Another alternative to SharePoint
June 21, 2010 10:12 AM   Subscribe

We're looking for an internal communication/file sharing solution for a long-term project, something that would have similar functionality to SharePoint but without the cost and (what I hear is) the hassle.

Currently we're looking at Huddle, Central Desktop, and Basecamp. Can anyone provide me with pros and cons of each system? We need the system to allow for sharing files, collaboration on document creation, project calendars, and maybe handling some internal communication.

We're looking for something low-tech as we don't have a whole lot of technical support and it needs to be easy to use for all involved. Start-up and maintenance needs to be easy as well. This system will be used by admin staff at a large university and some faculty and outside consultants. I am not all that technically inclined myself but have been charged with investigating options and have narrowed it down to these three.
posted by otherwordlyglow to Technology (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite positions itself as a Sharepoint alternative, saying they're cheaper on with less hassle. Any Wiki might do the job, too. compares them all.
posted by oxit at 10:28 AM on June 21, 2010

I think Backpack is the 37 Signals product that you want, not Basecamp. Basecamp is more project management, task tracking, etc.
posted by COD at 10:43 AM on June 21, 2010

You can accomplish all of your stated goals with Google Apps:

The standard edition is free for up to 50 users. It may be worth a try.
posted by verevi at 10:55 AM on June 21, 2010

Quickr? There's a cloudy version, so you don't have to do all the support stuff. It seems to do what you're looking for pretty easily, but it does have a license cost to it. It varies (I rather hate IBM's pricing methods, just publish a damn rate card), but it's supposed to be cheap for < 1000 users.
posted by Citrus at 11:31 AM on June 21, 2010

Response by poster: I appreciate the info on the other services and will look at them but for now, all I really need is feedback on the three services I listed since those are the ones I have to report on tomorrow!
posted by otherwordlyglow at 11:49 AM on June 21, 2010

I've been using Basecamp and have been very happy with it. I manage three projects currently with about 10 people total. Everything about it has been absolutely seamless and I have had very little tech support requests. There are a couple of minor things that I would change about it, but using it and Google Docs together have solved every use case that I can think of. If you're planning on using it, check out Frasier Speir's writeup on best practices for Basecamp.

Most importantly: you're not going to get fired for choosing Basecamp.

(Man, I wish I had signed up for the affiliate program earlier. I feel like I tell people about it at least twice a week).
posted by AmitinLA at 5:20 PM on June 21, 2010

Also, one of the projects I'm working on is actually for a university and no one has had any issues with it. I can't talk about the pros/cons because I haven't used other systems, but I wouldn't worry too much about anything besides the user experience right now, and from what I can tell, Basecamp is still the best in town at that sort of stuff.
posted by AmitinLA at 5:22 PM on June 21, 2010

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