EGroupware, Group Office, and Kopano compared



For videoconferencing, Kopano uses the in-house web-based Kopano Meet app. Thanks to WebRTC support, it works with almost all common browsers. Meet establishes peer-to-peer connections and encrypts the transport of the entire communication. Group meetings are possible, as is sharing the screen between the participants of a meeting. On demand, Kopano Meet can also integrate external users, who then receive invitations by email or text. If the operator uses Meet as a standalone application, the servers will run on-premises or in a private cloud environment.

Kopano uses the Slack alternative Mattermost [19] to implement team discussions within the groupware stack. In addition to private and public channels, it supports direct connections between individual subscribers. Mattermost also offers an option to include files in the chat, which eliminates the time-consuming need to email data. The integration of Mattermost chat rooms in the Kopano apps also supports seamless video and audio communication from within the chat.

Like Kopano Core, Mattermost either runs on dedicated servers within the enterprise or in a private cloud instance of its own, allowing users to retain sovereignty over their data and communications. After integrating Mattermost, application-specific tabs appear in the Kopano apps so that users can access them at any time.


All of the solutions I looked at include the usual groupware applications such as calendar, task, and contact management, as well as communication by email and chat. The interfaces and operating strategies are largely similar, so you need to look at the details to find the differences that matter to you (Table 1).

Table 1

Comparison of Groupware Solutions

  EGroupware Group Office Kopano
License GPL AGPL/proprietary AGPL
Modular structure Yes Yes Yes
Email Yes Yes Yes
Calendar Yes Yes Yes
Address book Yes Yes Yes
Tasks Yes Yes Yes
Notes Yes Yes Yes
Chat Yes Yes Yes
Videoconferencing Yes Yes Yes
E-learning Yes No No
Forums No No No
Access to remote desktops Yes No No
CRM system No Yes No
Billing module No Yes No
Helpdesk module No Yes No
Web-based Yes Yes Yes
Native clients No Yes Yes

Group Office clearly focuses on the business customer looking not only for a team communication solution, but also for a way to manage business processes within the groupware setup. Thanks to integrated project planning, the CRM system, and the ability to handle accounting, the need to use third-party applications is eliminated.

Kopano presents itself as a solid all-rounder that places great value on data sovereignty and therefore prefers to support on-premises solutions and private clouds.

EGroupware, on the other hand, does not target a specific customer group but offers suitable tools for all application groups. With its e-learning module, EGroupware sets itself apart from all competitors. Thanks to this module, teaching and educational institutions can use the groupware sensibly for knowledge transfer. Although the smallPART learning platform does not offer all the functions of a full-fledged learning management system (LMS), it does represent an alternative to professional solutions for temporary home schooling. Another highlight of EGroupware is access to remote computers with Guacamole, which lets users access applications on remote computers, even if they are running on a different operating system.

What all solutions have in common, however, is that they require a considerable learning curve because of rich feature sets. The installation and configuration typically require in-depth skills. Careful training for admins and users is therefore indispensable.

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