The 9 most important open source tools for the home office
Open source software may often be used free of charge even for commercial purposes and makes you independent of a single provider. Below we show you the most important open source tools for home office.
Open Source Tools for Home Office – Overview:
Organize, share, and collaborate on documents
The classic “File Sync & Share” solutions on the market allow your employees to store documents in a cloud and access them from home. This means, for example, that every employee has important templates and documents at hand and can work with them on the move. The most widespread open source tools in Germany can instead be hosted in the company’s own data center or by a specialized provider and therefore do without a (foreign) cloud:
The basic functionalities of the solutions are largely comparable. While Nextcloud and OwnCloud are solutions from German companies, SeaFile is officially based in Beijing, China.
Open Source Tools for Video Conferencing & Chat
When it comes to open source web conferencing solutions, as an alternative to Zoom, Slack, Teams, Skype or WebEx, the following three solutions stand out. In addition to the video call function, chat functionalities are also integrated here in some cases:
The Jitsi web conferencing solution is characterized by extreme ease of use: It runs directly in the browser without the need for a download.
With Jami, audio and video calls are made through the Jami app, which is available for GNU/Linux, Windows, and macOS desktops, as well as Android and iOS mobile devices. You can communicate either with a unique user ID or via SIP.
Riot is not just a video conferencing solution – it’s team management software with integrated group video/voice chat communication. Communication takes place in special “rooms” that can be organized by topic, team, event, etc.
Open source tools to manage tasks together as a team
Over the last few years, tools based on Kanban logic have become particularly popular for joint task management. Tasks are organized in columns such as ToDo, InProgress and Done, assigned to colleagues and the work progress is displayed. Powerful open source alternatives to online services, like Trello & Co. are here:
With Taiga, the main thing to highlight is the focus on the essentials and the ease of use. At the same time, Taiga is also highly customizable and includes integration with many other features and external tools.
Wekan was formerly known as Libreboard. There is a free demo version for this, which can be tested directly online. Wekan looks and functions very much like Trello.
At first glance, Kanboard seems like a very minimalist entry into the world of Kanban boards. Still, the solution offers a number of features, including task search and filtering, subtasks, attachments, and some good analytics and reporting.
Open Source Tools for Home Office: Conclusion
There are many excellent solutions in the open source space that you can use to enable your employees to work from home easily and efficiently. By using open source tools such as Nextcloud, OwnCloud, Jitsis, Jami, Taiga or Wekan, you avoid dependence on large software providers such as Microsoft, reduce licensing costs in the long term and significantly increase your IT flexibility. However, it can become problematic if many open source tools are used as isolated applications in the company, thereby greatly increasing the complexity and administration effort. It is therefore advisable, when using open source extensively, to think about how the individual solutions can be operated together with little effort and how the respective functions can be linked together.
PIPEFORCE offers an open cloud platform for this purpose, which combines various open source solutions. At the same time, hosting, scaling, updates, warranty and liability will be taken care of for you. This means that several open source tools for the home office can be introduced productively at once within one day, and at the same time you have the necessary support for secure and smooth operation. More information about the platform and the special home office package with the most important tools for remote working, can be found here.
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