Fresh recognised as a top SharePoint intranet solution in 2024 Clearbox report

Fresh is recognised as a top SharePoint Intranet solution in the annual Clearbox Consulting ‘Intranet and Employee Experience’ report 2024. 

Built on SharePoint, Fresh is hailed for offering “a clean interface to create and manage an attractive intranet which brings the best of Microsoft 365 to users”. 

The thoughtfully designed product, that integrates well with SharePoint and M365, was praised for being “feature rich”, “attractive” and providing a “good employee experience”. 

Communicators “appreciate the engagement analytics” available, along with the options to create and deliver news content, which can be surfaced in Viva Connections. 

End users benefit from features that bring their “M365 content in their intranet”, the “enhanced search experience” and the employee recognition feature “kudos”. 

A ready-to-run solution, that can be installed within days, Fresh comes with complex branding options already being used by clients including, KPMG, McCann World Group, M&G, Phoenix Group and TD Bank. 

Customer voices praise Fresh for having “greater functionality over SharePoint out of the box, overcoming many of the niggles and missing options”. 

One customer also complimented how the product “surfaces familiar tools” while another praised the “online site provisioning” template as “brilliant”. 

Fresh’s product team were praised for their “ability to quickly understand pain points” and their “willingness to listen, help and solve problems”.  

The customer success team were said to be “second to none” according to one customer, who also called out how useful the knowledge articles in the Fresh portal are. 

“We can see Fresh being particularly appealing to customers who have already invested in Microsoft 365.” Clearbox Report, 2024 

Let’s take a look at some of Fresh’s key features: 


With a set of AI features already within the product, Fresh plans to build on its generative AI capabilities known as FreshMind in the coming year.  

Launched in early 2024, FreshMind is an enterprise-ready AI assistant for intranet scenarios in Microsoft 365 that makes generative AI work for you. It’s designed for rapid adoption, making AI practical and accessible for every user. 

With no extra Copilot licenses needed and using Microsoft Azure OpenAI, the enterprise-ready solution, standard for all Fresh clients, runs in your Microsoft environment, keeping your data safe and secure 

It’s also available for native SharePoint intranets, which means you don’t have to adopt the entire Fresh Intranet features to take advantage of it. 

AI highlights include: 

+ People Search – search, find and connect with colleagues faster using natural language queries based on skills, projects, location or other attributes. 

+ Document Search – save time searching for documents and information. Using natural language queries like “How many days holiday do I have left?” users will be shown relevant results based on content, metadata or context. Coming soon.

+ Synonym suggestion in search – improve search results with generative AI-suggested alternative search terms based on user intent and profile. Coming soon.

+ Bulk update of metadata and description  update metadata and description for content based on AI suggestions in your intranet, improving the quality and consistency of your metadata, as well as enhancing the search and navigation experience for the end user. Coming soon.


With clean intranet and engagement analytics, Fresh offers a big improvement on standard SharePoint.  

Revamped in 2023, the analytics offering includes more detailed dashboards for communicators and intranet managers looking to monitor the effectiveness of their content. The ‘Admin Portal’ is praised for providing access to a range of filterable analytics.  

 “We like the ‘peak time views’ graph which shows what time of day is most popular, an engagement chart that shows the top ten pages based on views and a ‘top tools’ view that shows which quick links are most clicked on.” Clearbox Report, 2024 


Analytics highlights include: 

+ ‘Statistics are displayed in simple, clean, bar and line graphs, and can be filtered by attributes such as page and content type, topic, the department a user is in, as well as the section that content originates from. 

+ ‘Sites audit’ overview gives intranet owners a useful summary of analytics from across intranet sites, something that SharePoint is yet to provide.  

+ ‘Content report’ web part is useful for teams wanting to run a content audit, as it covers both pages and documents. It allows intranet managers and content editors not only to see data in a web part on a page but also to export the data to CSV for further analysis. A recently added functionality allows intranet managers to run bulk updates on the metadata of pages and documents. 

+ ‘Content engagement’ web part shows the most viewed, liked and commented news posts and pages, which is useful for monthly reporting, as well as providing a snapshot of what resonates most with employees.  

+ ‘Action checklist’ web part can be used anywhere on the intranet to provide users with a list of tasks to complete.  

+ Fresh supports data capture for Microsoft Clarity (including heatmaps), and Azure App insights (AAI), where data can be analysed in AAI or stored in an SQL database, which some clients may find useful if they have the skills to build reports in PowerBI. Fresh also integrates with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager for further analysis. 

Search & Information Finding 

The Fresh search experience enhances SharePoint’s standard search functionality and adds complementary functionality on top of native Microsoft features, so organisations can still make use of the powerful search, while benefitting from some helpful additions.  

There’s a type-ahead panel that appears when using the search function and the custom search results page offers additional tabs and filters.  

It’s possible to search and filter content at web-part level, which is also used to drive a useful ‘people directory’ feature or to make search more prominent on the home page.  

Intranet search presents users with a personalised search history and frequently accessed content and a panel starts showing relevant results as a user begins typing, too.  

Initial results are presented in a clean summary format; where the items displayed are relevant which means users might not ever make it to the results page.  

The search results page offers some helpful styling options, including a range of horizontal tabs as well as more traditional filters, which is useful on top of the expected filter types.  

Fresh supports Microsoft’s native ‘bookmarks’ (for promoted results), which can be used to signpost users to the right information.  

Refiners can be set to display on the search results landing page, and search scopes set up to only show content from a particular site.  

We particularly like Fresh’s ability to search for information at web-part level. Finding news, documents or people can be a challenge but Fresh’s web parts offer a defined scope of content to search, which is a strong benefit of the intranet to communicate to people so they can find the information they need. Clearbox Report, 2024

Search highlights include: 

+ ‘Topics explorer’ functionality allows intranet owners to create information around a tagged topic, displaying a panel of results for users to get the right information.  

+ Promote content to those who have subscribed to a particular topic, using promoted interests and skills in the ‘my profile’ web part. This works as an alternative to Viva Topics for organisations on a limited budget. 

+ Find people on top of Delve functionality with the attractive ‘people directory’ site template, which uses a search-driven web part with a filterable people list.  

+  Use ‘badges’ to help find specific people who have been assigned with roles like ‘First Aider’; ‘intranet champions’ or ‘content editors’.  

+ Display results based on profile content with results appearing as a user types. As with native Microsoft functionality, it’s possible to get around common misspellings or nicknames by including them in a user’s profile.  

+ ‘Query builder’ functionality offers a way to pre-filter users to be displayed within a web part, for example by department, or a user’s department. It’s also possible to provide a curated list of people, for example, members of a community site.   

Why choose Fresh? 

Clearbox said by choosing Fresh intranet owners and comms specialists can have an ‘attractive intranet which integrates well with M365 tools, including SharePoint, Viva Engage and Delve’.

Fresh offers nice, centralised branding options and “thoughtful touches” which can be localised to suit even large and complex organisations with exacting requirements.  

Additional functionality and the ability to bring content in from Viva Engage, Fresh provides a “platform for creating an engaging intranet”.  

With an active user community, quarterly client events called ‘Fresh Perspectives’, AI infusions in the existing features and enhancements to integrations with Viva Connections on the way the report states, “we can see Fresh being particularly appealing to customers who have already invested in Microsoft 365”. 


To find out more about Fresh’s feature set – download the latest Clearbox report here.

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