Microsoft Teams vs Classic Intranet

Microsoft is currently making a huge investment in a new style intranet, Microsoft Teams.

So first of all what is an intranet? (according to wikipedia):

An intranet is a private network accessible only to an organization’s staff. Generally a wide range of information and services from the organization’s internal IT systems are available that would not be available to the public from the Internet. A company-wide intranet can constitute an important focal point of internal communication and collaboration, and provide a single starting point to access internal and external resources.

So having a look at some typical intranet pieces:

  • Home page with
    • Company news
    • Yammer conversations
    • Typical Clutter Web Parts
      • weather web part (just look out of the window)
      • news rss feeds from for example bbc, cnn, etc (just go to the news sites themselves)
    • Internal team sites
    • External team sites
    • Project sites
    • People directory
    • Knowledge bases
    • Useful links that nobody would be able to figure out themselves like

So where do we find all these things in Microsoft Teams?

Team Sites

Internal team sites, External team sites, Project sites could all be implemented with a team site. With some of these you could even enable external guest access.

Microsoft Teams vs Classic Intranet 1

Of course the out of the box team will not be good enough for project sites that require project plans etc. Well you could of course always use apps within Microsoft teams like planner. Also connections to application like Visual Studio could help deliver backlogs directly in Microsoft Teams.

Knowledge base

Within a team you could use the Wiki pages:

Microsoft Teams vs Classic Intranet 2

Additionally you could also consider Bots to be a knowledge base. So for example the Emojify bot that could help you translate plain English into Emoji language.

Microsoft Teams vs Classic Intranet 3



Rather than using yammer, Microsoft Teams has conversations. these conversation can be chats with a colleague or multiple colleagues and they can even be directly related to a document.

Microsoft Teams vs Classic Intranet 4


People Directory

Within the chats it is possible to look at organisational charts. All you need to do is populate the Manager field i your user profiles:

Microsoft Teams vs Classic Intranet 5

Form within each people card you can then find people’s contact details.


Then the other stuff form my list above

  • Company news
  • Typical Clutter Web Parts
    • weather web part (just look out of the window)
    • news rss feeds from for example bbc, cnn, etc (just go to the news sites themselves)
  • Useful links that nobody would be able to figure out themselves like

Well company news could be added to a team that included your whole company? Maybe this could simply be a public team, so that you don’t need to maintain the users.

So the list is getting smaller and maybe it is time to consider, did we really need those clutter web part? Or were we scared of that empty home page?

If you want some help implementing your new modern intranet? Feel free to leave a comment below.

5 thoughts on “Microsoft Teams vs Classic Intranet

  1. Anyone attempting to redevelop their intranet using Teams should be VERY careful and it simply WILL NOT WORK for many organisations, Teams is not an intranet replacement. It does perform many useful functions that traditional intranets have tried (and often failed) to do around collaboration, however Teams offers the total ‘democratisation’ of content/information management which will just make findability much harder if you just launch Teams without any thought to the wider picture. Intranet technology and governance is different to Teams because its core focus is to strike a balance between devolution of information management whilst maintaining a coherent information architecture. Teams totally ignores this balance.

    Intranets are also powerful internal communications tools and many organisations still require a top-down approach to corporate comms. Intranets allow proper control of this whilst also providing bottom-up tools alongside, whereas Teams would be a total free-for-all.

    Sharepoint Online is still the place to create intranets, as it offers the above as well as providing integration capabilities with Teams and also the ability to create application-based tools which support business processes, and integrating them into the content that the intranet provides.

    1. Hi Rory, I totally agree that there is still a place for the traditional intranet. Especially the bits that I would implement with publishing/communication pages etc is still something that the classic intranet does better than teams.

      However the collaboration part of the intranet is something that could completely move towards teams. It is a bit like does teams replace the internal use for email or messaging in Skype for Business?
      Personally I still like to send out emails as people at the receiving end are more used to Outlook than Teams. But does that means that I could do without Outlook and just use Teams? Maybe.

      Anyway back to the intranet vs. Teams discussion. I see a major move towards Teams and more and more people moving away from their traditional uses of SharePoint, making Teams to front end to SharePoint.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: