SharePoint Intranets for Better Collaboration In Multilocational Businesses

By Aida Pandur, 23/06/2022

If you’re a multilocational business, you may have experienced some difficulties in keeping your staff engaged in all locations, providing targeted content, or incorporating your company culture the way you want to in every place equally. It doesn’t help that the workplace culture in general is consistently changing in this age of digital transformation. Intranets are highly recommended to be able to keep up with those demands, but the different locations may still present an issue when it comes to effective team collaboration.

If you’re a multilocational business, you may have experienced some difficulties in keeping your staff engaged in all locations, providing targeted content, or incorporating your company culture the way you want to in every place equally. It doesn’t help that the workplace culture in general is consistently changing in this age of digital transformation. Intranets are highly recommended to be able to keep up with those demands, but the different locations may still present an issue when it comes to effective team collaboration.

In this article we will explore how you can use SharePoint intranets to drive user engagement and ease of usability across multiple locations.

What do you need?

As a first step, you probably want to have hub navigation. Hub sites remove the need for having tons of nested subsites, and instead provide a nice flat architecture. It also maintains the company branding and the navigation throughout all the connected sites, making it very easy to build while keeping it user friendly.

You can also create different hub sites for different regions if that suits you better.

Then, you should tweak the regional settings; you don’t want UK time to show up for your employees in America! The date, time and number formats can be set in here.

Just like you wouldn’t want to display HR content to an employee in marketing, to drive engagement you want to show content relevant to its location. The good news is, there are some webparts in SharePoint where users can take advantage of exactly that. All of the following can be made to target specific audiences:

  • Navigational links
  • Pages
  • News web part
  • Highlighted content web part
  • Quick links web part
  • Events web part

They’re all out of the box, which is known to be quite limiting, but this little bit of customisation can make them feel a lot more personal.

Speaking of content – multilingual sites are also an option! If the user sets a preferred language, the user interface parts such as site navigation, titles and descriptions can be displayed in that language. For news articles and pages you have to provide the translation, but if you do SharePoint can automatically detect the language and display that version to the users who have it set as preferred. That way you can keep everyone informed in their own language!

Finally, if you’re worried about data privacy across locations as different countries have different rules, you can set up a Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo tenant. That way, your tenant is provisioned in one country, but user data is stored in other countries. So, e.g. if you have employees in UK, Asia and Australia all working within the same tenant, their data will be stored in their respective countries. This makes collaboration easy while meeting all the data requirements.

Of course, this all comes on top of planning out a regular intranet (such as an engaging homepage, other relevant pages, and most importantly user permissions). If you have no clue where to start, don’t worry – our developers got you covered! Just contact us at enquiries@consultdolphin.com for a free consultation to see how we can help you get the best out of SharePoint.

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If you’d like to read one of our case studies around the above, we could recommend the following:
Aecom - SharePoint Migration and Upgrade
Aecom - SharePoint Migration and Upgrade
Besso - SharePoint Site and Document Management System
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Tesco - SharePoint Intranet Expansion
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