Open Source for your Business – cost free communication in the Corona crisis
The demand for technologies to support location-independent, collaborative work is creating unprecedented demand for technology companies that offer appropriate solutions. In addition to products from the Microsoft, Altassian or Cisco portfolio, is there a range of solutions which should also be considered.
Various services, which are mostly available as open source solution and try to convince with low costs and the possibility of installation on own servers, are presented in the following.
Riot is a Messenger that can be used similar to Microsoft Teams or Slack as a channel-based communication service to exchange communication. As open source solution, Riot offers various possibilities regarding company-specific configuration of communication channels and design. Projects are organized in so-called channels. The channels are created on a theme-based basis and can playback textual content as well as various file formats such as videos and presentations. The service can be operated in the cloud but also on own servers. And of course, audio and video telephony are also components of the Riot solution.
Meistertask is a tool for managing tasks in projects. The principle is based on the Kanban logic. Therefore, the top level are the boards, followed by lists and maps that visualize the concrete task and its status. The structure of the program allows even users who have little experience with agile project management to use it intuitively and in a very short time. And even with the free basic version, projects can be successfully managed. Although the servers of Meistertask are located in Germany, the service cannot be installed on-prem.
Jitsi Meet was created from the further development of the SIP Communicator project, an open source platform for voice, video and chat functions. Jitsi provides almost identical functionalities like Teams, Zoom or Google Meet, but free of charge and with the possibility to run the software on your own servers. In addition, access to the source code is granted, so that company-specific adaptations can be made if required.
Google Drive is ideal for working on documents, presentations or spreadsheets together and in real time. Although memory is limited to 15 GB in the free version, almost every potential employee or business partner has a Google account (even if it's a private one). This means that most users can access the files they want to work on via web browser without any major complications. The results can be saved locally afterwards. In addition, Google Tools (e.g. Google Docs) are fully compatible with a variety of third-party products such as Microsoft Office.
Especially Jitsi and Riot shine as free of charge open source solutions. The services can be installed and administered on own servers, so IT security for data is completely in your own hands. IT affine entrepreneurs with their own infrastructure are excellently positioned with these solutions.