Does your organization utilize an intranet system within your internal office network?
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 money putting up a proprietary intranet that 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 in two ways:
- Free SaaS (hosted by TeamLab, meaning nothing for you to install/manage. Just register for a free account.)
- 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:
Within TM community, you can view detailed information about employees and departments.
Some other features include the ability to post in blogs and forums, share news, photos, and bookmarks, and create Wiki pages.
Build your project team, organize tasks, and plan milestones. Discuss important work-related issues, track project status, and generate reports.
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.
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 staff 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 discussions among an organization’s employees only.
To me, TeamLab is a unique collaboration platform that 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.
Thanks for this post! Glad that you like TeamLab and find this tool unique 🙂
I’d like to add, that there are 3 deployment methods. Not only SaaS and open-source solutions are available, but also Amazon image for TeamLab. It means that if you have Amazon AWS account you can easily deploy portal in Amazon cloud with TeamLab AMI. Advantages of this service as compared to SaaS is that you get your own virtual server and therefore full control over computing resources.
So, AMI can be a good option if you need to deploy portal on your own hosting but want to avoid all the source codes compilation and tuning stuff.
Thanks for your review of this excellent software. I’ve read your post yesterday and have installed TeamLab straight away (btw. installation is actually pretty easy, instructions are provided in the downloaded archive). After 2 hours of playing around I must say that it is absolutely fantastic. It’s full of features that can aid collaboration and communication within a company. What I love about it is ability to manage subscriptions to various postst, tasks etc. Project management seems pretty powerfull with task allocation, milestones monitoring and various report options. Another great thing about TL is that it provides features that are not necessarily crucial for the business, but which will definately keep employees visit the intranet more often, features like: blog, polls, photos, events.
The only suggestion that I would like to make to TL developers, is to add a gantt chart to the project management section of this app. It really makes a big difference to Project Manager and project team to see all tasks on a structurised graph. So I keep my fingers crossed to see it in a future release.
Szymon, thanks for such a positive feedback!
As regards Gantt chart we do have this feature on the roadmap. It’s planned for the next year. And for the nearest releases we plan several other useful features including working with documents.
I had the same experience so far, downloaded and compiled with ease and it runs on my old Acer laptop under XP !!
the only thing that didn’t work was the inbuilt webchat client (says it’s offline)