Recommendations for co-op owned open source video conferencing and group messaging platforms

#1

Just wondered if anyone has recommendations for co-op owned open source platforms for video conferencing/group messaging/meetings/chat etc.?

Many thanks
Kevin

#2

We use Rocketchat for chat which we self host instances for our internal use and for our clients.

For video/audio calls we oscillate between self hosted Mumble and Jitsi whilst remaining happy with neither.

#3

Kevin, have you tried Nextcloud Talk, it works well for video and voice calls (like most things these days it uses WebRTC) and there is also a XMPP server with JavaScript client (you can also use other XMPP clients) available for integration with Nextcloud and both of these are installed on the CoTech Nextcloud server, see also the Nextcloud wiki page.

#4

Brill! Thanks for the recommendations - much appreciated, I will check them out and report back to our team.

While its fresh in my mind, does anyone also have any recommendations for CRM software that would work well for a co-op set up? Again, ideally we’re looking for open source or even better linked to tech coops if poss.

many thanks!

#5

Ask @Graham about CiviCRM.

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#6

While its fresh in my mind, does anyone also have any recommendations for CRM software that would work well for a co-op set up? Again, ideally we’re looking for open source or even better linked to tech coops if poss.

Going to throw in a curveball. We kind of hate CiviCRM here (it’s incredibly inflexible and the UX is pretty bad). We have been playing with EspoCRM which works just fine but don’t have long term experience of using it.

#7

Fantastic, thanks Chris! @Graham - any heads up re CiviCRM greatly appreciated. cheers!

#8

Good to know! Will check out Espo - cheers!

#9

Hi Kevin
I’ve been working with CiviCRM for about 15 years now, and have found that whilst it has its idiosyncracies and its bugs like any tool, I’ve been able to use it successfully in many different scenarios with a diverse range of organisations and requirements, including cooperatives and including a number of pretty straight-ahead business outfits. It has some real strengths, especially in terms of the core contact management, membership management, event management and case management areas, and in recent years has a very rapidly growing ecosystem of extensions (plugins) that extend and change core behaviours.

In terms of UX there is a new Bootstrap-based interface available that makes a massive difference and a set of UI-based tools now either available or coming on stream very soon that give you a lot of control over display options.

For developers there is a robust and comprehensive API.

CiviCRM is designed primarily with the needs of third sector organisations in mind, so the language and tools are not particularly geared for things like sales pipelines, where commercially oriented CRM tools - and something like EspoCRM is a classic case in point - very often have this as their central organising principle.

So it very much depends on what you need to achieve and the motivations driving your requirements. If you think it might be a fit for your organisation please contact me directly and I’ll be happy to have a more detailed discussion about your requirements and whether Civi might work for you, or not.

#10

That’s very useful info - thanks Graham! I will be in touch.

#11

Plus one for rocket chat, overall we love it.

We use Suite CRM (based on Sugar CRM) and have it customised so that we have some nice reporting out of it - happy to demo it if that would help. That said the UI and UX aren’t great, it still feels like old PHP tech - which it is!