But while SharePoint offers advanced features, it comes with a steep learning curve, complex customizations, and a lack of search functions which can make it a poor choice when trying to use it as a knowledge base. It can also be challenging to keep the system lean, up-to-date, and easy to overview—so much that it has led to the expression “SharePoint sprawl”.
SharePoint can simply become too cumbersome and expensive which is why we're going to explore some of the best SharePoint alternatives including:
- Google Drive
Throughout this post we’ll discuss:
- The features of each SharePoint alternative
- What each software does well and where there's room for improvement
Without further ado, let’s take a look into 12 of the best competitors to SharePoint's popular collaborative software.
You can’t be entirely surprised that we put ourselves at the top of this list, but hear us out on why we think that spot is well-deserved.
Helpjuice can be used to build an internal or external knowledge base that allows you to store, share, and collaborate on documents. As Manoj J, Chief Strategy Officer at Reservatons.com, said: “Intuitive interface. Makes it easy to create and deploy a rich content library. “
You can choose yourself if you want to host your Helpjuice portal yourself, or if you wish for Helpjuice to host it for you.
The collaboration tools make it easy to work together directly in the documents. Ginger J, Co-Owner of WebPunch, said that “It’s very easy to use (like using Google Docs or Microsoft Word).”
For example, you can manage user access, even access to specific articles, and restore previous document versions.
Analytics features make it easy to gather data and get insights from documents. David, Training Manager at Sunlight Financial, says that “Analytics, analytics, analytics - its why we move to the solution - great to get insight into popular articles”.
One of the key features that users appreciate is that it is easy to customize so that it fits your needs and is on-brand—many other tools on the market offer limited or difficult customizations. Ross, Director of Growth at Shipt.com, said that “We tried others, but nothing was as customizable as Helpjuice. They even customize your knowledge base for you”.
That’s right—not only does Helpjuice offer unlimited customizations, but the support team is happy to do them for you. And, yes, the team has a typical response time of less than five minutes—pretty hard to beat!
2. Google Drive & G Suite
Google’s challenger to SharePoint is Google Drive, which allows you to store and share documents. But Google Drive, on its own, isn’t enough to create an integrated collaboration environment. However, use it in combination with the rest of the G Suite tools, such as Docs, Email, and Calendar, and you get a more well-functioning document management system.
Google Drive & G Suite Pros
Google offers a multitude of tools accessible through one G Suite account, which makes it a convenient choice for companies that already use G Suite for email. If G Suite’s tools aren’t enough, there is a large number of integrations.
It is easy to share and collaborate on files, both within the company and with external users. And, as you would expect, G Suite has a great search function.
Google Drive & G Suite Cons
While G Suite offers up a wide range of tools, you still need to use different pages and apps for advanced document collaboration. The lack of overview can make it challenging to keep track of all changes, especially when you use intricate folder structures.
Editing requires the use of Google Docs, which can become annoying for organizations that use Microsoft Office to create documents. Some of the editing features can also be too basic for advanced users.
Other big draw-backs are the lack of customization and lack of customer service.
Confluence is part of Atlassian’s suite of collaborative tools for developers. The tool lets you manage documents and create corporate wikis. Administrators can set up closed group sections in the app and control user access.
Users praise Confluence’s intuitive interface and mention that it is easy to get started and upload documents.
As Confluence is part of Atlassian’s suite, it integrates with the suite’s other tools, such as Jira, Bitbucket, and Bamboo, as well as external tools such as Trello.
Some users feel restricted by Confluence’s lack of advanced features and customization options. They also consider the wiki system challenging to manage and overview, causing unnecessary irritation.
Atlassian’s suite has its main supporter base among developers and agile teams, which becomes noticeable for other user groups. Customizing the page can require the use of plugins and HTML—meaning that less tech-savvy users can face a learning curve.
Alfresco Content Services is a content management system for painless collaboration between teams. It also exists as an open-source version, although that requires some tech skills to set up and maintain. Some of the features include collaboration tools, document archiving and indexing, and document and records management.
One significant advantage with Alfresco is that it is easy to edit documents, as Alfresco has built-in integration with Google Docs and Microsoft Office. The easy-to-use workflow templates are another thing that users appreciate.
As Alfresco is open-source software, you can customize it to suit your needs (though that might take some tech skills).
Smaller organizations might find that Alfresco isn’t a great fit because it focuses on enterprise businesses. User reviews mention that it can take a while to set up and customize the software.
To get started with Alfresco, you need to request a quote. The lack of transparent pricing can make it difficult to compare it to other options. User reviews also claim that the licensing cost can be prohibitive for small businesses and startups.
ONLYOFFICE is a project management solution with document storing, sharing, and collaboration tools. Other features include project management tools, CRM, and email.
One of the main advantages of ONLYOFFICE is its easy-to-use, intuitive interface. It doesn’t hurt either that it integrates with Microsoft Office and can also integrate with other tools in this list, such as Confluence and Alfresco.
Users appreciate that it loads fast and that it is easy to export files in various file formats.
Some users lack more advanced features from Microsoft Office that not are available when editing. Others request a better overview of the program, mainly so that users can easily see what work the rest of the team has done since they last logged in.
Nuxeo calls service a Content Services Platform that allows users to share, edit, and collaborate on documents. The focus is on offering enterprise solutions. Users appreciate features such as records management, document management, and case management.
