Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Connected Office

In today's world, it is not sufficient to use standalone word processors and e-mail for collaboration. In the Windows world, many have embraced Sharepoint and it seems to be the one-size-fits-all shoebox that is used whenever collaboration is mentioned.  For example we have seen migration of well-functioning web sites to Sharepoint as "that is the standard" -- this seems to be the mantra.

However, one-size-fits-all is rarely a good model.  This is especially true if you need to be cross-platform and if you want to base your tools in open source technology.

Today, we still need our standalone tools like spreadsheets, word processors, and presentation tools, but we also need many social and collaborative tools including blogs, wikis, discussion boards, collaborative editors, content management systems (CMS), shared file repositories, bug tracking systems, configuration management systems, and many other types of collaborative, social, shared systems/applications.

These shared systems should be accessible both via standard "accessibility" requirements but also via the wide assortment of devices users now have. The tools need to be:

  • low-cost (preferably free and open source)
  • cross platform (Linux, Mac, Windows, Android, iPhone)
  • support multiple form factors (desktops, laptops, tablets, phones)
  • easy to use
  • secure (not tied to a big company like Google or Microsoft)

It is no-longer adequate to email a document from one user to another every time we have data to exchange.

This site has on open source suite that looks very interesting:

Does anyone have any recommendations for tools?  Any experience with modern, secure collaboration that goes beyond e-mail or Shrepoint?

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