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February 12, 2016 |  Posted in: Intranet, Thought Leadership

Planning for a successful Intranet Project - Part 2

< Read Part 1

Project Timeline

The timeline for delivering a new Intranet will differ from one organization to another. Typically, Intranet projects can be categorized as:

  • Empower all geographically distributed staff
  • Deliver timely and relevant content to multiple audiences
  • A user friendly, intuitive and interactive destination that encourages participation
  • Celebrates the people working across the business, and supports them in achieving positive decision making and accomplishments 

Ultimately, the preferred vendor will be able to demonstrate their capacity to deliver to your requirements. Your focus should always be to ensure the project succeeds and to establish a positive and engaging working relationship with the vendor in order to deliver on future phases of the Intranet together.

Project Budget

Allocating suitable budget for your Intranet project may be similar to determining how long a piece of string should be. Most vendors will provide you with a ballpark indication of costs if you ask for it. This will assist you in understanding the various dimensions used to determine a suitable budget. These dimensions are usually based on the following:

Software licensing

  • Most software is now modeled on a ‘per seat’ license. As an example, if a vendor suggests that their software is ‘$5 per seat, per month’, and you have 800 people in the organization who will each have a profile within the Intranet, then the approximate cost will be $5 x 800 people x 12 months = $48,000 per annum
  • Some vendors may also offer a ‘once off’ licensing cost for you to purchase the software outright
  • Some vendors will offer the software free of charge, but design their costs into the Professional Services & Support costs
  • Generally, the Software licensing can represent 20% - 40% of the total project budget

Professional Services

  • These costs will vary greatly, and are subject to:
    • Working directly with the vendor (the company who actually develops the Intranet software)
    • Reseller (a 3rd party company who resells the Intranet software)
  • In almost all situations, you are likely to work with a Reseller of the Intranet software
  • Generally, the Professional Services fee can represent 30% - 50% of the total project budget 


  • How do you training 800 people in using the Intranet?
  • Most vendors and resellers have varying training models. Take the time to understand what’s being offered, and consider that good training can determine the success or failure of the Intranet adoption by your staff
  • Generally, the Training fee can represent 5% - 10% of the total project budget


  • These costs will vary greatly, and are subject to:
    • The level of support you require as an organization
    • Will your IT team provide the first line of support to all staff, or will you look to the vendor to support you the moment you require it?
    • Do you need after hours support? (weekend, public holidays?)
  • Support is usually billed as an annual cost
  • Generally, the support fee can represent 10% - 20% of the total project budget


  • Do you host internally or externally?
  • The growing trend is to consider hosting your new Intranet within the cloud (either with a cloud provider that you have a direct relationship with, or you engage the vendor to manage the cloud environment on behalf of your organization)
  • Who will manage and support the infrastructure?
  • Generally, the hosting fee is a 3rd party cost and can range from $2,000 - $20,000 per annum (depending on how many environments you want to establish in running the Intranet) 

Engaging a Vendor

Choosing who to partner with to deliver your new Intranet is a big decision. In most cases, its best to stick to the basics:

  • Meeting your requirements (can the vendor/reseller meet your list of requirements?)
  • Proposed Solution (insist on product demonstrations from each vendor – don't settle for PowerPoint presentations of the software – are you buying a PowerPoint presentation? Consider your list of requirements and then ask the vendor/reseller to demonstrate that the functionality within the proposed solution can adequately meet the requirements)
  • Experience (does the vendor/reseller have adequate experience in delivering an Intranet? Or in the case of a Reseller, are they relying on the fact other resellers have successfully installed the Intranet software they are offering you – and therefore expecting the software to guarantee a successful outcome for your organization alone?)
  • Referees (it’s an obvious one, but its something many overlook or choose not to follow through with. It’s important as you’ll learn a lot about the vendor/reseller and the solution you’re buying, usually warts and all. This is a healthy thing, keeping in mind people aren’t perfect, and neither is the software)
  • Cost (depending on your requirements, and the number of vendors/resellers you invite to respond, you’re likely to get a range of costs from cheap through to expensive. Price shouldn't be everything in your decision, but cheap usually doesn't mean great and expensive usually doesn't mean junk) 

In Part 3 we'll cover running an Intranet workshop and discuss the various Intranet project phases.

February 12, 2016 |  Posted in: Intranet, Thought Leadership
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