The CiviDay for the Benelux in Apeldoorn was visited by about 25 people. Quite a few were new.
The day started with an explanation about CiviCooP bij Erik Hommel. CiviCooP will be a formal organisation where smaller CiviCRM organsations are able to do the work they like most, and cooperating with others for everything else.
Each organisation would then be able to offer the full CiviCRM service (hosting, building, maintenance, custom code, design).
We learned that especially government organisations are reluctant to contract small parties and they where very interested in this concept. It would help them to get CiviCRM introduced in their organisation.
There are still questions to be answered: is a formal coöperation the right form? A coöperation in the Netherlands means that all "members" share responsibility of one of the projects fails.
After that the group split in a tech session and a demo session.
In the tech session we spoke about how we could improve CiviCRM so it would suit Dutch and Belgian needs. What are configurations almost all Dutch and Belgian CiviCRM install would need to do and can we automate that?
A few of the topics discussed there where:
- create a "super-locale" setting, so language, currency, date and time, decimal and 1000-sign, address settings, Dutch prefixes and suffixes, etc.. are set in 1 go.
- automatically create the Dutch social security field (BSN number)
- related to that: make sure that also custom fields (especially above number) can be placed between the default civicrm fields on a profile
- NL/BE address validation
- NL/BE postcode -> address autofill (so fill in the address automatically when only post code is entered)
- iDeal (the most used Dutch payment method)
- SEPA Direct Debit (useful for all european organisations) (http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-09-1665_en.pdf)
- A special token for the Dutch language for Greeting options. When prefix is "De heer", then a greeting normally would be "Geachte heer", so not the whole prefix, but a related term.
Further we spoke about what could and should be done in drupal and what in civicrm (using drupal modules or civicrm functionality) in certain cases. How do you theme civicrm pages. Etc.
In the demo session we had a varied group with a social welfare organization that just started to use CiviCRM (case study coming up....), some interested individuals, some consultants interested in what CiviCRM could do for NGO's and a prospect organization that is deciding on a new CRM for their elderly care organization. Good session, good questions and enough oooohs and aaaaaahs :-)
It was nice to see the CiviCRM community is growing in the Benelux. Not only potential customers but also developers. CiviCoop and a Dutch/Belgian localisation effort could be a big boost in further growth.