Developer’s Alternative to Slack

Self-hosted collaboration for developers, IT, and infrastructure

Mattermost and Slack are tools that increase team productivity through workplace messaging. Both platforms help companies communicate faster, solve problems in less time, and bring new employees up to speed quickly.

For many privacy-conscious organizations that have global teams, strict security requirements, or a team of developers that is continuously looking for ways to accelerate workflows, Slack falls flat.

Here are three reasons why developers prefer Mattermost over Slack:

1. Mattermost is highly extensible

To do their best work, developers need the perfect tool for the job.

While Slack offers many integrations for some of the most popular SaaS services, developers don’t have access to the plugin source code—which means their ability to customize these integrations is limited. Only the most common use cases for each integration are addressed; one of the reasons developers don’t like Slack is because a multi-tenant, shared service is not customizable.

Mattermost, on the other hand, provides complete access to source code for over 600 pre-built integrations in addition to the the majority of the platform being open source. You can customize Mattermost to your exact requirements, including custom application branding, custom login pages, and white-labeled mobile apps.

This extensibility is a major reason why Rapitt, a startup conversational commerce company based in Germany, built its platform on top of Mattermost.

2. Mattermost is highly scalable

Fast-moving organizations need tools that can keep pace with their rapid growth.

Mattermost was designed for large organizations. Our single-tenant private cloud architecture offers high availability (HA), fault tolerance, and horizontal scaling out of the box.

While Mattermost is proven to scale to tens of thousands of concurrent users, most proprietary messaging solutions like Slack have traditionally had problems at enterprise scale.

In fact, Wargaming moved 4,000 users away from Slack for this exact reason. So did Uber. Seeking a long-term messaging solution, Uber ultimately opted to build its own chat platform on top of Mattermost because it could deliver performance at scale.

(Our load tests show that we can accommodate as many as 70,000 concurrent users on a single team. We’re always working to improve that number.)

3. Mattermost is highly secure

When you use a SaaS service like Slack, all messaging data is stored on the vendor’s servers, which means the vendor can inspect it at any time. Developers understand better than most people that engineers at Slack with the right permissions can access every conversation and an entire organization’s data if they wanted to.

In the age of data breaches, where trust is equally important as security, privacy-conscious organizations can’t afford to take risks with their most critical data and employee interactions.

Developers who work with sensitive information prefer Mattermost over Slack because it allows them to maintain complete control over all messaging data. Mattermost can be deployed on-premises and in public or private cloud infrastructure behind your firewall, helping you maintain privacy while ensuring compliance and mitigating risks.

For example, Galois, a software company that solves difficult cybersecurity problems for government agencies (e.g., NASA and the Department of Defense) chose Mattermost over Slack because they needed their messaging solution to map to their existing strict security measures.

And Queens, a clothing company based in the Czech Republic, chose Mattermost over Slack because they needed to retain complete control of their messaging data to ensure GDPR compliance.

Slack is an excellent general messaging tool for small- to medium-sized companies that have lightweight security requirements and limited integration needs. Their UI is excellent and we view Slack as a leader in UX (that’s why Mattermost looks and feels very similar to Slack).

But developers who build software following agile methodologies and leverage modern DevOps practices need a flexible platform that integrates with their entire toolchain. For teams that want complete control of their data and their workflows—and value extensibility, scalability, and security—Mattermost is the preferred tool.

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Leah Liebler

Leah Liebler is a leader within marketing at Mattermost, Inc. who is passionate about efficiency and innovation—both inside and outside of work. Previously, she lead demand generation teams at CoreOS and Hortonworks. She's also served as a growth marketing consultant for several open source companies with global reach.

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