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Joomla! as intranet for Community Centre

Posted: Sat May 05, 2007 1:01 am
by ilox
I'm on the Management Committee of a small community centre. They are presently running a small network of 10 PCs in the Learning centre as well as 4 other PCs for Administration.
I was thinking that a CRM would be very useful for management of memberships and tracking enquiries and class lists plus some kind of reservation system for Hall and Room Bookings.
I am a very experienced Joomla! user/builder/sysop but none of the others know a thing about Joomla! - and even less about networking ;)

Can I please have some suggestions of how I would go about assessing and establishing the needs.
Then how to establish which software would best suit those needs. I have a gut feeling that we might be looking at CivicCRM as a starter but I have no experience in this field to go by.

Later perhaps we could be looking to develop a Joomla web site but for the moment all I am thinking about is the Intranet and applications.

Re: Joomla! as intranet for Community Centre

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:32 pm
by ilox
And now I have a need to help a local Youth Centre with IT support to provide training and tutorials for young offenders.
My thoughts are to run Joomla on their Intranet perhaps using CivicCRM to manage the list of young people. Perhaps using the new education modules to handle the 'students' and track progress through the modules. I would also want to use Joomla to list and provide the online tutorials I will be building as part of the project.
I'm thinking of the Ravenswood User Home Page module so we could give them an option to say who they are and what their goals might be.
We would like the opportunity of providing a resume builder as part of the general outreach to young people. I did hear that such a thing is possible through Community Builder but I have never seen it in operation.
There are probably a number of other modules and options to be explored before this comes to fruition.

First up though is what I would need to run Joomla on their Windows network. I would not have any control over the network side so I would have to run with MS programs. What would b the way to do this? A WAMP such as Ravenswood provide? From what, a mounted CD with saving to another CD-RW or DVD-RW?
Another problem is that the student computers wont save any of their work so I would need a way to keep their work stored somehow and only they would be accessing it.

Am I biting off more than Joomla can chew?

Is there another community centre out there doing these kinds of things?

Re: Joomla! as intranet for Community Centre

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:02 pm
by limestone
A few suggestions -
  • Set up a testing server on your home pc using (for example) appserv.
  • Install on it Joomla, Community Builder and Facile Forms to be going on with, and any other components you need to try out.
  • Once you've done that and got a system working, you can install it just the same way on your student network.

Re: Joomla! as intranet for Community Centre

Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:46 am
by ilox
Thanks for the suggestion, downloading appserv now.

Re: Joomla! as intranet for Community Centre

Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:25 pm
by frankc
I would avoid CiviCRM, I found it very heavy and difficult to get started.

Also, found this lately and I've been recommending it to various charity organisations. It's free interactive courses, as far as I can see, to get group statistics and tracking and the like you'd pay a management fee but if you don't need that it's all free.

Re: Joomla! as intranet for Community Centre

Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:36 pm
by ilox
Thanks for the link Frank, will look it up and see what it's like.

much later...
OK, courses look great and will be suggesting centre consider some of them.

I would still like to set up the centre with some Intranet and include some form of CRM to capture the info that is flowing around the place but not able to be consolidated and used.

Re: Joomla! as intranet for Community Centre

Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:13 pm
by frankc
Cool, let us know what kind of information you're hoping to capture, maybe there's something simpler than CiviCRM that would suit. By all means try CiviCRM on a local server, can't hurt to take a look, it just proved too much for me I'm afraid :)

Re: Joomla! as intranet for Community Centre

Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:12 am
by ilox
Frank, I have been talking to them about an intranet for many months now, and updated the topic just last week, but still we get to the stumbling block of installing it, maintaining it and who will be responsible for keeping anything up to date. Installation is also a problem as the Reception desk has only a standalone computer, not connected to the rest - no, they wont consider wireless as an option.
Wiring for LAN is a big expense and the building is owned by the City so my short-term solution would be running the LAN over the powerlines.
The next step comes from making the CRM system really easy for the operators to access yet secure to protect the data. Not sure how to do that but we are covered by a very strong Privacy Act so it has to be a high priority.

The community centre works with only the manager paid, everybody else is a volunteer, reception is also staffed by those seeking work experience and those directed to carry out so many hours community work as a condition of their unemployment. This means that what ever CRM is in place will have a minimal training requirement.

The info I think should be captured would be the topic and result of phone calls or walk-in enquiries, especially calls seeking a course or resource that isn't available. This data would show future prospects for community courses or activities.
There should be a database built of all the courses and activities held at the centre and able to quickly come up with keywords. Enquiries on those courses should be captured to help the educators plan for improvements and additional courses.
The database should be linked to the city database n resources in the community so that Reception staff would be able to advise callers of alternatives.

I am sure I have only touched the tip of the iceberg but as I have never used a CRM I am not really sure what their potential might be in a community centre situation. I am open to any advice on how to proceed.