Free & open source intranet collaboration for organizations

Fórmula-innovació-serveisDoes your organization utilize an intranet system within your internal office network? photo credit: graells

If not, today I’m going to recommend to you a free and open source intranet collaboration tool for your organization to implement and benefit from.

For those who already have an intranet in place, are the users contributing or collaborating enough via the intranet?

I’ve seen many organizations treat their intranet as a place to dump files and documents without much activity going on in there.

In the past, these systems have been designed to provide a space for document management and knowledge retention purposes.

Older intranets weren’t designed to allow employees / project team members to track discussions, collaborate and work together on tasks to achieve common goals.

Sad to say, some organizations have spent significant of money putting up a proprietary intranet which fails to gather enough interest among employees to contribute content / knowledge.

An organization’s intranet system can be considered useless if users aren’t using it to the fullest and instead are turning to social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn for office collaboration purposes.

Whether you’re planning to implement a new intranet system or seeking for alternatives to replace an old and dusty intranet, today’s post will highlight a free and open source .NET based intranet tool called TeamLab.

TeamLab is a free and open source platform / intranet solution for project management and business collaboration purposes.

TeamLab can be deployed two ways:

  1. Free SaaS (hosted by TeamLab, meaning nothing for you to install / manage. Just register for a free account.)
  2. Open Source (can be downloaded, customized and deployed on your own servers)

In order to install TeamLab within your own servers, you’ll need:

  • Microsoft IIS
  • .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
  • SQLite3 / can be migrated to MySQL

The following are three key functions within TeamLab:

TM Community

Within TM community, you can view detailed information about employees and departments.

Some other features includes ability to post in blogs and forums, share news, photos, bookmarks and create Wiki pages.

TM Projects

Build your project team, organize tasks and plan milestones. Discuss important work-related issues, track project status and generate reports.

TM Talk

TM Talk is a corporate IM system for exchanging instant text messages among the employees / users within TeamLab in real time.

TM Talk can be easily launched using the built-in web client or integrated into popular IM clients such as Trillian, Miranda or Pidgin.

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From the screenshots above, you can see that TeamLab does not only provide the standard intranet features such as document management and content management but a lot more.

By allowing employees to post information in the format of a blog as well as on wikis and forums, content development and management just got a lot more interesting.

Some organizations block certain instant messaging apps such as Yahoo Messenger or MSN Messenger from working to disallow their staffs from wasting time chatting with personal friends / strangers.

If instant messengers are  used appropriately for work related purposes, it can be beneficial as it allows better team collaboration especially with co workers working outside the main office environment, for e.g. at client sites.

TM Talk comes in very handy as it confines chats and discussion among an organization’s employee only.

To me, TeamLab is a unique collaboration platform which is full of features and best of all, free to use.

Do consider implementing or switching to TeamLab as your organization’s free and open source intranet collaboration tool today.

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