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More than 50 vendors promote platforms as Microsoft SharePoint alternatives, so organizations that want to move away from Microsoft have myriad options.
SharePoint is a content management system (CMS), collaboration suite, web application platform and social network. While it is economical and offers much functionality, its on-premises version doesn't easily migrate to its online counterpart. Customizations often don't work, and federal compliance issues can prevent a full cloud migration. Organizations that wish to move away from SharePoint must first choose which functionality they need most, including collaboration, content management and in-house apps.
Explore seven of the top Microsoft SharePoint alternatives.
A Java-based Atlassian product, Confluence is a collaboration software that includes shared document editing capabilities -- some versions have a comment function -- and syncs content with mobile devices. Confluence includes team spaces, which enable small groups to collaborate, with shared calendars, workflow and task management functionality. Many user reviews also rank Confluence's search engine highly. This product is compliant with GDPR, ISO 27001/27018 and VPAT.
Confluence offers three pricing tiers: Free, Standard and Premium. The first is free for up to 10 users per month, while Standard and Premium start at $5.50 and $10.50 per user, per month respectively.
Huddle is another collaboration software that features Microsoft 365 compatibility and direct access to edit files without the need to download then reupload them. Users can customize Huddle's workspace and enable or disable work tabs, apply themes and add branding.
Huddle features a task monitor that can track progress in real time and includes version control capabilities, social collaboration and a content dashboard that learns user content preferences. Huddle is compliance-friendly, adhering to ISO 27001, FedRAMP and GDPR.
Huddle offers two subscription tiers: Huddle Plus -- for smaller organizations with a minimum of 25 users -- and Huddle Premier, for larger enterprises with a minimum of 100 users. Pricing is available upon request.
Glasscubes can benefit organizations that prioritize team collaboration, as it enables remote participation and collaboration with external partners. Users have said the UI is clear, accessible and easy to use. Glasscubes includes document management and review functionality, as well as reporting and statistics.
Due to its simplicity, it may not suit businesses with advanced requirements, like process approval, compliance management and third-party integration.
Glasscubes offers monthly and annual billing, separated into three tiers -- Enterprise, Workgroup and Team -- the lowest of which starts at $35 per month for five users automatically, with the option to add users for $3.75 per month individually.
4. Google Workspace
Workspace -- formerly G Suite -- includes Google's many collaboration and content management tools, like Hangouts, Calendar, Drive, Docs and Sheets. It encourages collaboration between participants in different locations, aims to increase employee efficiency and is easy to use.
After its rebranding to Workspace in 2020, Google has added cloud security features like client-side encryption, data loss prevention and labels for sensitive content. Many Workspace apps can also integrate with third-party security tools.
Workspace offers four pricing tiers, starting at $6 per user, per month. The tiers are Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus and Enterprise.
Samepage collaboration software -- dubbed eStudio -- emphasizes team communication and project management. Its management functionalities include task lists and agendas, file sharing that resembles Dropbox, chat and instant messaging.
The Samepage UI is simple, and all communications happen on a single page. It also has an API for expanded custom functionality, activity tracking, action item tracking, configurable notifications and automated scheduling.
Samepage offers five pricing tiers, starting at $39 per month for five users. The tiers are Mini, Seven, Pro, Plus and eXtreme.
Box is a cloud CMS that includes collaboration features for document group editing and approval workflows. It also has a project management toolkit that features central workspaces, task lists, project tracking and secure file sharing.
Box has various integrations with Salesforce, Microsoft and other business apps. Users can share links with other Box users to simplify collaboration. It offers mobile synchronization, security and device management. It is also compliant with ISO 27001/27018, HIPAA, the HITECH Act, GDPR and FINRA.
Box offers four pricing tiers on monthly or annual bases, starting at $15 per user, per month on the annual plan. The tiers are Business, Business Plus, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus.
Basecamp offers remote project management, has a user-friendly interface and can integrate with other business apps. The system's content management features suit most business environments, and file management is drag-and-drop simple. Its chat functionality lets users communicate and discuss individual documents within the content, like SharePoint's conversation capabilities. Users can configure collaboration workspaces and extend access to external partners with Basecamp.
As a collaboration tool, Basecamp can foster strong team communication. However, it does not include its own time tracking capabilities, so it may not benefit organizations that require full project management capabilities.
Basecamp offers two pricing tiers for personal and business use. Basecamp Business starts at $99 per month.
Reasons to consider a SharePoint alternative
When Microsoft announced the end of SharePoint 2016, many experts assumed the vendor would permanently sunset the product after nearly 20 years. Yet, SharePoint has resurged. Microsoft infused it with new automation and custom app features that bridged it into the current Microsoft Azure tool set, which has increased its popularity.
Still, organizations may choose not to use SharePoint or prefer an alternative. Some reasons to choose a SharePoint alternative include the following:
- Forces a commitment to Azure. Buying into SharePoint means committing to Azure and introduces a new learning curve. Any organization looking to implement content management and collaboration tools apart from Azure may want to explore SharePoint alternatives that offer cloud storage or a strong knowledge base.
- SharePoint Online adds complexity. While SharePoint Online's UI is good and still improving, the extensible features -- workflow, forms and embedded apps -- are only simple to use if the templates are good enough.
- Lacks customization. Customization isn't a consideration, which has long been a problem with SharePoint. Organizations that need strong content management or collaboration tools that can easily extend and integrate may prefer an alternative.
- Content management vs. collaboration. Organizations must consider whether they need both content management and collaboration tools. For almost two decades, SharePoint has sought to be the ultimate Swiss Army knife of business user utility, so it may be too involved for organizations that only need one platform.
What to look for in a SharePoint alternative
Currently, cloud storage rules. Many organizations still rely on on-premises content storage, but communication tools that aren't cloud-based are almost extinct.
A worthy SharePoint alternative should also have strong integration -- like out-of-the-box APIs -- with a broad range of other cloud platforms, including Azure, and adherence to a respectable range of compliance standards.
Finally, organizations should consider a platform's tracking tools for collaborative work or document routing. As businesses rapidly automate processes, tracking tools become essential. Any organization that isn't yet using them likely will soon.