The Best 7 Free and Open Source Team Communication Software
Healthy conversations within teams can inevitably help improve productivity and maintain a lively and positive business environment. Communication gaps create misunderstandings, and that can prove to be termite for a business organization. Thus, effective and timely communication is indispensable for the companies in terms of elevating collaboration within employees as that would ultimately drive them towards achieving their business goals.
For that reason, the use of the best team communication software is on the rise. In case you are looking for one, this article can help you list the best 7 free and open source team communication software. Before you go through the details of each software, we would suggest you go through some information given here about what exactly is team communication software, the benefits of using it, and the features to look for as that would help you pick the right one as per your business needs.
What is Team Communication Software?
Team communication software includes messaging and chat systems and collaboration tools that allow the employees, managers, CEOs, and stakeholders to have conversations, share their documents & ideas, and even conduct video conferences. The projects involving multiple team members require seamless communication and collaboration to get the tasks completed on time. Especially in this era, when companies work together beyond geographical boundaries, the use of team communication solutions becomes inevitable.
Significance of Team Communication Software
These days establishing a flawless way of communication within team members and everyone associated with a project or business organization is not a luxury; it is a necessity. Team communication solution eliminates the communication gap between the employees, improves productivity, and also enhances employee morale at the same time.
Precisely, team communication solutions come with many benefits that ultimately support businesses to improve their workflow and productivity. Simultaneously, relying on ineffective team communication systems can cause misunderstandings at the workplace, resulting in delay or failure to complete a project/task and impacting the business's bottom line.
The below survey results by The Economist Intelligence Unit can justify the benefits of applying a team communication solution within a business environment.
In that case, selecting the best team communication software is significant for your business's growth. With so many similar team communication tools available in the market, you might be in a dilemma about which one would be right for your business. So, here we have listed some must-have features and selection criteria you need to follow to pick the best one that suits your business requirements.
Must-Have Features of a Team Communication Software
The instant messaging feature in team communication systems can include private and group-based chatting. This helps the team members get their queries sorted and easily convey their messages to the seniors or subordinates on a real-time basis.
The team collaboration software you select should allow you to share the documents and files with your team members, seniors, and colleagues working on the same project or a task. This would help in achieving predetermined productivity goals that would ultimately lead to business growth.
The best team communication software includes the facility of threading/recording past communication, whether private or group. That stored information is then easily searchable whenever required.
Alerts & Notifications
The people involved in a particular conversation are alerted or notified if a new message in that thread or any type of communication occurs. This feature should allow you to customize your preferences so that you are notified of only meaningful conversations without cluttering up your feed.
Screen sharing can help resolve the issues on an immediate basis, as a person can walk through the screen of another person even though they are physically apart. It can also enable you to make your customer experience your product or project effectively virtually.
Now that you know the features you need to look for in your team communication system, let's look at some factors that you need to consider before selecting one.
Besides the factors mentioned above, you need to get answers to the below-mentioned questions to pick the best team communication software -
For what purpose do you need team communication software?
Consider your team requirements. Do they want to share documents, conduct video conferences, or they need to message each other instantly? You need to select the team communication system based on the features required by your team.
Are you deploying the team communication software for the first time or need to upgrade the present system?
If the team communication software you are already using has become obsolete, you must be clear about what you need to look for in the new one. And, if you are starting fresh, you need to be sure that the team communication solution you choose is scalable enough to grow with your business.
What is the size of your team?
The team communication software should be able to work well, even with a large team diversified based on location, technical literacy, projects, etc. With small-sized teams, everyone using the same team communication application is not as tricky as large-sized teams.
Is the team communication software compatible with your business processes?
Just check out with the systems and tools you are already using for task/project management, time tracking, invoicing, etc. The team communication software you choose should gel properly with your business workflow to make the most of it.
How long will it take to deploy the new team communication software?
Most of the online team communication tools are easy to set up. When it comes to deploying a free and open source team communication software, you need to check that it comes with a tutorial, or includes an online forum that can assist you with implementation and customization.
To assist you further with the selection, we have come up with an intricately curated list of the best 7 free and open source team communication software, as given below. Based on the features and other business requirements as discussed above, you can select the best team communication software from this list, that can help you in elevating collaboration within your employees in your organization and take your business to the next level.
The Best 7 Free and Open Source Team Communication Software
Mattermost is an enterprise-level free and open source team communication software that is flexible and enables teams to collaborate with high-end security. It is a highly scalable software that can be customized to your business needs as it provides full access to the source code. It allows deploying it on-premise and cloud both and works seamlessly on multiple platforms and devices. It is written in Golang and React and runs as a single Linux binary with database systems like MySQL or PostgreSQL.
Allows building best workflows for your business organization
Provides complete ownership and control over your company IP and customers’ data
Safeguards against unexpected security hacks and threats
Allows you to search messaging history easily
Ability to share voice, screen, files, images, links, and videos
Supports multiple languages
Allows you to customize your desktop, emails, and mobile notifications
Can integrate with external plugins, tools, and applications
Allows performance and system monitoring
If you have already used Mattermost, please feel free to share your reviews here.
Zulip is a 100% free and open source team communication software that is built by a community of developers located all around the world. It includes 120,000 words of developer documentation, a high-quality, customizable code base, and a highly active community, making it easy for the developers to tweak or extend the software as per the business needs. It facilitates threading messages based on topics, and that makes large group discussions extremely manageable.
