For a while, I've been considering offering setup and maintainance services
for EAS for clients. I have a few clear candidates and some ideas for others
and would like to hear suggestions or advise you may have for others.
Distro: I'm leaning for Debian, which is what I use in most server where I
have the choice.
- CMS: WordPress. I have used Joomla and Drupal in the past and at this point
feel WordPress is easiest to configure and use. This is minor as I am not
very interested in website development and if anything would subcontract this
part of the setup for interested clients.
- File hosting: NextCloud. Works well, easy to setup, scales. The last time I
deployed NextCloud for an organization I was disappointed that it seemed
counterintuitive to encrypt files client side, it's been a while and I cannot
remember the exact situation. Ideally I would like to offer a solution that
offers client side encryption (i.e. sysadmin cannot read files).
- Document Management: Alfresco community edition has been recently
recommended. I have not tried it yet but plan on doing so as it looks robust.
- Syncthing: Though I suppose not really EAS, I find many uses for it and
guess I will continue to do so.
- ERP (specifically CRM component for now): Odoo. Very impressed by its
functionality and ease of installation and use. Many other apps available as
well, too many to describe here (Sales, Invoicing, PM, etc. etc.).
- CalDAV/CarDAV server: Radicale. Have used this solution on a plug server
for few users. Not sure how it scales but worked well when I used it.
This is a tough topic for me. I have a customer somewhere where internet
speeds are very slow who uses email mostly locally and for whom I have
suggested self-hosting. I am not very confident about self-hosted e-mail in
general, and specifically in a context where internet access is spotty and
slow and electrical service sub-par. On the other hand, this customer sends
large files so this may help. The e-mail could also be hosted elsewhere and
the files locally with NextCloud (I suppose unencrypted if they will be
shared with third parties?) and linked in the e-mails.
RoundCube: Looks good and could be a good solution for people who have become
accustomed to accessing e-mail from a browser.
Sogo: This also looks interesting and seems to have calDAV/carDAV support.
E-mail server-side? Is it worth doing this? How difficult will it be to avoid
spam? Will the domains end up blacklisted? Downtime? How demanding will
sysadmin work become, i.e. will it significantly increase needed
riot.im: This is the only one that comes to mind. I find it very difficult to
convince people in companies not to use the huge proprietary mobile chat apps
for team collaboration, so for now this area is a bit of an uphill battle.
Video conferencing among several people could make a difference. I'm not sure
if this feature is ripe on riot. I also don't know the current status on
encryption. The last time I looked, encryption was in beta and could be
enabled but then not deisabled again (I tested the client on one of the
already setup servers). The ability to have good Voice or even Video
conferencing, several people at a time, for a virtual meeting, may be a
defining factor to pull in those who are currently using the big proprietary
Finally, I'm trying to think about how these apps can work together in a
specific company environment, and final selection will depend on this (of
course customers may have more than one option where it is relatively easy to
do so). For example, how would a company use Odoo and Riot.im simultaneously?
Would this lead to confusion? Would it be better to choose one or the other?
For example, if choosing Odoo, just enable different add-ons to have chat