Intranet Guide

Intermediate solutions

If you are a more technically advanced business you may look to your intranet to provide greater functionality in the form of document management, discussion boards, or facilities for workgroup publishing and project management tools.

Off-the-shelf intranet solutions offering this range of functionality are available in one of two ways:

Buying

  • Costs – can range from about £500 for CMSsite’s Intranet Package to upwards of £1,000 for Solaris from Sun Microsystems.
  • Requirements – none: the package simply plugs into your existing LAN.
  • Considerations – some of these packages include a charge of between £100 and £200 a month for service and support.

Leasing

  • Costs – available from your ISP (Internet Service Provider), BT or from a third party supplier like Blue Fusion or Dynamic Intranet for between £200 and £300 per month.
  • Requirements – as with buying, the package simply plugs into your existing LAN.
  • Considerations – includes maintenance and support charges as part of package.

Whichever option you choose, the package is likely to consist of:

  • a Windows or Unix server
  • the software to run your intranet and e-mail system
  • a firewall to protect your intranet from unauthorised access
  • virus protection software
  • a router that handles how information is transferred across your network.

Most package solutions also allow for external access, so mobile or homeworking staff can use the intranet.

There is little to choose between outright purchase and leasing – leasing means no capital investment is required, though service charges are higher. Both options should provide upgrade paths as part of the package.

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