Once upon a time the internet ran on open protocols, and anyone could host servers that ran these protocols. Your first dial-up internet connection probably came with a bundle of tools for groups and chat. If you weren't happy with the service from your ISP you'd point the client at another. The internet was open and federated, with tons of innovation at the client end.
But the protocol developers went to sleep for 20 years. We haven't seen much infrastructure development since the crypto protocols in the mid-1990s. Naturally, people wanted to do what they've always done, groups and chat, and so along came Mark Zuckerberg to turn the open, federated web into a private plantation. And here we all are, complaining that Mark Zuckerberg has too much power and no competition.
Technically, what a Facebook or a Slack really does underneath the slick UI is trivially simple, and if it were 1995, we would think it absurd that any company could attempt to charge money for such a service. We'd laugh the effort out of existence. An RFC would surely pop up, and it would become a standard anyone could host.
Rafael Laguna, founder and CEO of Open Xchange, is not merely trying to wake open-source developers from their slumbers. He's investing heavily in putting the pieces in place so that social networking becomes a federated service based on open protocols once again. You'll be able to host a server, or an ISP will host a server, and data will be interoperable. Just like it always should have been.