How the Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft manages its funding processes with ONLYOFFICE and Nextcloud

25 May 2023By Ksenija

The Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft uses ONLYOFFICE Docs in combination with Nextcloud to organize an efficient workflow between foundation employees, mentors and scholarship holders. Jean Claude Granval, IT administrator, talks about their experience.

How the Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft manages its funding processes with ONLYOFFICE and Nextcloud

About the sdw

The Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft or sdw (eng: the Foundation of German Business) is a community initiative for education from Berlin. Together with its partners, the foundation takes active responsibility for the future of the younger generation.

The sdw offers scholarships and support programs for currently more than 4,000 youths and young adults throughout Germany and is committed to a society in which people can develop their potential regardless of their social or ethnic background.

How the Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft manages its funding processes with ONLYOFFICE and Nextcloud
Photo: Regina Sablotny/sdw


As Jean Claude Granval recalls, they were looking for a solution to edit office documents directly in Nextcloud. Their research revealed ONLYOFFICE as an office suite for Nextcloud, among others.

At that time, the sdw installed the community version of ONLYOFFICE Docs and the integration with Nextcloud was excellent. That first version must be considered a test, triggered by the Corona crisis in early 2020.

The plan now is to migrate the test environment to production, among other things to increase performance and stability. Also, all the ONLYOFFICE features should become more extensively usable, as some employees still have some misgivings. Therefore, the sdw has started with the integration of ONLYOFFICE Docs Enterprise. There are some technical difficulties here, which we are solving together.

Most needed features

According to Jean Claude Granval, ONLYOFFICE in combination with Nextcloud has led to a significant change in user behavior. Especially collaboration between their users and external ones, for example mentors and trainers, has become more efficient.

The sdw has special usage scenarios which cover its funding processes:

  • The foundation awards scholarships to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students who are accompanied by mentors and supervisors. A funding record is created for each scholarship recipient, in which the mentors and supervisors log their activities and notes. The corresponding foundation employees (regional coordinators) have access to the current funding records.
  • Thanks to the ONLYOFFICE-Nextcloud combo, it is possible to work together in a GDPR-compliant and efficient way – mentors log their experiences online without having to store the corresponding files locally. Regional coordinators have access to the current status of their grantees’ funding records without having to request them. The foundation retains data sovereignty and the entire information flow is GDPR-compliant.
  • Another usage scenario is collaborative work on documents, which can be organized in real time with ONLYOFFICE. The entire range of office documents is represented here: spreadsheets, presentations, but most often texts. In this case, an efficient workflow due to the elimination of sending documents by email or uploading/downloading (via platforms such as Basecamp, Trello, etc.) is also crucial.

Jean Claude Granval, IT administrator:

I would definitely recommend ONLYOFFICE, ideally together with Nextcloud. This integration is a very good GDPR compliant alternative to e.g. Microsoft 365 or the unfortunately common process of sending documents (in different versions) via email – very time-consuming when many people are involved.