Collaboration Software Needs a Better Open Source Alternative. And it’s here.

#Atrium | Posted

Intranet. Collaboration Platform. Knowledge Management. In the past few years, the software that runs our “back office” has taken a place front and center in our business’ needs. How we collaborate at work has become incredibly important to productivity, and in turn, to profitability. As a business owner, I understand the need for teams to feel like the space between our ideas is minimal, even when the geography between us is great. Our time and budgets are challenged enough but implementing a useful solution just can’t be this hard. The solutions for our intranets have long lagged behind those that power our public-facing websites. These solutions have been built as proprietary software, sold as single-vendor solutions, used until the “next new thing” replaces them. Until now.

image of ipad with Open Atrium website on it

Today, we’re introducing Open Atrium 2, a collaborative software platform built as a powerful, flexible, open alternative to the clunky and proprietary solutions that have long ruled this space. It won’t replace every piece of software you already have -- it will integrate with the solutions you like, and replace the ones that need replacing. And it won’t be everything to everyone, but it will create effective collaboration tools that can be extended and built out to do more, by any vendor, anywhere. We are incredibly excited by the promise that Open Atrium holds, for a few reasons. First, this thing packs a punch. Open Atrium has long history as an innovative alternative to existing intranet or social collaboration platforms. Originally created as an “intranet in a box,” Open Atrium has powered an estimated 30,000 collaboration solutions since it was originally released in 2009. But the product has never been as capable as it is now in Version 2 of meeting the collaboration needs emerging in the space. From documents to discussions; calendars to notifications; work tracking to multimedia, the new Open Atrium is a powerful platform for collaboration. Second, it’s platform-built, not purpose-built. We know that no two organizations collaborate in the same way, so why would we count on a single purpose-built solution to cover them all? Open Atrium is built for integration with other plugins and modules in Drupal, as well as with APIs for established collaboration software solutions. Choosing Open Atrium doesn’t mean dismissing other solutions -- it means opening up the possibilities. Third, this product is based on real experience. Open Atrium 2 is built (and continues to be improved on) by a dedicated open source community that has developed OA based on how people collaborate in their organizations. More than 100 community members have committed significant code contributions to this project. We like to say this product is “proudly invented elsewhere” because we believe that open source communities truly build more the most useful software. I hope you’ll take the new Open Atrium for a test drive -- try it out, see what you think, and let us know how it could work to meet your needs. We believe the possibilities are limitless.  


Jeff Walpole

Jeff Walpole