A relatively new entrant into the intranet solution provider space, Box has been ruffling incumbent feathers with its successful transformation from being simply a cloud-based file-hosting solution, to being a fully-functional collaborative hub. Because it’s been picking up so much steam, let’s see how it holds up against intranet’s Old Faithful, Microsoft SharePoint.
Box is a whiz at file-sharing, permissioning, and integrating into Office 365
Box came on the scene as a rival to DropBox, Google Drive, and other online-only file-sharing platforms. It comes as no surprise, then, that Box’s file-sharing features are top-of-the-line. It’s easier than ever before to add your entire team to your Box site to swap and collaborate files (possibly even sending them externally for clients to look at). Box stands up to SharePoint’s file versioning and permissions features, so you know your clients are only getting the latest, most up-to-date version of your file, and only the parts of it you want them to see (or maybe they can only edit certain fields, or they can only view it, or they can’t distribute it, etc.).
This plethora of collaboration features, coupled with the fact that users can save files directly to Box from many of their Office 365 applications (treating Box as if it were any other cloud-based storage, like Microsoft OneDrive), makes Box a strong entry into the collaborative and file distribution aspects of an intranet site.
SharePoint offers more company communication, advanced features, and development opportunities
Unfortunately, collaboration tools aren’t everything intranet sites are for, and this is where SharePoint shines. SharePoint comes with many of the file sharing capabilities built in (or easily accessible for a low-cost or free download in the Add-ins store), and collaboration is a given (versioning and permissions can be strengthened with tools such as Code A Site’s Data Room Add-in).
What Box lacks that SharePoint has, though, are all of the other parts of what makes an intranet an intranet: a company directory, a wiki, company discussion boards, company event listings and calendars. The list could go on! Intranet sites serve as a hub for all company communications, and Box only facilitates one part of this. SharePoint can be endlessly expanded with advanced features, and there are so many ways for developers to cater your SharePoint site to your company. Box is a relatively closed system with little room for expansion, unless Box itself chooses to update the platform (which, from online reviews, appears to be infrequently).
This started out appearing like SharePoint had finally met its match, and in Box’s defense, it’s file sharing and collaboration features are tough to beat, But when it comes to creating a home for everything a company stands for, SharePoint is the intranet solution of choice.
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