Includes extremely UI friendly real-time chatting features
Can integrate with desktop and mobile applications, and APIs
Provides visibility over availability of other team members
Allows threading conversations and accessing when required
Includes video calling facility
Holds capability of exporting data and converting hosted solution from on-premise anytime
Open communities available for help and support
Includes reporting features allowing to analyze the communication patterns of the team members
If you have already used Zulip, please feel free to share your reviews here.
Rocket.Chat is a free and open source team communication software that allows instant messaging, sharing files, video/audio conferencing, and collaborating with the entire team seamlessly. It provides complete access to the source code to fully customize or add new functionality to make it work as per your business workflow. This software works on multiple devices and platforms, and that makes it extremely convenient for users.
Allows audio and video conferencing
Enables screen sharing
Includes live chat facility
High-end security with two-factor authentication and password encryption
Allows guest access
Includes real-time translation facility
Allows personalizing UI with theme-based designs
Can integrate with incoming and outgoing WebHook
Allows integrating with popular applications like Drupal or Pidgin
Can Import data from other team communication software
If you have already used Rocket.Chat, please feel free to share your reviews here.
Element is an all-in-one secure chat application for business and personal use. It keeps your conversations secure with proper end-to-end encryption. It is free from ads and also safe from data-mining. Element lets you own your conversations and control its storage, and that makes it a uniquely free and open source team communication software. As it gives you access to the Matrix open network, you can communicate with the people even if they are not using Element. It can work on multiple devices and platforms, conveniently communicating with the team from anywhere.
- Allows connecting with people using matrix apps
- Enables you to control the storage of your chats
- Provides end-to-end encryption and device verification security features
- Allows unlimited voice calling and video conferencing
- Keeps you updated with the information through customizable notifications
- Allows easy sharing of the files and other data
If you have already used Element, please feel free to share your reviews here.
Wire is an open source team communication software that is free to use for 30 days. This tool communication tool is well known for its high-end secure environment, as it is protected with end-to-end encryption. It supports multiple devices and platforms, and so the users can stay connected wherever they are. It has a unique guest room feature that allows you to communicate with the users in a secure manner without revealing credentials.
Allows audio/video calls and sharing files
Can define user & group permissions
Works on iOS, Android, Windows operating systems
Facilitates read receipts, and status updates
Includes conversation folders
High-end security features like fingerprint access, device access management, and contact verification
If you have already used Wire, please feel free to share your reviewshere.
Kopano is an open source team collaboration software for businesses that allows real-time messaging, file sharing, video meetings, calendaring, and emailing. It is a highly scalable and flexible software with the Linux backend that allows on-premise and cloud deployment. It is an extremely cost-effective team communication software that you can try using it for 30 days before making the purchase decision.
- Allows live video calling
- Includes one-on-one direct messaging
- Enables real-time updates and document sharing
- Can integrate various email clients like Thunderbird, Outlook, etc
- Provides access to easily searchable chat history
- Allows group calling and screen sharing
If you have already used Kopano, please feel free to share your reviews here.
eXo is a team collaboration platform that connects employees, information, and tools in a centralized digital hub managed by teams working together in a business environment. The teams can create and manage their projects using a wide range of collaboration tools to help in communicating, organizing tasks, and sharing events & documents. Though this open source team communication software is not free, it can help in empowering your workforce by modernizing your communication systems exponentially.
- Allows creating and publishing news and broadcasting alerts
- Includes real-time chatting facility
- Allows creating digital spaces
- Facilitates sharing documents
- Includes calendar management features
- Allows task management
- Enables visualizing activity streams
If you have already used eXo, please feel free to share your reviews here.
So, these were the details about the best 7 free and open source team communication software. For better clarity, you can go through the below chart to compare the features of team communication tools at a glance.
The Best 7 Free and Open Source Team Communication Software Comparison Chart
Besides free team communication software, we would suggest you go through the details of one of the most popular options in this category - Zoho Cliq. Although it is not a free team communication software, you can consider it if you need scalable software with the latest features and functionality.
Zoho Cliq is one of the most popular cloud-based team communication software that can make team collaboration within a business organization simple and efficient. It helps in centralizing workflows and automating daily routine activities. Conducting video meetings and sharing files becomes quite easy with this team communication software. It helps bring teams together by facilitating instant messaging and integrating other tools that can make remote working incredibly seamless.
- Allows setting up virtual conference rooms
- Includes real-time chatting, video calling, and screen sharing facility
- Allows setting up messaging reminders and notifications
- Ability to create customized bots that can work as per your business methodology
- Includes task management features with reminders, integrations, and more that can bring teams together
- Allows setting up the team remotely working and managing people working from home
It was very well said by Mark Sanborn (motivational speaker and author) that “In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.”
Communication within team members is significant. Especially in this competitive business environment, when speed and accuracy have become extremely vital elements to survive, miscommunication can create many problems that can have an adverse impact on business profitability and growth.
Whether you need to change your existing team communication software or go for a new one, you can pick the best one as per your business requirements.
If your budget is not a constraint, you can also go through the details of some freemium and paid team communication tools like Basecamp, WFHBOX, ProofHub, HighFive, and many more mentioned in this complete list of team communication software.
Are you looking for the latest software and applications used for other business processes as well? Just browse all software categories for a comfortable search experience and stay tuned as GoodFirms keeps on updating the list of software categories quite frequently.
Also, leave your valuable feedback here if you have used any of the software mentioned above to help other users.
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