Integrating collaboration tools

High-level analysis of integration into Drupal 7 platform

High-level architecture
Social software
Collaboration tools
Drupal 7
Use case

The challenge

As the executive body of the European Union, the European Commission is made up of various departments and services. In fact, every policy domain has its own department or ‘Directorate-General’. One of these 33 DG’s is the Directorate-General for Informatics or DIGIT. Or, as they say, the IT service of the EC.

DIGIT's primary task? To ensure that the Commission is able to realise its policy objectives by making effective and efficient use of information and communication technology.

In order to properly oversee the digital transformation of the EC, DIGIT performed an internal investigation into the integration of collaboration tools with their current Drupal 7 platform. Yet, despite these efforts, more intensive analysis and in-depth study were needed.

To this end, they searched for and found Wunderkraut. And DIGIT didn't even have to leave the ‘capital of Europe’ to find them. This became the first cooperation between the two parties and, most certainly, not the last.

European Commission's
internal ICT service
1 of 33
of the EC
with Wunderkraut
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#C0C0C0 1

The solution

Social software solutions on the work floor

The request from DIGIT was clear: compare different collaboration tools with respect to their ability to be integrated into the public Drupal 7 sites of the European institutions.

Collaboration tools are social software solutions which can significantly improve the communication on the work floor. Their benefits are well known: more efficient collaborations, the ability to consult with others in real-time, the provision of knowledge and the centralisation of data. And so it went.

Analysis of 4 collaboration tools

The internal analysis of SharePoint, Jive Software and Yammer garnered some insights, but Atlassian Confluence, a rising star amongst the collaboration tools currently on the market, was missing from the list.

Confluence, a product of Atlassian, is a wiki-centric content and collaboration solution for teams. Strong in functionality, cost-effectiveness and customer experience. And it is precisely for those reasons that Wunderkraut compared the tools again, this time including Confluence. In the areas of business needs as well as organisational benefits.

Person using collaboration software on a computer

Proof of concept with FARNET as use case

The example used during the study was the European Fisheries Areas Network FARNET. The high-level analysis of the 4 tools and their integration into the Drupal platform provided DIGIT with the information it was after. Sorely needed info which would serve to aid in choosing the appropriate collaboration tools. Architecture diagrams were set up with a clear-cut distinction between public and collaboration data.

Wunderkraut also showed how far-reaching the possibilities of the various tools are with respect to user experience, mobile use and styling. Using the FARNET site as an example throughout.

The strategic analysis that Wunderkraut performed is now being used as the foundation for further work by the internal development team at DIGIT.