Open Source Doesn't Have to be Complicated
If open source still makes you think of feature-bare products, command lines and dense nerd-level manuals, then you need to get with the times. TeamLabs is a fine example of open source Enterprise 2.0 at work. No more complicated than shopping on Amazon, it allows users to communicate, collaborate and project manage in a clear, stress-free style.
Creating an account takes about a minute, and then users can invite the colleagues to join in their team. If that might prove complicated to a technophobe users, there is a demonstration video right on the page, not buried away in the help section.
Round Up the Collaborators
The recent update has added collaboration and chat features to make this a well-rounded package. The project management tool is perfect for fast or medium-sized projects. Again, there's a step-by-step guide right on the page to guide users through setting up the project. Users can invite team members, plan milestones, create and assign tasks, and watch discussions unfold.
Keep those projects on track with easy-to-monitor, custom dashboards
Progress reports can be generated, problems can be highlighted and individual user activity tracked to see who is contributing most. Files can be uploaded for sharing and users can work with the Talk function for online chat. With widgets, polls, photo galleries and other features, a TeamLab site can be used to run almost any project.
The Talk feature when launched opens up a Jabber window, or it can be integrated with other instant messenger apps by adding a few settings. The web interface is slick with a file-sending feature. The whole package will be boosted by additional French, German and Spanish language support in the coming weeks.
The SaaS version is good for instant use but if a company finds it has some specific needs, then the code can be downloaded from Sourceforge and adapted to meet those needs. With hosting on Amazon's cloud, that vital team data should be reliably available too.