My company uses skype and e-mail for all messaging, conferences and so on. Me as a person who used to discord all of this stuff makes to cry because it is uncomfortable to use. I'd like them to switch to something like Teams but it's not free, Discord has some limitations which makes it not so good to use in company. We have own server system and I bet we can deploy something. For now I look at Matrix + Element but I'm still not sure is it really free. What we need: easy software setup for usual workers that just need to connect, so they just need to install messaging app; chat rooms; voice conference calls + video calls; file sharing; access levels to rooms and roles; mobile app. Some other possibilities like calendar sharing, alarms and so on will be just a good addition but not so necessary.


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Matrix and Element are both Free Software (a.k.a. Open Source). That means (among other things) that it is free-of-charge to use but also that you are free to sell it as a service for others. But not that it is free-from-setup-and-maintenance, so if you do not intend on rolling up your sleeves yourself then you should probably account for paying someone to do that task.

Personally I find Matrix quite easy to setup and maintain, but obviously that is strongly dependent on the skills of the person handling it.

Since you tagged your question as video-conferencing, beware that Matrix does not handle multi-party video-conferencing on its own, but offloads that to Jitsi (or possibly to other tools - it is done using a plugin system, where linking to Jitsi is a very popular option.

Whereas Matrix and Element are relatively easy to setup and maintain, Jitsi is a far more complex system to handle, and more resource heavy. Maybe if you don't mind running a Docker image, and if that fails then simply delete it and start over. But if you truly want to maintain a system involving multi-party video-conferencing, choosing an option that involves Jitsi can be more expensive (in either your time or in money paid to others for doing the work - even if the tools themselves are free-of-charge).

BigBlueButton is another popular Free Software alternative specifically for video-conferencing. It is similarly complex and resource heavy as Jitsi.

Please also note that both Jitsi and BigBlueButton are almost only for realtime video-conferencing - not for asyncronous message-based chat as is the main feature of Matrix.

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