Action required: New help desk solution, emails and drive

It’s been a while (but not that long a while), that I migrated all of our neos.io email infrastructure to Google. We needed actual IMAP accounts for each of the team members and the old solution, based on Mailgun SMTP forwards, didn’t fit our needs anymore.

Now, while Google Mail works fine, there were a few things which nagged me rather quickly:

  • the solution is, for an Open Source project, rather costly, as we pay for a G Suite account for each Neos Team member
  • the solution to handle common email addresses like hello@neos.io, conference@… etc. via Google Groups was very annoying and I think we didn’t really have an overview over who was tackling which request

So, I was looking for a new solution throughout the last months. I maybe should have gone through a more open discussion process with you folks, but in the end I thought, I’d take the risk to prepare a new solution already and give you a chance to veto if you don’t really like it.

Here’s what I did:

E-Mails

I asked @daniellienert from punkt.de if they would provide email hosting for the Neos Team. And Daniel was so kind to say yes! That means, we can move our @neos.io email accounts to punkt.de and they sponsor email hosting to the Neos project.

We haven’t taken any concrete steps with this yet, and I guess – considering the workload Daniel currently has – may start the migration after Christmas.

Files

We currently use Google Drive for the Neos project’s private files. And I also asked Daniel if punkt.de could provide a Nextcloud instance for us instead. They do! :confetti_ball:

Daniel already set up an instance for us (https://vpro0704.proserver.punkt.de) which we’ll configure during the next weeks (with a custom domain etc) and then, at some point, can use for files we need to store for the Neos Foundation and Neos Team.

Help Desk

As for coordinating team emails (hello@neos.io, conference@neos.io, security@neos.io and the Operations Team) I prepared a solution for you, which you hopefully like as well: Zammad.

Zammad is an Open Source Project (https://zammad.org) but also backed by a company which offers a Zammad SaaS (https://zammad.com). It’s a nice help desk solution, hosted in a data center in Germany, provided by a German company, which we also use internally at Flownative.

I made a deal with the folks at Zammad: Since we are an open source project, they offer the Zammad SaaS “Professional Plan” to us for the price of “Starter” (which means a 66 % discount – https://zammad.com/en/pricing). In return, they asked us they could mention Neos in a future “customer success story”.

I tested Zammad with the folks in the Neos Foundation Board, because I guess that it will help them most (for example, incoming invoices would be routed to Zammad).

I also created a Zammad user for everyone in the Neos Team. Please go to https://neos.zammad.com (the domain will change at some point) and request a new password for your user (use your neos.io email address).

New emails which are directed to the mentioned email addresses will already end up in Zammad. I downloaded all data of the original Google Groups for later reference.

Important: Please start monitoring (and answering) tickets in Zammad – emails directed to the Security Team, Conference Team and general emails to hello will now end up there!

Feedback

I know, it it’s a bit late in the process, but my gut feeling said that you wouldn’t mind a proper help desk and less costs for email hosting. However, please do give me your feedback. If it turns out that the majority of the team does not like the change, I will of course revert all the decisions I took without asking.

Happy mailing!
Robert

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PS: Zammad is now reachable via https://tickets.neos.io

Hey @robert ,

awesome - Thanks for taking the initiative and pushing this forward :dancing_men: :dancing_women: :slight_smile: :upside_down_face: :heart: :heart:

I like it a lot :slight_smile:

One detail I am unsure about: we use lots of google sheets for organizing e.g. Neos Con - is that possible in Nextcloud? (if no, we could simply stay with our private gmail accounts and share folders like before…)

All the best,
Sebastian

One detail I am unsure about: we use lots of google sheets for organizing e.g. Neos Con - is that possible in Nextcloud? (if no, we could simply stay with our private gmail accounts and share folders like before…)

Sure, let’s just use Google Sheets for that. Ideally, we could just leave the existing Google Sheets where they are. Maybe it’s possible to keep one paid account (Neos Team) which owns the space and convert our neos.io users to personal accounts.

If anyone knows if that’s possible or would look into that, that would be cool!

hey robert, that sounds good! thanx a lot :heart:

That is a great move and awesome that PunktDe is helping with the hosting knowledge and power :slight_smile:

Thank you @robert and @daniellienert for taking care of this and providing this solution to the team! :heart:

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