t dependent on IT expertise — anyone can manage the software. User experience extends to everyone who uses the intranet, not just higher-ups, which is why one feature is a personalized intranet. Each employee’s news feed and department hub is tailored to their needs and interests, so no one is bombarded with irrelevant news.
Simpplr also promises rapid deployment over days, not weeks, that integrates with a wide variety of other digital workplace applications. It connects your workforce via software that’s optimized for mobile devices and incorporates native apps.
Nobody wants their business to stay the same size, so the best intranet software scales with growth. Simpplr offers scalability, flexibility, and security for your business as it expands.
|$8/user/month||Free Demo Only||>Content management
>More features at Simpplr
Pros & Cons of Simpplr Intranet Software
>Synchronizes data across multiple devices and platforms
>Adapts to each user
|>On the pricey side for bigger businesses|
Unily is one of the few companies on our list of the best intranet software with a strong focus on extranet capabilities. Although the intranet is predominantly for you and your employees, you may run a business that requires regular contact with clients, partners, or suppliers. Extranet features effectively give those people access to your intranet while keeping them separate from your internal communications.
Unily, like other intranet software programs, is targeted at employees. However, this provider’s small difference is that it establishes a link between exceptional intranet features and employee retention. In other words, if you want to attract and keep excellent staff, give them a useful intranet.
If your business currently uses any application with the OAuth 2 protocol, such as Salesforce, HubSpot, and Slack, Unily will fully integrate everything and create a single point of contact. Everything is configured to work out of the box, making the gap between deployment and employee use as quick as possible.
|$4,995/month||Free Demo Only||>Drag-and-drop broadcast center
>More features at Unily
Pros & Cons of Unily Intranet Software
|>Centralized document center|
|>At the higher end, price-wise, of the best intranet software|
What Is Intranet Software?
Intranet software is effectively a private internet for your business. Typically, it’s used to send internal email and news, plus house content libraries solely for employees’ use. However, one thing that may have become clear after reading about the best intranet software is that many companies treat it as a form of social media, if not an outright extension of a social network.
This aspect is perhaps an obvious and inevitable development of the intranet. Before, it served as a straightforward data delivery service, often loading up localized websites or company homepages. Now, the best intranet software actively engages employees through gamification and social media features.
It’s also worth noting that intranet software is fast becoming known as a digital workplace, as it consolidates everything related to a business into one private network. If you run a small business and aren’t sure if you really need it, let’s examine the possible benefits below.
Benefits of Intranet Software
Here are a few benefits of intranet software:
- Strain reduction: One of the most apparent benefits of using the best intranet software is that it reduces the strain on your IT department. If your company is small enough that you don’t have an IT team, then intranet software can effectively replace it.
- Simplified admin: Some of our recommendations feature simplified administration, so you don’t need a tech expert to run it. You could save a lot of money on staffing or at the very least, on training.
- On-board applications: Everything you and your staff need to use the intranet is on it and accessible to everybody. No lengthy seminars or boring workshops — you can dive right in and focus on work.
- Increased productivity and workflow: Many intranet software companies claim to focus on this aspect, and it’s not hard to see why. If a system is in place to speed up collaboration, no matter what department (or even country) an employee is in, then, of course, all the related processes will be that much faster.
- Business social network: Finally, a common benefit of a modern digital workplace is gamification and treating the framework as a company-specific social network. The latter has an obvious advantage of putting employees in a virtual environment they’re already familiar with, so they’re more likely to use the tools at their disposal.
Must-Have Features for Intranet Software
You’ll no doubt have noticed that most of the best intranet software applications have practically the same features. In theory, it makes choosing the right one for your business even more challenging, because if they’re all basically the same, how can one be better than another?
We mentioned three of the most important criteria involved in choosing the best intranet software at the top of the article: private network capabilities, management tools, and integration. Every one of the companies on our list features these, but to varying degrees.
- Updates and security: For example, a private network is a given, but what about that network’s security certification? Always choose a company that regularly updates its software and, ideally, uses external specialists to certify the network.
- Management tools: Again, every option we recommend comes with collaboration tools, but some make it the program’s focus. If you really think turning your intranet into a social network is the best way to increase workflow, then choose a software option that focuses on this.
- Integrations: Lastly, suppose you happen to have intranet-related software in place already (e.g., SharePoint). In that case, you’ll want not only an application that can seamlessly consolidate with the existing software but ideally one that is designed to do so. In other words, if you swear by SharePoint, don’t use an intranet provider that doesn’t specialize in integrating with it.
The Cost of Intranet Software
Intranet software pricing varies from per user to flat yearly fees. Some companies offer subscription plans for different-sized businesses, whereas others lock features away behind price walls.
If you run a small business, it makes sense to find a supplier that provides an intranet for $5 a user. However, make sure this cost includes features you actually want. Likewise, if you can afford to fork out nearly $5,000 a month for intranet, don’t pay for features you won’t use.
Finally, every company on our list offers some kind of free trial. These are always worth using because it always pays to shop around. It also doesn’t hurt to try negotiating for additional benefits if they’re available. Just because you’re paying the lowest subscription doesn’t mean a company isn’t amenable to unlocking extra features if you can agree on terms.