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Lots of research teams, offices, and departments are groups of 10-50 people all of whom try to collaborate with each other. Everyone has their own email threads, contact lists, and institutional relationships. Too often multiple team members work with the same institutions and are unaware of it, and over periods of years old relationships which fade and get forgotten could be revived if only people starting new relationships with the same institution could remember them.

The commercial product Salesforce seems to be the world's most popular service for assisting any number of people in teams to track all their relationships. Salesforce will aggregate a group of people's contacts and read and analyze all their emails. Salesforce requests all possible data for its ingestion and for organizations which provide all the data and pay Salesforce they seem to get analysis and insight which they like in return. Salesforce collects huge sums of money a year and seems likely to improve their products with high and stable investment of money over time.

What open alternatives are there? How can academic teams report and share their institutional collaborations, contacts, and relationships with each other?

Desired solution:

  • saves everyone time as compared to informal sharing and documentation
  • free and open software (money not the barrier - just want to contribute a system with good values)
  • precedent of use in academia / research small teams
  • comparable to Salesforce for small teams
  • can be used to identify research team relationships through query of reported data
  • track and categorize perhaps 2-5000 relationships and events per year for ~20 researchers and ~100 students
Apparent options:

What does anyone here use?

commented by (2.5k points)
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An overview of open-source alternatives to Salesforce sits at https://alternativeto.net/browse/search/?q=salesforce&license=opensource , but it does not give information about who is using these alternatives.

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