Users appreciate that they can automate business processes using workflow tools.
Another appreciated feature is that the app administrators can allow both internal and external users can review and comment on documents, even without having access to the same apps.
Analytics and reporting make it easy to track document changes.
The most common complaint among user reviews seems to be that the program can be buggy and that it takes time to manage the bugs. Some users report difficulties in using Microsoft Office to edit documents.
Other user reviews list issues with customizing the software and a lack of support documentation. The result is that the users have to opt for the more expensive support contracts to get the assistance they need.
Hyperoffice offers a suite of tools such as shared documents, project management, wikis, calendars, and forums. The target group is mainly government and large organizations. Users can collaborate on documents in real-time and keep track of changes.
HyperOffice’s strength is in the ease with which users can create portals and intranets. Users report that the setup and structure of the intranets are logical, making them clear to navigate even for new users.
Users appreciate the simple interface and that they get multiple integrated tools in one place.
User reviews report a bit of a learning curve to master the different functions and to customize the tool. It also takes a while to set up a well-functioning structure.
Some testers consider the price high compared to similar solutions, which may be a prohibitive factor for potential users.
Dokmee focuses on document management, where users can view, collaborate on, and share documents at the same time. The folder structure feels familiar to many users because of its likeness to the Windows interface.
The simple, user-friendly interface makes it easier to navigate Dokmee, even for new users. Documents can be found quickly either through the folder structure or the search function.
Dokmee can also convert papers into scannable files, making it easier to search in uploaded documents.
Users report on lacking integration features and some customization features that would make it easier to get an overview.
Dokmee doesn’t have the same degree of communication tools as other apps in this list. Users also consider the price a bit high in comparison with other similar programs.
Samepage is a project management system built for collaboration. Features include sharing files, tasks, and calendars, and communication via chat and video. Users can edit and track changes in documents together.
One of Samepage’s strengths is the robust communication features, including integrated chat and video, which makes it easier for users to collaborate on more than just documents.
Users also appreciate that it is easy to get an overview, as projects, documents, and tasks are on the same page.
Some users report difficulties in following conversations with a large number of users, making Samepage complex to manage for larger organizations. Others reported problems in finding the features they wanted, such as timestamps on completed tasks, which required extra customization.
Despite having access to everything on one page, some users thought it was challenging to find all the necessary features.
The strength of Box is in its cloud storage capabilities, but Box also offers teams the possibility to share and collaborate on documents. Features include document management, collaboration tools, cloud sync, and file sharing.
The admin console makes it easy to get an overview, and user reviews overall report finding the interface easy to use. Users also considered the smooth process for accessing, storing, and sharing files.
Box stresses its focus on security features such as encryption and safety copies, something that users appreciate.
Some simple tasks can take an unnecessary amount of clicks to complete or that there were issues with the G Suite integration, something that annoyed regular users. Others felt that there were too many admin options for small businesses, making the system clunky for them to use.
Other users were dissatisfied with the customer service’s response times and helpfulness.
M-Files is a document management platform that primarily caters to paper-heavy industries, making it popular among businesses that are moving towards a more digital document strategy. Apart from document management features, M-Files also includes tools for workflow, CRM, and quality management.
Users found M-Files easy to use and especially appreciated the search function that finds documents based on metadata and the quick buttons for uploading new files. They also thought that the system for scanning paper documents and uploading them to M-Files was a seamless process.
Some users found the variety of user licensing options confusing and cumbersome to choose in a cost-efficient way. Others saw a lack of knowledgeable US support as a significant source of frustration and felt that they got to speak to a sales team instead of people who could handle tech issues. The lack of templates frustrated some users, as it made it more challenging to set up new documents quickly.
eFileCabinet focuses more on safe storage and file-sharing than on fancy editing functions, even if it has collaborative tools. The main feature is the OCR templates that recognize the type of any uploaded document. That means that the system knows what to name and where to place the documents. Users can retrieve the documents by searching for keywords in the document.
User reviews appreciate the various role-based permissions that give administrators the ability to control access. The star feature is eFileCabinet’s Secure Drawer, which allows users to manage and organize documents as well as control a document’s version changes.
The biggest issue for users seems to be that the Secure Drawer can lag or malfunction. Others found it difficult to set up their templates or thought it took too many clicks to complete basic tasks.
So Which Option is Right For You?
It is essential to consider your needs when you’re choosing a tool for document management. Many users want and need a document management system that helps them:
- Easily store, organize, and share documents
- Edit and collaborate on documents
- Manage user access
- Offer rich and easy-to-do customizations
- Solve issues with access to responsive, helpful customer support.
While there are many decent SharePoint alternatives on the list above, few options tick off all that. Guess what? Helpjuice has all of the above.
One of the most significant issues with many SharePoint alternatives is customizations. Either they are inadequate, or too complex to carry out without tech assistance. Helpjuice offers practically indefinite customizations—and our support team is happy to help you customize it for you. You won’t get that level of support with an open source-option or most other software options.
Then, let’s talk about cost. SharePoint can be an expensive choice, especially for smaller organizations that need to restrict expenses. Many of the options above have hefty licensing fees or charge a user-based fee, which quickly can become expensive for a growing organization. Helpjuice is far cheaper than many of the options above—try it out yourself for free for 14 days.