My ears perked up when you said the word "chat". I use the VM Chat module.
Installation wiki here.
The developers claim "It has almost no overhead on Moodle server but rather uses Vidya Mantra servers secured with SSL certificate for it's operation." Highly recommended. There. Your mountain of work is slowing being chipped away.
Ex-IRC and ICQ junkie, now hopelessly enamored by Whatsapp